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My boyfriend drinks and I don't

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by Cece_lee16, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Cece_lee16

    Cece_lee16 New Member

    40
    +8
    United States
    Non-Denom
    In Relationship
    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first post so I'm not sure if I'm doing it correctly. I was hoping I could hear some different ideas regarding my current situation. I am a 28-year-old and I've been dating my boyfriend for over two years. I grew up in a family with several alcoholics. I also grew up with parents and in a church community that didn't drink at all. I guess I was kind of exposed to two extremes. Watching my cousins lives be destroyed by their father's alcoholism was incredibly tramatic for me and I developed a newfound sense of security living in a household where alcohol just wasn't around. Fast forward to 28 I have never had a drink of alcohol. In college I was never even tempted and wouldn't even consider dating someone who drank. I don't actually believe that drinking in moderation is a sin but I truly feel like it is one of my spiritual convictions and something the Lord has laid on my heart to abstain from. I have no problem with my friends drinking and I'm around it all the time.

    I know that witnessing alcoholism shaped my view of drinking, but I've also grown up and have been able to form my own ideas separate from the past. I know many Christians who are in love with the Lord, and are amazing leaders who drink alcohol responsibly and don't have any issues. Personally, not drinking has been a ministry opportunity for me. It is been one of the ways that I can truly be set apart from the world and it has given me the opportunity to have unique conversations that I wouldn't be able to have otherwise. It's also extremely helpful when I have a friend that is dealing with alcohol or substance-abuse. Most times I'm the only sober person in their life. So that's the background.

    When I first started dating my boyfriend two years ago I told him that I didn't drink and that I didnt want to date someone who does. I have always dreamed about being on the same page with this issue especially when I have children. He told me he drank but that he didn't mind stopping. It was something that was easy to give up if that would keep us from dating. I of course was hesitant, because I wouldn't want someone to make that decision based on me. I agreed, but never really felt comfortable. When we would go out with friends who would drink I could feel the tension. I knew he wanted to which made me feel guilty. we had a few conversations and I decided that I would be OK if he drink occasionally without me knowing. I know he has had drank here or there and I would like to say that it doesn't bother me but it really does. I just feel so sad and disappointed maybe in myself that I'm going against something that has been ( and still is) so important to me. This is one of the issues that's keeping me from feeling comfortable about getting engaged. I know if it came down to us breaking up or him drinking he would again tell me he would gladly give it up but I'm not an idiot and I know fast forward a few years that would change. And I can't force him to have the same convictions as me nor would I want to. Honestly, I don't know what to do and yes I have prayed about it. I'm sorry this is long I have no idea if there's a limit! But if anyone has advise I would love to hear it! Sometimes moving forward without us being on the same page feels impossible and there's part of my heart that wants to hold out for someone that shares the same conviction.
     
  2. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Gone

    +3,783
    Anglican
    Private
    Answered elsewhere.

    Summary; he is not the right person for you. Don't settle for second best.
     
  3. Innerfire89

    Innerfire89 New Member

    22
    +25
    United States
    Presbyterian
    Single
    It sounds like he might want to get buzzed more than drinking to compliment a meal. If he wants to go out and drink with friends then he's not just drinking for the flavor. He really shouldn't want to drink at all because it's not like he's missing out on anything unless getting buzzed is what he's looking for. So I would to end it before the drink is more important to him than you are.
     
  4. Aleksandros

    Aleksandros Active Member

    232
    +360
    India
    Christian
    Single
    If you have prayed about it, and the feelings don't change at all - if you have no peace about this, then it's best to consider that.

    I'd suggest praying more though.

    But one thing to ask is: how dedicated is he to the Lord, apart from this issue?
     
  5. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    +12,347
    Anglican
    Married
    This is an issue that means so much to you, as you've described, that I don't think a compromise such as you've tried can succeed.

    This is not to say that taking a drink is immoral or that you are saying that, but abstinence does mean a lot to you for various reasons. Consequently, I think you can only avoid endless anguish over the boyfriend's attitude and doings--although you haven't said he's been totally irresponsible over it--if you tell him that this holds an unusually important place in your thinking and that you have to have him swear off drinking altogether. See which means more to him--social drinking or the relationship.

    By the way, there's really no reason for a non-drinker to feel awkward in the company of drinkers, and many people just make what looks like a mixed drink that doesn't have any alcohol in it. So he really is wanting to have a drink when at parties, etc. But if he cannot swear off from it for your sake, the relationship will continuously imperiled.
     
  6. paul1149

    paul1149 that your faith might rest in the power of God Supporter

    +1,015
    Christian
    Private
    I think this is the key to the problem. From the get-go you understood that you were making a compromise in this area. I'm not condemning responsible drinking, I'm speaking of your own personal convictions. "Whatever is not of faith is sin" - Rm 14.23. If you're not comfortable with the arrangement, there are going to be problems, and they will probably get worse, until the root issue is resolved.

    The problem is, as you allude, you cannot broach this subject without bringing on a synthetic solution. BF would be abstaining to keep you, not on its own merits. How important that is is for you to decide. If it would make the relationship significantly unbalanced, with guilt or hidden resentments, etc, then that is, in my mind, a big problem. If it's no big deal, and just one of the compromises that both sides have to make in a marriage, then it should be workable. No relationship is ever going to be perfect here on earth. The key is whether the two of you each can have peace with the situation.

    If in the end this problem is irresolvable, you may have to make a hard decision. I would say take your time, talk it out with him, deal with motivations, and make sure you have peace whichever way you decide to go. Get your priorities set, count the cost, and accordingly make your steps secure.
     
  7. Kit Sigmon

    Kit Sigmon Well-Known Member

    +617
    Christian
    In Relationship
    I quoted you here...
    "I have no problem with my friends drinking and I'm around it all the time."

    And here..

    "When I first started dating my boyfriend two years ago I told him that I didn't drink
    and that I didn't want to date someone who does.
    I have always dreamed about being on the same page with this issue especially when
    I have children.
    He told me he drank but that he didn't mind stopping.
    It was something that was easy to give up if that would keep us from dating.
    I of course was hesitant, because I wouldn't want someone to make that decision based
    on me.

    I agreed, but never really felt comfortable.
    Did you let him know that?

    When we would go out with friends who would drink I could feel the tension.

    There would be some tension...he said he'd not drink so you and him could date. You have friends who drink and you hang out with them.
    Perhaps you didn't fully understand that being around them when they are drinking would be difficult for someone who normally had a drink when they
    went out with friends...


    I smell another compromise coming up...quoting you here:
    "we had a few conversations and I decided that I would be OK if he drink
    occasionally without me knowing."


    Points made: You don't want a boyfriend or spouse who drinks...you want
    to be on the same page...in other words:
    "We don't drink"... but we're fine having and being around friends who drink.

    Having a boyfriend who drinks bothers you, though you have friends who drink
    and you have no problem being around them...O-K.


    The thing is... you didn't wait for a guy who is on the same page with you.
    You choose to date a guy who said he'd stop drinking so you and him could
    date.
    However, he is finding it difficult since you two hang out with friends who
    drink and though you have no problem having and being around friends who drink, he doesn't find that so easily done.


    The relationship is now over two years old.
    It's little wonder you're conflicted, confused and crying out against all that
    you gave your OK too.

    What to do? Repent and get back to walking humbly with Jesus.



     
  8. Cece_lee16

    Cece_lee16 New Member

    40
    +8
    United States
    Non-Denom
    In Relationship
     
  9. Cece_lee16

    Cece_lee16 New Member

    40
    +8
    United States
    Non-Denom
    In Relationship
    Thank you for your response. He is very dedicated to the Lord and this is one of the only values we don't share. When he does drink which is truly on occasion it is very minimal and he does not get drunk. That's what makes this whole thing kind of confusing. It's kind of hard to justify breaking up with him because we're not on the same page with one thing. That's why I've been struggling with it for so long.
     
  10. Cece_lee16

    Cece_lee16 New Member

    40
    +8
    United States
    Non-Denom
    In Relationship
     
  11. Cece_lee16

    Cece_lee16 New Member

    40
    +8
    United States
    Non-Denom
    In Relationship
    Thank you for your response. You make some good points. Thank you ❤️
     
  12. Cece_lee16

    Cece_lee16 New Member

    40
    +8
    United States
    Non-Denom
    In Relationship
     
  13. Cece_lee16

    Cece_lee16 New Member

    40
    +8
    United States
    Non-Denom
    In Relationship
    Thank you for your response! Part of the reason why am torn is because he really only does drink occasionally and is very responsible when he does. He does not get drunk. I'm just worried about what this may look like in our future. It's occasional now but I fear it might not be occasional later. I have a lot to think and pray about. Thanks again
     
  14. Cece_lee16

    Cece_lee16 New Member

    40
    +8
    United States
    Non-Denom
    In Relationship
     
  15. Cece_lee16

    Cece_lee16 New Member

    40
    +8
    United States
    Non-Denom
    In Relationship
    Thank you for this I really appreciate it. One of the things I always come back to is that I KNOW none of us are perfect. Which has made me more willing to try and figure this out. He is willing to not drink for me but I think I personally would always feel guilty because I know it's not something he feels he needs to abstain from. He would never purposely make me feel guilty I do that to myself. It's like, I don't feel right asking him to stop.
     
  16. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    +12,347
    Anglican
    Married
    Yes, that's why I included this comment in my earlier post:

    I didn't want to address the problem as though he was always sneaking a drink or anything of that sort. But since your concern with drinking is exceptional, any urge at all is likely to worry you. What the future holds, of course, I cannot say. We would hate to have you dump this relationship because of unfounded fears, so it's a tough decision for you, I know.
     
  17. Cece_lee16

    Cece_lee16 New Member

    40
    +8
    United States
    Non-Denom
    In Relationship
     
  18. Cece_lee16

    Cece_lee16 New Member

    40
    +8
    United States
    Non-Denom
    In Relationship
    Thank you for your empathy, it is very hard. I think just being open about it with all of you has helped process how I'm actually feeling about it. I've just been pushing it down and avoiding thinking through things. Even when I pray about it I think I am kind of vague. He truly does love the Lord and is a wonderful boyfriend to me. I need to decide soon if it is going to be a dealbreaker. Thank you again
     
  19. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    +2,749
    Non-Denom
    Single
    US-Republican
    How does he feel about having alcohol in the house with kids and teenagers around? Personally, I drink, but not to get drunk. I also know that in many homes, teenagers without supervision will get to alcohol that their parents use responsibly, and use it irresponsibly. My present conviction is that if they enter the picture, to not have it in the house, or to only have it under lock and key. But that's not the case for me right now, so I have no problems with buying beer now. Is this something that you can discuss with him?
     
  20. Cece_lee16

    Cece_lee16 New Member

    40
    +8
    United States
    Non-Denom
    In Relationship
    Hi thanks for your response! Yes, this is something we have discussed and he agrees to not having alcohol in the house. Our upbringings were very different. I was exposed to alcohol abuse and he has always been around people that drank in a very responsible way. I think that's where the disconnect may be. Thank you for taking the time to read my post ❤️
     
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