DESIGNATED DRIVER ISSUE WITH MY BOYFRIEND

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2013
DESIGNATED DRIVER ISSUE WITH MY BOYFRIEND
6
Thu, 05-02-2013 - 10:59pm

I have been in an exclusive relationship for over a year.  My SO is 12 years older than myself.  We have a very good relationship - working out kinks here and there - but I do see this progressing to marriage.  Whenever something bothers me, he is willing to discuss it and open to changing ways.  He treats me with respect and love.  He has a fairly high profile job in our community, so when he goes out on weekends, he likes to go to places a good distance from the area so he can enjoy himself and not be recognized.  He was divorced over 10 years ago and definitely lived a bachelor's lifestyle.  Lots of weekend drinking and women, engaged twice but neither marriage happened.  I can see that I am different from the other women he has dated; most, if not all, he met through online dating services and they were mostly all relationships about sex and booze, or rather, sex as a result of a lot of drinking together.  Upon reflection, he says they were meaningless relationships and he doesn't want that anymore.

However, he enjoys an arrangement that has developed since we have been dating.  This is that when we go out on Friday nights, he drinks and I drive.  We are going to a dinner tomorrow and I told him that I would like to be able to drink this time and he be the designated driver.  I told him that, in fact, I think it's only fair that we alternate being the designated driver.  This really threw him for a loop and he was quite uptight over it!  He proposed that we both drink and take a cab home.  I told him that ladies don't take cabs home from a bar ... that he should be able to control himself once in a while, let me drink and I should be able to rely on him to take care of me.  I do not have much of a tolerance for alcohol - I can drink one beer and get a little giggly - so he thinks I should have one or two drinks and stop.  He, on the other hand, has a very high alcohol tolerance, so he feels I should let him have his one night of the week to drink and have me drive home.

This discussion took place this evening.  He sent a text when he got home that said he would agree to my proposal to alternate designated driver assignments because I mean more to him than alcohol.  What do y'all think?  And furthermore, do you agree or disagree about the cab issue?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Fri, 05-03-2013 - 12:53am

Ladies don't take cabs home from a bar?  They do if they or the person they're with are incapable of driving!  I never heard such a dumb rule!!!  I think the biggest problem is that your man is an alcoholic, and I find it strange that he has to go somewhere that he's not recognized.  What would happen if he went to a local bar?  So, people would recognize him.......how is that a problem, except for the fact that he doesn't want them to see him drunk......although they must have in the past.  How drunk and how obnoxious does he get?  Something is wrong with his story.  Have you thought about doing something on the weekend that doesn't involve getting drunk.......go to a play, or visit a museum.  That's probably too tame for him.......again, if he drinks to excess, even if only on the week-end, then he's an alcoholic, and that can lead to future problems.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Fri, 05-03-2013 - 2:42am

I've never heard that a lady doesn't take a cab home from a bar, and I don't agree with that. For a couple that wants to go out drinking it sounds like the perfect solution.

There were a couple of red flags in your post. Your bf getting upset at the prospect of not being able to drink one Friday night sounds like someone with a dependency on alcohol. Its great that he later agreed to be the DD, hopefully he realizes that means no drinks (as opposed to 2 or 3 because he thinks he's fine to drive at that level)?

On top of the getting upset part, you mentioned that he had past relationships that revolved around getting drunk; that he still goes out of town to do his drinking, and it sounds like every weekend he gets drunk. All of those things are outside the range of social drinking that would be normal for his age (40ish? or older?) and would be of great concern to me.

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Fri, 05-03-2013 - 9:13am

sunnygirl08 wrote:
<p>I have been in an exclusive relationship for over a year.  My SO is 12 years older than myself.  We have a very good relationship - working out kinks here and there - but I do see this progressing to marriage.  Whenever something bothers me, he is willing to discuss it and open to changing ways.  He treats me with respect and love.  He has a fairly high profile job in our community, so when he goes out on weekends, he likes to go to places a good distance from the area so he can enjoy himself and not be recognized.  He was divorced over 10 years ago and definitely lived a bachelor's lifestyle.  Lots of weekend drinking and women, engaged twice but neither marriage happened.  I can see that I am different from the other women he has dated; most, if not all, he met through online dating services and they were mostly all relationships about sex and booze, or rather, sex as a result of a lot of drinking together.  Upon reflection, he says they were meaningless relationships and he doesn't want that anymore.</p><p>However, he enjoys an arrangement that has developed since we have been dating.  This is that when we go out on Friday nights, he drinks and I drive.  We are going to a dinner tomorrow and I told him that I would like to be able to drink this time and he be the designated driver.  I told him that, in fact, I think it's only fair that we alternate being the designated driver.  This really threw him for a loop and he was quite uptight over it!  He proposed that we both drink and take a cab home.  I told him that ladies don't take cabs home from a bar ... that he should be able to control himself once in a while, let me drink and I should be able to rely on him to take care of me.  I do not have much of a tolerance for alcohol - I can drink one beer and get a little giggly - so he thinks I should have one or two drinks and stop.  He, on the other hand, has a very high alcohol tolerance, so he feels I should let him have his one night of the week to drink and have me drive home.</p><p>This discussion took place this evening.  He sent a text when he got home that said he would agree to my proposal to alternate designated driver assignments because I mean more to him than alcohol.  What do y'all think?  And furthermore, do you agree or disagree about the cab issue?</p>

Ladies DO take cabs home from the bar, first off. Secondly, you've passed up a great opportunity for mad kissing in the cab on the way home.

Third, why is drinking so in the forefront of your relationship? Why are you hellbent on drinking, if as you say, you don't have a tolerance for it?  You can have one drink at the beginning of the evening and switch to water for the rest of it and be quite fine to drive home.  There is no law saying that the drink he orders for you has to be drunk by you.  He's just out of $8, if that's the case.

If he has to drink to the point of drunk every time you two go out, then you're dealing with an alcoholic and people who deal with alcoholics are called "co-dependents/enablers".

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2013
Fri, 05-03-2013 - 9:15am

Good morning - thanks so much for your reply.  I guess I am personally not into taking a cab home so everyone can get wasted.  I think that shows a desperation and that no one is willing to stay sober, especially when it's every weekend.  I would be fine with it for a special occasion, say New Year's Eve, but  I am more into being able to control one's self and taking turns being the DD.  It's not even imperative to me that I drink at all, but certainly don't think it's fair that Fridays are fun time for him and I sit and watch.  However, you are absolutely right.  Although he only drinks on Friday nights, I agree that him getting uptight over the prospect of not drinking is a red flag.  His mom was an alcoholic and he seems to have drawn all women who drank with him to excess, which is why I am different and he knows it (and likes it).  I am guessing he used to drink much more and pared it down to just Friday nights.  I'm glad you noted that it's a red flag bc I feel the same way.  Guess I need to discuss this with him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2001
Sat, 05-04-2013 - 10:51pm

I agree with the others that cabs can be used by ladies as well as gentlemen anytime they like.  I've never heard anything like what you've said.  As far as not thinking cabs are to be taken so everybody can get wasted, I wonder why not?  It's not too enjoyable to be sober around drunks and it's more enjoyable for everyone if all can relax and enjoy themselves without worrying about who's driving.  HOWEVER, the fact you said it raises the question...are you saying your boyfriend gets wasted every Friday night?  I'd say the fact that his alcohol tolerance is high is a concern and I think the fact that he goes out of town to do it suggests he feels his consumption is such that others would see it as unacceptable.  

If none of these are concerns for you and if the two of you feel cabs are out of the question, then alternating designated drivers is only fair.  I also think it would be perfectly acceptable if you drove on your Friday night and he paid for a cab on his -- assuming the "no cab" issue is yours, not his.  The bottom line is you want him to provide the ride home on alternating weekends.  How he does that is his choice, not yours.


~ cl-2nd_life

cl-2nd_
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2013
Wed, 05-08-2013 - 11:38am

Hi everyone - wanted to provide an update on how the Friday night activities went with respect to the designated driver issue.  I drank what I wanted and he was the driver; however, he did have maybe 3 beers that were spread out over the course of about 7 hours.  He sees now that he can survive an evening without countless drinks.  I do agree that his being so upset over not being able to drink is a red flag.  However, I not only think his upset about not drinking is really about drinking, but about not getting to do what he wants.  Don't get me wrong, he is a very sweet guy - not a snob - and treats everyone with a great deal of respect, but I think that all his life he has gotten his way.  He comes from a family deeply rooted in our community, he was educated at private schools, has a lucrative career, so he really has a pretty good life.  I pointed this out to the couple we were with Friday night (who have known him since they were teens) and they said I am exactly right.  He didn't know how to handle it doesn't because everyone has always gone along with what he has wanted to do.   His previous girlfriends were big partiers and either took a cab home with him or let him drive (in whatever state he was in, I suppose).  I think women have always done what he has wanted because they consider him a "great catch" and have chased him to get into a cushy lifestyle.  To me, his secure lifestyle is very nice, but I would never give up myself and my values to be a part of it which is why I am posting here for advice!  In the past, I didn't speak up for what I wanted.  Since counseling and a divorce, I like to get advice and really mull over the situation.

He said he is willing to alternate as drivers when we hit the bar scene and that he realizes it is only fair.  Also wanted to say that it's hard to articulate the entire story on these boards, but drinking really is not the focus of our relationship.  We are together every day of the week.  We got to dinner, movies, do things together with our kids, watch tv, take walks, he is a runner and is conscious of his diet ... but yes, he does look at Fridays as a night to blow off steam from a week of work stress and he doesn't want to be seen drinking because he has a high profile job in the community.

The next step for me is to suggest we go somewhere very local on a Friday and see how he reacts.