I am a non-ADHDer married to an ADHD spouse. I'm having trouble telling if he has developed a problem with alcohol, if he is just displaying his ADHD in a somewhat new way, or if I am just overly sensitive. Let me note here that I do not have a problem with having a glass of wine (or even two) or beer at dinner in theory, though I myself don't enjoy alcohol, so I rarely drink it. I do have a problem with drunkenness (as in, I find it bothersome to be around people who drink a lot in one sitting). So as you read this, keep in mind that I am pretty much a nondrinker who is not opposed to drinking but doesn't enjoy being around heavy drinkers -- this aspect of my personality may play into how I am reading my husband's behavior, and I need to know if the problem is me.
My husband has always had drinks, and occasionally, though not often, too many. I've thought him a bit obnoxious when he was drunk, but it wasn't a big problem for us until the past few years. He has gotten to know a crowd of people who are more party people, and while his behavior doesn't check out as "alcoholic" according to what I can find on the web (it doesn't interfere with work, and I don't notice him having six or more drinks a night, though maybe I'm not always with him when he drinks, and I don't think he tries to hide when he drinks, for instance), some of it is really disturbing me. He seems to drink more in social situations than he used to. We went on a date at a German festival on Saturday night, and he asked if I had any money because he forgot to stop at the ATM. I said all I had was $26, so exchanged $20 of that for tokens, which were to provide us with food and beverage money. He immediately got a $5 beer, drank that, then said he was going back for another. At that point, I asserted myself and mentioned the need for food, so I was able to get some food before he downed his second beer (without yet eating anything himself). He then got a mulled wine, then exchanged about $15 I didn't know he had for more tokens, so that he could get some food (and give me some more, since what I got was pretty unsatisfying), and then he got an after-dinner liquer. That was it, so only four drinks, but until he produced the extra money he had, it felt like he was drinking all of our food money. We go to sci fi cons, and long after I am in bed, he stays out late with friends or people he meets, drinking until he sometimes reeks and coming back to the room between 3 and 5 a.m. Our church has a pig roast, and he helps with that, and he's said he enjoys it, but it would be better if alcohol were involved. Sometimes at home, when he watched TV alone, he'll mix himself a little Southern Comfort and Coke to watch TV by (so, yes, he drinks alone, though that actually doesn't worry me too much -- but I thought I should mention it). I don't think he does it every night, but I'm not sure. I think it is just one drink, but again, I'm not sure. I know he does it, but I don't monitor how much or how often. But here's the thing that really worries me: he's really gotten into Scotch, and he has purchased flask. If we go to an event where his scotch-drinking friends will be (even a movie, though not often a movie -- more often an outdoor event) or where he thinks he MIGHT meet someone who would appreciate some scotch, he will sneak his flask in. I tend to be very rule-abiding, so it really bothers me that he is sneaking scotch in in a flask like this. Frankly, I don't understand the obsession -- when we go out to dinner, he doesn't always have alcohol (so, again, maybe the problem is me), but he will get into things like the German event where he has to try different beverages and go back and have some, and he really gets into drinking with friends, and he just has to bring his scotch different places. I think it might be an odd hyper-focus on alcohol, not actual alcoholism, and again, it might be me. Can anyone please tell me what they think of this behavior?