Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I am engaged and set to get married in less than a month. But Sukkos was horrible and now I’m conflicted! I was so excited to spend part of Sukkos with my chosson, but he got drunk on Simchas Torah and it was like I didn’t even know him! He was totally not acting like himself and now I am definitely concerned! The next day he apologized and said he rarely drinks, but my family was very upset and so am I! Am I overlooking something important here or is it ok to take his word for it and move on?

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Party Pooper

 

Dear Party,

The other day, a family here in Florida decided to go swimming in their pool. Just another day in our sunny state. But when they went outside, they noticed an unwanted guest got there first. A fully grown alligator was chillin’ poolside. Apparently, he took a long stroll from a nearby canal and incorrectly believed their home was the Gator Hilton. The alligator went swimming in their pool like he owned the place until he was swiftly relocated back to Gatorville. The family insisted that in their 30 years of living there, they had never shared their space with a gator before. They did not invite him back.

Mazel tov on your engagement, although I’m sorry you had a hard time on yom tov.

You have been happy in your engagement and with your chosson. On Sukkos however, he drank and behaved in a way that made you uncomfortable. You are now concerned about his drinking habits in general (even though he insists he rarely drinks) and you are even worried about your future together overall. While you only witnessed this type of behavior once during a time when many men drink to celebrate Simchas Torah, you are still perturbed and upset.

Let’s take this one step at a time. You dated and connected. You both felt excited to create a future together and decided to get married. You were happy with your decision and excited to spend yom tov with your chosson. We can only assume that up until this point you have been pleased with your chosson, his qualities, and his character. Yet, over Sukkos, he drank one night and you are now questioning your whole future.

Drinking is never a good look for anyone, and certainly not for a chosson as he is still getting to know his kallah. That being said, it’s certainly very common for men to drink as they celebrate Simchas Torah. He is telling you that he was participating in the revelry, rather than a lone drunk at a seuda. He clearly explained that he doesn’t drink regularly, and he even apologized for his drunken behavior that night.

“You look so adorable when you drink,” said no wife ever.

This seems to be an irregular occurrence however, in a life of good behavior. Have a calm and mature conversation with each other (without your family) and relay how you feel about drinking. It seems to me that he will likely agree with your assessment and feelings. He is not a drinker. He simply drank that night. Instead, offer him some breathing room and support instead of derision and punishment. You will also want the opportunity to not be judged by your imperfect behavior in your marriage. Instead focus on the good. You found a great guy with whom you have chosen to spend a lifetime with because he is wonderful and everything you wanted. See you later alligator.

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Henni Halberstam is a Dating and Marriage Coach whose expert advice will help you navigate dating and relationships in order to ensure a successful marriage. You can contact her at hennihalberstam@gmail.com to schedule a phone session.