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Guy Sparks Drama After Snapping At His Roommate’s Pushy Friend About Why He Doesn’t Drink

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Sobriety is a powerful personal choice that often springs out of a place of trauma.  Something happened that brought that person too close to the brink of death.

So when you ask that person why they are sober, you best be prepared for a long answer. Sometimes, even an uncomfortable answer.

So when Reddit user tzrip237 was unkindly approached about his sobriety, it didn’t go so great.

Fearing he may have overreacted, he went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” to get some clarification about how he acted:

“AITA for being ‘too honest’ about why I don’t drink?”

Our original poster, or OP, clarified his sobriety first:

“I’m 33 and I had a serious drinking problem since a young age. My dad was an alcoholic so booze never lacked in our house. It nearly killed me when I was only 27 and was in the ER for alcohol poisoning.”

“It was too close a call and after that things had to change. With my wife’s support, I went to rehab and proud to say I’ve been sober 5 1/2yrs.”

So at parties, OP naturally does not drink:

“My flatmate invited our friends over yesterday. It was 7 of us in total, including his friend, ‘Mark.’ I’ve met Mark maybe 3-4 times over the last 2 years and while we’re ‘friendly’ i honestly don’t know him that well.”

“But you can tell he’s a party-guy. Likes to get loud, take shots, makes gross comments sometimes, etc.”

“Mark brought several cases of beer and a bottle of tequila with him so everyone was drinking and having a good time.”

Mark clearly did not take kindly to this:

“Mark kept offering me drinks the entire night, which I’d politely decline. It’s like he made it his personal mission to get me to drink by egging me on, saying every time he sees me I’m either drinking a soda/water and it’s okay to let loose sometimes.”

“He resorted to teasing me into drinking, calling me ‘princess’; I don’t know what that had to do with not wanting to drink.”

And made it his mission to get OP to drink:

“All my friends there knew what I was like before, how bad my drinking was so they kept trying to steer the conversation so he’d forget about me.”

“But every now and then he’d hand me a shot glass or a beer and would not let it go even after telling him yet again that I didn’t want to drink.”

When OP’s wife stepped in, Mark crossed a line:

“My wife became uncomfortable with his behavior (I think she was worried I’d actually drink).”

“She grabbed the shot glass from me, dumped it in the sink and told him to stop it already. He looked between us and grinned like he ‘understood now’.”

“Mark joked that maybe we should get my wife drunk first, then that’ll get her to loosen up the leash she has on me. I’ll admit, that made me see red.”

“I got in his face and told him, ‘actually I don’t drink because last time I did I almost f*cking died so unless you want me puking everywhere and having seizures you should shut up and leave my wife out of this.’”

OP immediately got Mark off his back.

“Wiped the smile off him real quick and he apologized. The rest of night went on and he finally left me alone.”

However, OP’s roommate was none too happy with him:

“Our flatmate did confront me in the morning because he thinks I was too honest with Mark and it wasn’t his fault he didn’t know; he was just joking around and I made him feel bad.”

“Our other friends agree he was being too pushy and deserved being told off, my wife agrees so he’s the only one right now that’s taking Mark’s side.”

“He said I could’ve ignored him until he gave up instead of bringing up an uncomfortable truth from my past.”

OP is wondering if somehow he did cross a line:

“Now yes I could’ve just told Mark the truth without full details but felt that’s none of his business and a ‘no’ should’ve been enough.”

“I only got carried away when he decided to include my wife in his jokes. So yes I am wondering if I was a bit of an a-hole for what I told him instead of keeping the peace.”

Redditors helped OP decide where guilt belongs by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Not one Redditor thought that OP was at fault.

“NTA. No is a full sentence. Mark was being pushy and an a**hole.”

“Peer pressure isn’t cute when you’re teenagers and its especially ridiculous as adults.”

“He disrespected you by badgering you to drink and he disrespected your wife. No one needs a reason to not do something but since Mark clearly wasn’t going to stop pushing you you were well within the right to tell him exactly why you didn’t want to drink.”~fannydogmonster

“NTA Obviously mark wasn’t going to stop offering drinks and pressuring you into it, Wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to trick you into drinking as well.”

“It’s a good lesson from him and maybe he’ll learn with other people. Congrats on the sobriety.”~Plaincornchips

“NTA. The first time he called you a princess or tried to push alcohol on you he was a bit of an a**hole.”

“When he continued to push alcohol on you after that point he graduated to being a proper a**hole.”

“Ultimately, by that point if he didn’t get the hint that you didn’t want to drink, then the only way you were going to get through to him was by going completely overkill to get a proper reaction out of him. Anything less he would have just continued brushing off and ignoring.”~nrsys

“NTA. How has Mark and your flatmate not realized that ‘no means no’?” You should not have had to keep declining once you said no the first time, and you didn’t owe him or anyone else an explanation.”

“He crossed several lines and you responded by being blunt, which was the obviously only way to get him to stop.”~MandaDian

Mark should have known that “no” was the point at which he could stop pushing.

“Mark sounds like a total d*ck, but he apologised and stopped at least.”

“It doesn’t even sound like your mate is on Mark’s side because Mark apologised and stopped so even he realised he was being a d*ck.”

“Just seems like it’s this ‘mate’ is out on his own trying to defend untenable behaviour, and I’d wager that what he’s actually upset about is ‘you being honest and reacting to my guest being a d*ck made me feel uncomfortable because I feel vicariously responsible for my friend’s social comfort to the extent that I’m willing to let you be treated like sh*t as long as it’s not creating any discomfort for me.”

“Mark was being a d*ck. Mark feels bad because he knows this.”

“It’s socially appropriate for Mark to feel bad about his actions in this scenario. Feeling bad will lead Mark to reflect on what he did and will probably make him reconsider him acting this way again.”

“It doesn’t make him a totally unsalvageably terrible person, it means his behaviour wasn’t kind or reasonable. Your friend’s need to never have Mark feel bad even when it’s appropriate isn’t going to help Mark grow and learn from these situations.”

“So yeah NTA, I’d even say at this point that Mark isn’t the asshole anymore, but your mate needs to reassess how he’s handling this.”~Fayebie17

“NTA, he didn’t accept a no which is ridiculous, not to mention bringing in and making assumptions about your wife, that doesn’t just affect you but her as-well if she was in earshot.”

“Whenever I hear one of my partner’s friends joke about him being on a leash it makes me really self conscious, I’ve been gaslit to believe I’m controlling in the past when in reality I was the one being controlled.”

“I now have a massive fear of being overbearing/controlling so whenever someone assumes or thinks I am I go into a spiral, like your wife they don’t actually realise why I’m being protective!”

“I had this situation where I was asking my partner to try not and drink much, his friend said he thinks I’m controlling but in reality it’s because he’s on meds he shouldn’t really drink with at all except in small bits here and there.”

“My partner never says I’m controlling and comforts me through my spirals but this situation hurts multiple people. He deserved to be called out.”~Meggyasaur

“NTA. Why does Mark get to make you uncomfortable half the night, but you don’t get to defend yourself? Your flat mate is being unreasonable in expecting you to be a pushover to this drunk dude’s taunting.”

“That dude should absolutely be embarrassed at his behavior. In fact, this type of situation is exactly why embarrassment exists- to teach people social boundaries they’re too dense to figure out themselves.”~bananahammerredoux

“Definitely NTA. I don’t drink myself because my parents are alcoholics. Most of the time people don’t try to force alcohol on me but if they do I tell them:”

“’My parents are alcoholics and my father used to beat us when he was drunk’. That shuts them up.”

“They should have respected your choice.”~Poekienijn

In fact, boundaries are to be respected regardless of OP’s reason for not drinking.

“NTA. I was married to a Mark and Marks hate being alone in their alcoholism so they pressure everyone around them relentlessly in order not to feel insecure about their own drinking habits.”

“Good for you for standing up for your wife, too. It’s scary to trust someone after recovery and you just did so much in that moment to reaffirm that her faith in you was well-deserved.”~daisukidesu1981

“NTA. I don’t drink either and folks like this man have put vodka in my drinks when I’ve specifically asked for a soda.”

“I honestly wonder if the reason they’re so insistent everyone MUST drink is because they’ve got drinking issues and need everyone else to drink so they feel better about how much they themselves consume.”~auntysparkles

“Your flatmate is a dipsh*t. You are NTA. I’ve been sober for years and when people offer me booze, I simply tell them I don’t drink. If they ask why I tell them I’m in the hall of fame.”

“Guess what? Nobody gives a sh*t. If anybody asks me if it’s weird for me not to drink I tell them that I get uncomfortable when people don’t drink enough.”

“If you’ve been to rehab, you know that Mark exhibits all the classic signs of a problem drinker. Pushing six years sober is a miracle and your wife sounds AWESOME; stay off the hooch and keep her around. Tell your flatmate to kick rocks.”~Samhain34

“NTA – what Mark did was not okay.”

“You weren’t too honest. You were just honest. You shouldn’t have been put in a position to have to be that honest in the first place, but unfortunately some people never learned the word ‘no.'”

“My husband is teetotal by choice at (nearly) 24. Not for the sane reasons as you, but simply because he dislikes the taste of alcohol. Now, he’ll partake on ocassion with low alcohol drinks like cider etc, but ultimately if offered a drink, he’ll politely decline.”

“I remember he had an ex co-worker who was a few years older than him. At any work party, she would incessantly try to get him to drink alcohol.”

“I already didn’t like this woman, simply because she was known for taking men’s marital status as a challenge and my husband was no exception (though I wasn’t worried on his part as he had zero interest in her and found her annoying).”

“After one particular work outing, my husband came home annoyed and explained to me that he had been drinking coke all night as usual. His co-worker had been pestering him and at some point offered to go up to get the next round of drinks.”

“My husband confirmed that he wanted a plain coke. She brought back the drinks, pushed his ‘coke’ towards him and smiled – he sniffed it. It was a rum and coke. He refused the drink and went to get a regular coke by himself.”

“I was furious on his behalf! She had effectively spiked his drink and had the audacity to be all offended when he refused it. Some people can’t handle having a non drinker among them.”

“Personally, I love having a built in designated driver in my marriage so you’ll never hear me complain that my husband doesn’t drink.”

“As long as he doesn’t try to prevent me from having a glass of wine every other evening, he can do as he pleases.”

“Nobody should be harassed into drinking and nobody should ever feel obliged to drink something they don’t want just because someone else paid for it.”~MedeaRene

It is important to respect anybody’s “no.”  Once you cross the line and negate somebody’s boundaries, that is dangerous territory to put them in.

OP said no, and then had to assert his boundaries further.  He was within his rights to do that, and that is not up for debate.

Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.