not to do anythijg about dh 's 50 unit per week drinking

(120 Posts)
badger2005 Fri 28-Feb-14 22:48:04

I barely drink, but dh drinks this much. He thinks it's normal really but gets pissed office I ever raise it (about twice a year when I feel anxious) .he never seems legless, sometimes slightly drunk. I don't reallly see what I can do, especially as he doesn't want to talk about it. So I am currently just ignoring it. Do youthink that's.okay? Anyone else share his view that it's a fairly normal amount to drink? Thanks for any advice!

BetterThanASlaterUpYourNose Fri 28-Feb-14 22:53:08

That sounds like a ridiculous amount to drink! The fact he never seems drunk shows his body is too used to such a high volume of alcohol.

His liver must be seriously suffering I'm afraid and I am guessing he is dependent on alcohol.

If that was my husband I would be very worried. I'm sorry but I think you need to help him face up to his problem. He will be shortening his life drinking that amount of units a week so I suppose it depends how long you want him about. sad

AgentZigzag Fri 28-Feb-14 22:56:51

What does he drink to stack up the 50 units a week? I've just looked and it's recommended that men have no more than 3-4 units a day and he's having 7.

If it's not causing either of you a problem what is it that brings on the anxiety for you twice a year?

HIBU to go off on one if you bring it up, there's no reason to be defensive and try to put you off discussing it. He's an adult and can choose what he drinks but he should take what you feel about it more seriously.

MerryInthechelseahotel Fri 28-Feb-14 22:58:13

What's his health/weight like? Has he got any family history or alcohol abuse? How's your relationship?
Sorry for so many questions.

WorraLiberty Fri 28-Feb-14 23:01:17

7 units is the equivalent of 3 1/2 pints of lager per day.

It's not something I'd worry too much about but then I was brought up in a culture, that would consider that low to normal.

What is it that makes you feel anxious? Are you worried about his health?

badger2005 Fri 28-Feb-14 23:05:09

I do online shop which involves.one 3 litre wine box. He usually buys another bottle during week. He also has beers but only if out so about 4 pints a week? I drink nothing at home but occasionally put a splash in stew. So I really do know he is drinking all of this.

I don't know why I sometimes feel anxious about it... it just suddenly seems like a problem. But even if it is a problem what realistically would I do? He thinks it's too much but puts it in the same camp as failing to always eat your 5 a day. I worry its. More serious. His parents and sister did or do quite similar I think... or maybe bit less.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Fri 28-Feb-14 23:06:40

There isn't much evidence that drinking that sort of amount is actually that damaging. The studies I've seen assess the risk of cyrrhosis from over 100 units a week. The recommended amounts really don't have much scientific basis.

That is not to say that his drinking is good by any means. If it affects how he is with you, or is rough in the morning so not good with the kids (if you have them) then that's not good. Also, that must be a fair amount of money he's spending - can family budget cope?

LyndaCartersBigPants Fri 28-Feb-14 23:07:15

There's not really anything you can DO. You've expressed your concern. He's not bothered and won't cut down or stop drinking, so you either put up with it and the inevitable health consequences or tell him you don't want family money spent on him slowly killing himself and LTB. He will either get the shock of his life and change his ways, whether permanently or not, who knows. Or he'll be a single man with even less reason to moderate his drinking.

Do you have a good relationship other than this? I don think I could be with someone who smelled of alcohol all the time and thought that was a worthwhile way to spend family finances.

WorraLiberty Fri 28-Feb-14 23:08:06

I'm not sure what you can do really, other than subtly make sure he knows the risks.

It's the same as being married to someone whose overweight but won't stop eating crap.

You can only advise, I can't see what more can be done.

LyndaCartersBigPants Fri 28-Feb-14 23:08:33

As someone who really doesn't drink at all that sounds like a huge amount. Apparently others don't think it is. blush

Sharaluck Fri 28-Feb-14 23:09:25

Is he a large man? I know men who are larger can metabolise alcohol better than smaller men. Maybe this is why it is not too much for him. I think the recommendations are for the average man so if he is larger than average then more than the reccommended limits is probably not as bad.

However if it is affecting his work, relationships, finances, weight, health etc I don't think you should ignore.

fortyplus Fri 28-Feb-14 23:09:30

50 units per week... half a bottle of wine every weekday, a bottle (just 3 large glasses)Fri/Sat/Sun. Doesn't seem excessive, does it? Until you read an article by a liver transplant surgeon that 70% of his patients are consuming the equivalent of between half and a bottle of wine per night and consider themselves moderate drinkers...

badger2005 Fri 28-Feb-14 23:10:22

Yes worralibrty I think that is his perspective too.truly if you all think it's fine then I'll chill out! I think I just want to check there is nothing I should be doing differently.

Merry his weight is fine and he sometimes runs though also smokes. Our relationship is wonderful... he is a great husband and father. We have had some wobbles but come through them.

WorraLiberty Fri 28-Feb-14 23:12:53

I wouldn't say it was fine and the NHS certainly wouldn't either

I guess I'm just saying there's little you can do about it, other than subtly make sure he's aware that the choices he's making aren't the best for his health.

But then he'll know that already if he's a smoker.

Just as overweight people know they should probably rethink their diet and exercise.

NiceTabard Fri 28-Feb-14 23:13:40

It is a fair bit and over guidelines.

However alcohol dependence is a tricky thing. It's not about how much you drink (although obviously the more you drink the more chance of physical damage) but how you drink.

So not everyone who drinks "a lot" is dependent, and not everyone who is dependent actually drinks "a lot".

So I'd be thinking
Is it escalating, even if very very slowly over a number of years?
Does he get twitchy if he has to do something / go somewhere which means he won't be able to have his usual quota at the usual time?
Is he capable of going for a couple of days without?
Is he in control of his drinking - or given free rein does he just keep going?

If he's drinking at a stable level, and can take it or leave it if necessary with no worries, and it's not impacting your relationship or anything, then well then I don't see it as too much to worry about. From an addiction POV. Physically - maybe another matter who can say.

I do associate with people who drink way too much though so may have a skewed view. My very middle class nicey nicey super-fit dad for eg drinks a bottle of wine every night and always has done. No more no less and can take it or leave it. That's 70 units a week.

AgentZigzag Fri 28-Feb-14 23:14:50

Have you ever noticed him drinking more because he's stressed over something?

He doesn't drink as much as my DH, but we're pretty fatalistic about it grin <pushes gin and tonic out of sight>

I see it that you could get fixated on anything and start thinking it's going to cause the end of someone you love, but it's not inevitable that you drink that amount = you die 'early', which maybe makes people minimise the risks a bit?

But if you don't drink alcohol yourself I can see how it'd be difficult to gauge. Do you think he really does genuinely see it as a problem or do you think he was telling you what he thought you wanted to hear?

badger2005 Fri 28-Feb-14 23:16:49

I would not leave him over this! Though. I am sure he would quit alcohol for my sake if it was a dealbreaker... actually I'm slightly doubting that even as I write it!
He is not that large... 90 kilos tish I think.
He really does not like conversations about it.

Wolfiefan Fri 28-Feb-14 23:17:43

Sorry but that sounds a huge amount.
Does he drink every day?
Does he behave oddly if denied drink?
Does he rely on drink in certain situations?
Huge red flag.
Nothing you can do. He needs to decide to change. If he won't and you just ignore it then things will just continue.

MerryInthechelseahotel Fri 28-Feb-14 23:18:10

nicetabard if he drinks it every night it sounds like he can't take it or leave it sorry to disillusion

AgentZigzag Fri 28-Feb-14 23:21:19

Him not wanting to talk about it, do you think it's because he's being defensive and shutting the discussion down because he feels guilty/knows it's too much, or does he think you're being controlling and he's had the conversation before and doesn't want to have it again?

NiceTabard Fri 28-Feb-14 23:21:52

Well that's the question isn't it, how people react if they aren't going to be able to have their usual quota for whatever reason.

If they get twitchy / refuse to do whatever it is / rush through it and get their quota in afterwards etc, then obviously there is a problem.

If they go ahead and do whatever it is with a spring in their step and are untroubled at not getting their usual booze in, then that's different.

badger2005 Fri 28-Feb-14 23:24:52

I think he thinks its not ideal but not a massive deal.

He did used to have alcohol free days... I think as a result of our biannual conversation a few years ago. He never has an alcohol free day now. Getting twitchy is hard to judge as he has that from smoking which he hides from the kids. Our budget can support it in that we are all comfortable - fed etc! But there is stuff the money would be good for as our house needs lots of doing up. But to be honest I'm in no rush over that and wouldn't care about the money if it was going on something he liked that was safe.

badger2005 Fri 28-Feb-14 23:30:18

I don't think he thinks I'm being controlling... I am not like that with him (and he himself is very live and let live!). The conversation is just occasional - I don't think I'm nagging or anything. Also we have a lot of conversations about a lot of stuff... if I started a random conversation about how much potassium you're supposed to eat he would join in happily. But I think he thinks ive got a weird attitude to alcohol as my parents barely drink eiither.

Jollyphonics Fri 28-Feb-14 23:32:14

He's drinking excessively, and it will be damaging his health. I know it's a popular theme on MN to argue that the NHS "guidelines" for safe limits are arbitrary and not based on sound evidence, but 22 years as a doctor leads me to agree with the guidelines. It's too much, it's bad for him, it will shorten his life and increase his morbidity risks in my opinion.

That said, there is nothing you can do to make him cut down if he doesn't want to.

NiceTabard Fri 28-Feb-14 23:33:35

Does sound like he is drinking more, then, albeit gradually.

I don't know what to say.

At the moment it's probably not the end of the world but there is the capacity for it to head into worse.

Thing is that the only person who can decide to cut down / stop and try to do that or do it, is the person drinking. So from a certain perspective there's not actually a lot you can do.

Him getting pissed off when you talk about it is not a great sign either. As if his drinking was "normal" he wouldn't get defensive about it.

I am coming at this from the perspective of a problem drinker BTW if that means anything.

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