Please tell me this is selfish and I'm not slipping back into depressive behaviour

(93 Posts)
Greyparting Fri 05-Feb-16 20:42:45

DH and I are trying to conceive. We already have DD who is wonderful, but time is cracking on at a frightening pace and I'm quite aware that time is running out for us (well, me really) to conceive.

Here's my issue: DH does not want to curb his drinking habits. He has drank every weekend for the past month or so at levels I am sure are potentially affecting his fertility. Over 1 night he will have a bottle of wine to himself and a couple of ciders. He thinks this is not binge drinking and is perfectly acceptable.

Just to clarify, I am not asking him to stop drinking completely, just that the period while we are trying to conceive to tone it down a bit to non binge levels. A couple of glasses of wine is enough surely?

Its the fact that it's been several weekends on the trot, last weekend it was a bottle of prosecco to himself and beers.

Maybe I'm too cautious but I really did think that drinking to excess weekly would be damaging to fertility?

Bit of background which might explain why I'm so upset by this. I had a terrible, traumatic birth with DD, left with many injuries as a result of hospital negligence and left without the use of my leg for several months after. I am diagnosed with PTSD and undergoing counselling and on medication. The PTSD has undoubtedly affected my thought processes and I fully accept that for a time I could be completely irrational and very difficult to live with.

At the moment I do feel well though. This argument has thrown me. Why, after everything I went through with DD, can he not just make a tiny, tiny sacrifice for a matter of weeks?

I feel so sad about it.

Hissy Fri 05-Feb-16 20:48:54

That there sounds like excessive drinking love.

It's not "you" here, it's him.

Did he drink like this before your previous Dc was born?

AlwaysHopeful1 Fri 05-Feb-16 20:52:09

It sounds like he has a drinking problem. Are you sure it's wise to be thinking of expanding right now?

19lottie82 Fri 05-Feb-16 20:55:36

A bottle of wine and a couple of beers at the weekend is hardly a "drinking problem"...... Maybe it's not mega healthy, but it's not uncommon.

Greyparting Fri 05-Feb-16 20:55:49

He was probably worse. He used to drink spirits~a lot of spirits. Not every weekend, but fairly regularly. To be honest, we both used to cut loose at the weekends, but things have changed massively for me since having DD.
Now, because he doesn't drink spirits anymore, he think he's 'cut back' and it's not as bad.

Sidalee7 Fri 05-Feb-16 20:56:02

YADNBU. Sounds like you have had an incredibly tough time. In your position I would totally be questioning why he can not make this sacrifice when you have been through so much.
Show him this thread!

19lottie82 Fri 05-Feb-16 20:56:13

But, I'm not saying he shouldn't cut it out if you are TTC.....

Greyparting Fri 05-Feb-16 21:01:58

No, I don't think he has a drinking problem, although I know the jury is out on here as to what actually constitutes a drinking problem.

I don't know what to do, I really don't. I can't help but think he's objecting because he feels like he is being 'told what to do'

I've had a really stressful week at work. I'd love nothing more than a glass of wine. But I can't, and I won't. I've not said he can't have a glass of wine, just not to neck the fucking bottle.

Haffdonga Fri 05-Feb-16 21:04:29

Lottie a drinking problem is a drinking problem when the drinking starts to cause problems to the drinker's health (tick) and/or their relationships (tick).

Definitely problem drinking if not a drinking problem.

Bailey101 Fri 05-Feb-16 21:10:58

A bottle of wine at a weekend isn't a problem as such - when I get together with friends, we'll easily put away a bottle each. But if someone I loved asked me not to, I would easily spend the evening drinking juice.

If he's drinking to point that it concerns you, he should be dialling it down and respecting you enough to take your feelings into consideration.

VoldysGoneMouldy Fri 05-Feb-16 21:12:02

It might not be a drinking dependency issue but it's certainly a problem, giving the impact it's having.

OP have you discussed everything with him like you've said here? What's his response?

HermioneJeanGranger Fri 05-Feb-16 21:19:14

I don't think it's enough alcohol to be affecting his fertility - more likely it's the fact that you're both getting older and you're stressed about needing to TTC fairly soon that's causing the delay. Stress and TTC aren't great combinations, unfortunately!

I think a bottle of wine and a few beers is fairly common - that's not to say it's healthy but I don't think it's enough to be an issue. Does he want a second DC as much as you? I'm thinking if he knows you want him to cut down in order to TTC and he's not doing so, maybe he doesn't want a second one all that much?

Greyparting Fri 05-Feb-16 21:20:55

Yes, we've discussed it, well it went more like I got upset and now I'm sitting upstairs, really don't want to be around him.

He thinks I'm being over the top, and it's not a big deal. Am I over reacting? I really do need to know, because arguments like this are really quite upsetting for me, I don't know if I can trust my own judgement or if I'm being irrational.

I do know this though, if the shoe was on the other foot, I'm positive I could knock it on the head for him. That's why it's upset me so much I think.

FlipperSkipper Fri 05-Feb-16 21:22:28

That is enough to affect fertility, so YANBU. It's technically binge drinking too, but just to focus on the fertility issue, drinking that much will definitely affect his fertility and he should be cutting back for ttc.

1frenchfoodie Fri 05-Feb-16 21:28:06

Technically binge drinking but if he does nit drink during the week I am not sure it will affect his fertility. Sometimes it can just take a long time to conceive - with age playing a further role. Is there a risk you are focused on the drinking too much and he feels scapegoated?

BillSykesDog Fri 05-Feb-16 21:32:35

My husband drinks a bit more than that at the weekend and we have just had successful IVF. Doctors were unconcerned about drinking at those levels. Unless he has sub par fertility it really shouldn't be an issue. You don't many any other fertility problems so I think you might be overreacting a bit to this.

Unless he is behaving badly when he is drunk it's not a drinking problem either. A bottle of wine at the weekend is not really that bigger deal.

TTC is stressful (believe me I know), but tread carefully with this. It's not nice to be made to feel you are a dehumanised baby making machine who is required to impregnate. TBH I would think you would probably stand a far better chance of conceiving if both of you weren't stressed and rowing about this.

bettyberry Fri 05-Feb-16 21:33:55

If you cannot stop drinking, even as a weekend drinker, for what ever reason you have an alcohol dependency issue.

Current guidelines are 2 units per night. That's one pint of beer. The fact is he's drinking all of his units in one night.. he could be classed as binge drinking.

Alcoholism is something I have dealt with personally (5 family members are alcoholics and 3 have dependency issues) and I would be worried by his inability to stop even short term not to mention the actual amount he is drinking in one go. Not to mention the impact his drinking is having on your relationship.

I am also assuming he drinks this alone not socially? that would be a red flag for me. But I know not all solo drinkers have problems and not all social drinkers are OK

HPFA Fri 05-Feb-16 21:38:28

I do wonder how your DH feels about a second child. Clearly you both went through a very tough time after the birth of your first, it wouldn't be surprising if he was worried about it all happening again.
Have you felt able to talk to him about how he felt during your illness?

BillSykesDog Fri 05-Feb-16 21:41:50

Actually the current guidelines are 14 units per week at 3 nights per week, so nudging up to 5 units. Plus the current alcohol guidelines are a joke and even the NHS don't take them very seriously. The overwhelmingly vast majority of people can drink well over them without doing any damage.

If drinking once a week and not having any desire to change that is a drinking problem then pretty much the whole country has one.

Not wanting to give up something you enjoy because your partner is a bit over anxious does not mean you have a dependency.

Greyparting Fri 05-Feb-16 21:42:16

We are only into our second cycle, so not panic stations yet. In what way am I dehumanising him by asking him to cut back his drinking? Good grief.

Its short term. Most pregnany women go tee total (or at least drink very moderately) for a whole 9 months (and perhaps a lot longer if breastfeeding, as I did)

My point is this: if there is a chance it may affect already dwindling chances, surely it's best to play it safe?

It's cutting down short term. Not abstaining for the rest of his life.

eatsleephockeyrepeat Fri 05-Feb-16 21:43:36

Gosh, it sounds like you had an incredibly tough time surrounding the birth of your DD; and I don't just mean YOU had a tough time, I mean you both did as a couple. From the impact the whole experience has had on you alone it's impossible to image there hasn't been some strain on him too; I've known several new fathers tell me how effected they've been seeing their beloved wives and partners experience difficult childbirths.

My first though was that yes, of course it's not U to expect TTC to be a joint and mutually supportive enterprise. But it also struck me that this selfish drinking might not be a direct failure to support you, more a failing of your both coming together in support of each other - I'm sure through no fault of either party - following a tough time. A tough time you're planning to replicate imminently!

I could be wrong, perhaps he's a heartless heavy drinker... or perhaps things have been difficult all round and it's time to have a talk about it?

GnomeDePlume Fri 05-Feb-16 21:45:30

Why, after everything I went through with DD, can he not just make a tiny, tiny sacrifice for a matter of weeks?

Do you want your DH to stop drinking because you want him to make a sacrifice or because you genuinely think it will make a difference?

I'd love nothing more than a glass of wine. But I can't, and I won't.

Why not?

Greyparting Fri 05-Feb-16 21:48:38

I understand what you are saying but we have honestly talked it to death. From both our perspectives.

He's drinking because he wants to. Screw my feelings on it.

Greyparting Fri 05-Feb-16 21:52:27

Because it might make a difference. Same with why I'm not drinking. It might, that's enough for me. I would really love another child.

I sometimes feel like I live in an alternate universe to other people when it comes to alcohol. I'm not asking him to cut down on his breathing.

Just to clarify again: I'm not asking him to stop drinking. Simply cut down for a short period of time.

It speaks volumes not that he can't stop drinking, but that you want him to and he won't. There is something else going on here. If you both want a child, you should be both in it together, and you have to together do whatever it takes. There's resistance here, either to the whole idea of conception or to your potentially doing further damage to your body... something. He's putting on the brakes and you need to talk to him without arguing about the amount of alcohol he is consuming.

Perhaps you could stage a visit to a doctor together to 'talk' about diet, vitamin suplements, alcohol, exercise. And then talk to him about any or all..... or...er... just one of those things.

But if it's any consolation - I ruined our one and only holiday in New York by rowing with DH about how many margaritas he had had, when we were TTC - and the baby eventually rocked up 2 years later when we'd both had a couple of beers and were relaxed and happy. I still regret it a bit. So, even if it is just you, and it is not - then your wants and requirements would still be okay, because you have to do everything YOU have to do, including asking him to drink less. If he was really down with this whole baby thing - he would do that for you, even if he thought it was clappletrap and you were barking mad. You have to talk to him about the bigger picture, not how many drinks he has had.

Good luck.

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