When it comes to drinking

(143 Posts)
ThePerfectFather Fri 05-Jul-13 07:36:30

I look after the kids while my wife works, and by the end of the day I need a fucking drink.

I don't know if that counts as alcohol abuse or alcoholism, but my wife certainly seems to think so. She thinks I drink too much and says that since I drink every day, I "can't" go a day without drinking. The way I see it is that during the week I indeed "can't" go a day without drinking because I look after the kids and after 12 hours with them I want to drink to relax and unwind. Yes I am blaming the children for my rampant booze addiction that is tearing my life apart (hint, it's not).

On average I tend to drink around 4 or 5 cans of beer or cider between 5pm and midnight during the week. I get a nice little buzz, but definitely in no way am I drunk. I'm 37 and 6ft and weight 13 stone so my capacity for booze is...you know...adult. And that's 5 cans over 7 hours. I tend to stop drinking about an hour or an hour and a half before I go to bed at midnight to avoid needing to get up for a piss.

If I drank that amount in the space of a couple of hours as I might on a night out, then yes I would be well on the way. This is more like maintaining that slightly fuzzy level you get after one, maybe two, drinks.

The recommended daily maximum is 4 units a day, and so I probably drink more like 10 units. At the weekend I might drink more and actually get drunk. Some days I will drink more, some days I will drink less. I honestly assumed that since the booze aisles in supermarkets and off licences are so well stocked that a lot of people drink this way.

I don't get drunk often. I don't wake up every day with a throbbing head barely able to function. I don't drink and drive - EVER - I never even have a half if I am driving. If I need to get up early, I won't drink more than a couple. I rarely get stumbling-around drunk and reserve that for nights out with my mates and even then very, very rarely.

I also realise that drinking is bad for you. I know I am drinking well over the recommended daily limit, but that limit is pretty bloody low. Also, what is "too much" for a person? The idea that all men and women are the same when it comes to how much they can and should drink doesn't ring true to me at all. It's like saying there is a fixed number of calories you should consume - but that's dependent on lifestyle and body mass.

I'm not overweight, I have no health problems at all, in no way do I consider myself to be suffering mentally or physically because of the amount I drink. My wife is worried but she worries about pretty much everything 24/7, but I want to find out what other people think. Am I drinking too much? Am I an alcoholic?

Numberlock Fri 05-Jul-13 07:38:46

The answer is yes to both questions.

MalcolmTuckersMum Fri 05-Jul-13 07:39:16

<<<fetches popcorn>>>

Early start today....... grin

KatyTheCleaningLady Fri 05-Jul-13 07:41:03

To be honest, you sound like you are rationalising your drinking. I've known heavy drinkers to do that because there's always someone worse to point to.

I like a drink once in a while and I agree that it helps to unwind after a stressful day.

But, no. It's not normal or healthy to get buzzed every day and drunk on weekends.

I suspect you are not able to do other things when you are drinking. It's not like coffee in that way.

If you can't imagine going without booze for a few days, then you have a problem.

Yes and yes.

This sounds a bit like a reverse to me

And that is quite a lot to be drinking daily

Euphemia Fri 05-Jul-13 07:44:26

You are drinking far too much if you're on ten units a day, and more at weekends. The maximum per week is 21 units for men.

Where do you get the idea it's the same for women? It's 14 units maximum for women.

You're drinking yourself to an early grave, or at best some serious health problems. Is that the future you want for your kids?

You need a new way to unwind.

mumofweeboys Fri 05-Jul-13 07:44:36

Sorry I think you are drinking way too much. I could understand one can to unwind after the kids are in bed but 5+ is mad. There is a reason there are daily alcohol limits and you will be doing yourself damage drinking so much every day - there are different limits for men and women. There is such a thing as a functioning alcoholic - the need to have a fuzzy feeling each night would worry me.

I would try cutting down to a couple of cans a night to start with and aim to have one alcohol free day a week.

NewAtThisMalarky Fri 05-Jul-13 07:45:49

You sound addicted to me.

why not try going one evening with no alcohol, and see how you get on?

if its no problem, keep your wife happy by doing that a bit more.
if it is a problem - well, you have a problem.

MintyChops Fri 05-Jul-13 07:52:17

I love my wine but that sounds like too much.

ThePerfectFather Fri 05-Jul-13 07:54:14

I have to say I am extremely surprised by these responses. I don't feel in any way addicted to drinking. I don't drink until I am incapable, I get up at 6:30 everyday, I have no issues concentrating, I never start drinking in the middle of the day, I don't drink if it's inappropriate or if I feel ill or whatever. In short, I choose how much I drink and when, rather than the other way around.

Yes. Too much.

It's still bad for your health to drink that much. Even if you could stop tomorrow.

soontobeburns Fri 05-Jul-13 07:56:40

This reads like a reverse to me.

Im never harsh bon aibu but here goes.

Yes you fucking are. You are a functioning alcoholic. If you need a drink after just looking after your kids you have a problem let alone 5 ffs.

Wise up man think of the money and your family.

Dare you to go 5 days without drink mon-fri. You will see you can't and are addicted.

Get help.

soontobeburns Fri 05-Jul-13 07:57:35

Abd just to clarify "functioning alcoholic" look it up.

NewAtThisMalarky Fri 05-Jul-13 07:57:46

Well, if you don't think its a problem, have a few nights off. It is recommended for liver health to have i think 2 or 3 days with no alcohol. That would be a good plan.

The very simple way to tell if you're starting to struggle with addiction is if you're consumed with the thoughts of alcohol (not the doing, anyone can stop for a while, even hardened alcoholics - am addiction counsellor so have seen that happen a lot - people stop for 2 weeks and think that proves they're not drinking alcoholically) - so don't drink for a couple of weeks, find other things to do and see what you're brain is doing. Is your brain constantly thinking about alcohol - are you ratty? grumpy? feel that others are controlling you? (when in reality you're making a choice to go without for a short period)

More importantly - what is going on sounds really shit for you - are you sure you're suited to being a sah parent? You need other hobbies/interests that aren't just drink. If you're choosing to be a stay at home parent then you're going to have to find other things to do in the evenings sometimes.

You're using drink to cope with being a parent and unwind -if that's just short term then maybe it's ok for you - but be honest, how long's it been ? How long do you think you can imagine doing this?

Torrorosso Fri 05-Jul-13 07:59:11

Everyone here says it's too much.

It is too much.

You're associating alcohol with relaxation and what you really need is a healthy way of winding down - a walk, sport, doing the crossword with a cuppa, yoga, meditation. Can you try any of those and see what happens?

doublecakeplease Fri 05-Jul-13 07:59:15

I don't think it sounds too bad. My Dad and my little brother (he's 33, lol) would not be able tp function drinking that much but DH and my older brother would be fine. Yes, its over the recommended limit but tbh how many of us eat under recommended calorie limits or eat 5 a day every single day?

Btw - i used to be a real party girl, out every night etc. Now I probably have 5 units a week if I'm lucky. Sometimes we drink more than others, i don't think its necessarily a problem for everyone.

Hercy Fri 05-Jul-13 07:59:26

It sounds like you're reasonably controlled in your drinking, leaving gaps between drinks and before bed. But 4-5 cans per weeknight and more at weekends is a lot, more that could ever be described as within the 'healthy' parameters.

It may not have developed into a dependency (although your 'need' to unwind with it suggests it may have), but at best it's a habit, and embedded habits can be hard to break and lead to full blown addictions.

I've read that experts say you should have a two (consecutive) day break from drinking to allow your liver to recover. Why not try this every week and see how you get on?

Buzzardbird Fri 05-Jul-13 08:01:15

Not all alcoholics pour gin on their cornflakes. If your drinking is affecting your marriage it is a problem. Yours is, so it is.
This is a reverse judging by your name?

nancerama Fri 05-Jul-13 08:02:03

You sound like my friend's mum. She said the same things you are saying this time last year. She is dead now.

You have no idea about the damage you are doing to your internal organs. If you care about your wife and kids, you'll cut back now.

MintyChops Fri 05-Jul-13 08:03:30

Well then if you think you're not drinking to much, carry on. Oh, and don't post in AIBU if you don't want honest answers.....

titzup Fri 05-Jul-13 08:03:54

If you were my husband, I'd be accusing you of being an alcoholic too I'm afraid - sounds like a classic case! Really hope you can get help with it before it starts to affect your family too much sad

Buzzardbird Fri 05-Jul-13 08:04:20

Not all alcoholics pour gin on their cornflakes. If your drinking is affecting your marriage it is a problem. Yours is, so it is.
This is a reverse judging by your name?

Catsize Fri 05-Jul-13 08:05:07

Sorry, but I am with your wife on this one. I used to like a glass of wine or two of an evening, but have had to stop twice for lengthy periods when trying to conceive, when pregnant, and when breastfeeding. I have one of the top 5 stressful jobs too. If I wanted to try to justify a drink.
Looking after kids all day is really tough, but do you think you could stop if, say, you were pregnant? (Okay, may take a lot of imagination...) or on funny prescription drugs. Try weaning off a bit. It may be more habit than anything, but perhaps your wife misses the none-beered you at the end of the day, and you probably don't smell great when going to bed!
Or at least have a few days off the booze. One can is probably fine, but sounds like you're on a bit of a slippery slope.
All the best, and well done for posting. Might be a first step.

Badvoc Fri 05-Jul-13 08:05:32

You are still relatively young tbh.
Lots of time for your excessive drinking to catch up with you yet, sadly.
You are drinking far more than recommended guidelines, which wouldn't matter if it was once a week/twice a month but its every day.
And pretty soon it will be weekends too I imagine.
Perhaps time to think about different more Healthy ways to relax after the end of the day?

tulippa Fri 05-Jul-13 08:06:20

The fact that you're drinking to feel a certain way (slightly fuzzy) sounds like you're using alcohol as a drug.

Even if you weren't doing this the amount you're drinking is a lot. Are there are parent support groups you could access if you find looking after the kids so stressful?

ClipClap Fri 05-Jul-13 08:08:11

Just a thought, although you don't think you've got a hangover - I bet the kids wouldn't stress you out so much if you took a night off the booze and went to bed early!

Badvoc Fri 05-Jul-13 08:08:34

...oh and just because you dont wake up with a headache just means you have built up a tolerance for lots of alcohol, which is not a good thing.
Go to your gp and ask for some blood tests...a liver function test may show you exactly the damage you are doing.

Moxiegirl Fri 05-Jul-13 08:09:08

I used to drink a bottle (sometimes more) of wine every night. I wasn't drunk, got up fine the next day and could function fine. I was still addicted though and it wasn't healthy! (And expensive hmm)
I had hypnotherapy and now I only drink socially when I go out. I don't touch wine ever though now.

Moxiegirl Fri 05-Jul-13 08:10:30

Aaahh but I had a liver function test and it came back fine... So I carried on plus more!
My gp said the tests only really show something when your liver really is shot as it can work with just a quarter functioning.
Alcohol hurts more than your liver.

TalkativeJim Fri 05-Jul-13 08:10:39

Yes and yes, absolutely yes.

Look up 'functioning alcoholic', as others before me have said.

You're 37 - please, read up on this and start dealing with it now, or honestly, it's unlikely you'll be healthy, happy and still in your relationship by 57.

The only plus point is that you aren't yet rationalising being able to drive drunk because your tolerance is so good...

Good luck.

ThePerfectFather Fri 05-Jul-13 08:10:41

@MintyChops, yes I wanted honest answers. That's why I asked.

As for "a reverse" I don't know what that is. My username is a joke, obviously.

I have loads of things to do in the evening, it's not like I literally sit there in an empty room drinking. The health issue worries me but I think I just assumed the "recommended" amount was set really low because they don't want people drinking at all!

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Fri 05-Jul-13 08:11:07

For me its that you say you 'need' it after having looked after the children all day.

Needing it is when it becomes a problem. I think you need to find something else to help you unwind.

Badvoc Fri 05-Jul-13 08:12:07

No, it's set like that to help prevent diseases caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

Moxiegirl Fri 05-Jul-13 08:12:24

How about trying low alcohol beer? There's a couple that taste ok.

Itchywoolyjumper Fri 05-Jul-13 08:13:57

You are drinking far too much, your weekly intake is about 4 or 5 times higher than recommended. You don't feel drunk because your body is now used to processing that amount of alcohol on a regular basis but that doesn't prevent the toxic effects of alcohol on your body.
Have you considered, as it take about an hour to process 1 unit, that if you are drinking 10 units a night and stopping about 11pm you're still drunk at 9am in the morning? If you drive the school run you are drink driving with your children in the car.
No wonder your wife worries.

ThePerfectFather Fri 05-Jul-13 08:18:10

@ItchyWoolJumper - that is definitely not the case. I will happily take everything else on board that people have said and this has actually been a real wakeup call of a thread, but I am in no way drunk the next day.

10 units a night and stopping at 11 would mean I was drunk the next day IF my body only started processing the alcohol when I stopped drinking.

lljkk Fri 05-Jul-13 08:18:54

It's a bad habit to fall into, OP. Every day. Once a week would be different, or even just one can a day. But most every day is too much.

Moxiegirl Fri 05-Jul-13 08:19:25

He wouldn't have all ten units in his body still at 11pm though, would he?

CaptainSweatPants Fri 05-Jul-13 08:19:28

If you keep drinking this much you'll get a beer belly in your forties , no doubt about it

DeckSwabber Fri 05-Jul-13 08:20:00

I'm also concerned that you are normalising daily drinking for your children. It will define what being a 'grown-up' is.

Itchywoolyjumper Fri 05-Jul-13 08:24:28

Your body starts processing the latest alcohol that you've drunk, the rest slosh about in your blood stream until that one is processed and then it starts on them.
This is why hair of the dog works as it stops you producing the breakdown products of alcohol that make you sick. Its also why you don't get hungover if you are drinking over many hours.

ParadiseChick Fri 05-Jul-13 08:24:42

Sounds excessive. Are you feeling pissed off being at home?

It would drive me to drink!

PuppyMonkey Fri 05-Jul-13 08:25:33

Try 3 nights off in a row and see how you manage. If it's no problem as you say, it's no problem to try that.

MintyChops Fri 05-Jul-13 08:33:39

Everybody said you are drinking too much and your first response was to say that you are surprised and that you choose how much and when you drink not the other way round. Clearly saying you disagree with all the opinions on here. So I repeat, don't ask a question in AIBU and then get surprised by the answers!

ChunkyPickle Fri 05-Jul-13 08:38:09

Good god, yes, you are drinking too much.

Try taking a few days off, and see if looking after the kids for 12 hours a day seems a bit easier - I know that in my younger, wilder days I drank like that, and life was much clearer when I took a few days off (although it seemed rosier when drinking at the time)

ThePerfectFather Fri 05-Jul-13 08:38:55

I don't want to try three nights off and then pat myself on the back, because if this is seriously bad then I don't think a break is going to do anything if I then go right back to doing the wrong thing. Likewise I don't want to limit my drinking to just certain nights because then I'm worried I'm going to go nuts on those nights.

I don't feel like I am addicted, but it's become such a routine. I'm an ex-smoker and I wonder if this has sort of replaced smoking as a routine I use to relax.

Llareggub Fri 05-Jul-13 08:39:03

This is how my ex husband used to drink. In fact you sound a bit like him. Anyway, he is now in residential rehab for 12 weeks due to his alcoholism. It's a progressive thing and got worse over the years. A few suicide attempts too. Anyway, he has now lost his wife, children, business and friends over his relationship with alcohol.

Just saying.

cantreachmytoes Fri 05-Jul-13 08:39:31

Every evening your wife comes home and you break open a can. Regardless of how you feel, perhaps she would just like an evening around you that didn't involve alcohol? Looking after kids is exhausting, but if every evening you need to drink because of it, then perhaps you could look at something else that would make you happy and not involve alcohol (a sports team, something you used to do when you were pre-kids, something you've always wanted to do). If you're not needing alcohol every day, then why not just not have it every day?

I'm not sure it's specifically about getting drunk or not (and the more we drink the higher our tolerance becomes, regardless of our sex, weight and height), but about how you deal with stress. Right now it seems like the drink is a crutch, in the same way emotional eaters eat when they're stressed.

The bottom line is that if you're not a functioning alcoholic, you'll have little difficulty in not drinking for any length of time and if you are, then ultimately you'll be gasping for it - if you can even stop in the first place.

Itchywoolyjumper Fri 05-Jul-13 08:39:58

OP, I'm glad its been a wake up call for you. My dad drank like you when we were wee but he also got his wake up call before it was too late. He's now in his 60s, fit healthy and much lovelier man. I know I've been quite harsh here but I really hope everything works out for you.

samandi Fri 05-Jul-13 08:41:00

Too much to be drinking every day IMO.

Llareggub Fri 05-Jul-13 08:45:31

Just a point to anyone who might be reading this who advises stopping drinking. It can be really dangerous to go cold turkey when the body is reliant on alcohol. I'm not suggesting that the OP is but having seen the impact of cold turkey on my ex I would urge a dependent drinker to seek advice from a GP. It can be fatal.

ThePerfectFather Fri 05-Jul-13 08:46:16

I think a crutch is definitely what I am using it as. Honestly I am sick of being a SAHD and I'm finding it extremely stressful.

But for various reasons there's no way around it, so I figured I'd just stick it out for the next couple of years then when the kids are at school it won't be so bad. Most days I'm pretty much fed up with it by around 9am. I am amazed that I'm alone in drinking in the evenings to unwind. I thought that's what people did. How naive!

MintyChops Fri 05-Jul-13 08:50:18

Perfect, try soberistas.com for some help.

antimatter Fri 05-Jul-13 08:51:08

I was wondering if you ever tested yourself for what your level of alcohol in your blood is first thing in the morning.

Reas LaurieFairyCake post - see what she advises.

The thing is - you can pretend to us here, even to your wife at home. But try to be honest with yourself. If you are then at least you can understand what's happening to your moods and body.

If a female came here and said - I am looking after my kids 12 hour every day and can't relax at the end of the day, so I need a drink - advice would be the same.

Buzzardbird Fri 05-Jul-13 08:53:40

Try and put yourself in your wife's shoes. If it were you working all day whilst she looks after the dcs and then you came home after a long day at work to find her 'self-medicating' every night, how would you feel?
I say this because I have a friend in this position and her dh is looking at her with scorn on his face every night and it is destroying their relationship.
you need to find other coping strategies. Please.

Longfufu Fri 05-Jul-13 08:55:52

YABU, you drink way too much. Sad, that you NEED a drink after looking after your own children everyday.

Im a SAHM and occasionally feel like a glass of wine is needed if I've had a difficult day but 10 units...that's loads! Get some help and grow up.

Januarymadness Fri 05-Jul-13 08:56:08

An occasional drink in the eve would not be a problem but what you are talking about isnt that is it. You NEED it, you would go CRAZY without it, you cant go a day without it. You are using sahd as an excuse because you admit it is worse at the weekend. That is problem drinking in anyones book.

ThePerfectFather Fri 05-Jul-13 08:58:33

I am not for one moment assuming that the advice is any different just because I am a man. I'd be really disappointed if it was.

I also don't want people to think I am still drunk the next day - I can assure you that is in no way the case. Ever.

Apart from the fact I am looking after the kids so would never do that, the mere idea of being hungover with small children screaming and fighting around me fills me with dread.

Buzzardbird Fri 05-Jul-13 09:08:33

Trust me, it is not pleasant to grow up thinking your dad is supposed to smell that way every day. My dad was never drunk either, still died early because of it though. As did my sil leaving two little kids on Christmas eve. Was never drunk, just needed a few every say to chill. So many lives screwed up by selfishness.

DeniseFelch Fri 05-Jul-13 09:09:26

I was drinking as much as you up until last year, and I would have defended my right to do it to the hilt. I'd have said I was never drunk drunk during the week, and that I didn;t get hangovers.

I did Dry January for Cancer Research. No one thought I could do it, and that was partly why I did (bloddy minded, me). Within two weeks I'd lost weight, felt much less miserable and tired, slept better, woke up fresher, I was more relaxed in the evenings despite not having my 'relaxing' bottle glass of wine.

I honestly can't stress how amazing the difference in me is.

I still drink too much now. But only at weekends and thursdays. I feel my hangovers much more keenly, because I'm not used to them every single day. This is a good thing.

Why don't you set yourself a month to do Not Drinking? Make it a challenge for yourself.

I went out at the end of January, got shitfaced, decided that was a total waste of time and ended up doing Dry Feb as well, so you might surprise yourself...

Euphemia Fri 05-Jul-13 09:13:00

I'm a primary teacher and I come home shattered, and believe me I often fancy a drink to unwind!

At most I'll have a G&T. One. At the weekends, one or two glasses of wine.

You've got into bad habits. You really need to scale it right back, or you're going to have horrendous health problems later.

What do you plan to do with your days once the kids are at school?

antimatter Fri 05-Jul-13 09:14:11

according to:

On average, it takes about one hour for your body to break down one unit of alcohol.

10 units = 10 hours, so if you have drink at say 7 pm, the earliest your body gor ridden of it is 5 AM

so technically you are likely not to have any in your body, but that isn't guaranteed.

Besides - have you calculated how much it cost you pw?
30 quid at least I would say....
is there hobby you could finance with that kind of money?

Hercy Fri 05-Jul-13 09:18:33

You say you don't feel addicted, but your excuses for not having a break are pretty poor. "I'll just go back to drinking" "I'll go nuts if I don't drink on certain nights".

It would be far easier to take control now, then wait a couple of years and find it overwhelmingly difficult. You should also bear in mind that your wife seems willing to support you in cutting back now, but in a few years, if you carry on like this (or drink more), there's no guarantee your family will stick around to support you.

Even if you can't accept you have a problem, would you be prepared to lose your family over it? Your wife sounds unhappy now, how do you think she'll feel in a couple of years?

I do sympathise OP, I used to be, pretty much, a functional alcoholic, before kids, and even now I do still like a drink at the end of a day (only one or two though).

Maybe you can separate it into two issues: 1. Drinking every day, and 2. How much you drink

I would suggest first addressing how much you drink, because in my experience, once you can get to the point where you only have a drink or two per night, it is much easier to then cut back to having days with no drinks at all.

Right now you have a decent tolerance, so you need the five cans to get that feeling. But once you cut down, you will get the same amount of relaxation from just a drink or two. I used to easily have five drinks a night, and just feel slightly buzzed. If I drink that much now I'm really drunk, my tolerance is gone.

So I would suggest cutting back to four cans first. Then three, then two. Try to arrange it so you only have the daily number of cans in the fridge so you can't drink more than your limit. Also, try to push back the time when you start drinking. 5 pm is a bit early, your kids are still awake.

At the same time, try to find other activities that will relax you. What kind of things do you like to do?

I would also say that while you may not feel hungover in the morning, the drinking does affect you, it will make you more prone to fatigue and short temper. The fact that you need a drink by 5 pm does suggest your days are not easy. You may not see the effects now, but I promise you, if you go a week without drinking, you will see how much better you feel -- and if you feel better, it will be easier to cut back on the drinking.

Sorry this is long but just wanted to say I do understand, but you can improve things and I think you will find things are better because of it.

Hercy Fri 05-Jul-13 09:22:30

I think dreaming bohemian offers very good practical advice.

silverten Fri 05-Jul-13 09:26:32

I had a mate who lived alone, and, faced with a rather large recycling bin at the end of the week, decided that it was probably a good idea if he cut down a bit. No big panic, he thought, should be easy.

What scared the bejesus out of him was the fact that, despite having decided to do it without any big effort, the next couple of nights he discovered that he'd managed to put a bottle away both nights without even noticing.

For what it's worth it sounds like you're drinking way too much to me, and if it's an ingrained habit then you're not actually getting the 'fun' out of it any more. It should really be a treat, not a staple part of your diet!

ThePerfectFather Fri 05-Jul-13 09:29:26

I think it's good advice too. I do recognise that it's a lot, our bottles and cans recycling box seems to be brimful by collection day and that can't be a good thing.

Funnily enough, I did actually stop drinking entirely in January a couple of years ago and suffered a chronic vitamin D deficiency as a result. It turns out there is vitamin D in beer and I think the sudden stop did something bad to my body because maybe it was getting it's vitamin D from the beer and when that dried up the bloody weather in this country certainly wasn't going to help!

I do think that going completely off the booze wouldn't really be practical, but it worries me that the fact that wouldn't work is itself a problem. If I set myself boundaries I need to stick to them. Maybe alongside the kids magnetic reward chart I can have a "Daddy's Drinking Chart" and mark off how I am doing.

Crunchymunchyhoneycakes Fri 05-Jul-13 09:31:03
Squitten Fri 05-Jul-13 09:31:26

I couldn't advise on whether or not this counts as alcoholism but I would be extremely worried if my husband drank that much every day. It sounds like you are unhappy in your situation and the drinking makes it better for you.

DreamingBohemian offers some sound advice there. You should try cutting back slowly and see what happens. If you find yourself craving that extra alcohol in any way then I think you know you have a dependancy. If it's fine, then continue to cut back for your health if nothing else. I suspect you will see a difference in how you feel.

Squitten Fri 05-Jul-13 09:33:14


The fact that you immediately find the total absence of alcohol worrying really should set off large alarm bells in your head. That is not a normal attitude to drinking.

Crowler Fri 05-Jul-13 09:35:19

My husband drinks too much, and can I just tell you, it's gross. I hate it. It drains my respect for him.

You probably slur, and smell, and say stupid things, and this does not make for a great romance.

My husband and I agreed to stop drinking at home about 4 months ago, and it worked beautifully for me - it worked well for him for a while, too, but now he drinks at home again.

I was a too-heavy at home drinker also; I couldn't face an evening at home without 2-3 glasses of wine. It was hard for me the first week or so, but now it's easy and I feel much better for it. I would suggest you try this. If you can't manage, then maybe you need to consider the possibility that you need some outside help.

WilsonFrickett Fri 05-Jul-13 09:43:34

You can get a vitamin D supplement from the chemist. It's cheaper than beer.

If this was your wife what would you think?

Of she looked after the children for 12 hours, and drank the same as you, would you think it was too much?

Can you go a day without a drink? What happens if you do?

If you can't then I'd say you have a problem sad

pianodoodle Fri 05-Jul-13 09:46:28

My husband also maintained all sorts of justification like he "earned" it etc...

He would have also felt horrified at the thought of being drunk in charge of children and insisting he was being responsible.

So he "cut down" and placated me in various ways without actually acknowledging the problem or taking it seriously.

He'd "never" put DD at risk I was worrying over nothing. About 6 months later he was attempting to bath her while so drunk he didn't know where he was.

The truth is, it will get worse if you don't get help. You will put alcohol ahead of your family's needs at some stage even if you don't feel you are already doing so. No amount of seeing people upset or feeling guilty and remorseful will be enough in itself to make you stop because it doesn't seem to work that way.

You should talk to a professional. Some people only change when they lose everything and even then sometimes that still doesn't solve the problem they do not get proper help.

Your size/being stressed etc... Are all just ways to deny the problem and alcoholics no matter how nice a person in general, soon get very adept at being devious and finding any reason to justify why what they do is acceptable.

flipchart Fri 05-Jul-13 09:52:42

What's so bad about looking after your kids you need a drink?

Can't you change something around the children to make it a more ppleasent expierence?

DH did more than his fair share of looking garter the kids in the evenings when they were small as i worked a lot of evenings but only drank when he went on a night out.

SignoraStronza Fri 05-Jul-13 09:55:38

Yes, you are drinking too much. And it probably costs a bloody fortune too. My DH can't go an evening without a beer, a g&t or something and it drives me crackers because if you add it all up it comes to at least the price of a decent family holiday that we won't be able to go on this year. angry

HappyDoll Fri 05-Jul-13 10:01:01

Your wife thinks you abuse alcohol.

Your wife worries about everything 24/7.

You're sick of being a SAHD.

You need to respect her and her concerns and do what's best for your family. Carrying on regardless with your 'I'm alright Jack' attitude is not the best thing for your family.

Sounds like she is carrying a lot of worry around which is amplified by the fact that she can't be home with the kids and you make it obvious you don't want to be. Is that the parents you both wanted to be?

OatcakeCravings Fri 05-Jul-13 10:05:06

It's too much, you knew that before you posted. However I know plenty of people who drink that much every week, I wouldn't see it as abnormal. Some weeks I would easily put away that much but I generally try to make sure I have 2 or 3 alcohol free days and if I have a big weekend I won't drink at all during that week.

If I was you my worry would be that if this level of drinking continues you will slowly increase how much you drink to get that fuzzy feeling that you need to unwind. I don't think that you are an alcoholic in any way but I do think the way you use alcohol could lead you down that path in a few years.

I would definitely try to address the Vitamin D thing as well then, and anything else physical that may give you more energy.

My DH and I switch being SAHP, and twice now he has had serious Vitamin D deficiency, gotten prescription supplements, and it made such a difference in his ability to cope with a full day of parenting.

Do you want to talk a bit about what your days are like? Maybe there are things that would make them a bit easier?

Do you ever get time for yourself?

It helps to look at the drinking in context, because if you can reduce the need for it, it makes such a difference.

OTheHugeManatee Fri 05-Jul-13 10:07:26

It sounds like you're unhappy, OP. I agree with the others who say 4-5 beers or ciders every night is way too much, but I think you're right that it's not the root of the problem. Lots of people find it really tough them being SAHPs full-time. There's no shame in that, any more than there is in absolutely loving it.

Is there anything you could do to vary your days a bit, or find other ways to let off steam? For example could you fit some exercise in, maybe go to the gym/swim/run after your DW gets home? DH used to drink quite a lot, and since he's started cycling to the station in the mornings (6 miles each way) has been much more relaxed and less in need of a glass of wine to unwind and I found much the same since I quit smoking and started running seriously.

Equally do you ever get out in the evenings? Do you have a hobby? There are often threads on MN by SAHPs who are struggling to carve out time for themselves amid the nonstop work of managing a household. IMO you are drinking too much but don't sound like a dyed-in-the-wool pisshead; I reckon once you find a few more booze-free ways of unwinding and taking time for yourself you'll be fine.

purplemurple1 Fri 05-Jul-13 10:09:17

I use to be like you having bottle of wine, or 4-5 beers a night to 'relax' still worked full time, had a relationship, studyed, never got really drunk, etc so thought it was all OK. I also did the I'll stop for 2 weeks that proves I don't have a problem - it doesn't - it just proves you can stop for a short defined time period. Also thought lots of people drink to much so it's OK, but that doesn't mean its good for you or your marrige.

If you're using it to 'deal' with, hide emotions (stress) or other problems it is a problem. You need to find a better way of coping, could you go for a walk/run, join a running club, start a hobby to get you out the house occasionally once the kids are settled?

Personally I think you can bring it under control without stopping altogether but you have to change when and WHY you drink. I started with the none on a Sun - Wed, and never if I'm upset (as that was my normal trigger), and went from there. I do still drink (not now though, as I'm preg), a nice half a bottle of red at the weekend because it tastes nice and goes with the dinner I'm eating, 1 beer after a days gardening, very occasional night out, that sort of thing. But NEVER because I'm upset, or need it to relax.

Sorry if its not what you wanted to hear.

Drunkendiva1 Fri 05-Jul-13 10:13:08

Yes it's too much, I love a drink or 5 but only on the weekend, used to be every night but now do Mon-Thurs as alcohol free nights-& yes I have kids, 2 small ones.

Dahlen Fri 05-Jul-13 10:37:28

I don't know if you're an alcoholic but you are definitely drinking too much. Even given your sex and weight, that amount daily is going to have serious repercussions for your health. Maybe not now, but probably sooner than you think.

I think a lot of people drink out of habit rather than addiction. But a long-term habit soon becomes a dependency without the drinker even being aware of it.

Try to find something more productive or healthy to unwind. I substituted running for alcohol. I am fitter, healthier and financially better off as a result, with the added bonus that exercise really boosts your mental healthy whereas alcohol does the opposite.

If you really feel the need to unwind after looking after the DC (and believe me I totally get that wink), maybe the SAHP role is not for you and you'd be happier working part or full time and using the extra money to pay for childcare.

MrsHuxtable Fri 05-Jul-13 10:40:52

Yes, you sound like an alcoholic and eve if you weren't, you are very irresponsible because you won't see your children grow up with a lifestyle like that.

specialsubject Fri 05-Jul-13 10:43:11

you don't get incapable because you have a tolerance to all this.

healthy people don't need loads of firewater to unwind. They enjoy fresh air, exercise, company of others, hobbies etc.

you have a problem - it is an illness, not your fault, but it IS your fault if you refuse to accept it. Please recognise it and get help.

Samu2 Fri 05-Jul-13 10:48:14

I love how a couple of the posts that tell the OP to 'grow up'

It is quite obvious that he needs support and telling somebody to grow up isn't helpful is it?

OP you have got some great advice here from the wise MN'ers and I really hope you can put some of the ideas into place and lower your alcohol consumption.

Good luck to you smile

Guerrillacrochet Fri 05-Jul-13 10:49:49

Hi perfect
Some good advice here. You know it's too much and if you are counting down to the first drink of the day then I think something in your daily routine needs to change so it isn't so stressful. Cutting back is a good start. Before we had kids DH and I shared a bottle of wine a night blush- it gradually built up to that. Now we have maybe two bottles a week and I feel much better for it.
If you're drinking too much your sleep is likely to be disturbed, so you're probably tired too, which isn't great when you're looking after small children.
I really agree you should be looking at ways to make the days themselves less stressful. Do you have a routine or just wing it? My husband is a SAHD and he was winging it for a while and it got him down- by having more structure it can make it more straightforward. Getting outside helps too- both to burn off DCs energy and have a bit of space for you.
Do you have any activities outside the home just for you? Did you do any sports or have any hobbies before the DC? Could you start something like that? Again, it has helped my DH get a bit of his sense of self back (plus I get a bit of 1:1 time with the kids)
I think if you recognise it is too much and need to cut down then that is a really good step. The fact you're asking is really positive.
Good luck and keep posting smile

RobotBananas Fri 05-Jul-13 10:56:00

PerfectFather I used to drink like this. For about 2 years. The day to day slog with children was just too much for me and by the end of the day I was desperate for a drink.

you know what though - once I stopped drinking (other than occasional drinks out at the weekend) I didn't feel that each day. You say you're not hungover or affected by the alcohol the following day, but you will be. Even if you're not hungover, you will not be functioning as well as if you had not been drinking.

Life is so much easier now. Days with the kids are loads more fun and I no longer feel the need to drink 4-6 beers at the end of the day. It's only been an improvement.

If you read this and then think to yourself 'oh, but it's fine, I don't feel like that, I'll just carry on for a bit longer.. I don't need to give up' then you DO have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and you need to stop for a while.

expatinscotland Fri 05-Jul-13 11:01:49

That is too much.

Bowlersarm Fri 05-Jul-13 11:02:06

It is perfectly possible to cut back and not have the need to stop altogether, if you have realised there is a problem.

When my children were small I got into the habit of having a glass of wine at 6 o'clock every night feeling I had 'earnt' it. Then the amount can build up until you are drinking way more than is recommended or sensible.

DH was worried that my drinking was getting out of hand, and once he had voiced his concerns I did cut back considerably, and now don't drink by myself at all.

It does take a bit of an effort, and a need to rethink lifestyle, triggers etc.

It does sound like you drink too much, and your wife is clearly worried, so I think you should consider her opinion and show some moderation. Although not necessarily stop drinking totally.

Good luck with it all.

You are doing exactly what I have been doing for the last three years, ever since my DS1 was born. I suffered from crippling anxiety, probably PND too, and it was my way of coping after spending a full day looking after him. It relaxed me, made me feel like if I could get through the day until 5pm (my okay time to start!) I could reward myself with a bottle glass or two of wine.

I stopped when I was pregnant with DS2, but am back to the same pattern. I recognise it for what it is - my way of coping with the stress of looking after two small children, but it is a crap way of coping. It's not coping, it's avoiding coping.

A month ago my father, who spent most of his life as an alcohol abuser (which he used to hide from the things he didn't want to cope with), died from complications relating to his alcohol abuse. He lost everthing over the years because of it - his wife, his business, his home. At the end, he died alone , in debt. This is the end of the slippery slope you and I are on. You may never get to this point, but it is a sobering thought that you could.

This is why I have decided I need to do something about my drinking. I kept justifying that, although I drank every day, I didn't need it during the day, and I kept it within limits. So, I was not like my father (drunk all day every day till the alcohol ran out). I was lying to myself. You are doing the same.

I really don't like a lot of the advice that gets bandied about relating to alcohol and how to cut down. It all seems to focus on controlling your consumption with an iron will. Only drink on certain days of the week. Only drink a certain amount. Always drink a soft drink between alcoholic drinks. Have periods of abstinence. To me, all this does is focus your mind on how much you are not drinking, and we all know what happens when you feel deprived. You crave the thing even more.

I would recommend picking up a copy of one of these two books - Allen Carr's 'Easy Way to Control Alcohol' or Jason Vale's 'Kick the drink...Easily'. They are both based on the same premise, and are basically the same book (Vale worked with Carr, hence the similarity). It's all about seeing alcohol for what it is - a powerful drug with good marketing. It's the only socially acceptable drug that we are encouraged to use and have to justify not using (whilst also having to prove to everyone that we use it responsibly - which is a subjective judgement anyway, so pretty meaningless).

It explains (in a way that seems logical to me) that there really isn't any such thing as a non-alcoholic drinker and an alcoholic drinker. Anyone who drinks alcohol has fallen into the same trap, just to varying degrees. Think about it, no one on this thread can tell you if you are an alcoholic or not. According to AA, you would have to decide that for yourself. How bloody wishy washy and subjective is that. The fact is, like me, you drink to cope with stress, and un-wind at the end of the day. Your wife doesn't like it, and perhaps you wouldn't like it if you saw yourself with her eyes.

I hope this doesn't sound judgemental. I am currently trying to stop the cycle of drinking that I found myself in. I'm not fully there yet, but feel so much better when I don't drink. And, this is the key, so much better able to cope with two small children. I have more patience, I can connect with them more, and be more fun.

I also don't want them associating being a grown up with drinking, and my oldest was starting to do this ('When I'm a daddy, I can drink beer'). There have been too many people in my family lost young to alcohol misuse. I need to break this cycle. Maybe you do too?

South, that's a really powerful post, good luck with all your efforts.

I can see why you don't like some of the advice on here. All I can say is this is what worked for me, gradually cutting down and limiting myself, and any approach predicated on full-blown avoidance just did not work for me mentally.

I think the most important thing is to recognise that there is a problem, and then realise that there are many different avenues to address it. You may have to try a few of them before you find one that works for you. So I think it's good the OP is getting a range of responses.

I didn't know Alan Carr has a drinking book, I've heard his smoking book is insanely effective.

KatyTheCleaningLady Fri 05-Jul-13 11:48:22

It's not how much you drink. It's about what alcohol means to you.

And, I would say the definition of a drinking problem is if your drinking causes problems. You are posting here because it's causing problems in your marriage.

Oldraver Fri 05-Jul-13 11:52:54

You are drinking too much.

You are relying on drink.

You are making excuses for your excessive drinking

Therefore you DO have an alcohol problem

Thanks, Dreaming, I had hoped that the post didn't come across as being too harsh. For a lot of people, myself included, controlling their drinking is a real struggle, even if, on the face of it, they seem fine (the so called 'functioning alcoholic').

One of the reasons I react so strongly to the idea that there is some magical point between being an alcoholic and not being an alcoholic is that for all his life, my dad felt that being able to drink alcohol was the 'normal' thing to do, and thus hated being labelled as an alcoholic who could never drink again lest it killed him. On one occasion, a doctor told him he didn't think he was an alcoholic, and despite many, many more doctors telling him he was, he latched onto this and started drinking again. A few years later he was dead. He was never able to control his drinking enough that it didn't harm him and those around him.

But your point is also a valid one. What works for one person who wants to cut down or stop, might not work for another. I just wanted to put forward a different viewpoint - that alcohol inherently harms people to varying degrees. There is no need to wait until you can label yourself as an 'alcoholic' before addressing this.

I have never read Allen Carr's smoking book (never smoked), but I think that his drinking book follows the same premise. It may work for someone who needs to reassess their view of alcohol.

NatashaBee Fri 05-Jul-13 12:09:34

Yes, it's too much. You are deluding yourself if you think it's not. I tend to get into the habit of drinking every night sometimes, and then knock it on the head. It amazes me every time how much more positive, alert and how much less lethargic I feel when I stop drinking again. Although you think that beer is what helps you cope and wind down, I also think the reality is that it's affecting your mood and outlook severely.

EldritchCleavage Fri 05-Jul-13 12:12:26

I do think you drink too much and are now an habitual over-drinker (to put it at its best).

My DH is SAHD. It is hard, not least because there are so few SAHD, and it is even more isolated for him than for most SAHM. Full-time childcare can be a real grind. We've recently had some good friends move away, so he has lost the nice friendship group he and the kids had.

He got into a drink every night habit, though in much smaller amounts than you. He's just stopped, of his own accord. Alcohol is now a Fri and Sat treat only.

He looks better, feels better, sleeps better. We are getting on better, looking after the children is easier, and his mood is better. Everything is better, and that's just after giving up a fairly mundane, modest intake.

I think along with minimising the drinking you are failing to see how much this intake is affecting you and making everything harder for your family. Instead of 'I drink, but I'm coping, it helps me cope' trying thinking about how much you might actually 'thrive' if you stopped doing it.

RobotBananas Fri 05-Jul-13 12:38:06

" It amazes me every time how much more positive, alert and how much less lethargic I feel when I stop drinking again"

^ ^ ^ This x a million.

South, I really agree with you about the labels not being really helpful. You can always find a way of rationalising that the labels don't apply to you. It's harder to deny the problems that can arise from whatever level of alcohol you might use.

pianodoodle Fri 05-Jul-13 13:37:54

Someone mentioned Allen Carr here - I've bought one for DH as it really helped me with smoking.

You shouldn't be judged for having a problem but the important thing is what you do about it.

Me telling my DH he could spoil our lives won't make a difference unless he invests the time into getting help.

Being pregnant didn't make me feel any less addicted to nicotine despite the theory that I shouldn't "want" to smoke because of the potential risks. I had to get help and keep getting help.

I certainly felt guilty, same as DH does about his drinking, but regardless always found a way to justify it. Being pregnant was motivation to get help, but not motivation in itself to just stop without help.

Good luck

Nottalotta Fri 05-Jul-13 13:48:09

I think you are drinking too much. Reason i say this is that i am now in the habit of drinking between half and a full bottle of wine per night. And i keep thinking i Will cut back but am struggling to in my current stressful circumstances. However, i know its a habit that i can and Will stop, starting with limiting my intake and then having two then three then four alcohol free days per week.

And i have started exercising again as i find it helps in two ways, i destress by doing the exercise and i don't drink so much as i get home later.

spudalicious Fri 05-Jul-13 14:12:55

It's too much.

DISCLOSURE OF BIAS - your post could have been written by my ex with a few circumstantial differences.

My ex never accepted there was a problem, but from the other side it was horrific. He smelt, he slurred, he moaned, he was ALWAYS defensive, always feeling sorry for himself, often repetitive and never had any energy for anything. He was short with me and with our DD during the day and then rambling, incoherent and miserable/strange company in the evening. He was often verbally/emotionally abusive (not saying you are, but if you were, after 5 cans you may well fail to recognise it).

Superfically he was just plain bad/unattractive company. How do you think your wife feels coming home to an adult who can barely hold a decent conversation (if you are drinking that much, you can't, whatever your experience is telling you. You're wrong. It's coloured by all that booze) and to what is effectively sole responsiblity for her children at any time she is not at work. In effect, she gets to go to work, but then after that - all the shit is hers. Believe me, that takes a massive toll.

More importantly he eventually became a hazard to my DD.

In the end he started to drink during the day, and occasionally after dropping our DD off at school.

He twice picked her up from school drunk.

The second time he did it we left.

He is very sad. And he still drinks. Frankly, you want your marriage to work, you need to fix this or you will be either no longer married, or married to an angry/bitter/tired/resentful woman.

You sound very similar to him. Drinking to mask your resentment of your situation (and failing to do so - your post shrieks self-pity and resentment for what is presumably an agreed set-up) and not accepting the toll it takes on everyone around you. I'm willing to bet your wife doesn't go to certain social events because she's embarrassed. I'd love to know how often you have friends over to your house.

(I know about being a drinker by the way. Before my DD was born I drank loads. I was a bar-propping up style regular. Now, I hardly ever drink and the smell of beer/cider makes me scared and feel physically sick.)

I'm sorry. I know this post is harsh. I've tried not to be but this is my personal experience and I can't help but think it's similar to your wife's. I'm offering it as a wake up call.

YouTheCat Fri 05-Jul-13 14:13:30

I used to drink about the same as Nottalotta. Bad marriage to an alcoholic so I just started drinking because that was the culture I was around.

I knew I was drinking too much and using it as a reward.

Now I drink because I like the taste not because of the effect it has on me. I rarely drink through the week (although had a lovely cold half of cider last night because I fancied it). I also don't limit myself. If I want another glass that is fine.

I don't know what the solution is. I took back control by completely changing my routine in the evenings.

Hope things work out. Knowing there's a problem is the first step really.

ThreeMusketeers Fri 05-Jul-13 14:15:24

No and no.

MrsOakenshield Fri 05-Jul-13 14:16:47

I too struggled being a SAHP, it really wasn't for me. I did it for 2 years - I should have stopped at a year. So I do feel for you there - it is not for everyone.

But, you are looking after your DC on about 6 hours sleep and 4-5 drinks every night. You say you're not drunk in the mornings, but I'll bet anything and everything that you would be able to cope much better if you slept more and drank less (and the 6 hours sleep you're getting, after that much booze, isn't going to be very good quality sleep).

You do need to cut down. But more than anything, I think you need to stop being a SAHD, if at all possible. You are clearly not happy and that will be affecting your care of your DC.

gnittinggnome Fri 05-Jul-13 14:28:48

It sounds as though you need something else to do beyond being a SAHD. Could you get childcare for a day, or a couple of half-days, to give you time to work on your own stuff / volunteer somewhere / just recharge? Would your wife be prepared / be able to work from home for one day a week? You sound as though you are feeling trapped, and drinking is a great anaesthetic for that kind of feeling.

In short, the alcohol is too much for your health, regardless of whether or not it feels like it now, and I think a symptom of a different problem. Stopping drinking Sun-Thurs / cutting down to one beer a couple of weekdays (but not every day) will help you reassess, and you need to talk to your partner about rethinking the situation so you're not feeling trapped. If she is worried about you, I'm sure she'll want to support you, and would welcome the idea that you're trying to take a different approach.

Good luck.

gnittinggnome Fri 05-Jul-13 14:33:33

btw, when I was a bored, depressed, miserable expat wifey, it was a source of some pride that I never went as far as some I knew, who would hit the white wine at noon and not look back.

In retrospect, that wasn't really the best bar to judge my own drinking on, and I managed to remain sober for 18 hours of the day because I was looking forward to that first drink. You don't have to be guzzling 24/7 to have a problem with alcohol.

CheeseandPickledOnion Fri 05-Jul-13 14:45:36

Yes, you are abusing alcohol. You're using it as a crutch, drinking too much and admit you are relient on it.

I'm personally having counselling at the moment myself for alcohol abuse. Like you I drank every day. It isn't normal. I can see that now. I always reasoned away my drinking just like you are, but it is a problem.

NatashaBee Fri 05-Jul-13 14:45:58

I agree with other posters. There's nothing wrong with not wanting to be a fulltime SAHP, regardless of whether you're male or female. I wouldn't be able to cope being at home fulltime - partly because I have a bad back and struggle to lift DS, but i'm also just not cut out for it and don't have the patience. Would it be possible for you to arrange childcare and go back to work at least part time, even if it only means you break even rather than making any money?

Apileofballyhoo Fri 05-Jul-13 15:45:58

You are definitely in need of some time and space for yourself. Being a SAHP is hard work but alcohol is a poor reward. Best of luck with changing your life. It might help to show your wife this thread so that you can both cooperate in meeting your needs in a positive way.

My father drank daily (a relatively limited amount) and died young. He also used it 'to relax'. I often think he would have been less irritable, cross and unpredictable if he had not been tired and hungover every day.

trackies Fri 05-Jul-13 16:41:44

yes and yes.

I caught myself having a drink every evening. I'm short so even 1 unit makes a difference to me. It was a crutch for me, and i used it to 'unwind'. But realised after few months that i was becoming dependent so got all the spirit bottles and poured them down sink.

I do find it diff being a SAHM but i had to do it cos i have DC with health prob, so until school i'm at home. I can totally identify with being fed up by 9am. It becomes easier when you can use free entitlement to send to pre-school in morning. At least then you have a couple of hours in the day to yourself.

If possible, try to get self some time away from kids and ask DW to look after them for a while when she's not working. You need stuff to look forward to that is kid free. Rather than looking forward to your drink at the end of the day.

Your not ill now, but if you carry on drinking 10 units a day, you will end up being ill, by which time it will prob too late.

WilsonFrickett Fri 05-Jul-13 18:25:57

I think that's another good point - if you drink from 5pm does your DW have sole care of the kids from the minute she gets home? No wonder she's unhappy. Your set-up clearly isn't working for you - there's no shame in that. But drinking 'to relax' isn't the answer.

Nacster Fri 05-Jul-13 19:02:12

The daily unit thing is arbitrary. Nobody actually knows. Obviously drinking until you are drunk every day is a Bad Thing, but it doesn't sound like you get drunk?

I drink above the recommended maximum for women, but I never binge. I am clear of eye and skin, healthy, happy and bounce out of bed in the morning.

When I think of what my parents drank routinely when we were growing up (in our terribly naice, middle class household) I am shocked - 2 or 3 G&T, wine with dinner, spirits after, most nights. I'm not in that league.

My concern would be your underlying unhappiness. And does your behaviour change? DF was/ is a nasty drunk, we were scared of him. If your kids feel like that, it's time to stop.

ThePerfectFather Fri 05-Jul-13 19:03:05

Sorry for not replying sooner, but I drank so much at lunch I passed out*.

SouthbySouthWest I think your post is the best in the thread, so thanks for taking the time to post it.

I've spoken to my wife about it and I honestly don't think I am "an alcoholic" but I have no doubt that I am drinking too much and I'm very conscious of cutting down. Previously I was only cutting down as a casual promise to save some money or to just "cut back a bit" but there was no real reason or motivation. Reading some of your stories and opinions has really helped and given me some honest points of reference and context.

We're going to see if limiting myself to very little during the week, but a bit more relaxed at the weekend, will improve things. Also, going to wait until she's home - I think that slightly later start will help lower my intake anyway. This shouldn't be a problem, and if it is, then it's clearly more of an issue than I imagined and we'll seek help.

I am very sorry for the people who post about their slurring, abusive husbands but I can assure you I am not like that. I almost certainly do smell of booze which can't be nice (although a booze-smelling woman has never bothered me I must say), but I'm not an uncommunicative lump - that takes a fair amount of booze in a short space of time to get that hammered.

Anyway, thanks for the posts, thanks for the advice and the perspective.


ThePerfectFather Fri 05-Jul-13 19:04:35

Also my kids have never seen me drunk. Ever.

By the time my wife is home and the kids are off to bed I have had, at most one complete drink. If having one can of beer around children counts as abusing your kids then holy shit, we've got a problem.

AnyFucker Fri 05-Jul-13 19:10:04

If you go back to your first sentence in your first post, the clue is there

You need a "fucking drink" after looking after your children

There is a lot of resentment and aggression in that opening, completely unprompted and subconsciously telling. This is a sweary site, granted. But if I was your wife, I would be reading between the lines here, and not liking the subtext.

You need to get a grip of your life, mate.

maddening Fri 05-Jul-13 19:31:20

Sounds like a drink problem and some addiction - maybe not to alcoholic in the terms you consider to be alcoholic. But over 70 units of alcohol a week is no good.

Yes you might feel healthy now but you can't see inside you can you? Alcahol in men particularly puts fat on the internal organs (apparently this is where beer bellies come from) as well as increased chance of heart attacks, strokes and cancer.

And as much as you think you aren't drunk I reckon it's unpleasant for your wife to be around you every night whether you're just tipsy and buzzed or slightly drunk - every fucking night - how fucking tedious! .

RoadToTuapeka Fri 05-Jul-13 19:40:18

Yes and yes to both questions. I would be taking steps with my DH if he 'really needed a fucking drink' every day after a day doing what loads of people do every day, ie look after children, especially if 's drink' was as much as that.

BridgetBidet Fri 05-Jul-13 20:15:52

I worked as a typist in a hospital which dealt with liver patients. I am not an expert but I would regularly type up the notes of people waiting who drank the same amount each day as you during the week (e.g. 5 cans a night) and didn't even have the binges you have at the weekend.

Normally the reason I was typing up their notes was because they needed a liver transplant. The majority of them never got one and died.

I'm not being sanctimonious, I am an ex drinker myself and it was seeing those things that made me stop.

Drinking at the level you do a betting man would be inclined to put a bet on you ending up in the same situation yourself. Seriously.

You have children, do you not want to do the utmost you can to be there for them for as long as you can? You can't be being the best parent you can when you're drinking like this. It's beyond me how anybody can deal with a proper stinking hangover and a small child.

OliviaBenson Fri 05-Jul-13 20:48:54

My Dad is an alcoholic. He makes the same excuses. He ruined my childhood- don't ruin your children's. If your stressed, do other things, a walk, reading, etc. you don't need to drink to de-stress.

ShellyBoobs Fri 05-Jul-13 21:17:23

I'd like to respond to a couple of posts in this thread:

Firstly, 4 or 5 (pressumably 500ml) cans per day is not '5 or 6 times' the recommended limit; it's certainly and good 2-3 times, though.

Secondly, there's no such thing as a 'beer belly', so that's irrelevant.

Having said that, I do think OP's drinking is a problem and it's far too much in my opinion.

I would be very concerned if I or my OH was drinking to such excess on a daily basis.

(I just don't think that exaggerating the facts is going to help anyone)

cumfy Fri 05-Jul-13 23:00:12

Funnily enough, I did actually stop drinking entirely in January a couple of years ago and suffered a chronic vitamin D deficiency as a result.

Heavy consumption of alcohol causes Vit D deficiency. Stopping does not.

BridgetBidet Fri 05-Jul-13 23:28:09

Cumfy, it's a vitamin B deficiency that drinking causes, not vitamin D.

BridgetBidet Fri 05-Jul-13 23:30:17

Shellyboobs, there is such a thing as a beer belly, it's alcohol induced oedema which causes water retention and swelling around the abdomen.

cumfy Sat 06-Jul-13 00:52:01
Wuldric Sat 06-Jul-13 01:03:29

I am a heavy drinker. A very heavy drinker. I won't go into more than that here. I know I have a problem. I absolutely do know that.

But the message to you OP, is as follows:

1. You are still young and in denial. It only ever gets worse. Alcohol is a long and slippery slide. I am ten years older than you and my drinking was nowhere near as bad as yours at your age. My drinking now is absurd. Literally absurd. I hold down my job through sheer talent (and past reputation). Because half the time I can't get there for 9am. I usually roll in around 10. Sometimes later. Take it from me. You do not know what you are doing. You do not even begin to recognise.

2. Alcoholism is inherited. That is a fact I learned on one of my many drying out sessions. You are NOT just doing this to yourself. You are doing this to your children. It is not an accident that I am a daughter of an alcoholic parent. Who died at the age of 50, stumbling and drunk.

Butterflywgs Sat 06-Jul-13 02:07:29

Sympathies, OP.
It does sound like there is a problem with your drinking. If there wasn't, I don't think you'd be asking, if you see what I mean?
I think some of the posts are unhelpful and verging on nasty, however. It does not help anyone to berate them, imply they are drunk every night when they clearly state this is not the case, and call them 'selfish' and 'abusive' etc. It does not sound like the OP is like this.
I'm glad you are going to try to cut down, and get help if you can't. That sounds like a sensible plan.
I wonder if you've considered what several other posters have said - that you don't sound very happy. There is no shame in not enjoying being a SAHP. Does your wife know how miserable you feel? It needs a serious discussion. As others have said, you could volunteer, work part-time etc etc.
I do not intend to be one. Do you think you could be depressed? (I say this as someone who has severe, chronic depression and anxiety. I know I drink too much to 'self-medicate' and I am taking steps to cut down.) I think it is worth a trip to your GP to screen for depression, anxiety etc - as well as to get advice on your drinking. Good luck.

amazingmumof6 Sat 06-Jul-13 02:41:29

(Desclaimer : I don't drink)

I think you drink too much and have problem, you drink every day by the sound of it and way over what I would call reasonable amount.

good on you for asking, I've not read thread, but I hope you had some good answers and support so far

one thing struck me : you said you don't normally get drunk or have hangovers.
you see that worries me.
that means your body is very much used to the amount of alcohol you drink.
and that is not good at all!

trust me, I know it is very hard to look after kids all the time ( clue in name!) and I do joke sometimes that I'm glad I don't drink, coz I'd be having my first shot of gin at 9.15 am when I'm back home after morning school run.grin

kids are bloody stressful. I eat cake to treat myself.
and watch telly or sew till 2am because I want to enjoy being without their noise! sad but true.
I think I have some form of insomnia because of worries and constant interrupted sleep.

we all need a way to relax and escapism has many forms - sadly most are unhealthy!

I'm sorry you feel you can only cope by drinking. it is not uncommon either.
And I'm sure your wife is only worried, but being nagged about your drinking is not helpful - I do wonder if getting drunk is possibly your way of "rebelling" or trying to "punish her", at least in part.
( it would be for me!)

I think you need to reduce your alcohol intake and find other ways to relax, switch off and recharge your batteries.
And I think you need professional help to change your drinking habits.

just for comparison my DH is 6' 5" and weighs 20 stones.
he has a glass of wine with dinner on weekdays and 2 or 3 pints of beer on a Friday or Saturday night.
they finish him off.
and he rarely gets drunk ( last time was last August)

I hope this is helpful and I'm here to support you.
( hug? or is that weird? smile )

Beaverfeaver Sat 06-Jul-13 03:22:42

Its upsetting your wife.

= causing a problem.

therefore your drinking at this level is a problem.

It costs a lot too.

My DH does the same, as he has stressful job. I understand he is not getting sloshed, but its not healthy in the slightest and he understands I do t think its right and is doing his best to cut down and have at least a few drink free nights of a week.
I think you should also try to make the effort

Beaverfeaver Sat 06-Jul-13 03:26:46

Also - listen to Wuldric

My DH is also from alcoholic patents and my father is, and his parents (my grandparents) both died from alcohol abuse at an early age.

I recognise it, as I am partial to a drink too, and it can often be the first thing I want to turn to at times of stress.

Just got to be strong though.

mumofweeboys Sat 06-Jul-13 08:03:45


my oh was a sahd and not through choice. He be became quite isolated. Things did get better when he started getting out of the house. He went to several toddler groups and met some other dads/grandads (though he had to try a few), he went to toddler swim sessions, toddler rugby, joined online forum and met sahd. He was really pro active in getting out of the house. Your local sure start runs great classess. Dont be afraid if your the only bloke

TimeofChange Sat 06-Jul-13 08:04:18

You need to make changes in your life.

Buy some good quality Multi Vits and minerals formulated for men.
Stop drinking for a month.
At the end of the month you will feel better.
Maybe spend the beer money on sending the DCs to a CM or nursery for one day pw.

You may find you enjoy being with your DCs.
It's sad that you don't enjoy being a SAHD at the moment.
Best wishes to you.

Idocrazythings Sat 06-Jul-13 08:11:19

Do they do "dry July" in the uk? That's what it is in Aus at the moment and people are raising money etc. maybe you should give it a go (julys only just started) its a good excuse to stick at not drinking for a month, and if you don't want to ask anyone for sponsorship just put the money aside you would have spent on alcohol and then at the end of the month donate it to a charity? (Or a weekend away or dinner out with your DW)

Idocrazythings Sat 06-Jul-13 08:13:06
calmingtea Sat 06-Jul-13 08:45:26

Whether you just drink too much or have a problem I would recommend you take yourself off to an AA meeting (easy to find, free and you will be anonymous in a crowd), just for education and because it is eye opening. The effects on relationships (just do a poll here of the number of women writing here talking about heavy drinking ex's), and what happens when your drinking escalates. Or go to an Al Anon meeting and see how drinking affects families. Utterly heartbreaking.

You started your post asking if you are an alcoholic and have now decided that you aren't, it feels a bit like you are trying to persuade yourself and all the other posters here that what you are doing is normal. It isn't. You are drinking heavily, but most importantly the reasons you drink are not normal and it is affecting your relationship.

My XH did this, he lost everything - several jobs, his beautiful children, his wife. He never grasped how awful it was for his family. I can tell you whatever you say about your behaviour when drinking, your wife has reacted to your drinking, so it is not as 'normal' and acceptable and sober as you think it is. When my xh used to have even one or two pints, his attitude and behaviour changed subtly (not so much the effects of the drinking but the 'mood' that went with it). It was awful.

LondonMan Sat 06-Jul-13 09:08:45

You drink more each night than I do in a year. My point is merely that alcohol should be an insignificant pleasure that, given there are others, you could easily do without if you chose to. It should be no more essential to a happy life than white chocolate, or Krispy Crème doughnuts, to name some random things.

I think you need some lifestyle changes. If work that would pay for nursery is not an option, then better techniques for dealing with children so it's more pleasant for you. Enjoyable exercise in the evening. Zero alcohol on a weekday shouldn't be a hardship, however stressful your day.

I agree with the person who said that it's a bad sign your drinking doesn't affect you. I once knew a 28-year old alcoholic (had been drinking since 13) and I couldn't tell the difference between him sober and after a bottle of Vodka. (For a PHD scientist, his speech was a bit slow and confused in both states, I suspected permanent brain damage.) I'm the same weight as you, just breathing the fumes from one half of beer is enough to make me light-headed!

maninawomansworld Mon 08-Jul-13 15:01:03

Yes you're drinking too much.
My sympathies though, kids are a bloody nightmare sometimes especially if you've had 'em all day! A drink really helps...

maddy68 Mon 08-Jul-13 15:49:14

Yes that is alcoholism. Sorry

Can you go for three weeks without it? Try

You are at risk of losing everything.

I left my partner for similar reasons. He wouldn't drink at all in the day but come 6pm out would come the wine and he would drink steadily over a few hours.

He never thought he was drunk but he changed when he was drinking. Overly affectionate thought he was funnier that he was etc

Crux came when I asked him to pick me up from a hen do one night and he refused because it meant he couldn't drink.
I realised then there were three in our relationship and packed that night

Pennyacrossthehall Mon 08-Jul-13 16:10:44

.... alcohol should be an insignificant pleasure that, given there are others, you could easily do without if you chose to. It should be no more essential to a happy life than white chocolate, or Krispy Crème doughnuts, to name some random things.

That's very well expressed.

Ilovesunflowers Mon 08-Jul-13 16:48:27

OP - yes you are drinking too much (as pretty much all the other posters have said). I have a problem with chocolate/junk food rather than alcohol. If I said I was having 5 chocolate bars every evening or 5 bags of crisps you would immediately say that is too much. The same goes for alcohol or anything else that is used as a 'crutch' to hold you up.

It's not just the potential liver problems that could be an issue in the near future but also diabetes. Alcohol causes high blood sugar. You will be going to bed every night with a high blood glucose level. This isn't good for your health and can cause nerve damage. Persistently high blood glucose levels (you don't lower them as easily when asleep) can lead to diabetes. You are also likely to hold your weight around your middle in the near future as this tends to be the case with excessive drinking. Holding weight around your middle is also related to getting diabetes in many cases.

Diabetes can lead to kidney damage, liver damage, nerve damage, eyesight problems (including going blind). Some people with diabetes end up with amputations. Is this the future you saw for yourself? Sorry if that's harsh but it could end up the reality.

I would could back to 3 drinks a night. Then at the end of the summer cut back to 2 a night. Then stick at 2 a night but try to have an extra day without any alcohol at all. You'll soon be amazed at the difference.

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