Warning over middle class parents' drinking habits

(35 Posts)
SESthebrave Mon 08-Oct-12 19:33:01

Just saw this

Do you think this is a real issue?
I have to say I see a lot of twitter and FB comments about having a beer or some wine once the children are in bed but does it really cause problems?
Is it a symptom of society today where stress levels run high from trying to be all things to all people and cram so much into life?

Just wondered what other people think.

MmBovary Thu 11-Oct-12 13:42:19

I've been having terrible arguments with my husband about his drinking for years. He usually drinks a bottle of wine or more - or its equivalent in beer, spirits etc..., nearly every evening, quantities vary so it's hard to establish a definite pattern. He's not considered an alcoholic to this country's standards because there are millions of people who live like that, and because as long as you hold your job, are not violent or abusive, and don't drink in the morning, everything is OK. Well, it's not.

He's not violent or abusive towards me or the children. He goes to work every day and has a good job. However, I can see his mood swings especially in the mornings. He's always tired, often grumpy, just not the best of personalities to have around. Now and again he's quite drunk and gets plain nasty and argumentative, but as I said, always within the limits that it will not be considered abuse or violence. In fact, I fear I'm the one who can get so frustrasted and angry at this situation that I will lose it one day.

I often think I cannot live with him anymore and that eventually we will have to split up because of this habit. I can see so clearly he's got a problem but he refuses to admit it. It's such a shame because it's detroying our quality of life over the years and it's definitely killing the person he used to be.

wuggly Thu 11-Oct-12 18:24:13

I work with groups of people who misuse alcohol.many of them drink to relax or be sociable. But alcohol is damaging, it's corrosive to the system and strips the soft membrane from the mouth throat, gullet and stomach leaving you open to all sorts of problems. because it's legal and society promotes it everyone thinks it's fine, but it's harmful to every part of the body,it's carried in the blood, so everywhere your blood goes. It takes a mans healthy liver 1 hour to process 1 unit of alcohol and a womens 1.5 hours. that's just an average , there are many variables that will mean it's longer. find something else to relax you at the end of a hard day, my groups are filled with people who just had the odd glass or two, and then another. before you realise whats happened the ONLY thing that relaxes you is alcohol

wuggly Thu 11-Oct-12 18:32:07

for mme bovary.if he is drinking to that extent then he is dependant on alcohol, and there will be no time during the day when there is no alcohol in his blood stream. the picture you describe WOULD be considered emotional abuse. and you and the children will be very affected by it. I can understand your frustration and anger, but only he can stop this, and you are not responsible for what is happening. alcohol will be affecting his moods as well as impacting on his health, and your right, he is not the person he used to be, alcohol is highly addictive, and he won't find it easy to cut down.

princessbuba Thu 11-Oct-12 18:43:31

I agree with BlingLoving and find Ciske's comments very informative. I find the report mostly just irritating. I don't think the abuse of alcohol should be taken lightly, and I recognise there are some stories on this thread that are about this. BUT, and this is what I find irritating, I don't accept that my glass of wine of an evening impacts my parenting.

I have to admit that despite having an incredibly quiet social life, I possibly drink almost as much now as I did in my 20s. A different type of drinking. I was never a binge drinker, but, I didn't drink at home and I tended to drink more than the recommended amount when I was out. Very seldom a staggering home drunk, but... Now I drink little but probably more often and it is at home.

I do not need it to relax, I just like to drink a glass of wine and I am not in denial. I stopped smoking 6 years ago when I was pregnant, I no longer go clubbing, I eat healthily and I exercise regularly. I no longer go out to work in order to raise my children, and a glass of wine (or a G&T or whatever your tipple) at home with my meal, while I cook or as I relax with the hubby is about passing from kids time into adult time. And it is a pleasure. Really it is nothing more.

And silly scaremongering reports should stop being published making parents feel guilty for living their lives. We are parents but we don't stop being the people we were prior to children. Some of us like a drink and some don't. Some like to garden, some like to go shopping. Some like... well you get the idea, I could go on and on. There is not some perfect parent that we all have to be and I'm a bit sick of the institutionally sponsored guilt trips thanks.

Northernlurkerisbehindyouboo Thu 11-Oct-12 18:44:20

I think that a lot of people do not realise how harmful even what seems to be modest consumption is - because it isn't in fact that modest at all. Years and years ago I attended a seminar as a Students Union representative. There was a drugs and alcohol nurse there who said they saw a lot of people who weren't sitting on the street swigging cider. They were going to the supermarket, filling the trolley with 'good' wine and taking it home. So far, so good - but then when asked when they would be back at the shop doing the same thing again - it was a day or two later.................

MmBovary Fri 12-Oct-12 11:13:44

Thanks, wuggly, for your comments. You seem to be getting where I'm coming from. It's a very difficult situation, as I said, because it's socially and culturally accepted, and me not accepting it as normal makes me look as if I had the problem, not him. That's what I find most frustrating about alcohol.

You can drink a lot and not be considered to have a problem but if it infuriates you to see people so dependant on an socially accepted drug, then you are the one who's got issues.

Having a glass of wine here and there with a meal is not a problem, but sitting in front of the TV every night and going through a bottle of wine or more nearly every single evening of your life is.

BlingLoving Fri 12-Oct-12 11:57:24

What mmbovary is describing is not typical middle class drinking and I think most people would agree her dh has a problem.

But part of my frustration is this inability to differentiate between the person drinking a bottle a night or going to the supermarket to top up every two days and the vast bulk of us who drink a glass a night and get through a bottle a week.

It's the same problem with pregnancy. No kne disputes that excessive drinking is bad for baby and every dr I have ever spoken with agrees that the odd glass definitely does no harm but there is an inability from the bulk of population to see the difference v

juneau Fri 12-Oct-12 17:37:12

I have no idea what my friends do in the privacy of their own homes and I never see status updates on FB about drinking, so either my friends don't drink that much or they keep quiet about it!

I hardly drink at all these days, which surprises me as I used to drink FAR too much in my 20s and come from a family of people who consider drinking to be an essential part of socialising. Now when I see my family it just depresses me how much they drink - but I'm talking about my parents generation really - the baby boomers in their 60s and 70s. They have a far worse problem than our generation IMO. This article doesn't surprise me at all: www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19913431

juneau Fri 12-Oct-12 17:48:48

MmBovary - you could've been describing my stepdad. They're called 'functioning' alcoholics. He was a family doctor. I'm so glad he's retired. It worried me to death that he was treating people when he was totally hungover and possibly still drunk. He's much worse now that he doesn't have to get up and go to work and he's ruined their social life by being drunk and offending almost everyone they know. They really can't go anywhere any more sad

nepkoztarsasag Fri 12-Oct-12 23:42:39

This is the only time in my life I have ever found myself agreeing with flatpackhamster.

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