Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Am I being selfish because I don't want him to go to the pub?

(67 Posts)
AutumnGlory Fri 30-Nov-12 22:24:06

So, he is at the pub. He works shifts and today he finished at 5, sent me a txt saying he was going there and I txt back saying ok, but I wasn't 100% ok. So at 7:30 I call him from the supermarket car park to check if he is back home and he is still at the pub. I call him and ask him to go home so he can still spend time with dd but he says he is enjoying himself and will be home soon (but he is not back yet). I txt him 1 hour ago asking if he is on his way but he says I love you, I will be home soon. It is pointless to call at this point.I'm glad I managed to make dd go to sleep because I don't want her to see him drunk. He doesn't go very often anymore and doesn't get drunk often anymore (used to happen a lot and we had rough times because of this) but I hate drunkenness, pubs, nights out and if I was to go myself with my friends he would be absolutely fine with me so I probably should cut him some slack? As long as even if he is drunk, he is quiet and go to sleep? Is there anything wrong with getting drunk and coming home late sometimes? He works very hard and don't have many friends a part from this one he is with right now. I'm not worried about OW, I'm worried about him being drunk at night in London and alone because his friend doesn't live near us and obviously I'm worried about dd seeing him drunk. Sorry it is long.

CajaDeLaMemoria Fri 14-Dec-12 21:35:23

What do you mean is this not a LTB situation?

Do you want to be told to leave him?

I think a drink every once in a while is okay. But that's a different issue to him not doing things with your daughter. Yes, he has limited time, but he needs to prioritise things to make room for playing with your DD and going to the pub.

He clearly needs that time down the pub, whether its to socialise, to wind down or just to have some time out with his friends. You might not choose to spend your time that way, but he does. He doesn't do it often (some people are down the pub four or five nights a week) so it's really not worth fighting over.

TheSecondComing Fri 14-Dec-12 22:11:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AutumnGlory Fri 14-Dec-12 23:25:45

Ok. I hear you. Maybe I'm the problem, I should be taking more time to myself, I'm sure he won't mind. He came at 9:40, earlier than last time, not drunk but you could see he had been drinking. I apologised and we had a chat of aboug 1 hour, he cried a lot and thats is because he just talks about our issues after drinking. Than he stated talking nonsense and I just wanted him to go to sleep so we can start a good weekend tomorrow. He got a bit upset as I was trying to 'get rid' of him for the night but nodded off eventually. But after 1 hour of intensive chat about sensitive stuff followed by nonsense talking from someone who was at the pub for 5 hours is too much for me.

tumbletumble Sat 15-Dec-12 09:13:27

Sorry Autumn, I agree with the other posters that you are over reacting about this.

You say I would never choose to spend time in the pub instead of my own family so maybe this is me being wrong - of course it's not wrong for you to make that choice for yourself, but yes, I'm afraid it is wrong to expect everyone to feel that way. As long as he is spending plenty of time with you and DD as well (which it sounds like he is), most parents do need some adult time to spend with friends. Are you sure you don't need some yourself? Maybe you'd feel better about this if you thought about what you would really like to do for yourself, without DD, and arrange for your DH to look after her while you do it?

Letsmakecookies Sat 15-Dec-12 09:23:47

Actually, there is nothing wrong with you saying how uncomfortable and unhappy you feel with the situation as it stands, and there is nothing wrong with you feeling in this way to your partner getting drunk. What you need to work out is how big a problem it is for you and what you want to do about it.

Your behaviour towards him is wrong. Nagging, getting upset, that is not an adult or respectful way to respond - it just enables him to continue, gives him an excuse not to come home. You can tell him how you feel about him being in the pub, you can tell him what your boundaries are about it. It is about owning your feelings and responses.

There is nothing worse than sitting at home with children, wondering where their father is and whether he will be drunk/come home late/ miss his train/fall asleep on a bench or in a cemetery again/get mugged etc. And I know that, because my x would do this 3-4 times a week and it made me lose my mind (and I never was given the courtesy of knowing if/when/for how long etc. And the tedious crap they come out with after 5 hours in the pub and 10+ pints, I understand why you wanted to just go to bed finally being able to relax because he came home safe. It is not a nice way to live. In fact it is very stressful and can be unbearable.

I think it is actually ok not to want your partner to bugger off to the pub after work. It is ok not to want them to drink for 5 hours. If alcohol affects the quality of your relationship, then it is a problem. Now the issue for you is what to do about it. You could go to counselling to talk through with someone what your feelings about it are, how much of it is a problem because of your parents and projecting it on to him, how much of it is a problem because you just can't accept his behaviour. You could try couples counselling and talk it through together. You could go to Al Anon as the adult child of an alcoholic and talk through it there. Your reaction to your partner's drinking habits will be something people there will get. You can decide to change not your feelings, but your reactions to him going out. Perhaps you would feel better if you could put down some boundaries - like let you know a day before he goes out, and that he only stays out until 10, or only has 4 drinks? You are allowed to ask this of him.

You sound like you need to concentrate a little more on your own needs and wants. Your last post, is full of 'maybe', 'I should', 'I'm sure he won't mind' , 'I apologised'. You sound like you don't value your own feelings and you sound angry, which is understandable if you are putting yourself down so much. I saw a nice quote 'be with someone who makes you happy', you need to not focus on his behaviour to validate you or make you happy. But instead work out how to make yourself happy.

AutumnGlory Sat 15-Dec-12 09:56:16

Thank you so so much. It is so confusing for me. I think it is kind of a control issue as well. I have a lot to think. And to do to re counselling, I know I need it I just can't bring myself to start. My sister started and she is remembering and understanding so much that I don't even want to talk to her about our childhood anymore. I don't want to dig and suffer twice. But maybe this is necessary to create a better present and future for myself.

BertieBotts Sat 15-Dec-12 09:57:03

If you're not happy in your relationship, you don't need a reason or permission to leave.

He sounds like a good man and not unreasonable in his behaviour, but perhaps you are not a good match. There is nothing wrong with this.

The situation reminds me of one which is happening between a couple of friends of ours. DP's friend N smokes weed occasionally. He doesn't do it regularly and he doesn't get himself into such a state that he is incapacitated or anything like that, he does it to be social and relax. However his girlfriend doesn't like him doing it at all. She is always on edge when he's around other people who smoke because she knows he wants to go and do it, and if he does she finds this very upsetting. Equally, he tries to avoid the situation by not mentioning it or discussing it because he thinks his actions are perfectly fine and justified.

Many MNers told about this situation would say that she should leave him and that this isn't okay at all, however (aside from the obvious legal issues) I don't see a massive difference between these two situations, and I don't think you need to "get over it" if it is important to you.

He sounds like a reasonable person, so I think this should be something you can talk about, at least then you'll find out if you can compromise or if it's always going to be an issue, and then you'll know. Personally I think that when you both have opposing underlying views/beliefs about a subject (You: Alcohol is never okay, children should never see parents drunk; Him: Alcohol is fine in moderation, it is an acceptable way to relax, children are not harmed by seeing their parents a bit tipsy or even drunk on occasion, provided they're not abusive or doing it often) it's going to be hard to come to a compromise because you are coming from different places.

I don't think either of your views are unreasonable, although his is the more socially accepted view. I think you need to talk it through and see if you can work it out, but accept that neither of you is likely to come round to the other's way of thinking, and so you'll have to be willing to bend away from your ideal a little bit, like he might be willing to cut it down to one night every 2 weeks for example, and you might be willing to cope with him going that frequently as long as you know in advance what is happening and that he won't be rolling around/falling over/pissing himself drunk. Which it doesn't sound like he is anyway.

EmmelineGoulden Sat 15-Dec-12 10:07:36

I wouldn't want to live with someone who frequently went to the pub after work without checking it was OK in advance. Who told me he'd be back at x time but then didn't turn up till hours later. Who drank while he was too ill to pull his weight at home. Who avoided spending time with the children. None of these are traits I'd find acceptable. They're the actions of a lodger not a partner. At the same time I'd find it a bit stifling if my partner thought I shouldn't ever want to spend time away from the family.

I think letsmake gives good advice. Think about yourself for a bit - what you want, what you're prepared to do, what you're prepared to loose (and what you might really be loosing). Talk to him about it when he's sober like grown ups instead of reacting when something negative is happening. And consider getting some outside help to get you both get to where you want to be.

pictish Sat 15-Dec-12 10:25:46

Bertie that is a very sensible post. I was trying to find the words to say the same.

I don't think it sounds like he is doing anything wrong particularly. The reason he doesn't let on about how long he's going to be is that he knows he'll get earache and guilt tripping about him spending time with his child. I bet you he gets there, plans to have a couple and ends up enjoying himself and stays on for a while. He can't phone and say 'I've just met xxx so I'm going to have another drink or two - see you whenever' because he knows it would go down like a lead balloon.
Personally speaking, I would not like to be in his shoes. I could not be bothered with this level of upset over a not-even-that-late night in the pub. I would feel micromanaged and policed.

There is an element of you being controlling OP. You want him to do what you want, and what's more you think he should. "I don't want to go to the pub so neither should he". You will even lay on the guilt trip to facilitate this. It's not really fair is it? He sounds like a decent bloke, and a good dad. An evening in the pub twice a month does not negate that.

On the other hand, if it's an issue for you to the point of making you unhappy, then the advice I would offer, is to consider whether or not you want to remain married to someone who does this. It is your right to leave.
You cannot rightfully make someone do what you want them to - all you have in your power is deciding what you will and will not tolerate.

I think you're overreacting...but it's your life. x

pictish Sat 15-Dec-12 10:31:19

Oh and I feel it is fair to tell you that I am the BOSS of saying I'll be home at x o'clock and then not turning up.

Me: "I'll be home when the pub shuts"
Dh: "Aye ok - I'll see you when I see you"


I don't go out much, and I'm never shitfaced...but I do like socialising.

pictish Sat 15-Dec-12 10:37:07

OP you say "he cried a lot and thats is because he just talks about our issues after drinking".

What are your issues, and why is he crying about them?

There is more to this than him sinking a few down the pub every couple of weeks, surely?
Do you read him the riot act about it? Make him feel really guilty? Do you threaten him?
Why is he crying?

AutumnGlory Sat 15-Dec-12 10:44:12

There was a time in the past when he would go more often, come back very late and very drunk, we would have massive arguments. I realise now it is not too bad. He works minimum 60 hours a week do I kind of understand why he is not more willing to do housework than I do. He claims he is dyslexic and that is why he doesn't read more to dd or helps more with homework. I don't mind doing these things at all as he does fun stuff with her instead but I guess I want him to be 100% involved in every single detail to compensate from my father's lack of involvement in my own childhood. I feel angry when he is still drinking at home and smoking while he is so ill he needs to stay in bed playing on his Ipad but I don't get angry when he is fine and drinks at home, I don't care. I guess my issue with him going to the pub is because of the memories of when dd was a baby and we hardly had any money left even for food after the bills got paid and he would spend time and money in the pub leaving me alone and coming in a state. Although we have enough money now and I'm totally happy being me and dd only in the house (I got used after 5 year of him doing night shifts often) I still can't forgive and forget what happened in the past. He claims he is an alcoholic but I don't think he is. It is just an excuse to not cut down on drinking even though yesterday he admitted to himself he should drink less.

fanoftheinvisiblebigredman Sat 15-Dec-12 10:55:42

Autumn I do know where you are coming from. I grew up with a father who has a drink problem. But it doesn't make your reaction to your dp reasonable.

I used to react in exactly the same way as you whenever dh went out. I hated it and built it up into a huge thing. I had zero tolerance for drinking. We were together for 12 years before having a child so I had a chance to address this then.

I have now come to the understanding that dh is not my dad. Going on a drinking session every month or so and 4 cans on a saturday night watching MOTD is not a problem but my attitude to alcohol is.

I won't drink at all in front of ds. But I accept that these are my issues and it doesn't bother me now when dh does as I know he has appropriate boundaries. It took me years to get my head round. If I am honest the reason why I was adament through until my late twenties that I would never have any dc was because I didn't ever want the power to be able to cause that amount of hurt on someone else.

BertieBotts Sat 15-Dec-12 11:11:08

Hmm I don't know, with your last post there's a lot of information in there which does change things.

I wouldn't have a problem with him not reading to DD or helping with homework if he is dyslexic (although there must be some homework he can help with) - if he feels you are more capable then perhaps he doesn't want to hold her back, especially if he doesn't feel confident in his own spelling or whatever. And it's fair enough to want a break if you're ill.

However, the fact that he's had bad history before of going out drinking when you couldn't afford it AND he says he is an alcoholic (he doesn't sound like one confused) which he's using as an excuse not to cut down? That just makes no sense to me. Surely if you're admitting you're an alcoholic that's saying that you have a problem and you know you should drink less, not more. I think this history is the main problem and the "alcoholic" thing is just weird but a bit suspect.

AutumnGlory Sat 15-Dec-12 11:25:43

He cries because I can't give him what he needs (more sex more often and affection). I told him to leave and find someone who can fulfil his needs and make him happier. He won't. But when our family started, and I was vulnerable, penniless and eager to start it right and create a nice family unit that I didn't have, he was mostly at the pub drinking with people that aren't even friends but colleagues at the best. I've had enough. I learned how to be happy on my own company and dd's company only and I earn my own money. I run my life as a single mother I can never count on him as he works shifts and asks for time off only if it is a very special occasion and it is not even guaranteed he. Get the time off he wants. I don't want him home for myself but for dd. I know how hurt I was as a child and I know my issues with men and relationship comes from my parents relationship so that is why I want him to be here for her. But as I said, after last time he has been at the pub he has been ill and they t have much fun together. Now he went again and will spend Saturday sleeping/Sunday relaxing and probably get ill again as he health is no good anyway. That is why I'm not happy.

DIYapprentice Sat 15-Dec-12 14:21:14

Autumn - You need to be careful you don't become overinvolved in your DD's life. You want him to be 100% involved in everything to do with your DD - well that's never going to happen. Noone is 100% involved. 100% committed, yes, but not involved.

I don't do the same craft activities which nursery and school do. If the evening runs over time, then the DC don't get read a story that evening. I will only occasionally do large puzzles with them, but love building with the lego and duplo with them. Everyone is like that, they all enjoy and do somethings, but happily leave other things for the DC to do elsewhere (playgroup, nursery, school, etc). If he enjoys doing other things with your DD, then let him do those things, why are you forcing the issue about reading?!

He's also not the only person in the world to do shift work.

However you now say he will spend Saturday sleeping and Sunday relaxing - if that means no involvement with you and DD then THAT is the problem, not going out to the pub. You're just trying to nail it all on the alcohol I think. Whereas if he does shift work it could well be the change from one shift time to another.

QueenieLovesEels Sat 15-Dec-12 14:50:19

I hear you. He is unreliable and you are not happy.

I personally wouldn't want to live with someone who regularly came home shit faced. There is nothing nice about that.

I don't think I would be able to forgive someone who put their need to drink before the needs of my family. I would always think they were an arse wipe.

I would get out of this relationship. If you want him to put the effort in with your child then go for 50/50 shared care. Then you won't be getting in the way of their relationship and he will have to stop making excuses.

BertieBotts Sat 15-Dec-12 15:19:52

This is starting to sound less like an isolated issue and more that you've really grown apart or found that perhaps you weren't really that compatible to begin with.

If you're not happy, nobody is forcing you to stay. It sounds like you could have a reasonably amicable split and co-parenting relationship, although that's not the ideal situation, it's better than bumbling along miserable for years and years. I hope that you can find some solution which leads to happiness for you both in the end.

Dozer Sat 15-Dec-12 15:34:17

"I wouldn't want to live with someone who frequently went to the pub after work without checking it was OK in advance. Who told me he'd be back at x time but then didn't turn up till hours later. Who drank while he was too ill to pull his weight at home. Who avoided spending time with the children. None of these are traits I'd find acceptable."

I agree with emmaline and am surprised by the posts saying the OP is being unreasonable.

He has history of boozing / spending money that they cannot afford on drink. Has no friends apart from drinking ones. Doesn't seem to do any domestic jobs or meaningful childcare (eg mornings). And after his last boozy night out had a significant stretch of time off work sick - for many employers enough absence to put your job at risk -but continued drinking at home. He doesn't sound a catch.

Dozer Sat 15-Dec-12 15:39:29

"He cries because I can't give him what he needs (more sex more often and affection)."

Not surprising you don't feel like sex in the circumstances!

"he claims he's an alcoholic". If this is the case, given your upbringing etc, why ae you still with him? If it's true and he has a problem, he can get help, or not, but not your job to fix, and just "cutting back" is unlikely to help. If it's untrue and said to manipulate you, that's pretty nasty.

What's wrong with his health? Is he in trouble at work for all this time off sick?

AutumnGlory Sat 15-Dec-12 18:07:58

He didn't take time off from work because he was ill but any time out of work he had, he spent recovering/sleeping/relaxing with the excuse as he was too tired from hard work + the cold. He gets colds a lot even in the summer and He is hard-working in a fields that doesn't reward much, he work hard long hours for peanuts but he won't do anything else or even change employment for better circumstances. He never took one sick day in the 6 or 7 years I know him and I had to fight for him to get his paternity leave. Regarding the dislexya, I know he didn't have a greta education and his parents didn't care much bit of he is dyslexic he doesn't do anything about it a part from moaning. In case you didn't realise English is not my 1st language and I started to learn how to speak English only in 2005 but I still do my best to help my daughter with her homework. And she is year 1 ffs it is so easy. I'm sure he cab find a dictionary on his ipad if he will struggle with an Y1 homework. Re alcoholism, as far as I know he doesn't drink in the mornings or during work so I don't know if he can be classified as alcoholic. He can go few days whitout drinking if he wants to.

AutumnGlory Sat 15-Dec-12 18:18:09

So today I was doing a favour for a friend looking after her child so I left home at 1pm to soft play taking my daughter with me too. He woke up short before I left and made brunch for himself. I come home at 5 to find him in the bedroom with the ipad, that is fine a part from the fact that he didn't do the ONLY thing I asked him to which was hang up the clothes to dry...I said joking: thanks for hanging up the clothes and the reply was could I make him a coffee?? The dishes are still in the sink (few of them are from my breakfast and others from his brunch). My daughter got changed and went into bed with him when we arrived but at 5:45 he was already 'asleep' again while she was watching something on the ipad beside him. That is what I'm talking about. And I tell you, even if he hadn't been to the pub yesterday it would probably be the same shit. He is the one who is usually taking dd swimming on Sundays if not working but he didn't do last two ones as he needed to recover. We already agreed (before I went to soft play) to go out to have a family day tomorrow and I told him not to turn the ipad on at all while dd was awake. I don't know what is gonna happen and I have to let go my anger to not spoil Sunday and Christmas coming up.

Dozer Sat 15-Dec-12 18:18:31

Ah ok, sorry I thought he'd had time off sick. But still unacceptable to laze about all his time off work, especially with colds!

If he is genuinely too exhausted / unwell to spend time with his DC and do normal household chores on a regular basis, he should visit his GP for a check-up. Clearly he saves his energy for his (poorly rewarded) work. But, setting aside the question of his drinking, it sounds like he is lazy/thinks you will do everything (which you seem to do).

Also unacceptable to refuse to think about seeking better employment if it is negatively affecting family life.

People can be alcoholic - or have a problem - and not drink in mornings/every day. How much / how often does he drink that you know about? Maybe you should speak to al-anon?

Dozer Sat 15-Dec-12 18:23:27

Forget the Dd reading homework thing and even the ipad for now, that's the least of your worries.

He should not need to "recover" from boozing/work! pathetic. When is your leisure time? Maybe tomorrow instead of your family day out he should do something nice with DD and you get some time for yourself.

Not a nice living environment for you or DD. My friend's ex was like this (did have a drink problem in bis case). Her son had to hang out in bedrooms or in front of the TV to spend time with his dad.

Dozer Sat 15-Dec-12 18:25:16

Don't let go of your anger, it sounds like it is justified! But maybe leave things til the new year, then seek advice from a counsellor and alcohol organisations (if you suspect a problem there).

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now