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Planning to split up with my alcoholic partner but filled with doubt and guilt

(209 Posts)
SuperAmoo Wed 23-Oct-13 23:22:05

Hello all, I've been with my partner for 12 years now. And it's only just becoming apparent that he's an alcoholic. He's not a falling down type. He works full time. He only drinks in the evenings. But he drinks every night until he's drunk and then goes to sleep. And he smokes about 4-5 joints a day. I feel like I'm being SO unreasonable splitting up with him. I've been wanting to split up since the day he moved in - but it's taken me 12 years to feel strong enough to split up. But we have a 4 and a 7 year old together. The second I think of them and how much this will damage them, I just feel like, no matter how much I want to split up, no matter how miserable I am, this just isn't bad enough to justify ruining their lives. They're both such sensitve girls - the elder one has a terrible temper and gets angry really easily and the younger one can burst into tears when something even slightly goes wrong. But I don't think that's got anything to do with my relationship because from the outside there is NOTHING wrong. It's just me that's miserable. But I keep it all in. I'm not cross with them. I am pretty happy really. My life is great apart from this problem. I take them all over the place doing lots of stuff and we have lots of friends. They don't see him drunk - he doesn't fall down. He might sway abit but that's it. But I've worked my arse off with my own business for the past 18 months only to discover that he's spent £3K on booze in 6 months and was hiding the credit card statements. Basically my business isn't that successful and he's drunk ALL the profit I worked so hard to earn. I also do 99% of all household chores and childcare. I confronted him yesterday, he said he was sorry but that he was planning to stop on Sunday because that's the day before his new job starts, and he got drunk tonight as usual. Even though I'd told him his behaviour had devastated me and he said he was 'sorry'. Isn't that abit..odd?

Loopytiles Sun 03-Nov-13 17:23:13

Ok, so you've laid out what you think of him. Wow.

Living with a father like that, even if everything else is peachy (which it/you is not) is not stability!

How about your parents? And family? What do you think of them? Important if you're giving their views about your choices and parenting of your DC weight.

"For my parents, it's all about their grandchildren and providing them with a stable homelife. I might not be happy in this situation but it DOES provide the DCs with exactly that - a stable, predictable, happy homelife. My parents want me to put up with the situation for the sake of the DCs".

Your parents themselves failed by giving you a rotten childhood where you also learnt how to be a co-dependent. Does this home really provide them with a happy home life, look at your DDs own behaviours which are characteristic of living with a parent who is an alcoholic. Material things do not in any way make up for the overall miserable existence they are living in now.

His primary relationship is with both alcohol and weed; just because he uses more weed does not mean to say his own dysfunctional relationship with alcohol is any less important. The man has an addictive personality all told and cares only about his own self due to his innate selfishness. Your children will in all likelihood end up with men just like this one.

So really, why the fuck do you think your children have a stable, happy life with this alcoholic, drug abusing, selfish, self pitying, lazy, unpleasant man? Because your wring yourself dry pretending everything is fine? Because they have piano lessons and trampolines?
You are deluded.

Lweji Sun 03-Nov-13 06:14:04

He was a sahd because he wouldn't work due to his "anxiety", but I was the one running around getting DS ready for school and doing things with him at the weekend.
Although he drank he was more or less functional, but, once, I got home with the supermarket delivery man knocking. He had been there for a while, and even after I had rang home repeatedly nobody would answer. DS was asleep and exH was lying on a pool of sick on the sofa. God knows what happened there.
Essentially his presence at home was toxic, in relation to me and to DS.
We are now much happier. I'm much more relaxed now and DS is much more social. He enjoys going places and meeting people.
He realises what a twat and a liar his dad is, although they still have a relationship and he loves his dad.

Even if you think your DC are ok now, I strongly suspect you will notice a difference in them once your toxic STBX is removed.

Lweji Sun 03-Nov-13 06:06:45

This person, because of the drugs, alcohol and his view of himself, is highly toxic for the children.

Your description reminds me of my exH, bar the drugs, although he was on antidepressants and was using increasing quantities of one of them that was addictive. This mixed with alcohol, in secret. I only knew because the bottles got empty very quickly.

He reportedly had social anxiety, but this is like yours. It's all about people looking at him and criticising him, because he's obviously the most important person and everyone will be noticing him.

I had my moment of clarity about who he was when we got a kitten for DS and he started basically torturing the poor animal. He would grab him and block his airways. Twice, the animal had to pee on him for him to let go. I was incensed and I told him that he was basically a bad person at heart and someone I didn't like. To the point that he asked me if I'd divorce him if he continued doing it and I said yes. It was actually just over a year until I left after he became violent, because he was losing his psychological grip on me. Like you I thought it was important to give DS a stable home. I had believed he was mostly ill and that we have to support each other and work at the marriage.
So, it's good that you realise what type of person he is deep down. You need to build on that to be able to let go of him and protect your children.

Do be careful, though, he has all the potential to be violent. Has he ever threatened you or has been violent at all?
Because if you do leave or get rid of him, I do recommend that you do it without him knowing or with people around.

EBearhug Sun 03-Nov-13 03:02:25

stable, predictable, happy homelife

Really? Read back what you've said about your DDs' behaviour.

SuperAmoo Sun 03-Nov-13 00:58:48

For my parents, it's all about their grandchildren and providing them with a stable homelife. I might not be happy in this situation but it DOES provide the DCs with exactly that - a stable, predictable, happy homelife. My parents want me to put up with the situation for the sake of the DCs. As an aside, I'd like to say one and for all, that DP's primary relationship is NOT with alcohol. He smokes more weed than drinks. And in the past has snorted more coke than smoked weed. I have never got the impression that alcohol is his 'first love' at all. DPs primary relationship is with himself. He is king. He comes before everyone else. He sees every action in terms of how it will affect him and what he will get out of it. He is quite profoundly selfish - the extent of his selfishness is only just dawning on me. I alway give people the benefit of the doubt and have done so in this situation. I always thought that there's just no way that his behaviour was down to selfishness, I've always given him other excuses - his abusive upbringing, his health problems, my refusal to have sex with him. When actually he is just a selfish little twat. He is addicted to himself. He is only ever thinking about himself. It results in a sort of paranoid self-consciousness and anxiousness that means he's constantly wondering what you're thinking of him. He refuses to set foot in a swimming pool for this reason, for example. He is constitutionally incapable of putting the children first - they have given up asking him to come swimming with us - such is his terror that someone might 'look at him' because he's not perfect. So of course I've taken the DCs swimming every single time. So his insecurities become my burden because I have to pick up the slack caused by him being too scared, too lazy, too selfish. Too self-obsessed. They love MacDs but he's never taken them - it's always me. Because 'he doesn't want to'. It's seemingly irrelevant that the DCs want him to take them. What's important are his feelings about it. I don't want to go either but I take them, because I'm not a complete bastard.

I feel sad for you OP. It's only going to get worse the more time goes on - that's your reality.

He's clearly deeply depressed - the amount he drinks and the fact he also has to get stoned out of his head every single night is worrying. I can't believe your parents think it's fine - are they heavy drinkers/drug takers too? As others have said before , i would not look to them for help because they are deluded too. Only a spell in Intensive Care in a Coma stopped my relative ftom drinking. That was after spells in rehab etc and losing nearly everything she had. But in the end she realised she was the only one who could save her own life.

You need to stop with the excuses, stop feeling guilty and realise this is not a relationship any more. You need to harden yourself and accept that he is the one who decides his own fate. I wouldn't want my kids getting older and watching their father drinking and smoking joints every night and resenting me for not getting out.
It's up to him to get healthy and rebuild his relationships not you.

Loopytiles Sat 02-Nov-13 16:10:32

"Yesterday I was planning how I'd stay with him but make my life easier and happier - buying him a ready meal 3 times a week that he has to cook for himself, getting him to clean the kitchen 3 times a week. Paying a cleaner to come in once a week to help me."

The best ST solution would be for him to do his fair share of cooking, cleaning and domestics, like decent men do.

Really hope you don't cook him a separate meal. Forget that for a start!

Loopytiles Sat 02-Nov-13 16:06:56

He is not taking care of his health, drinking to excess all the time and smoking weed. He may be lucky, or (more likely) may suffer all kinds of ill health, and expect you to continue to do everything.

Pain killers and booze don't mix well, someone without an alcohol problem would give the booze a break and pop paracetomol and stronger antibiotics.

Agree that your family are not best people to pay heed to.

It makes no sense to buy a house with him. It would not be fulfiflment of your hopes for your own home, because the foundations would be so rocky.

Lweji Sat 02-Nov-13 12:13:59

I wonder how much alcohol is acceptable with these antibiotics.
I don't think this boil should influence your decision at all. He's not bedridden. He's refusing to go to the gp.
Just do what you have to do when it's the right time for you.

Sounds like you're angry. Good.
His logic is fucking pathetic. He won't go back to the doctor to get stronger anti-bios because he's a man? So he'll carry on in pain, inconveniencing you and jeopardising his new job because he's too manly to seek medication that will treat him? Yeah, whatever. He knows full well that you can't drink on stronger anti-bios and he's quite content to martyr himself and continue drinking.

When are you going to reach the point of no return? When are you going to realise his primary relationship is with alcohol?

SuperAmoo Sat 02-Nov-13 01:10:24

Thank you everyone. I have checked, I wouldn't normally go to that level of interference, to be honest because it feels icky to me. But... as it has come up quite a lot on here, I googled his antibiotics because I know that he would have and it says 'it is safe to drink alcohol with flucloxacillin'. So green light to keep fucking me over then. He's refusing to go to the gp to get stronger medication because and I quote 'I'm a bloke, don't you know anything about blokes'. And yet if I question why he's drinking he says, hilariously, 'don't you know how much pain I'm in'. Hahahahahahah This is a brilliant example of how I end up feeling mad everytime I come up against his behaviour really. Because I'm a woman and therefore don't understand 'male' behaviour which is all completely justified and reasonable because it's 'male' and I just wouldn't understand because I'm a woman. I will now get on my feminist soapbox and say I just can't STAND men that do this, that use their sex to justify stupid childish behaviour that invariably let's them off the hook in some way and makes the lives of the women in their worlds more difficult. How did I end up with someone like this. Yuck.

Lemonylemon Fri 01-Nov-13 15:28:14

Coming in late to this thread. OP: I have an alcoholic mum. She was given 6 months to live last year. She's still here. She's only 70. She has completely fucked up her old age. She's physically frail, mentally frail a lot of the time. She was full of self-pity. She is a glass half-empty kind of person. She has divided 3 siblings with her wilful and reckless disregard for anyone but herself. I am still in contact and do a lot for her. But, unfortunately, I find her a burden sometimes. I don't want to, but this is the effect of HER previous behaviour.

I was in a relationship with an alcoholic for a couple of years. It ended up being chaotic. He would collect his daughter from school while he was drunk. He would drive my son to school the next morning while drunk. I didn't realise he was drunk because he'd go downstairs and drink during the night and I didn't know. Once I clicked, changes were made. In the end, I kicked him out. He was like Captain Chaos. Well-meaning, but a bloody nightmare. Not horrible. Not cruel, but just a nightmare. My relationship with my son went from strength to strength once I had done this.

I also have a sister like yours. As welcome as a spoon full of acid in your tea. You need to filter her very unhelpful comments. She is not walking in your shoes. I totally agree with Eirikur's comments above.

Oh yes, you're told not to drink alcohol while taking antibiotics because they negate the effectiveness. Your H is in more pain than he need be because he won't stop drinking.....

stowsettler Fri 01-Nov-13 14:38:39

OP you're in such a shit position, I really feel for you. I have had my own EA relationship with an alcoholic. I escaped because he died. Does that sound terrible? It does, doesnt it? But that's what I was reduced to feeling.
But jeez your sister is a hell of a piece of work! Normalising his drinking, interfering in your finances and feeding you a load of bollocks about antibiotics. Don't believe a word that that one says.

Ask yourself what your family have invested in this marriage continuing. Does your sister need you to buy her house? Does she have an alcoholic or otherwise shit partner and you leaving would shine an uncomfortable light on her relationship?

spudalicious Fri 01-Nov-13 11:35:51

Yes - papering over the cracks was exactly how I felt about it.

I think you've got a lot of clarity already. I tried for ages to FORCE things to work but at the end of that day the problem wasn't mine so I couldn't do anything about it. In fact, everything I did to shore up the relationship and our family life just worked to embed the problem and enable it to continue (and worsen). It took me a long time to accept that there was nothing I could do to be truly happy until I was no longer in that relationship.

You know, I don't want to sound smug and blasé but things are SO much better now. Simple stuff too. My DD is having one of her best friends over for a sleepover tonight. I could NEVER have arranged that before.

LisaMed Fri 01-Nov-13 11:31:18

My understanding is that alcohol in the bloodstream actively interferes with the action of some antibiotics - it works against the antibiotics working iyswim.

NHS guide here In this household we usually get prescribed erythromycin and alcohol stops that working properly. Your husband's antibiotics may not be affected. However that is why it is recommended not to drink and take antibiotics.

Are the painkillers safe to take with alcohol? Not all are. Do you think he would skip the painkillers in order to have a drink?

SuperAmoo Fri 01-Nov-13 11:22:47

That's kind of the what I'm thinking - he said that his new job would be a new beginning and fair enought he couldn't have know he's be in so much pain and so miserable with a health problem. But I suspect that they'll always be a reason to drink. And you're right. We've been throught SO much shit over the past twelve years, financial problems, housing problems, me getting really ill for 3 years, mental health problems. It felt like the end was in sight and to have to let go of that idea, is really painful. And I'm tired too. I just dont' want to have to struggle any more. Yesterday I was planning how I'd stay with him but make my life easier and happier - buying him a ready meal 3 times a week that he has to cook for himself, getting him to clean the kitchen 3 times a week. Paying a cleaner to come in once a week to help me. I was even going to get myself some nooky from somewhere so I don't have to be so godamn lonely anymore. But this morning, on discovering a load of beer bottles in the recycling bin (the bin that I have to empty every fucking time smile ) I just see I'm papering over the cracks. This has GOT to stop. He would risk EVERYTHING to have another drink. No matter how much pain I was in, I don't think I'd risk it all in that way. Though I am sympathetic as I have my own problems with addiction.

spudalicious Fri 01-Nov-13 11:04:15

I really would disregard what your family has to say on the matter. They aren't living your relationship. They don't know your day-to-day existence as you do.

I do know what you mean about feeling like you've reached a point where you should be able to be happy. When I left my ex it was (from the outside) probably the most stable I'd been in my adult life. I'd recovered from cancer and the mental aftermath of having it in my early 30s, he'd just got his first stable job in years, my DD was settled in school, we had a nice house and an income we could easily manage on. I think maybe it was because there was finally no other trauma to focus on that I could really see how the rest of my life was starting to pan out. Then I started to emotionally detach from him and his EA got worse until we reached a real crisis point.

As for being ill so he's drinking. Well yes. That's the reason today. Wonder what it will be next week. And the week after. And the month after. Then next year. There'll always be something.

SuperAmoo Fri 01-Nov-13 10:55:41

I said that to my sister and she said, though maybe she's wrong, that the reason they say don't drink with antibiotics is because you might forget to tak them if you're drunk/hungover and also if you drink too much and you're sick, then you'll miss a dose. So in this case I can't say look what an idiot he's being, because drinking 4 bottles of beer doesn't make any difference to the antibiotics. It's more the principle that's wrong.

LisaMed Fri 01-Nov-13 10:09:23

Alcohol interfere with how many antibiotics work. His drinking will probably prolong the pain.

SuperAmoo Fri 01-Nov-13 10:08:46

I like 'choose your hard' by the way, that does help me to see that I can't make a wrong decision in some ways because both the choices are shit. So I should go with my gut. And my gut does say run away quick.

SuperAmoo Fri 01-Nov-13 09:42:40

Thank you everyone. I'm really really struggling. I feel like I'm going totally mad. I've got 5 members of my family telling me 'don't be a fool, don't throw everything away'. Because me and DP have been working our arses off for 8 long years to get to this point where we can buy the house. We've finally reached the point where we can buy it from my sister and now I'm going to throw it all away and take 50 steps back, financially, and live in a flat again. I know it's just a material thing, I know I must sound pathetic but I've been SO looking forward to this moment and now it's just fucking crumbling in my hands. I know I'm sounding deluded and defensive and all those things. I just don't want this to be happening to me. I don't want to be wallowing in self pity and saying poor me but I HAVE had such a tough life so far and just as I thought it was going to get better, it's getting worse again and I just can't bear it. I know I shouldn't justify his behaviour but that's why I do it. I just want something nice to happen to me. He drank again lastnight - I've been doing 100% of everything this week because he has an infected cyst on his face and is on antibiotics and painkillers and is in alot of pain and is feeling ill. He is going to work but then he's feeling exhausted when he comes home. So even though I've found it hard not to be resentful, given the circumstancs, I've tried to be kind and help him. So yesterday I ran round like a blue-arsed fly taking DCs to parties, to trick/treating, doing all the household stuff, getting my orders to the post office, etc etc. Then this morning I discover that while I was doing that he was drinking. Now 50% of my brain says that is revolting behaviour, and a perfect example of what you're all talking about. Then the other 50% of my brain says, he's in agony (because the painkillers aren't working) and of course he's going to resort to drinking, because he's in so much pain. So which is it? I feel so mad. I just don't know anymore.

spudalicious Wed 30-Oct-13 21:47:15

Than doing a hard thing that feels all wrong.

Gah - bloody phone - pressed go too soon.

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