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.

Leaving an alcoholic is right, so why can't I do it?

(7 Posts)
ItsMeImHere Mon 27-Jul-15 10:14:31

I don't really know where I am going with this, I don't know what I need from writing here. Maybe justification because I am the feeling guilty type who assumes responsibilty for everything, all the time.

He is an alcoholic, I know that, he knows that and I have had enough, my dd knows it and I want to leave for her and my 1yr ds as much as anything else.
I thought I could cope with his alcoholism, but he drinks from when he wakes to when he sleeps, or from when he finishes work until he can't keep his eyes open. There is no family-ness at all. It's like the children are just there for him to parent when he wants to. He spends all his time in a separate room, drinking and doing whatever he wishes.

I will admit that he works 40hours and pays almost half the bills, and I am just a sahm. We have a joint claim for tc and every penny I get (goes into my account) goes on bills. He always says "take whatever money you need" but thats just it... I don't NEED anymore and struggle to justify wanting to spend £10 on the dc to go out somewhere.

He isn't a complete arse all the time, but I can't communicate with him because there is never the 'good time'. He will say talk to me in the morning when I am sober, but doesn't want to talk straight away, so he does what he wants for a bit (and drinks) and I approach him again he says to talk later. Later he is drunk so he can't handle what I want to say, another day is wasted and the kids are miserable. He says talk in the morning.
The next day he will be working, so its "talk to me after work, I'm trying to get ready" and when he gets home, he starts drinking with "don't hassle me as soon as I get in the door, we'll talk later, work is stressful."

In effect I gave up trying to talk to him at all. Everything I do is wrong, he is the one who "goes to work and pays all the bills" so I don't have a leg to stand on. He is the one who earns his time to relax, I just get to have the happy holiday of caring for the dc, managing what finances we have (he won't even withdraw the money and give it to me, he says he gave me the simple task of getting it out, so when I casually asked him to grab it while out (as I needed to pay the rent) I got an earful because I couldn't do this one simple thing) I do all the cooking and cleaning, make his lunch everyday and get him up for work. Iron his clothes each morning and, stupidly, go to the shop whenever he want beer.

I know I have changed in the way I see him since we got together, I used to be a complete neat freak who loved cleaning. My motivation has gone. I used to love living, laughing and having fun. But my passion has gone. I used to be imaginative with dd adventures and days out, activities indoors etc but even that I can't seem to do anymore.

Anyway, once in a while the things I do wrong obviously niggle at him and then he loses it, gets verbally aggressive, shouty, impatient, he thinks he is the only one who is right and the only one who works hard and I am the devil incarnate.

I love him, I know there are redeeming factors of his, but in my fog of feeling emotionally abused last night, I can't put my finger on any of them. He is at work now, but my day is marred, the dc are irritable and the beginning of the holidays is ruined.

I don't have any family to talk to, and the only friends I have don't understand and just put him down which is not what I need. I need to talk to somwone properly. Someone reasoned, I don't even know why. I guess because I am lonely. I am sorry this is so long. It probably doesn't even make sense.

I just want to leave but he refuses to remember what he says the night before, then acts normal and if I don't submit and act normal too it gets worse, but if I do act normal then I am just waiting til next time.

What a mess sad

Keeptrudging Mon 27-Jul-15 10:31:23

You can't fix this, he's the only one who can. He will continue drinking until he (hopefully) realises he can't and then seeks help. Nothing you do or say will make this happen. Your life sounds hellish and I don't think anyone should have to stay in a position where they are effectively just caring for an adult child whilst having none of their own needs met. You need support for yourself (Al-anon?) and to look at how you can get out of this, for your child's sake as well as yours. Neither of you are benefiting from 'family life' as your partner has opted out. AA can be a great support for an alcoholic who wants to change, but he's the only one who can make that choice.

It's a horrible illness, people can stop drinking and turn their lives around, but you don't have to put your life on hold in the hope that it might happen. I really feel for you, it's a very hard decision to make and awful to watch someone you love do this to themselves, but it's time for you to look after yourself and your daughter. flowers

waitaminutenow Mon 27-Jul-15 10:33:26

It doesn't always have to result in you leaving him. My dad was an alcoholic and my mum never left him. Admittedly I never realised until I was much older. It hasn't effected me at all, in fact im immensely proud of him. I think I was 6/7 when he went into rehab. He has been dry for over 20years now.

Do you think rehab/AA or counselling would be something he would want? It will only work if he wants it though.He had to do I for himself. He'll need to face his demons (as we all do in life) and it makes it easier when you have a supportive partner.

I know you say talking to him is hard but what I would do if possible is sent the children to trusted friend one evening (or possibly for a sleepover) and sit and talk to him when he comes home. Make a nice dinner/get take away.Don't let him back away from you (But don't bully) Get him to open up.

There is also lots of help from AA for wives and families so if you need to talk or discuss your approach they will help massively. I hope you fond an answer/solution soon. It'll be a long journey but worth it hopefully. flowers

ItsMeImHere Mon 27-Jul-15 10:44:38

He did AA before we got together, but drink pulled him back after 3months. I know he could change but he has said he doesn't want to. He works therefore he gets to drink. He tried not drinking through the week, but that ended after a couple of weeks.

I know it doesn't have to end in leaving but he makes me feel so bad. He blames his drinking on me. Moans about the cost of new school shoes and says we are skint, yet never sees that he spends so much on beer. It is around £100 a week that "we" don't really have.

Talking isn't hard, it's nigh on impossible. Because everything is thrown back at me. It becomes all about my failings, the fact that he is a super hero because he goes to work and how badly I treat him. How much I have changed and yet he is the same as always. He says I shouldn't want to change him. I don't want to... I want him to want to change but it's just not going to happen.

He doesn't seem to want to actually live life. He doesn't want to do anything besides game and drink. He has never once washed up, done laundry, looked after the dc alone. He has changed 2 nappies.

I feel like a single parent, alone.

I just feel we are all here to appease his life, to enrich it if he decides he wants that, or to simply serve him. I hate it.

Jan45 Mon 27-Jul-15 12:30:01

Tell him to go and live that kind of life elsewhere, it's not for you, you are putting up with total shit, so what if he works 40 hours a week, most of us do, he clearly spends most of the money he earns on drink, please leave for your sake and your child's, he won't change, he is making that perfectly clear.

Stop taking the blame for his own inadequacies.

Keeptrudging Mon 27-Jul-15 12:42:46

If you weren't there, what would happen? He'd either have to pull his head out of his arse and start being an adult and looking after himself, or he'd hit rock bottom and drink more/lose his job etc. With you there, he's able to pretend to himself that he's functioning because he's holding down a job (so therefore he's not an alcoholic). The fact he's treating you so badly by putting you down/dismissing your feelings would be enough without the drinking for you to want to leave - it's abusive and nobody should have to live like that. He won't talk about it because he doesn't want to. You are essentially a lone parent just now anyway, except you're also putting up with shit treatment. If you left, you could work on looking after yourself and your daughter whilst being able to support from a distance IF he puts in the work and commits to getting (and staying) sober.

OliviaBenson Mon 27-Jul-15 12:49:14

I'm the daughter of an alcoholic op- please leave. My childhood was horrendous. Full of shame, worry and stress. My mum didn't leave. I resent her as much as I have issues with him. It's your job to protect your children- your DHs primary relationship is with alcohol- everything else is secondary to that.

It will be hard but you won't look back with regret.

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