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.
What to do when there is a family rift?(15 Posts)
DH and I have been rocky for a long time. He is a functional alcoholic, lost his licence last year but now has it back - morning after the night before. Is still drinking but reduced but still hiding beer etc. Ds has recently come out, and for the first time, felt a small amount of happiness. His relationship has now ended but in the throws of first love, he announced that he was engaged via facebook. DH still struggling to accept this and it wasn't helped by his sisters saying that its just a phase etc. Anyho, tonight it has come to ahead, SIL attended a wedding yesterday, she was asked about DS (17) and being 'engaged' by other guests. She didn't know what to say and felt embrassed which I can understand. However, she rung up tonight and say that she needs to be kept fully informed of things, which lead to other things and she told me that I put my job before the DCs and always had done - I have worked full time because we needed the money, partly due to DHs drinking, partly because I love what I do. I would have reduced my hours if we could have afforded it.
I have high anxiety, mainly about DHs health because of the last 12 months, I am waiting for counselling in a couple of weeks and wondering if DH will support me through this. Doctor has wanted to sign me off and put me on ADs. Said no to both because going to work is the only thing getting me outside the front door and tbh I don't want pills in the house as Im too low to be trusted with them.
I love DH for all his faults but I just cant do this anymore. Apparently 3 other SILs also want 'a word' with me! I'm going to ring in tomorrow and take a day off but I dont know whether or not to take DD (14) out of school and go to my Dads for a couple of days.
I get nothing from this relationship, no support, no worries shared etc. He helps with housework but only small bits and only when asked. He doesnt take any financial responsibilty. Feel like the last 20 yrs are just a lie, i feel used and abused. I read about all the awesome women on these threads and wonder how they do it. Where do they have the strength from, the courage and why cant I?
I'm afraid an alcoholic is only capable of loving his booze. It's basically unreasonable to expect him to care more about you or your children than about his drink. Addictions also tend to arrest emotional development around the point where they began to take hold. This goes some way to explaining why addicts are generally shite at dealing with grown-up complications.
You're married to someone who's married to alcohol. His family are self-centred twats. You are the competent member of this family. I'm sure you are used and abused. I'm sure, too, that you'd find life somewhat easier to manage without him and his whingeing relations round your neck.
It's probably a good idea to take your DD away for a few days. What's your father's opinion of the way things are? If he believes women are supposed to sacrifice themselves for their men, then perhaps a nice little B&B by the sea would be a better option.
Do take the opportunity to talk with DD about it all, too. She might surprise you one way or another.
I may have got this wrong but it SIL your DHs sister?
If so, are they aware he is an alcoholic? Im baffled why they would look at a couple where one is working full time and one is an alcoholic and decide its your behaviour that is the issue! Honestly Id start by telling them to fuck right off, you need support not a lecture.
Rather than taking your DD out of school could you ask your DH to leave for a few days to give you all some breathing space?
Also, you are one of those awesome women. You have children, hold down a full time job, do all housework and financial and support someone with dependency issues.
You sound pretty damn fabulous!
Right now you need support and if a few days away will help, then just do it.
You aren't responsible for your SIL embarrassment and you aren't responsible for pre-emptively avoiding it either. You're SIL is a twat and personally I'd ignore her because quite frankly, it isn't your job to keep her informed about anything and although she's entitled to her twatish opinions, you aren't obligated to give a flying f*ck about them.
Thank you for your replies. My dad is fantastic but he is in his 70's and shouldn't have to worry about me.
DH works full time too, longer hours than me but thats only because I've got a good employer. I'm taking today off and going to send DD into school for some time. Dh is off today but that was because I was upset and went out in the car last night, he didn't know if I was coming home to sort DD this morning, have to admit that at one stage I wasn't but that was more to dark thoughts. SIL works in DDs school, at lunchtimes so I'm wondering if she will call in here afterwards to have another word! I can be out or Im just going to stay quiet, agree with everything she says and then tell her that the mature thing to do is to not get involved in other peoples relationships. DH is 51 ffs!
Do not stay quiet and agree. You have no need too!
Your DS announced he was engaged and it emded quickly, thats a bit immature. Teenage behaviour. But he is a bloody tennager! If SIL wants to keep up with his life she should make the effort to do that, you do not have to be following her round keeping her updated.
You sound so very down and the last thing you need is more greif if people. You do not even need to be rude, tell her your famiky and relationships are none of her concern and if she does have any she can discuss them with your DH.
Honestly your depression sounds worrying, we all go through the dark times but its still not normal. Can you identify whats making you feel so bad and anxious?
I would avoid all his family.
You say you cannot do this anymore so that should be good enough reason for you to divorce him. His primary relationship is with drink and has been for many years. Of course you feel used and abused; this is because you are and have been by him. It will stay the same as long as you and he are still together.
What do you get out of this relationship now?. Your H has basically dragged you down with him.
Is your GP aware that your DH is an alcoholic?. Have you ever considered divorcing your DH?. I think that all he has put his family through is the root cause of your depressed state and ongoing anxiety. You are likely to be co-dependent in this relationship as well, that is probably also why you have stayed to date.
I think also that talking to Al-anon would be of great benefit to you. You have lived with this for so long that this half existence has become your norm.
What do you think your children have and are learning about relationships here?.
Thank you again, my head knows what to do and what the sensible options are but convincing my heart is another matter. DD is in school, suitcase is packed with a few days in there, Dad is getting the rooms ready so just have to wait till I can collect DD. Dreading if SIL turns up but tbh I dont think she will have the bottle to face me, easier to do it down a phone isn't it.
DH is sitting in the other room, blank look on his face, not saying anything. I'm going to try to do some housework to keep myself busy. Was thinking about getting DD at lunchtime instead but I dont know if the school will let her out.
Sorry to sound harsh but why is it you and DD leaving when that means her missing school?
Would it not be easier for you all to ask your DH to leave for a few days and simply ignore all his family for a while?
I'm furious for you. 3 other Sil's also want a word with you. I'd be telling your Dh to deal with them all. Ffs! While your at it, tell them to fottfsofatfosm. No, I'm only joking, but it feels good to think of saying this.
You are amazing. Only own your own behaviour. It's not up to you to fix other adults.
I've asked DH to leave, even offered to sort out his rent etc but he refuses. He could easily stay with SIL as her DCs have now moved out and she has spare bedrooms, she is struggling for money so would even appreciate the extra money, I suspect that he has asked a few months back and she probably said No, she didnt want to get involved - shame she couldn't have stuck to that.
How do you feel about your marriage? Would you want to seperate? After so long you obviously love him and as a pp said there is probably some degree of co-deoendancy but I cant help but think if you got rid of him your anxiety and depression would start to lift.
It cant be easy for your children living with an alcholic and seeing this as their role model for relationships either
I want my marriage to work, I want him to turn around and say that he will step upto the mark, but I know he won't. Its almost like if there is a glimmer of hope, then I will fight for it, its just that I need to realise that there is no hope, there can't be if he is happy to see his child uprooted rather than to stay with his sister for a couple of days instead.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.