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SUPPORT THREAD FOR PARTNERS OF ADDICTS - PART 2

(985 Posts)
ginnny Fri 08-May-09 11:36:12

I thought I'd start us a new thread since the old one was going strong for over a year and I know a lot of people find it helpful.
DP did go on a bender Monday and Tuesday, which although I wasn't happy about, I understood why. He is lost and can't cope with the grief of losing his Mum.
Since then though he's been great, so once the funeral is over I'm hoping we can put it behind us and get back to normal.
I've suggested bereavement counselling, but he's not convinced.

Hi ginnny

Think you've also had a hard time recently.

His mum's passing is too raw and too recent but he may want to look at bereavement counselling at some point. You need to realise as well that not everyone who is left behind goes on a two day bender and to your credit I think you do realise that. He won't really find solace in a bottle will he?. You realise that too. I wonder also why he is not convinced as to the value of bereavement counselling.

You are wise to continue keeping your distance both physically and emotionally - they will always find some reason to go back to the alcohol. This time it was his Mother's passing.

Anyway what is exactly "normal" for him?.
Concentrate primarily on your own self and your children. They need you more than this man does.

With best wishes

Attila x

Ready4anotherDecaffcoffee Sat 09-May-09 00:09:33

Hi all, how is everyone?

Welcome newbies, pleased you can join us, I'm sure I'm not the only one who's sanity has been saved by this thread.

Sorry to hear about your dp losing his mother Ginny, It's very sad that he used it as an excuse for a bender though. Do you suppose that he is unconvinced about bereavement counselling because he knows other issues, like his drinnking will come to the fore, and he will have to face up to them rather than just pay lip service?

Here, the predictable has finally happened. Dh lost his job due to a drink related reason. I was fuming, and gave him such a bollocking, because he took a risk. it all could have been avoided, if he'd not drunk so much the night before. I mean, he's old enough and wise enough, or should have been.
Anyroad, since then, he's actually chilled out a little, and isn't, atm, drinking as much. He's not drinking anything in front of me, except the odd, can, but while I know he's secretl;y drinking, it's not as much, iykwim. I guess we will see.
However, the other big change is that last Sun, 3 days after losing his job, he came to church with me for the 1st timeshockshockshock from he's behaviour, and what he said, I think he's had an epithany, but again, the degree, and duration, well, you all know the score, i can't get my hopes up.

Snowie, re your comment on the 6th April, I could have had all you lovely ladies there holding my hands, and I'd still have been shaking as I made that report. Would have loved to have had the extra moral support, the coppers were lovely, but not the same as a hug from a supportive friend. All is quiet on that front too, fingers crossed life here stays plesant like it is now.

Lovely to hear from you Princess, don't stay away. I think we all have to reach our rock bottoms too, before we put our feet down and say that actually, this situation is not ok.

Sorry, I don't mean to write an essay, I'm off to a nice steamy fug in the bath now.

Stay strong everyone xx

SouthMum Sat 09-May-09 17:13:20

Hi I'm a newbie and actually came on to Mumsnet to see if there were any chat threads specifically about people who had partners who are addicts.

I just want to know if I am being unreasonable. I have been with my guy for abut 9 years and in this time he has not had a single night off the beer. Not one.

It bothered me but I didn't say anything, as he doesn't get steaming drunk, however I have seen it progress from 3 - 4 cans a night to 6 sometimes more EVERY NIGHT.

I only started having a bit of a dig about it when I got pregnant - I wanted him to be under the drink drive limit if I had to go to hospital, his reply was "its ok my Dad can take us". I hit the roof as I was so upset he still wanted to drink rather than make sure that myself and his baby were safe.

Then the time got nearer, we had a big row about it and he cut down to about 3 cans a night - still over the limit but I was so fed up of begging him and buying lemonade for him to make shandies that he never used, I just prayed that it would be in the daytime when I had to go to hospital. (it was in the end but I was sent home - believe it or not he had a can at home while I was in labour to 'calm HIS nerves'!)

Back home he went up to his 6 cans a night again. I let it go for a couple of weeks as I saw it as an extended celebration and I didn't want to nag him. After I had a pop about it again he cut down but now he he is back up again to 4 / 5 a night, 7 days a week.

I firmly believe he is an alchoholic - not in the slumped in doorway sense but he can't go without it. The first thing he does when he comes in from work, before he takes his coat off is get a can. He takes it to the toilet with him and upstairs when he has a shower.

Does anyone else have or has faced this situation? I'm not asking him to stop altogether, just for him to not have so much EVERY night and start having shandies instead.

Sorry its a long one but I have reached the stage where soon I will make him choose between me / baby or the booze. I don't want our child to grow up thinking its acceptable to drink every single bloody night.

SouthMum

No you are not being at all unreasonable.
I think though that if you gave him a choice between you and the beer he would ultimately choose the beer over you. You and the baby are not at the top of his list of priorities. He is also having a relationship with alcohol.

How long though have you actually known about his drink problem?. Did you also think he would change for the better when you brought a child into being?.

Does he think he has a drink problem or is he (like many alcoholics) in denial of the situation?. Does he also underestimate how much he drinks or how much he consumes in any given week?.

How many of your family and friends know of his drink problem?. Not many I would dare say. Does he work currently?. Alcoholism as well thrives on secrecy and shame. You badly need support for your own self and Al-anon could be helpful to you.

You need to consider your role here in this as well. You are carrying him and his burden as well as yourself and your child. Enabling someone by buying them lemonade to make shandies is not helping him - or you for that matter.

You have a choice - your child has no say.
Your child won't ultimately thank you for staying with their drunk Dad if you choose to. They will see it all and your reactions to him. You won't be able to hide the realities of his alcoholism.

You need to remember the 3cs re alcoholism:-

You did not cause it
You cannot cure it
You cannot control it

So the choice is yours ultimately - stay or leave him as soon as humanely possible. You need legal advice too. There are no guarantees here; you could both leave and he could still carry on drinking. You are ultimately not responsible for this man, only yourself and your child.

Al-anon's website:-

www.al-anonuk.org.uk

SouthMum Sat 09-May-09 18:03:08

Hi Attila

I knew he liked a couple of cans - we were pretty young when we started seeing each other so I put it down to normal young laddish behaviour and thought he would mature out of it. And yes I did think that when baby came along he would see that his drinking is just not on anymore and he has to grow up but I think its more than that now.

When I have brought the subject up he does get really defensive and will say he only has a couple of cans when its more like 5. He does work full time and says he just does it to unwind, but I would imagine if he didn't have a beer to nurse at the end of his day he would be quite irritable - but there again I can't say as this has never happened, he has always had his cans.

I know deep down he is alcohol dependant but by buying him lemonade to mix I hoped he might be able to cut down and still enjoy the odd beer or two, but I suppose he has taken it beyond that stage now...

I also wonder if it can run in the family as I do know a very close relative of his was an alcoholic.

TBH I know its not just about me anymore, its about my child which is why I have reached the "us or booze stage". I haven't said anything recently but I have bottled it all up, mainly as I wanted to see from people who are non-biased (have only spoken to my mum and best friend about this) if I was being too 'naggy' about the situation.

Thanks for the link aswell, I'll have a look at the advice on there...

Such a shame - all I asked him to do is just cut down as I wouldn't mind if he drank a 'normal' amount. Instead he has taken the piss out of me

Ready4anotherDecaffCoffee Sat 09-May-09 22:28:21

South mum, you are describing my dh's addiction to a T. Doesn't consider himself to be an alcoholic as he isn't on a park bench cluching a bottle of cheap cider, but the dependancy is there all the same.

Whatever you say or do you cannot control it. they will choose beer over us. today, on the way to meet friends at a local 'rock in the park' event dh insisted we stopped at the coop with out saying why. no need. on the way home later I found the empty vodka bottle in the car.

Alcohol is the reason why I do all the friving. it is why he lost his job. it is why his licence is now at risk, depending on urine test results. it is why i have a box file with all essential paperwork ready to grab.

I know it's been posted before but here is the link on detachment again, it's about time I re-read it, it is useful.

Well, that's my rant over. Almost. he's gone in the bath so I've no chance of washing the woodsmoke from earlier out of my hair, he'll be in there for the next 5 hoursangry GRRRRR

ginnny Sun 10-May-09 00:36:49

Hi All.
Attilla - everything you say is true. It isn't normal to go on a 2 day bender. I certainly didn't do that when my dad died, but I knew it would happen and when it did. I coped by switching off and getting on with my own life, and he knows now to stay the hell away from us when he is on one. The dc don't raise an eyebrow as he often works long hours, so they assumed he was working and staying at his own place.
You are spot on about bereavement counselling. He knows full well that if he goes for counsellng they will uncover a lot of things he wants to avoid. He can't fool them like he fools himself and thinks he fools everyone around him. I can't force him to go though any more than I can force him to stop drinking.
The funeral is Wednesday and I'm dreading it. He will get drunk, as will the rest of his family. My job will be to look after his dd and get her out of there before he gets too bad sad. I will get him home and into bed and then the detachment kicks in until he is sober enough to see us again. I'm predicting another bender afterwards.
Hi Southmum - the hardest thing to face when you are with an alcoholic is that they will put the drink above their own flesh and blood. It seems worse somehow than them putting it before us as the dc are so precious it is inconceivable that anything could come between you and your child. I really do agree with Attilla, you won't be doing your baby any favours by putting up with his drinking. I grew up with an alcoholic father and it has screwed me up big time. Most children of alcoholics either end up alcoholics themselves or in relationships with an alcoholic. Keep posting on here, it does help to know that you are not the only one in this situation and we are all ready to listen and offer moral support.
Ready4another coffee - blimey 5 hours in the bath shock he must be like a prune when he gets out!!!! Sorry to hear he lost his job, but glad that he has calmed down for the moment. It must have taken so much strength for you to report him to the police and I really admire you for that. Thanks for the link on detachment - I like to read that when I feel like things are getting too much, it really is the best way to deal with them.
Hope everyone else manages to find this thread and that you are all having a good weekend.

Ready4anotherdecaffCoffee Sun 10-May-09 01:01:59

Ginny, it is the most reliable way of getting him to crash out when drunk. once drunk, you know what they're like, an atom bomb won't wake him. Prune? lol, extra wrinkly raisen more likegrin

It wasn't strength that got him reported. that night it was desperationsad. and the questions on the formsad
has he ever forced you to do sexual things? has he ever physically hit/slapped blah blah? has he ever threatened or hurt you with a weapon? checking it through and correcting threatened to actuallysad

sadsadsad
angryangryangry

One day, i'll have the strength to re-read all my posts, and acknowledge how my life is changing. the counsellor i've been seeing has a mantra that you can only change your behaviour, and often opthers around you will alter theirs in response. sound advice. I was in the process of being signed off as having dealt with the worst of the pnd too. i'll just have to see how the next couple of weeks go.

Anyway, you concentrate on looking after your dc. they need you. he doesn't, just leave him to rot in his own alcoholic juices. Have a good weekend

wishing a peaceful weekend to everyone xx

ginnny Sun 10-May-09 01:15:59

R4AC - is he still in there grin?
Maybe I should encourage DP to have long baths too!!
That is sound advice from your counsellor. My attitude now is that me and the dc come first and if he's around then good, if he's not then its his loss. We get along fine without him and whenever he mentions that us 3 seem like the family unit and he feels like the outsider I tell him he only has himself to blame for that.
Anyway, I can't believe I'm up so late. I'll regret it in the morning so I must go to bed. Take care.

LOL Ginny, he hauled out about half an hour. I'm just letting him zonk out otherwise he'll start pawing me, even though the body isn't willinghmm

Only really works if you have a separate toilet. I see angry every time I go for a wee, and he's snoring.

Take it easy in the morning, I think we'll both be suffering. Thank goodness it's sunday so I should get half an hour of peace while ds and dd1 are at junior churchgrin xx

SouthMum Sun 10-May-09 08:43:32

Hi Ginny / Decaf

Thanks for the posts, it will definitely help to keep posting on here. Already I feel a bit more confident about having 'the discussion' with him again as I know I am not being unreasonable now.

The other issue with him is even though he doesn't get drunk, he always smells of beer - you know that sweet beer breath smell that you normally get after a really heavy night out.....again to me thats just not normal to smell like that all the b*stard time!

Will keep you updated x

SouthMum

If he does not listen to any future "discussion" you have what will you do then?. You cannot change him but you can change how you react to him.

There is also no indication that he actually wants to address his alcohol problem along with the underlying factors for all this starting (there are always reasons why and in some cases alcoholism is learnt behaviour like fellow heavy drinking family members). He being defensive and also underestimating how much he is actually drinking are huge red flags re his alcohol problem. He's likely had this problem for years and before you met.

You do certainly need support for your own self and this is where Al-anon come in. They can help you and won't judge. I would urge you to contact them for your own self.

BTW what were your Mum's and best friend's reactions when you told them of his drinking problem?

ginnny Sun 10-May-09 14:02:00

South - YUK I hate the beer breath, especially the morning after when its stale. Its enough to make me retch!
Keep in your mind that you are NOT being unreasonable, his drinking is NOT normal.
Ready - God the pawing! Its awful isn't it. I remember it well. Living apart really has its advantages - I definitely recommend it.
My little darlings let me lie in till 10.00 this morning. They were doing puzzles in their room when they woke up at 9 so I just nodded off for another hour.
Feel good today. Don't know where DP is, but his phone is off so I can guess. So dc and I are going to do the gardening then I'll do them a roast dinner.
Peace and quiet - bliss!!!

SouthMum Sun 10-May-09 14:46:54

Attila, I think his problem has just been a progression from being a young lad enjoying a few pints, which I had nothing against to its now just a routine which has gone largely unquestioned. And I do know his brother was an alcoholic and his dad always has beer in his house so its normal to him. My dad abused alcohol but my mum managed to get him to change so I grew up in a house where alcohol was for special occasions or the odd tipple at weekend so we grew up with diff. attitudes to it.

WRT the discussion - in the past I have asked him in a number of ways to change (angrily, getting upset, begging) and he just humours me, cuts down for a few nights then creeps back up to 4 - 6 cans again. I understand now its not about me anymore but our child, who means more to me than anything. If our child drinks 6 cans every night when grows up it would break my heart as its not healthy for one thing.

If he still carries on then I guess I will have to make a choice as it will be clear he has made his. We'll be better alone than watching him turn into a full blown drunkard - he can be quite aggressive and nasty at times so I wouldn't risk being around him at that stage.

SouthMum,

He may well have been a young lad who became physically dependent by degrees over the years but there were warning signs apparant even back then within his family unit in his brother and dad. Alcoholism can run in families and it can also be learnt behaviour.

Your H may well go on to humour you again by saying all the right things to you again but doing nothing ultimately. A big problem here is that he is showing no will whatsoever to want to change for his own self. He is likely to be in denial too hence his defensiveness. If you have a further "discussion" you need to bear in mind there could be no change again because nothing has really changed since the last time. You're still there propping him up.

It is your call ultimately; he may well have made his choice already. He is having a relationship with alcohol; you and your child are not at the top of his priorities.

There are no guarantees here; he may hit his rock bottom and lose everything and still carry on drinking.

You must remember as well though that you are not responsible for him. That is vitally important.

SouthMum Sun 10-May-09 15:45:03

Hi Attila, its only very recently that I have realised that. Until now I thought I was just being an unreasonble nagging cow as he doesn't get steaming drunk. I now know that he doesn't have to be a drunk to have a drink problem.

I did used to feel it was my fault - am I so boring that he has to have his cans? Am I so ugly that he needs them to sleep with me? Is his life so crap that he has to drink? I know now he is the one with the problem.

Thanks for all the moral support, I am so relieved I am not being unreasonable or going insane - I think thats what has given me the courage to face this again x

whatdoyouallthink Sun 10-May-09 16:12:02

Hello everyone, another new one here. Southmum I could have wrote your post myself.

My h drinks beer all the time. It seems constant. Over the last few years he has dramatically increased his alcohol intake. He works shift so would have 4/5 cans when he got home from work, sleep and then have more to drink in the evening. When I asked him to cut down he says its not a problem but he can never cut down. I begged him to prove that he can go one day without it and he cant. Every day he would buy the 6 for a £5 lagers and drink them all in one evening or would buy 2/3 of the large bottles of strong lager and often go back out to get a couple more.

If we went out for dinner at famliy members he would make me stop on the way home at the offie so he could get more beer to drink on the way instead of just waiting to get home. He has even drunk cans of beer while driving. A few weekends ago he had a can of beer at 9am on a Sunday morning as he needed a 'livener'-his words. He doesnt see he has a problem as his not at the vodka bottle all day every day. He constantly smells of beer too and many parents at dc school have commented on this.

Sometimes he seems to acknowledge there is a problem but then doesnt act on it. We are currently seperated as he had an affair but I dont think the drinking like this is helping things. I wish he would wake up and realise drinking isnt the answer to everything but I know he has to have that moment himself. He never used to drink like this he used to be able to go without.

Sorry its long and rambling its just I read this thread and can see so much of him here in your posts. I have always been made to think I was being unreasonable about it as he would say every man has a few beers. He would go out and come back and constantly lie about how much he had to drink to the point of whatever he told me we used to joke that I needed to add 1/2 on top of it. But I got pretty good of being able to judge from the smell of him.

whatdoyouallthink

Your post goes also to show that alcoholism affects all around them, not just the drinker.

I note your post is mainly about him though but your feelings and opinions certainly matter. Perhaps you've been made to feel for so long that you've been "unreasonable" that you don't think about your opinion. Are you thinking of divorcing him now?. The affair (does his OW know of his drinking problem or is she also an alcoholic like him?) on top of his drinking problem is a formidable combination which is one you may ultimately have to walk away from to save your own self and that of your children.

You are not responsible for him. You are only responsible for your own self and your kids. He is a grown man and can make choices. You cannot rescue someone who does not want to be saved.

How old are your children; they are likely to be affected by all this as well no matter how much you try and shield all this from them (which you cannot fully do). You have a choice really re him - your children have no say.

whatdoyouallthink Sun 10-May-09 17:44:40

I have started divorce proceedings yes. The ow does know of his drinking, I spoke to her and she said that he drinks 'a lot' and drives after drinking 'a lot' too. She is the barmaid at his regular haunt.

I think I have been made to think that I am unreasonable for so long that I only borderline think there is a problem. I have asked friends opinions on this and regularly ask 'this isnt right, is it?' I think because he has told me for so long that all men have a few beers and all men lie to their dw's about how much they have had to drink.

The wake up point for me was the day that he had a can of lager at 9am in the morning. I thought it was shocking behaviour and he just laughed it off as nothing. When I try to say its a problem he just laughs it off, other times he has said there is a problem with the drinking but not done anything about it.

My dc are 8,4 and 6 months old. I have mentioned the drinking to solicitor and he has had a letter saying he isnt to drink while he has them in his care. I dont think he is going to adhere to that though, I know that yesterday when he had eldest two dc he had a few beers in the pub.

WDYAT, I could have written your post when I first joined your thread. These days I can still write it, except I no longer try to analyse why etc, just leave him to it iygwim. I think re the contact you will have to instist on supervised in a contact centre, i don't know about yours, but i don't trust mine with my dcs once he's had a drink

the other thing you guys probably know is they will say whatever they think will gert you off their back. really though, you can't trust them to keep their word about anything.

and OMG the beery smell <boak>
these days his poison of choice seems to be a couple of tins and a 20cl bottle vodka, the vodka swigged in secret from the bottle neat <double boak>. the smell on his breath is different, but still alcoholy.

Today we've had a lovely day. He wasn't able to keep his promise of coming to church today because he had a hangover sniffle. he joined us for a lunch church had put on and invited him and us to last week, then he decided to go get more vodka on a bike ride. The dc's and us went and had a lovely time at the dragon bost racing instead. yes I felt bad when ds said he was sad because daddy hadn't come, but in all honesty we had a better time as we'd have been in and out of the beer tent.

hope everyone [inc lurkerssmile] are ok xx

mutebutton Mon 11-May-09 08:40:47

Ready's message to lurkers prompted to me finally come onto this thread. I've been reading others posts for months now and seeing the posts from South Mum and others - well they could have been written by me.

Same issue - DH is not a rolling about drunk type but a regular, daily drinker. I think the last time he had an alcohol free day was 4 years ago when he had to go into hospital overnight. He has the same habits you've all described - ie drink as soon as in from work, a few more throughout the evening etc. It worsens when he is stressed, which he is at the moment and over the course of the weekend he's put away a 70 cl bottle of whisky. All very civilised to the casual observer - sitting there with a whisky in a nice crystal glass, but I just know he takes far too much of it.

I think his drinking shows in his face - he's developing that bloated red face look at times. I've told him all of this and we had another extremely painful discussion about it last night.

Like 'whatdoyouallthink' he does sometimes acknowledge he drinks too much but then does absoultely bugger all about it (apart from try to hide it from me which is even worse).

On the '3 Cs' - that's all very well but they just tell me what I can't do. What are the options? We have one DC who would be devasted if we split and to be honest that isn't what I want either - I want us to stay together but for him to have changed these behaviours. My other major worry is that if we did split he would go into a total downward spiral.

I also recognise a lot of the family background patterns - my family are very moderate drinkers whereas there is much more of an 'alcohol culture' in his and tbh I think they might not think there was a problem here.

What on earth can I do? At the moment, my plan is to sit this out for another 5 years and by then my DD will be older and it might be easier to move on.

Sorry this is so long. Please don't lecture me as I don't think I can take it. No one else knows any of this - our family live miles away and while I have loads of acquaintacies I have no close friends I can talk to.

SouthMum Mon 11-May-09 09:30:03

Funnny isn't it how for all this time I have been thinking that I was the only one who thought that drinking every single day is not normal and I thought on the off chance I would post something on here - fully expecting everyone to tell me to bog off and get a life!

My bloke has also developed that weird bloaty face but his is more of a green pallor than red and he does look ill all the time.

Anyway, I did bring it up again last night, he started off with the nodding of the head and "yes ok I will cut down, no big deal" but I knew he was just paying lip service. Told him that he came the closest he will ever get today to losing me and the baby without us actually going. He started getting angry and his usual aggressive manner when we argue about it but I just very calmly said I wasn't going to argue, thats my stance and he can take it or leave it. Also said if he does it again then he will be coming home to an empty house - no warning - and I will just be in touch to arrange for him to get his stuff and p off as I am not having him drag our baby down with him.

Even as I was saying this I thought "oh my god this isn't me talking!" as I am usually fairly placid and just accept things and he knows that too so he was a bit shocked.

Anyway he went out and bought 3 cans rather than his usual 6 for a £5er and asked if I minded that he had the three as he is off work today. He said he will just have one or two to unwind when he is working hmm

So still not off it completely but I didn't want that anyway - just wanted him to be able to stop at one or two.

We'll see anyway - this normally keeps up for about a week then he creeps back up - however I did say in no uncertain terms that if he does that again then we are finished as he will just prove to me that I and his baby mean nothing to him.

Sorry again for the long post but I have woken up this morning feeling a bit more positive about things, just hope he doesn't mess it up again although looking at other posters who have gone through same thing it does look very likely

HUGS to everyone xxx

whatdoyouallthink Mon 11-May-09 09:32:17

I dont trust him with dc3 who is only 6 months old. He had them the other day for me and put her in bed with the older two dc but it was ok as she 'was in the middle' hmm. I dont trust the drink driving either with my dc in the car, not thats its ok when they are not with him. He had contact with dc yesterday and when he dropped them home said he hadnt had a drink all day.

mutebutton, my h is getting the red face too from drinking. He thinks I am going round telling people have told him I dont have to as it shows in his face. He is involved with a childrens sporting activity and I know some parents are thinking of complaining about him smelling of alcohol. Maybe that would make it hit home but I doubt it.

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