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(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.


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:-

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


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


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.


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.


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.

whatdoyouallthink Mon 11-May-09 09:38:19

Southmum, I was the same thought it wasnt normal but wasnt sure. You get so used to hearing the excuses they give. As I said I would ask friends and say 'is this right?' as I just wasnt sure if I was over reacting or not. It was reading your post that made me post here.

Hope your h can keep it up. Mine was the same if he ever did cut down it would creep up over a few days. Thing is I know that mine was drinking in his car, could tell by the empty cans and bottles on the floor. He works nights and think that sometimes they were even drinking at work.

Glad your feeling more positive.

Hi mutebutton

Re all your comments, two of which stood out for me in particular:-

"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".

He may not have that particular epiphany for years (or even never) and in the meantime where does that leave you all?. He won't change though unless he loses the denial and fully wants to address why he is drinking to excess. You cannot make him stop drinking much as you want him to change his behaviours. He won't and can't do this for you - he has to want to help his own self. You cannot do this for him. Can't stress that point enough.

His primary relationship is with alcohol; you and your daughter are not uppermost in his mind. If you remain within this for the next five years you and your DD will suffer accordingly. Sometimes children of alcoholic parent go onto themselves choose alcoholics as partners in relationships, they are certainly more likely to do so.

You have a choice ultimately - your daughter has no say. But she is learning from you both and what are you both teaching her?.

You are all bearing the brunt of his drinking now and you're all suffering as a result. And in another five years you may find it even more difficult to get out and again perhaps make excuses not to do so. It is very difficult to walk away and it is scary but there is support and you could do it.

Your child may not ultimately thank you for staying with him and may accuse you of putting your H first. That is something else that needs to be borne in mind.

"My other major worry is that if we did split he would go into a total downward spiral".

(sorry for caps here) - YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HIM!!. Only your own self and your DD.

Al-anon is an organisation I suggest you call. They are very good at helping family members of problem drinkers. And you certainly need real life support.

Hi SouthMum,

Re your comments:-

"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"

And what was your response to that particular comment of his?. These people will find any excuse to drink and to keep drinking. Your entreaties to stop have no effect whatsoever on him. So you have to work on you instead and seek support for your own self. You're all on the merry go around that is alcoholism, its not just about him.

"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".

You have a painful realisation also to face - he is not able to stop at one or two, he just cannot stop at one or two. He does not have that ability to be able to drink socially without always wanting more.

ginnny Mon 11-May-09 12:39:00

Hi Newbies!!
What Attilla says is very true. But it is easier said than done (Sorry Attilla - but how many times have you said it to me over the years, although I always agree with you its just not that easy in practice!)
I think we have to reach our rock bottom with them sadly before we can find the courage to leave these alcoholics.
They become our addiction in a way. We know deep down we should move on and leave the mess behind, but that little voice in our heads is saying "he will change this time"... "if I leave he'll get worse" "what about the dc?" etc etc.
Do try Al-Anon. It gives you strength to deal with the situation and also helps you to develop strategies to cope. Apart from that I always found it very calming to sit in a room and listen to other people's situations, knowing I wasn't alone.

princesshobnob Mon 11-May-09 13:02:40

Hi again.
Totally agree Ginny. It's very hard.

No advice really here, except I wish I'd left long ago.

On the plus side he's been seeking help with his addiction, he's managed periods off drugs -maximum 1 month Feb to March, currently done 9 days. Guess that's not bad as he progressed from cocaine to crack, so it won't be easy.

Has had terrible terrible financial implications.

There are lots of issues, not just to do with drugs tbh, and I've seen someone from Womens Aid, who suggested an injunction / non molestation order, or a refuge.

He's being great with the kids at the moment, so it's very hard, but I know I can't live like this any longer.

It's a different sort of problem in many ways from alcohol addiction, but the similarities are that he can't be relied upon, he puts his needs / desires etc above us, he isn't an equal, responsible partner and we're not creating any sort of positive example of relationships for the kids.

I would say that it's not right to think of coping for a few years etc - it will never be easy to leave, it won't be easy for your dcs if you leave, however old they are - but you deserve a better life. The dad can still make a choice to be a good dad without living together.

Ginny has found a way that works for her - staying in a relationship,but not living together.

Staying together can work if your partner wants to try and change.

But if your partner doesn't want to change or can't - what do you do then? No easy solutions - we all want the person to sort the problem out and carry on, but as Attila says, we can only chnage ourselves, not anyone else

Ready4anotherdecaffCoffee Mon 11-May-09 13:07:55

"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

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."
South mum, please don't get your hopes up, I have heard this time and time again. also the whole, ok I'll cut down, from tomorrow no beer etc. It's all just hot air.

Last night I asked him about the 5 empty vodka bottles in the green box, and told him it's not on. consequence, He spent the night in the car, as I am not his punch bag. please ladies, don't let your lives go down the pan to the degree mine is, where they lose their physical restraint.

Atilla, I really wish you were in my RLsad

Ready4anotherdecaffCoffee Mon 11-May-09 13:10:48

Hi Princess, didn't see you there!

Womens aid are fantastic, aren't they? I've had more teary convos with them that I'd care to count.

God it's tough.sad

princesshobnob Mon 11-May-09 13:15:05

Hi Ready - Womens Aid do seem great. I met the outreach worker once, and am due to see her again this week. There was a solicitor available to see too for advice.

But I'm still finding it soooo hard. How about you -what are your plans right now?

Ready4anotherdecaffCoffee Mon 11-May-09 13:27:56


Bugger me, I really don't know. Am still getting over last night iykwimsad. got a pounding goose egg on my head, which I'm trying to use to keep the anger inflamed, but really right now I just want to check out of life for a couple of days and re-gain my balance


I have a boxfile with all essential paperwork in it ready to grab. I daren't keep a bag packed, as it would be found. I really hope though, that I'd be able to get him removed if push came to shove. If I did get that done, then my HA should be able to take his name off the tenancy.

Right now I feel a deep need to shout out everything that's happened in the past, so I can begin to process it and deal with it, but I can'tsad

I was about to be signed off from my counselling, but think I'll have to re-startsad

I just feel I need to have given every chance to making it work, so I can wallk away and know I tried.

How about you? got any plans?

princesshobnob Mon 11-May-09 13:41:28

I'm in no position to talk, but I think you've done everything you can already. I know though that as soon as an incident is over, it can fade a bit, maybe it won't happen again etc. But that's not the case. My ex is more emotional & financial abuse, bullying and intimidation, only 1 physical incident, but plenty of just horrible horrible times.

Have you read the thread by Stercus? Don't keep waiting til it's even worse.

Have you considered a refuge just to escape even for a breather so you can check out of life? Or is there anyone you could stay with?

I so know how hard this all is, but really, please please look after yourself


re your comment:-

"I just feel I need to have given every chance to making it work, so I can walk away and know I tried".

Why do you think that, am curious. I think you've been totally ground down by him.

Making it work has though to be two way and he has shown no interest whatsoever in wanting to make things better has he?. You cannot do it all and should not burden yourself further with his problems. You are not ultimately responsible for him.

You can't change him but you can change how you react to him.

You have NOT failed at all; if you have to walk away from this you have not failed yourself. I think its actually okay to walk away. You are only responsible for your own self and your children's wellbeing.

The longer you stay in this, the longer it will take you and your children to recover from the pain he's inflicted.

"Atilla, I really wish you were in my RL".
I actually felt quite humbled reading that comment of yoursblush.

with best wishes

Attila x

Ready4anotherdecaffCoffee Mon 11-May-09 13:54:46

Yes, I'm following it. The poor poor woman.

Whatever I do I still ahve to keep everything together for the children. and no, most of the people I know have absoloutly no idea. I'm a little more upfront about his drinking, but I'm just always conscious[sp?] that I'll be treated differently, or viewed differently, and I don't want that. out and about I can be normal, be myself.

Is he still living under the same roof? How are you managing everything atm?

Ready4anotherdecaffCoffee Mon 11-May-09 13:58:35

blush now you've made me all teary Attila grin

Not often we're all together like this, coffee and choccy cake anyone?

princesshobnob Mon 11-May-09 14:04:26

He is supposed to be living somewhere else but thinks can stay herewhenever he wants. Refuses to leave when I ask him,tuts and sighs and acts like I'm unreasonable.

I know what you mean about not telling people,but I've just started telling more people the truth, because I'm realising I'm protecting him, and denying myself support.

It's not your responsibility to make things work. From his point of view I guess things are working just fine,anyway. But you can't live like this, can you?

If you could see a year into the future, and saw yourself with worse injuries... what would you do today?

princesshobnob Mon 11-May-09 14:05:55

and would love cake and coffee smile


Virtual tea anyone!!.No coffee ta muchly but would happily have a slice of choccy cake!!.

I have some nice Twinings English breakfast tea if anyone wants some along with some strawberries. Luv, luv, luv strawberries!!!.
Care for some strawbs anyone?.

Thing is as well ready, alcoholism also thrives on secrecy and shame. It does not surprise me at all that very few people know of this (its a question I have asked of others before now). You are holding it all together for the children but they can see you're sad and frightened and the foundations are made of sand. This is broken.

I think - and hope that you will find it within you to break away from all this pain.
If I personally knew you I would not view you any differently.

A dear friend of mine is in an emotionally abusive relationship but she is also finding it very difficult to walk away. Its not black and white at all and she knows the score. She also knows that she will have to leave for her own sanity eventually or he will destroy her.

princesshobnob Mon 11-May-09 14:16:58

Strawberries as well - even better smile

Ready - people will look at him differently if they knew. Not you.

Ready4anotherdecaffCoffee Mon 11-May-09 14:18:50

Passes steaming mug and large slab of gooey choccy cake

In a years time. Hmm, ideally I'd like to see one of 2 scenarios, Him having got his act together and sorting himself out or him completley out of our lives. in that scenario quite possiable in a wooden box the way he's drinking, and the colour of his eyes some days.

Meanwhile back in the real world, I hope that if he ever tries anything near the things he's done in the past he'll be reported to the police. This time last year I'd have brushed off a couple of punches, and believe I deserved it. Now that isn't tolerated. I do believe I'm getting nearer that rock bottom. bloody hope so.

Ready4anotherdecaffCoffee Mon 11-May-09 14:21:58

oooh, Atilla, any cream? Sorry, I went of tea when pg with dd2, never got the taste for it backhmm

and yes, we all know it is broken. and I think we both know that I'm on my way to breaking free. step by step I guess, but looking at how far I've come, I reckons i'm on my way upwards

SouthMum Mon 11-May-09 14:22:46

Hi Attila

I didnt really respond as such, just reminded him of my threat that if he loses control over the amount he drinks again then I won't be discussing it - I would take our things and be in touch via a 3rd party to arrange things. Luckily we are not married, just been together for a long time.

I know there is every chance he will make me have to see through my threat, but I am clinging on to the hope that he does still feel I / we are worth fighting for. (a small amount of) time will tell.....

Reading about some of the other problems people face on here - I do apologise for moaning so much about my issues which are fairly trivial compared to those. It could be much worse which in a way I am grateful for, although I suppose my worry is that it could get to that stage if I don't try and do something now.

None of us deserve this.

SouthMum Mon 11-May-09 14:22:47

Hi Attila

I didnt really respond as such, just reminded him of my threat that if he loses control over the amount he drinks again then I won't be discussing it - I would take our things and be in touch via a 3rd party to arrange things. Luckily we are not married, just been together for a long time.

I know there is every chance he will make me have to see through my threat, but I am clinging on to the hope that he does still feel I / we are worth fighting for. (a small amount of) time will tell.....

Reading about some of the other problems people face on here - I do apologise for moaning so much about my issues which are fairly trivial compared to those. It could be much worse which in a way I am grateful for, although I suppose my worry is that it could get to that stage if I don't try and do something now.

None of us deserve this.

SouthMum Mon 11-May-09 14:23:42

sorry double post blush

Ready4anotherdecaffCoffee Mon 11-May-09 14:25:34

South, rant away, some days this thread is all that keeps me sanegrin

besides, keep turni gn a blind eye and then where will you be? We will all be here to support you whatever you decide.

princesshobnob Mon 11-May-09 14:53:18

Southmum- nothing is trivial. Don't feel bad,it's all just degrees of the same thing. I think it's great you're taking a stand. Think theonly down sideto ultimatums i tat you have to carry them out - if you don't then forever after that theywill assume you won't follow through, and will just carry on with what they want. Like kids really!

Ready - the path to freedom can be long, it's baby steps sometimes,but definitely sounds like you're doing fabulously well towards freedom.

SouthMum Mon 11-May-09 15:03:21

Hi Princess, I know I may have to carry the ultimatum out, I did think long and hard before I made it as they can be dangerous. I was at the walking out stage the last time we had the argument but I didn't actually say that to him. This time I told him, so thought I have nothing to lose by giving him one last chance, especially as it won't be long before I know if he has taken on board what I said.

In the meantime it gives me a bit of time to prepare things just incase.

(Once again surprised at the amount of balls I have suddenly grown!!)

Ready4anotherdecaffCoffee Mon 11-May-09 15:21:34

Southmum, it is worth a good look at the womens aid handbook esp the safety plan.

try to build up an emergency fund that you can access 24/7.

and keep growing those ballsgrin

SouthMum Mon 11-May-09 15:40:24

Ready, thanks for the link. Things on there I hadn't thought of.

Really hoping it won't get to that stage, keep thinking surely he can't really throw away what we have for the sake of his cans....anyway as I say time will tell x

I will keep growing them, and will also take his if he lets us down again!

Ready4anotherdecaffCoffee Mon 11-May-09 15:45:04

South, from experiance, the beer will always come firstsad. if nothing else, keep all essential paperwork together ready to grab. Actually, might check mine later.

ginnny Mon 11-May-09 21:41:53

I'm very envy that I missed the tea party this afternoon. I love strawberries too but I never get near one in this house as the dc always scoff them all!!
Princess and Ready - you are both so brave and have come such a long way. You sound so much stronger than when you first posted on here.
SouthMum - it sounds ridiculous that someone could choose a few cans of drink over a family doesn't it. I really can't see the attraction at all. I'm not tee total by any means but I hate that out of control feeling you get when you are drunk. That someone actually craves that seems madness to me.
I am reading "This Charming Man" by Marian Keyes atm (I love my chick lit!) and there is a chapter on it from an alcoholics pov and it is quite enlightening. Tbe DV parts of the book are disturbing too, but easy to see how people get dragged down by it to the point that they think they deserve it.
Anyway, I'm waffling now. Off to get a real cup of coffee and go hunting about for some cake that the dc haven't hoovered up!!

secretsquirrel1 Sat 16-May-09 00:43:11

Helloooo - I'm back and up to speed with the thread now (I still feel blush about not spotting it earlier! Thanks Ginnny for starting it up again!)

I'm also very envy about missing the tea party....and strawberries are my absolute favourite!!

Well I'd also like to welcome the 'not so newbies' and just tell you all that you need to take some time to focus on yourselves before making any hard & fast decisions. You need to get as much info as you can on Alcoholism; once you have the tools you will be able to make more sense of what is happening not just to the alcoholic in your life but to your reactions to the disease.

I see that Al Anon has been suggested - I can only say from a very personal perspective that it has saved my life and that I will be forever grateful for finding them....ironically through AA - I was absolutely desperate and could understand that AA was for the alcoholic but why was there nothing for all the people who were affected by the drinking habits/behaviours of the alcoholic?

I went religiously for a year before I made any decisions about what I was going to do - and I am so glad that I did. This is because I started to get myself better. I got myself a sponsor for when I had major wobbles - and there was a few of them, cos I'm only human grin - and I started to detatch myself from the illness. And I hoped that changing my reactions to his drinking would've helped him to find sobriety.

But it wasn't to be. 16 months ago his behaviour was becoming more extreme because I was no longer reacting to his drinking. Then he ripped up our wedding photo,& smashed up ornaments in front of our hysterical DD, which was a boundary that was crossed - a boundary that I was only able to place because I had a year of building up protection for both DD & myself. I cannot tell you how important this is to do - I had rung the police to prime them in case he lost it. I had ensured that everyone who needed to know (on a need to know basis) knew exactly what was going on eg. nursery/school/my employer. Alcoholism thrives when we keep quiet about it.

So I decided to divorce. It has been an absolutely horrendous 16 months - I had an op, my father died, my 49 yr old sis in laws cancer has come back, and during all this time I had to share the house with an active alcoholic. There were times when I never thought I would get to the end of this particularly long twisty tunnel - it was one thing after another, I was paying for everything and childcare on top (my Solicitor made it very clear that H was not to be responsible for DD's care in any way as it would damage my case).

But at last I have come through into the sunlight. I have managed to keep the house, my divorce is through and he has left the house and gone to his parents. Oh Jubilation, no nasty horrible smells when I come in, no dread at what I would find, no continual rustling of sweet wrappers, DD is chilled, and I feel so much Better grin. I don't have any sadness/resentful feelings/bitterness - I have had the past 16 months to get over that.

I have only rambled on just to give people an idea of what can be done to help ourselves. Stop focusing on what the alcoholic is doing/may be doing/how much they are/are not drinking. You will never ever outwit an alcoholic. It matters not whether they lose their job/driving license/family - as Atilla rightly states, the only thing the alcoholic will ever care about is where the next drink is going to come from. And, you may think that being a martyr to the cause will help but they will soon lose any respect they may have for you when you start bailing them out with money/booze/driving them around.

Anyway, it's great to be back with a very new lease of life and to offer as much support as anyone needs.


mutebutton Mon 18-May-09 09:25:56

Hi everyone

My computer's been playing up since my original post so have just been reviewing this thread with interest.

It's made me think I need to step back a bit from my situation get some support. Do Al-anon provide telephone support? Otherwise it won't be any use as the nearest meeting is in a town 15 miles away and at a silly time like 8pm in the week which would make childcare hopeless.

The thing that's struck me reading all this is that our situations are not black and white.

Attila - you obviously know your stuff here, but I struggled with the comments about me and DD bearing the brunt of his drinking now. If I told DD I was leaving DH because of his drinking she would think I'd taken leave of my senses - she's never seen him drunk (I hardly ever have), he's a great dad to her and I really don't think she would understand that there is any underlying problem here.

that's what makes it so difficult.

Hi all

I have been reading this thread with a mix of feelings, a heavy heart but also hope as there are other people out there in the same boat and some really good advice.

I am very concerned re. my DH's drinking. He drinks mostly red wine, sometimes beer. Most weekends he drinks to the point of going comatose on the sofa, so sex is pretty much out of question. By the way weekends often include Thursday and Sunday! Every social occasion we go to involves him drinking too much and behaving like a twat. I am really sick of it however when I look back over our relationship (we have been married 16 years and together for 20) it seems like it has in fact been a constant feature of our relationship.

He has also started behaving in more secretive ways, like taking bottles out to the recycling bin so I don't see them. He will often pop out "for a drive" and come back with a bottle. Last night he did this, came home and drank it, then went to the pub afterwards. It seems he is either drunk or nursing a hangover. Yes his face looks puffy with bags under his eyes.
Like others I read about he does not look like an alcoholic, he holds down a good job and in the week i.e Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday does not usually drink. He thinks because he does not drink spirits and is not usually down the pub that makes it okay, also because I will usually have a glass of wine on a Friday night as well that makes it sociable.

However he does have a reputation as the husband who normally drinks/falls asleep at parties, BBQs etc - people joke about it but it is not really funny. I am worried about his long term health and also the impact on the children of having an alcoholic father especially as they grow up and are more aware of what is going on, at the moment they are too young really although even they will make comments like "did Daddy have a drink?". He suffers from anxiety/depression and is in citalopram, of course he is not even supposed to drink when on those but again I think he kind of shrugs it off, thinking oh it only a couple of glasses of wine (i.e a bottle).

At the moment we are meant to be making so life changes like maybe buying a house, maybe some career type changes. However I just feel that until he addresses the drinking issue this is all moving the deckchairs around the titanic. We looked at several houses on Saturday and there was one lovely one that I fell in love with and we could afford to buy but I feel it is all a bit of a waste of time - so we move into a new house and all he will do is spend his weekends getting wankered there instead of here.

I realise that the problem is his, not mine, and that I can't change his behaviour for him. I do know this, but at the same time I find just ignoring it is not really working for me. When I have broached it with him before he brushes it off, or promises to cut down. So I am wondering how to tackle it really. I am wondering whether to talk to his Mum and his sister about it, they are a close family and I get on well with them. However I feel he may resent me going behind his back.

I looked at the al anon website but it was not much there, like Mutebootn (hi) I don't think I can go to meetings as I work during the day and evenings he is home. The nearest meeting to me is not local and is early evening when I am putting the kids to bed etc.

There is an alcohol counsellor type person who comes to my local GP surgery, do you think they would be worth seeing?

By the way I also bought and read a book on codependence but I didn't find it very helpful beyond it repeating the "it's not your problem it's his" message.

Phew. Sorry this is sooooo long.

Hi tadpole,

re your comment:-

"Like others I read about he does not look like an alcoholic, he holds down a good job and in the week i.e Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday does not usually drink. He thinks because he does not drink spirits and is not usually down the pub that makes it okay, also because I will usually have a glass of wine on a Friday night as well that makes it sociable".

Well, what does an alcoholic look like to you?. What's your image of an alcoholic? Alcohol is no respector of persons at all; people from all walks of life can become alcoholic.

He certainly utters poor excuses (and you know these are excuses) and there is denial present in his words too (a common factor in these people is the complete downplaying and denial of the actual problem).

Your H sounds like a functioning alcoholic; he holds down a job (which he may ultimately lose due to his alcoholism) but has a high tolerance to drink and thus does not get drunk easily. But the damage is still being done to him and you all and your H has a poor reputation socially which is undoubtedly shameful for you. He also cannot or will not stop drinking.

Not all alcoholics sit on park benches drinking from bottles in brown paper or plastic bags. They do exist certainly but that scenario certainly does not apply to all alcoholics. Far from it.

Its not about him solely either; you have children and they are aware of all this too and they will comment on it. Having an alcoholic parent as a parent does the kids no favours at all. Could you fully trust him to be responsible around the children if he was alone in the house with them?. They are aware already that he drinks despite their tender years. They won't thank you either for staying with their drunkard of a father if you chose to. They could well go onto choose alcoholics as partners themselves when adult; children of alcoholics are more likely to do this. They likely see the empties and him taking away the recycling. He's doing that so you cannot see how much he's putting away.

There are no guarantees here; he could lose everything and still drink. But you ultimately are not responsible for him. He is choosing alcohol over you all currently, his primary relationship is with alcohol. You can't ignore this and ignoring it has not and is not working for you therefore you need to do something else and not mire yourself in apathy.

You should also realise as well that alcohol is a depressant and is likely making his depression worse. I reckon his GP does not know about the extent of his drinking problem, few people I suspect do. You need to start opening up to people like your GP.

What is his Mum and sister like; would they be supportive or dismissive?. Are they fully aware of his drink problem?. How many people in your real life actually know the full extent of this problem?. Very few I would have thought.

I'd put the whole moving house thing on ice as of now. The elephant in the room will still remain despite any life changes like new location and potential job change.

I would certainly talk to that alcohol counsellor that visits your GP surgery along with talking with Al-anon (they certainly have a telephone helpline). He may never want to or be able to even start addressing the reasons for his drinking. You need to face those distinct possibilities as well. He is using you to prop him up and you're his enabler.

You have spent many years with him probably hoping as well that he would "change" once marriage, kids etc came along.

You only have one shot at this life; you cannot waste it. You cannot act either as a rescuer or saviour. Which is likely also what you have done to date as well.

Hi mutebutton,

I can only refer to what SS has written in response to your comments:-

"I have only rambled on just to give people an idea of what can be done to help ourselves. Stop focusing on what the alcoholic is doing/may be doing/how much they are/are not drinking. You will never ever outwit an alcoholic. It matters not whether they lose their job/driving license/family - as Atilla rightly states, the only thing the alcoholic will ever care about is where the next drink is going to come from. And, you may think that being a martyr to the cause will help but they will soon lose any respect they may have for you when you start bailing them out with money/booze/driving them around".

Sitting there another five years is no option. Your H has not had an alcohol free day in four years (I noted those from your previous post).

Okay so he may be a "great Dad" as you put it but what sort of Dad is he really?. An alcoholic does not have to get rip roaring drunk every day; people can build up a high tolerance to alcohol.

What are you both teaching her about relationships?. She is seeing and picking up on everything around her. Both of you are imparting lessons both spoken and unspoken.

Al-Anon Family Groups UK & Eire
61 Great Dover Street, London SE1 4YF
Tel: 020 7403 0888 (Helpline 10am - 10pm, 365 days a year

Hammy01 Mon 18-May-09 12:42:40

Hi there,
I've been lurking and have read this post a lot over the last few months.
I did post on here I think last year as Rosie02 but forgot my password!
My situation still the same, my dh has coke and alcohol binges at least 2 out of 4 weekends a month.
We lost his wonderful dad Feb this year so thats been tough, but seems (and I feel shitty for saying it) anything is used as a reason to get off his head tbh.
Just before christmas I threw him out, but two days later his dad was diagnosed with his agressive lung cancer which shook us all to the core so rallied round and our situation was pushed to the back of our minds.
He went to the GP to find out if there was anything apart from counselling and the GP told us that even though he binged at weekends, this wasn't classed as a serious addicition shock
So nothing has been done about it since.
I'm floating along as usual trying to muddle through, but rock bottom is pretyy close.
His mum helped us all to pay for a holiday, we leave in 4 weeks but have in my mind that this will probably be the last time we do anything like this.
I have had enough.
I'm struggling with working f/t, looking after my 10month old dd, 2 yr old ds and 5 yr old stepson at weekends as well as putting up with his crap.
My concern is and I guess I'm aiming this question at SS, does you ex have access to your children? And how do you know he's going to be responsible and not drink while they are in his care? This is what goes through my mind as my dh has a binge say on friday night and then to avoid the inevitable hangover on sat morning, just carries on drinking angry
I know it could stipulate this in court orders etc but I am scared that he is going to be under the influence whilst looking after our babies.
I would love to just run away with my babies at the moment and get as far away from this mess that I enabled to happen. sad

ginnny Mon 18-May-09 13:27:44

Hi SS- you are an inspiration to us all. So glad to see you so happy after everything you've been through.
Attilla is right. A functioning alcoholic is every bit as alcoholic as the wino on the park bench. Whether one leads to the other I don't know.
I think we all have to have a long hard look at our lives and decide if we want to carry on living like this. We have to assume that they won't stop drinking and then make a decision based on that fact. Its not an easy decision and one that can take years to come to.
My way of dealing with it is to live apart from DP, but I know this isn't practical for everyone. However, it is working for me.
After the funeral on Wednesday, he went on the piss on Thursday, spent all day Friday in bed and he has been the model partner all weekend, he hasn't drunk at all and has been lovely to us all. I don't kid myself he'll be nice forever, but I just enjoy it while it lasts.

Tanee58 Mon 18-May-09 15:13:47

Hi Ginnny, just found this thread and read through it. Hallo everyone, I'm a newbie here but Ginnny knows me smile.

Also have a DP who's dependent on alcohol. He suffers from depression and is really self-medicating with two bottles of wine a night and sometimes more on top. Won't seek help, tried counselling for his depression years ago but it wasn't successful, so he refuses to try it again. Like Ginnny's partner, he realises that counselling or therapy will bring out issues that he doesn't want to face. He admitted on Saturday that he knows he is drinking too much and that it's getting worse, blames me for 'trapping' him into buying a house together, is projecting his self-hatred onto my teenage daughter and says that he hopes the drinking will kill him soon sad.

When sober, he's the sweetest man. It breaks my heart to see him on self-destruct, but as so many have said, it's HIS problem, not mine and I must just protect myself and DD until such time as I've had enough, or he decides he's had enough, or the drink finally gets him.

It's just such a shame that these men don't realise how much we are prepared to help them - and that they are unable to help themselves.

Hi Tanee,

"It's just such a shame that these men don't realise how much we are prepared to help them"

When will you actually have enough of him?.
What is in this for you?. This relationship is broken.

This man does not respect you at all, he will hate you even more for trying to help him (which you can't anyway and should not even attempt to). They don't want your help!!!. He has to want to help his own self, you cannot do it for him or make him seek help. He is not ultimately your responsibility. All he is doing currently is dragging you and your teenage DD down with him. Not an ideal situation for either of you to be witness to.

You are being blamed for problems, his problems. He is refusing to take any responsibility for his actions which is always a bad sign. He is projecting all that lack of responsibility onto you. He made a choice re the house; no-one forced him to sign anything.

You cannot even begin or hope to save or rescue him (my guess is that you've acted as both to date) but you can help your own self and that of your DD. You and she deserve better treatment than what he is meting out.

If you have not talked to Al-anon to date I suggest you do so. Also have a look at Nacoa's website. That makes very thoughtful reading.

Hi Attila and others

Thanks for your comments, they are very much appreciated yes you are so right there is a lot of denial and it does feel like the proverbial elephant in the room.

One common theme in many of these posts is that they are lovely guys when they are sober - my DH is definitely that, what a shame that person disappears when a few glasses of wine have been drunk.

Even now I can hardly believe I am writing all this down. I sometimes feel as if I am going mad or making this all up - I can be so mad and angry with him on the night, but then the next day when he is sober and contrite all my anger seems to have dissapated.

I think someone else mentioned their DH coming from a family in which alcohol is pretty much the modus operandi, mine does and family occasions etc are very much focussed around wine, champagne etc. As we have all got older the rest of us seem to have toned it down a bit but not DH sadly. But nobody says anything.

However I just remembered this afternoon that DH's older brother, who lives in the US, also has issues with alcohol and has in fact given it up for long periods of time although I do think he has the odd drink again now. I am considering e-mailing him to ask for advice/support. I think I do also need to confide in a RL friend as I am feeling quite lonely and overwhelmed with it all.

For the moment I definitely don't want to leave him, I can't see how that would really improve any of our lives at least in the short term. I also don't see that threats or ultimatums would work. So I am going to hang in there for the time being, but yes am going to suggest we put house buying and other big projects on ice.

However in the meantime I do feel that I need to arm myself with more information and sources of support. I have ordered some books from Amazon and I am trying to pluck up the courage to speak to the GP's surgery about the alcohol counsellor. I have a problem in that the GP who prescribed DH is anti-d's is a friend of the family so confidentiality is not easy.

Thanks for listening.

Hi Teeny,

Have put a link up to the publications that Al-anon do as there is also one about living in an alcoholic marriage. It may also help you if you were to read that or something along those lines.

You must remember that you did not cause all this to arise and you can never outwit an alcoholic. You are ultimately not responsible for him, only your own self and your kids.

I note as well his brother has also had problems with alcohol misuse. I would certainly try and confide in someone whom you truly trust. Even speaking with Al-anon could help you as alcoholism as well thrives on secrecy. You've written on here and that's a good start. You certainly also need real life support though. You're reading up on the subject as well which is good. Knowledge is power!!!.

Even if the GP is a friend of the family any information that you impart to him would remain confidential. I think you need to talk to this person asap but if you really cannot I would also look into finding another GP to work with. Certainly talk with the alcohol counsellor.

Would suggest that you no longer drink alcohol with your H. That can be seen as enabling behaviour.

Good luck to you, you're going to need all your strength now. And it may be that you will ultimately have to go your own separate ways.

onlygotonelife Mon 18-May-09 18:41:47

Hello, it is Princesshobnob by another name.

Posted last night on my own thread because I was feeling soangry that ex thinks it ismy job tosave himself from himself and his choices.

He wanted to stay here last night because he was tempted, but I refused because his behaviour when here has been quite abusive lately (threatening to break things etc if I don't give him themoney he wants),and even when he is being "nice" he has no regard for my needs and rights - ie staying in bed til 2.30pm, thinking it fine for me to go get shopping with dd2 in sling, carrying all the shopping myself while he stays in watching films while dd1 plays, making mess but not clearing up, leaving me to do all household chores etc.

He apparently called his dealers before he even left the house, then calledme in the middle of the night to say he'd taken drugs again, and if only i'd let him stay it would never have happened.

I told him it was not my job to stop him,that only he can change his behaviour and he was angry that I wasn't supportive - seems to think my sole purpose in life is to support him and his needs,but same doesn't apply to him.

He is like giant toddler.

Anyway, I'm getting better at standing my ground, feel little for him, and am doing my best to find a way through all this.

Sorry to anyone else struggling with all these issues

ginnny Mon 18-May-09 21:28:43

Hi Tannee - I thought I was on the wrong thread there!! I'm glad you don't buy into his blame game. He's a grown man, he had a choice when it came to moving in with you and DD and its not fair to accuse you of 'trapping' him. Typical of an alcoholic to shift the responsibility on to you. Do give Alanon a try if you can, your DD might find it helpful too. I know when DP was at his worst last year they really got me through it. And remember you can email / call me anytime you need a shoulder to cry on. (Or better still we could go for another lovely pizza and put the world to rights!!)
Princess - Good on you for standing your ground with him. He would have taken drugs anyway, whether you'd let him stay or not. Its just easier to shift the blame on to you.
I can't believe that this time last week DP was angry, drunk and horrible ... today he's sat next to me doing a Sudoku puzzle with a cup of tea! Crazy isn't it!

secretsquirrel1 Mon 18-May-09 22:02:51

Hi Hammy, in answer to your question about childcare, since my ex H has moved back in with his parents, he has 'supervised access'. But if he were to move out into his own flat then I would not allow her to go there - he would have to take me to court for visitation rights/access and I would stipulate that it has to be supervised.

Below is a bit about the issues I faced with childcare and the alcoholic.......I hope it helps.

Before I initiated divorce, my ex H used to look after DD when I was on nights over a weekend.

There were 3 distinct occaisions when DD woke me up at about 1300hrs saying that 'I can't get daddy to wake up'. And there was one occaision where ex H said that DD had had an accident with one of the cleaning she had managed to get her hands on it, God only knows - but of course if he was comatose for a long period of time then I suppose there's your answer shock. You believe any old shit at the time but deep down you start to realise that it Just Is Not Normal Behaviour. That's how mad your behaviour becomes - you start to believe what crock of crap they come out with!

When I initiated the divorce, my Solicitor made it quite clear that I would have to get a childminder to collect DD from pre-school, and ensure that I stopped working Nights/weekends. So I did that - was dreading it because I was losing nearly £400 in unsocial hours payments. Our rota was done 6 weeks in advance, but once I had confided in my line manager about what was happening she was extremely concerned about 'my duty of care' to our DD - and to all of you, I cannot tell you how important that this is.

(I also had a long chat with my GP who said exactly the same. You have to be firm and when the alcoholic is pissed and insists on taking your DC's out: you have to stand your ground; you don't threaten to call the police, you actually do it! If you willingly let your kids out with someone who is intoxicated then any sane bystander can and will report it).

I thought that if we lose the house then so what - it's only bricks & mortar. My extra money was giving a false impression - and continued to enable him (he had lost his job by this stage) because he was able to spend his benefits on alcohol.

Personally speaking, I was only able to get off the merry go round of continually providing & enabling the alcoholic by going to Al Anon. Ring the help line that Atilla has given if you cannot get to a meeting.

When my ex H challenged me about getting a CM, I just said that 'I had no option because it was not good for DD to be around drink; she needed to be with other children, having a normal life' and left it at that. No point going into a long protracted argument with the alcoholic - they will not remember a thing about it the next day. That is why it is so important not to react when they are being so vicious. You are the one who ends up feeling shredded.

Hope this helps a little....


Ready4anotherdecaffCoffee Mon 18-May-09 23:51:58

Hi all, and welcome newbies[smile

SS, thankyou for that info, it most definatly makes me feel much better after the last weekend where I had to take the dc's out in the car for a bit. I got back and the fecker had tried to lock me out angry

Princess, well done for standing your ground, they are like spoilt toddlers really, aren't they.

Ginny, I was looking for that book in the library on sat, but didn't have any luck [anotheer chick-lit fan]. I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for it, as it sounds like an interesting read.

I would like to echo Attila by saying don't drink with/around the alcoholic. I no longer drink at home. if i go out with friends I will have a maximum of 3 units. I don't like being drunk, I hate the loss of control, and the way the room spins. I also rememer just after i turned 18 going to a party, and to this day I have no idea how i got home, and vowed never again.

I can't remember who said it, but to me it really is as if I have 2 lives. the me who lives with the alcoholic and his violent rages/ bouits of maudlin self pity and the me who is cheerful & confident. 2 lives worlds apart.

As someone said, our lives are not in black and white, and that is so true, it is all in shades of grey. yes I am still with my dh, but I wonder why, and I know that ultimatly we will be going our separate ways. the whites of his eyes are now almost constantly the colour of a an egg yolk if you've boiled it too long and the yolk goes grey. Not good. and yes, his drinking is ALWAYS my fault. yeah, right.

Sorry for the garbled post, dd2 woke up and wouldn't settle, so she's on my knee and it's like cuddling a fighting tiger atm,

peace to everyone xx

Tanee58 Tue 19-May-09 14:50:10

Hi Ginnny, yes, thought I'd check in on another thread for a change. Am free for pizza anytime smile.

Attila, many thanks for your advice. I do, however, disagree the relationship is broken - if it were, I would not be in it. It is, however, damaged, and I am learning damage limitation to protect myself. DP is ill, the drinking is a symptom but the causes go very deep and I am not prepared to ditch him yet any more than I would if he lost a limb or developed a serious but 'acceptable' illness. I am aware that he is projecting, and I take no blame for his actions. I realise that only he can help himself. I stay with him because I get a great deal of pleasure from his company 85% of the time which is more than many people on the relationships threads. We had a bad patch this weekend and it drove me low as I let my guard slip, but my armour is back on now smile and he's showing some remorse by better behaviour and less drinking. That will not last, but I enjoy it whilst I can. As for DD, she has a very shrewd grasp of the situation and whilst she cuts him no slack, she enjoys her life and gets on with it.


You are with a man who is self medicating his long term depression with alcohol. He is not actually unable to help his own self - he just does not want to.

If the other 15% of the relationship is problematic (I would still argue that this relationship is at best deeply flawed) then it needs working on but you cannot do it on your own and solely make the effort, the effort for change needs to come from him too. He is clearly not willing to put any effort in instead projecting all his issues onto you and blaming you for all his problems. That is highly damaging to hear consistently.

Why d'you think you can help him?. You're the last person who can help him, as his partner you are too close to the situation. You cannot help him much as you'd really like to. He has to want to help his own self and whilst you're around you prop him up and enable him. I sincerely hope that you are not making a long term error here by being with this man. It is perhaps only when you yourself have reached your own rock bottom that your stance may change.

On a wider level too what are you both teaching your DD here as well about relationships?.

You and your DD deserve far better, you truly do.

ginnny Tue 19-May-09 16:04:40

Hi Tannee!! We seem to be handling it the same way at the moment and it does have its advantages. The way DP has been this weekend just confirms to me that I am right to hang on in there. He was a complete arse when his Mum died, and handled it by drinking, but he seems to have turned the corner now and is putting me first again. Attilla is right about you reaching your rock bottom with him but we all have different levels of tolerance.
I wouldn't say your relationship is completely broken, maybe just a little dented smile

I'd also add there is co-dependency mixed up in there somewhere too among the dents. Its all very damaging to you all told.

Hi Ginnny. Cup of coffee?. I also have some more strawberries!.

ginnny Tue 19-May-09 16:29:51

White no sugar for me!!
Do you have cream??

One cup of coffee with no sugar in it coming right up!.

I do also have cream, care also for some cream on the strawberries?. Must remember to save SS some too (she missed out on the strawberries last time around).

Ready4anotherdecaffCoffee Tue 19-May-09 16:48:07

Attila, how nice of you to offer, white & one sugar for me please smile

I have yummy sweet and juicy fresh pineapplegrin

splishsplosh Tue 19-May-09 16:59:48

any for me too?

Ready4anotherdecaffCoffee Tue 19-May-09 17:05:49

Do you think she's gone to milk the cow herself?

onlygotonelife Tue 19-May-09 20:40:09

He keeps ringing, making all these plans for a 2nd job, helping more with dc, staying clean.... but all dependent on me borrowing another £1k.

I have said no, because if he does take drugs again, he won't be able to pay me back, and I can't pay my bills as it is.

So he says he will run away. But can't bear not to see kids.

Now he says he will kill himself.

Have just ended up shrieking back at him - cannot stand this emotional blackmail.

Ready4anotherdecaffCoffee Tue 19-May-09 20:56:49

OGOL, I feel for you. thing is, we both know that it is all hot air. It's all plans, and even if you jumped through every hoop going, it isn't going to happen.

emotional blackmail, is a PITA, can't he go and kill himself quietly, and make sure he does it discretly? [sorry, lost patience with it all after dh once told me he only had 6 mths to live]

If he needs 1K that desperatly, he can clean toilets or whatever, and f**king well earn it. Unplug your telephone, and get a mob which he doesn't know the number to

(((hugs))), stay strong sweetie xx

onlygotonelife Tue 19-May-09 23:20:25

He'sonly managed amonth clean at most, so while I think he truly believes all he says about this being his new start etc, I also feel 99.999% sure that he will relapse again, leaving him unable to pay. These people want their money now,and apparently will threaten him at gunpoint for it - but then he knows they're dangerous people yet keeps going back. I've given in so many times to the idea that if i pay the debt it will stop them contacting him, and he won't do it again.... then sometimes his resolve has only lasted a few hours!

Selfish, manipulative ****

Ready4anotherdecaffCoffee Wed 20-May-09 00:31:37

Sorry, I'm going to sound really harsh, but...

His debt

His mess

Will threaten him at gunpoint?


Will either scare the bollocks off him, and prompt him to sort himself out properly and not go back

or will scare him so he 'disappears' and gives you breathing space.

His mess.

Not yours.

Don't make it your debt.

keep him at arms length.

When they're done with him, I'll let you know when dh next goes on a binge and they can come and 'sort' him out.

Hammy01 Wed 20-May-09 07:28:10

OGOL - PLease please do not give into his emotional blackmailing threats.
You know he won't pay it back, it'll give him a clean 'slate' with the dealers that no doubt over the next few weekends he can easily build back up again.
This is how we get into our debt mess to start with, they make us feel that we can wave a magic wand and get rid of the debt while they struggle with their demons to become clean.
Gonna sound harsh but we know its a bloody lie, they just want the debt rid of but probably have no intention of paying it back.
Let him scream, let him threaten to kill himself, HE is responsible for his own actions. If HE wants to get clean then HE will.
You cannot afford another loan, your worried enough about the debt that your struggling to pay back. If these men truly loved and cared for us, why do they continually pressure us to get more debt and then leave us to worry about how its going to get paid every month? Sounding old fashioned but I always wanted a man to look after me, to provide for me and to some extent manage money together hmm
You said yourself that your almost 100% sure he's going to relapse. This will not be the last time he's desperate for money to pay a debt.
You are not being heartless, nasty, spiteful you are not enabling him anymore.
You are thinking of you and your children.
Stay strong in this hard time. Your thinking of you and your babies needs, you've been putting his first for far too long and all you've had in return are false hopes and promises of the life you thought you could have together...if he waas clean.
Praying for you and your babies x

ginnny Wed 20-May-09 10:14:02

OGOL - Please don't give him the money. Everyone else is right. It is HIS problem, HIS addiction, HIS debt.
It won't end here, you know that - even if he cleans the slate with the dealers, they will want him to run up another one, and he isn't strong enough to resist their temptation yet.
If they threaten him at gunpoint then that's down to him. Not you. You can't protect him.
(((((hug)))) for you.

onlygotonelife Wed 20-May-09 14:21:35

Thank you, I know what you say is true, which is why I'm doing my best to stand firm.

he came over last night to get his stuff so he could run away. then ended up staying so could see kids in morning and give me time to "think again". Then this morning harangued me for money so didn't have to run away. called me names, ripped up a book, shouted, told me he wished he could kick my head in (but he's not that kind of man)
couldn't believe i could lose house etc and make him run away over £1k. now he knows what sort of woman i am.

in end agreed to take loan for £200 as he has paid £340 into my acc but not cleared yet. Couldn't get loan, so then wanted me to try and open 4th current acc so cd get another overdraft. said no.

he's trying to get money from his mum. told me these people could come to the house, could threaten me/kids.

apparently i should realise he has changed as he looked after kids for a bit on 2 mornings, so as i am in so much debt, what is £1k more if chance it could save all.... er, the fact that believing that logic is how i am in this position. He's so desperate to pay his drug debts but never so concerned about mortgage, bills, things we need sad

do i believe these people could turn up here? should i try to go to a refuge? benefit people still haven't decided my claim. was crying on phone to them because i'm so desperate.

Hammy01 Wed 20-May-09 16:26:45

OGOL - Could you not apply for a crisis loan? Sorry, I don't know what people are entitled to, particularly if they own their own home as I am in the same boat as you. The mortgage and all the bills are all in my name (as husband has got such a shit credit rating - surprise hmm) so when I grow big enough balls to say 'enough is enough' I don't know how we'll manage as my monthly earnings will just cover all the outgoings, with about £20 a week left over for food, clothes and petrol. Surely the benefits people must be able to do something? You've got 2 LOs, surely they cannot let you starve?
I'd send you a food parcel if I actually had any money after husbands weekends binge thats wiped us out.
Have you any family nearby that could help you?
He's just getting shitty with you as thats whats made you give in before to his monetry demands. Is he likely to get money from his mum?
Keep standing your ground hun... your doing amazingly well, despite his tantrums and attempted blackmailing efforts. And don't let him use the kids as a heartstring puller...he didn't think of u or the kids when he was out spending all this money up his nose angry
Big hug to you

ginnny Thu 21-May-09 10:05:58

OGOL - If you are worried that they might come to your house then contact the police or womens aid. Even if you think its all hot air it might be worth registering it just in case. That is really really low to threaten that imo, and to have put you and dc in such a vulnerable position.
You are doing well to stand your ground. He sounds like a complete bully and the sooner he is out of your life the better. So he looked after the dc 2 mornings - WOW, who does he think looks after them 24/7 while he's off taking his drugs?
Stay angry and stay strong. You are doing great.

secretsquirrel1 Thu 21-May-09 16:19:51

OGOL - agree with Ginnny, you must register with the police in case the shit hits the fan. Then when you dial 999 your details will come up straight away and they will be round as a matter of urgency - they have a duty of care as you are vulnerable.

You should call the womens refuge - they will be the best people to give you sound advice/help.

Please don't give in to him. ((((()))))

PS Thanks for the strawberries, Atilla!

onlygotonelife Thu 21-May-09 16:25:49

He has had a caution for dv anyway just after dd2 was born - would that make my details come up anyway if I called?

Have been in touch with Women's Aid and I've seen the outreach worker a couple of times.
Thanks for your thoughts ladies smile

OGOL aka PrincessHobnob

The longer you stay in this situation the harder it will be for you to make a complete break from him. You should feel absolutely nothing for him and his life. He screwed up - not your fault and he's not your responsibility either,

You and your children deserve far better. Please keep talking to WA and the outreach worker; you need real life support if you want to break away from him for good. I sincerely hope you can make the break because he will only drag you all down with him otherwise.

secretsquirrel1 Thu 21-May-09 22:40:23

OGOL - Ring the police and update them, if only to ensure that they have the right details. If he gets nasty or if anyone turns up at your door, you need to know that you'll have a rapid response. The police where I am were really good - they had a precis of the situation, a description of my ex & they explained that as soon as 999 is dialed they would be out to my house.

Atilla is right - this cannot go on for you and your children. You can make a choice about how you react to him; they don't have that choice.

Hope everyone else is ok.

secretsquirrel1 Fri 22-May-09 18:17:37

I'm away for the week now - and have no internet so will have to catch up after next Sat. SSX

Not sure if anyone else has seen princesses thread here, but I just wanted to say well done, you go girl, you deserve better.

Hope you have a good week away SS

hi to everyone else, how are you all?

Springfleurs Wed 27-May-09 08:56:38

Well I am finally going to post here. I have been avoiding this for a lot of years now.

My ex h drinks anywhere between 6 and 10 cans every single night. Often buys 6 for £5 and then sneaks out again in the middle of the night for another 6. He says it is not a problem as he does not drink spirits.

I so relate to the "all men drink" spiel and the cutting down for a few days and it creeping back up again.

His drinking has led him to being unfaithful on numerous occasions, to be verbally and physically abusive. This tends to be when he has not had anything to drink for a couple of days, because of lack of money etc or when he is showing me that he doesn't "need to drink". Like clockwork on the second or third day without a drink he becomes so unbelievably nasty - usually verbally, that the things he says take my breath away. He has been aggressive to strangers also and been arrested for this a few times. He took our dc over to their grandparents one time and I rang him to find out what time he would be back, I could clearly hear that he had been drinking and was fully intending driving home with them. I rang in laws and told them not to let him take dc. This only ever happened once. He does seem to have the ability to learn about things like that but more likely it is because I do not put the dc in a position where they have to rely on him. When he was here, he frequently dranks so much that he would urinate on the sofa or bed.

He regularly used to abandon us as a family and go on anywhere up to 5 day benders. He did it when dd was two weeks old and I had had a c section. He says that I hold onto things like this and need to move on as he has not done it for a long time. The last time was about a year ago but I feel deep down that this is only because he cannot afford to, has no friends nearby and is very committed to his job so that regulates him to a certain extent. He says he is changing bit by bit and I suppose he is but it has been nearly 8 years now. By the time he has sorted himself out by dc will be grown up and absorbed all the toxicity of living with a drinker.

We are not together at present but he comes to see the dc every single day and asks me to get back with him as I am being "selfish" and "unreasonable" and "unforgiving".

I feel terribly guilty for my children. We married when he was quite young and I am a few years older. I feel like I trapped him and made him desperate to drink like this. Although he has always drunk like this since he was 16, lost jobs, got into fights over etc. It does seem to be worse since we married though. I so don't want to be with him anymore but I feel like I am being selfish. My dc adore him. I am the only one who was unhappy so I feel like I am putting myself first.

He manages to hold down a job and doesn't even seem affected physically. He does not have the red face that others describe. He only drinks when the dc have gone to bed, this was a rule I made a few years ago as I did not want them seeing him drinking all the time. For the last year we were together I did not allow him to sleep in the bed with me as I did not want a drunk in the same room as me and dd, he says this made him drink more as he couldn't come to bed. This all contributes to making me wonder if I am being unreasonable.

Sorry this is so long I wanted to write absolutely everything that has happened and the things I feel that I am at fault for as well to give a balanced view.

I desperately need some advice because although we are not together I still feel so responsible and unsure that I am doing the right thing by splitting up the family.

Thanks if you managed to read all this.


Are you now planning to divorce him?. You certainly have many grounds to do so. At the very least I would not have him visit your home at all or allow him to drink alcohol in your house. This becomes an alcohol free zone. Your rule of him drinking only after the children have done to bed is also enabling behaviour on your part but enabling only gives a false sense of control. "Rules" like that too are only made to be broken.

All men certainly don't drink and certainly not to the extent that he does. Again this is denial within him talking here and denial is a powerful force with the alcoholic.

His primary relationship first and foremost is with drink. Everything and everyone else is a lot further on down the list even if you all figure on it.

He may well hold down a job (well currently at least, he sounds like a functioning alcoholic) but there is no guarantee this will continue. You write that he has lost jobs before now because of this.

He is an your for extremely good reasons, ex's often are. He would continue to emotionally harm you and your children were he to stay with you permanently along with dragging you all down with him. You have not split up this family, he broke this family by his actions.

This comment of yours is also very telling and is very true:-
"By the time he has sorted himself out by dc will be grown up and absorbed all the toxicity of living with a drinker"

However, there are no guarantees here; he could lose everything and still continue to drink. Children of alcoholics parents can also go on to meet alcoholic partners themselves as adutls and become super responsible for the alcoholic.

You are also NOT, repeat NOT (x 1 million) responsible for him and his alcoholism; he chose to act this way and you did not make him an alcoholic. You did not "trap" him. He is projecting all his faults and problems onto you and is in denial of his problem (he does not think his alcoholism is a problem because he does not drink spirits!). Its tragic, his way of thinking and shows how deluded he actually is.

He may not be showing any physical effects but internally he is being damaged by alcohol. Mentally too, I would hazard a guess that this his short term memory is becoming poorer. Yet another effect of chronic alcoholism.

Like many women in these situations you feel responsible for the alcoholic; you should not feel this way although this is easy to say but hard to put into practice. You must emotionally detach and continue to put you and your children ahead of his interests. You have doen this be separating from him. You must remain separate from him and continue to detach.

Have you talked to Al-anon; they can help you and won't judge your situation. You need real life support as well as MN.

How many of your friends know of all this, very few I would imagine. This also thrives on secrecy.

You have a choice at the end of the day. Your children have no say.

Springfleurs Wed 27-May-09 10:02:49

Thanks for your reply Attila.

I do still feel responsbile to a certain extent but not enough to continue in a relationship with him.

He tells me that he drank as much as this when he first met me, nothing has changed so why is it a problem now? First of all this is not true, it has steadily crept up over the years and secondly everything else has changed, ie we had dc and need to provide a safe, secure life for them so that is why it is a problem now.

I have told his parents many times of his drinking but his dad just denies it "all men like a few pints" and his Mum is a classic "enabler" to all of her family. H's sister clearly has a drinking problem as well. My parents are aware but I don't have much trust in them because of an abusive childhood. Don't really have any RL friends where I live, they all live elsewhere or abroad.

I do want to divorce him, financially it is not the priority at the moment but that is the long term plan.

I think the hardest thing for me is the lack of physical symptoms in him. I KNOW it is unacceptable for him to be drinking 10 cans night but it just doesn't seem to show itself in him. He gets up,he goes to work etc. He doesn't seem to get bad hangovers, he has put on a lot of weight though. This makes me wonder if I am overreacting or being a drama queen.

Have looked at the Al-anon website and there are meetings close to me so it is possible I could attend.

Thanks again for reply, I know you are right about me not being responsible but I can't help but feel that I owe him something as my children's father.

Ready4anotherdecaffcoffee Wed 27-May-09 10:18:24

Hi springfleurs,

If you read the past posts both here and the previous one, you'll see we all could have written large chuncks of your post. look back and find the link on detachment, it's been very useful for me.

Dh has been making no effort to look for work. He spends a lot of time either asleep or with a beer in hand. fortunatly just maudlin rather than aggressive once drunk at the mo.

His urine results came back, and were negative. I finally got the full story when he had to write out a statement just in case the results were pos, and it transpires he was upset because we'd had an argument the night before [over his drinking] and when I couldn't talk it through [apologise/listen to his justification] on the phgone he went out of the yard and had a couple of cans. [TWATBOLLOXWANKER]. WELL, THERE YOU GO. i KNOW HIS DRINKING WOULD COST HIM HIS JOB.

Sorry, I needed that healthy rant.

Quite of my friends know he drinks now. i need to speak to my HV, and see what other support is out there for us. She is lovely, but I'm bricking it. i expect I'll get her over under the guise of weighing dd2.

I've taken to doing online shops so he can;'t sneak beer into the trolley, and cause an argument. however he's still drinking tool much, and the whites of his eyes are a definite butter yellow. makes me wonder how much more his body can take.

Ready4anotherdecaffcoffee Sat 30-May-09 09:33:29

How is everyone?

I'm finding here the beer is hitting him harder, he sits in the sun, and it is all he drinks, and so is sweating like a pig, and dehydrated. The whites of his eyes look really dodgy now, a dirty grey-yellow[think greying margerine].

Talk abbout killing yourself slowly.

How is everyone else?

secretsquirrel1 Mon 01-Jun-09 17:09:04

Hi Ready - Trouble is, no matter how many things you do to try and outwit never will. He will get the alcohol from somewhere - but the +ve is that you won't be stressing out about what you find at the checkout when you shop online smile

However, you don't need me to tell you that his behaviour is unnacceptable - you need all the help and support you can get for yourself & your DCs. Try not to get a justification/reason/discussion from him - don't engage in what has happened. You'll just get very frustrated (yes I've been there so I know exactly what you're going through).

You need to start focusing on you & the DC's - and not on those eggy eyes grin!!

BodenGroupie Mon 01-Jun-09 20:52:21

Does anyone on here know of any positive outcomes from this sort of situation? I've just made the decision to go to an AlAnon meeting after 20 years of watching my husband's mainly secret drinking get worse and worse. I wonder if I've left it too late or if I'm just setting myself up for more disappointment.

Ready4, something you said way back in these posts about swigging straight out of the bottle rang a bell. Every bottle of alcohol we have in the house - usually my cooking stuff - has been drunk down to the last centimetre. I think he thinks as long as it's not completely empty I won't notice. I look after all the money (not that there is much, for obvious reasons) but he's "lost" every receipt whenever he goes to Tescos. The whole thing makes me feel really humiliated, partly because I know some of our friends just think I'm controlling him when I'm actually just trying to stop the world falling apart around my DDs.

He says the problem is mine because I don't drink enough hmm. I stick to weekends only, mainly because I don't think it's healthy to drink every day. I wonder if I should give up completely and not have any booze in the house.

Don't know if I can take many more evenings of him snoring on the sofa cos he doesn't eat but does drink sad

tillypolonski Tue 02-Jun-09 00:33:16

Hello all!

I too have lurked about for a while and I just thought I would now be brave and dip my toe in the MN waters!

I have a partner with a longstanding alcohol problem - he has been pretty bad for about six years now. Increasingly he has not been able to manage more than a few days without alcohol - and really only does it if I am with him. Otherwise he goes on benders that have lasted days - the last one was about five. Drinks vodka and beers and will pass out on the living room floor at any time of the day. In fact the DCs have come downstairs for breakfast to find him still watching crap TV clutching a glass of vodka. He has lost his job in the last few months as he couldn't stay sober enough to ever go and we are in serious financial jeopardy as a result.

Unfortunately he is not a nice drunk - I will not go into details but it is pretty horrible for me and the DCs. He and I are struggling to maintain a good relationship - what a surprise! But when he is sober he can be very very nice - and a really great Dad - and the DCs love him - esp DS (who is a teenager). Having said that they have also told me to throw him out - my DD has sobbed at me to 'ditch him, Mummy!' and DS has often bellowed at him to leave us all alone and to stop picking on me etc (often at 2.00pm in the morning when he has music on loud and has decided to come upstairs and pick an arguement with me) - but they really only want him to go for a while not forever. There is lots more I could say - as you can imagine!

He has been sober/not hungover for seven days now (bit of a record!)and has done very well over the half term. He has done loads with the DCs and they are really happy. Now, a couple of weeks ago, after I had had enough and whilst my partner was in the grips of a huge bender I did something that I had been thinking of doing for a while. Last year we didn't really have a proper holiday and after checking this out with my DS, I booked us (me and the DCs) flights to Scandinavia for two weeks. I told DS that I was thinking of doing this and would he be OK about going away without his Dad and he seemed OK (surprisingly so but he was cross with his Dad at the time I guess). I said that we needed some space and that his Dad could go away himself for a break. I just wanted some space and I was sooooo angry with my partner - I just thought 'sod it!' I used to go to Scandinavia as a child/teenager/young adult a lot, I have lots of friends there who we can stay with and I want my children to do what I did as a child. And the flights were so cheap!!!! But - I have not told my partner as I know he would go mad - cue another bender! He would be really hurt - the fact that he has been sober for a week is supposed to make me forget the past horrific six years and so on. My DD doesn't know either - she would not keep a secret! But I have been hugging it to me as a sort of happy secret, an emotional hot water bottle. I know I will have to come clean soon and I know there will be fallout then but it has almost been like a source of comfort to me! I just keep saying to myself 'I am going back to ***!' and feeling so so happy!

However this eve DS says to me, only partly out of earshot, under his breath, 'Have you booked the flights?'. I prevaricated and he said that he didn't want to go any more. Essentially he doesn't want to go without his Dad and this is totally understandable, He loves his Dad and things have been good for him over the half term so now he can't imagine leaving him behind.

I just feel so sad - I want everything to be OK but past experience tells me that it is only a matter of time before the next bender. Meanwhile my secret is no longer the comfort it was - and I know that is selfish - it is the happiness of my children that comes first. I feel a bit stupid really - I certainly won't force DS on a plane and I don't want him to feel disloyal.

Anyway - sorry for the LONG first post! I know there are no easy answers here. Thanks if you have waded your way through all of this.


Its never too late to go to an Al-anon meeting; you stick with your decision to go along!. Its helped many posters on here.

I would make your house an alcohol free zone; do you drink with your H at all?. If so do not do this any more, drinking with an alcoholic is only enabling them. Does not help anybody and only gives you a false sense of control.

I guess as well your friends do not know the full extent of his alcoholism; alcoholism as well thrives on secrecy. How are your children coping with all this, how old are they?. I would argue as well that their world has already fallen apart already because of their drunken dad. They see how you react and take it on board. They also see and hear all no matter how much the non drinking parent tries desparately to hide it from them. You can paper over the cracks as much as possible but the cracks return.

Your main priority is your own self and your children - not him. You are ultimately not responsible for him.


Am going to start with some questions for you.

Do you love this man still after all he's put you all through?. Do you feel responsible for him?. What would it take for you to walk away from all this for good?
You don't mention taking the children and leaving him; have you considered that?. Going on holiday with the children is a good idea and I think you should all go but you will come back to the same old and his ongoing alcoholism. He is now also unemployed due to his drinking - that says an awful lot.

He is patently NOT a good Dad if he can only stay sober at most for a week. In the past too your kids have told you to throw him out!!. The children are learning from you and him about relationships; what are you both teaching them here?. Being in a household with a drunken parent as well is no fun at all (and that's an understatement) for the children and can be highly damaging to them.

You need to realise as well that this man's primary relationship is with drink (as he is no longer working who is now buying the alcohol?. You?). Please don't buy him drink if you are doing so, this will enable him and only gives you a false sense of control. Your children and you are well down his list of priorities even if you all figure on it in the first place.

Have you also thought about contacting Al-anon as well, they could help you and also show you what role you are playing in this situation. Many women in these situations end up acting as their partner's enabler; making excuses for them, covering up all their mess they made. How many of your own friends know about his drink problem?.

Him going on a bender after you tell him you're all going on holiday is his choice; you are not responsible for him.

You have a choice ultimately re this man - your children have no say. You are still not ultimately responsible for him - only your own self and your children.

BodenGroupie Tue 02-Jun-09 09:37:48

Thanks Attila. My girls are 13 and 15.

It's interesting what you say about making the house alcohol free and drinking with him. I have one glass of wine with a meal, weekends only but the rest of the bottle disappears. He also has a stash in the garage.

I'm already worrying that the eldest has an unhealthy attitude as (like her friends) she believes it's an essential part of a night out (though she's frightened enough of me to have stuck to one drink so far). However, they are both pretty disgusted by him as they rarely see him awake. We've been lucky that he's not a nasty drunk, just a sleepy one but I don't want to spend the rest of my life lonely because of it. He's also had a few accidents (falls and cuts and bruises, not car) which they've witnessed.

As for friends, most of what we do with them involves alcohol (barbecues, meals etc) and I haven't given too much away out of embarrassment. They just treat him with affectionate amusement. He has fallen asleep on the loo during one dinner party and not reappeared for 45 minutes. At another he actually fell off the loo in the room above us.

I don't know whether I want to fix this marriage or get out. I do feel responsible for fixing him as I fix everything else. Getting out is terrifying - I've seen enough couples split in our small village to see how devastating it is for everyone, children, friends, family etc but all I'm getting out of my marriage now is a nice house sad.

Hi BG,

Drinking with the alcoholic is enabling behaviour; it does not help the alcoholic in any way and just gives the non alcoholic person a false sense of control.

Your daughters both need help as well. Alateen is a good place for them to contact - its the teen version of Al-anon. You as their Mum certainly need support and Al-anon could well help you (they have a telephone helpline and they have leaflets on alcoholism).

I can only reiterate you are NOT (repeat ad nauseum) repeat NOT responsible for him although like many women in these situations you do feel some responsibility/co-dependency towards him. He does not give any of you the same consideration does he?.

You have mentioned no indication of him wanting to address his alcoholism. Like many as well he is likely to be in denial and badly underestimates how much he is actually drinking. You cannot make him seek help unless he really wants help. He could lose everything and still carry on drinking - there are no guarantees here.

Getting out is perhaps terrifying but you only have one shot at this life and one day (and that day will come very quickly) your DDs will leave home. What then for you?. What sort of life will you have then, you're all not having much of a life now. A nice house does not compensate, it does not even come close. Them also growing up with a drunk parent is not doing them any favours at all and it does affect them. Its certainly not helping you, you can't even bring yourself to talk to anyone openly about his alcoholism out of embarrassment and shame. Alcoholism as well also thrives on secrecy.

SnowieBear Tue 02-Jun-09 13:40:04

Hi there all, and welcome to all the newbies… what a great club we all belong to, huh?

I’ve been lurking for quite a while now, as I felt (and still feel) as if posting on my news would be all wrong. Today is DH’s three-month anniversary and the longest I’ve seen him without a drink in 20 years. We are happy and working through the issues, practical and otherwise and still chat a lot about the drink, as our personal one-to-one therapy. AA and Al-Anon have become essentials; DH’s gratitude to AA is immense, he has a sponsor and is even trying to help others.

It is still one day at a time, but that’s all it will ever be, and stopping uselessly projecting about the future and concentrating on today is a fair deal once put into real practice. Today, three months. Tomorrow…. we’ll see about tomorrow when tomorrow comes.

To the oldies-but-goodies – keep remembering it’s about you and your DCs and do your outmost to put them, their safety and well-being first.

To the newbies – you are in a good place to get support, advice and a helping hand. Al-Anon helps a lot, you need to know you are not alone, or unique in this plight and that there are indeed things you can do to make it better.

Which brings me to my hesitation in posting… we do all sorts of things to “make it better” thinking making it better will bring the alcoholic back in the long run. It may. It may not. That’s why it is so important to remember that it is about your DCs and your life. As Attila would remind us: You didn’t cause it. You cannot control it. You cannot cure it.

I promise not to be a stranger and be around more.

PS: Ready, dirty grey-yellow eyes are bad news, but still his bad news. Be prepared for a hospital stay in the not too distant future.

PPS: Gosh, I've gone on a bit today, haven't I? Talk about overcompensating!

tillypolonski Tue 02-Jun-09 17:27:35

Thanks Attila - I knew it was a good idea to come out of the closet as it were - you are talking real sense. It's stuff I know - of course I do - but it is good to hear others say it. I will, one day soon I hope, have the courage to act on it.

I don't know whether I do love him any more - I used to sooo much. We were the couple that others looked to as a role model and it was not a sham. We have been through a lot together and I thought he was the other piece of my jigsaw. But the last six years (there were signs before but not much more than that) have been hell and my compassion for him and his problems has slowly been eroded.

In the last few months to a year many more friends/family know. Still not very many as I am too ashamed but enough for me to have a good support group. My sister lives a long way away but she is fantastic and her husband is too - I have other friends who are give good roles models as well.

Got home at the same time as the kids this afternoon - as I always do 'just in case' and guess what? He's passed out on the sofa - loads of empty bottles and the house stinks of beer.

My DS says that the answer is to not let him have access to any money as if that is a normal way for a father to be and something that can be sustained long term. I have shut down most avenues for cash for him but he always finds a way. He has opened up a new bank account (or reactivated an old one) and I am afraid that he is going overdrawn - I have already bailed him out of debts quite few times. We do have one bank account together still. It has nothing going in but he has made that one overdrawn.

No I don't buy him booze although I am ashamed to say I used to - the quicker he passed out the sooner we got peace. Anyone familiar with that? You are right - the children are getting a really bad idea of relationships, how a father should be etc. I do worry tho'. DS seems quite relieved - almost grateful - that he has passed out and I don't know how to try and get it through to him that this is completely unacceptable without seeming to 'badmouth' his father (if we do split up - when?) I don't want to be accused of poisoning them against him. I get that already. It's another guilt I carry.

Well - we are going out... It is a lovely eve and even tho' I think it is bad for us to be hounded out of our own home, we will have a better time. No homework so that's OK.

Thanks for your support!

Snorbs Tue 02-Jun-09 22:59:00

tillypolonski, no matter what you do, you'll get wild accusations made about your behaviour and actions. Accusations about "poisoning the children against them" are so commonplace as to be almost de rigeur. I know it's hard to do, but try not to worry about such rubbish. It's the alcoholism talking; you just have to expect any accusation, threat, denial or general bullshit necessary to divert attention away from the boozing. The trick is to realise that it's self-serving crap and to ignore it.

I think you'll have a problem explaining to your DS that his father's behaviour is unacceptable. Because, ultimately, you are accepting it. I don't say that to make you feel bad. I say that because I've been in the same situation and the realisation that I was - unwittingly - accepting behaviour from my (at the time) DP that I saw as totally unacceptable from anyone else.

What you have said about your DS, his opinions about his father's drinking and his relief at him being passed-out are significant and of concern. He seems to be very emotionally involved in his father's drinking and is obviously trying to think of ways of controlling it (eg, by suggesting you restrict money). It's vitally important for your DS to learn that, above all, his father's alcohol abuse is not a problem that DS has either a responsibility to solve or any influence over.

I really would recommend a book called "Codependency No More" by Melody Beattie. I've also heard very good things about the Getting Them Sober books. The Alcoholic Relationship Survival Guide from Empowered Recovery is also worth a look, too. Don't expect a list of things you can do to stop your DH drinking, though - the prime purpose of all these resources is to help you find ways to reduce the effect your DH's drinking has on you and your children. That doesn't necessarily mean divorce, but it does mean working to pull your attention off of him and to put it on yourself.

Ready4anotherdecaffcoffee Tue 02-Jun-09 23:23:28

Hi all, and welcome newbies

I've not caught up properly, todays been a rather strange few days as I've been really brave, and told my hv and my 2 closest friends exactly or almost exactly the situation.

Sun night we went to a rather nice pub [driving so tried a rather yummy fruitiser]for a natter, and although my friends knew a little of the situation, they didn't know how shit it is. one of them has an uncle who has just been sectioned with alcoholic dementia, and 5 years ago he had everything. now I'm beginning to talk about it the spectre of it[it being the fact my dh is an alcoholic] is reducing.

Anyway gunned up by the feeling of relief I phoned my hv, who is fab. My actual answerphone message was asking her to come and weigh dd2, because I'm crap at asking straight for help, however she read between the lines and phoned me back yesterday sfternoon, and arranged for this morning, and it was such a relief to explain just everything. I was even brave enough to say there is a history of dv, and mentioned the police report, although I didn't mention anything specefic [too wussy, twas hard enough just saying that]. Seemed ok at the time, however 10 mins later thinking it over in my mind after she's gone while pegging out nappies I just shook, with tears streaming. at one point she even got up off the sofa, and came across to where i was sitting keeping dd2 occupied and hugged me. that to me is a massive thing in it's self. and she commented thatit must be a terrible strain.

Anyway, I'm partly waffling on because I want to shout from the rooftops about how brave I think I've beenhmmwink and to say to all you others that a problem shared really is a problem halved, although I'd still reccommend being picky about who you share it with, not the playground gossip ie.

Phew, now to catch up properlygrin

Ready4anotherdecaffcoffee Wed 03-Jun-09 00:25:28

Ok, now I'm trying to catch upgrin

I've found this on t'internet, and it offers a little advice which was new to me, and I found interesting. Also, here's the link for detachment

Tilly, have you looked into al-anon, and alteen? I've been too wussy to contact them so far, but theyhave really helped SS and ginny and others, and alteen might be just the thing for your ds. Hope you get to have your hol in scandinavia, sounds like just the break you all need. maybe being away from it all will give your ds a chance to think clearly.

BG, I would second Attila about not drinking at home. I have very strict rules for myself re drink, as I feel it is important for me to set the moral high ground, if nothing else. I don't drink in the home. I will drink a max of 3 units if I am out with a friend/s and that is at most twice a week. Not that I get out muchgrin

I also agree with the secrecy. My attitude is that it is an illness, and that is how I present it to the friends that know, and also to ds when he askssad.

Most importantly, please repeat Attila's 3 c's ad infinitum. You cannot fix him. only he can do that, and the best advice I can give until he decides he's ready to address the problem is to not mention it. life here has become so much more peaceful now the arguments about amount/frequency are not happening. It's hard, when all you want to do is take them by the scruff of the neck and shake some sense into them. Plus, and I don't know if your dh is like this, but if I bring up his drinking, and/or the consequences in the past he becomes very defensive, and drinks to blot the shame.

snowie COnGRATS for reaching the 3 mth anniversarygrin and well done your dh. keep posting, it reminds us that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Dh has been fairly sober the last few days - he's no money left and is reduced to counting the coppers in the jar. jsa is due in tomorrow, and I'll be taking most of it and putting it into my account. not to control him, but to ensure we eatgrin

<waves> to everyone. wishing you all peaceful evenings.

BodenGroupie Wed 03-Jun-09 10:18:29

Thanks for the good advice, everyone.

Yes, Attila, he is completely in denial - he does not have a problem, I do!

I'm confused by the difference between enabling and not being responsible for him particularly regarding drinking in front of him. I am very strict with myself about drinking, but what happens when we go out? For instance, going to a friend's barbecue on Sunday. Can I have a glass of wine or is that enabling? Is it an issue that other people will be drinking around him? I don't know how you fit this situation into normal life - I don't want to give the impression that everyone we know is drunk all the time, far from it!

Also, hoping to get to an AlAnon meeting next week. Did you tell your DH/DP first?

ginnny Wed 03-Jun-09 10:18:46

Snowie - fantastic news. I am really pleased for you both. He is doing really well and it sounds like you both have the right attitude.
Ready - well done. You have taken one step towards the end of the tunnel by telling people. I found it really hard to confide in friends, but on the whole they are great about it. My worry was that everyone would treat him differently since we got back together but nobody has.
Hi Tilly and BG - Do try Alanon. I found that it made me question my own behaviour about his drinking. I used to argue and shout at him, try my hardest to keep him out of the pub, pretend I was drinking wine too and throw it down the sink just to stop him drinking so much blush but all of that just made me crazy and him drink more.
Its hard to put into practice but at the end of the day its their life. If they want to drink themselves to death they will and nothing will stop them so you have to concentrate on yourself and your dc and grow a very thick skin.

ginnny Wed 03-Jun-09 10:24:10

Also, I have discovered that when I stopped being so bothered about his drinking, it lost some of the appeal. He used to enjoy 'getting one over on me' and sneaking off to the pub and lying. Now I don't try and stop him its not as much fun for him.
Part of it for him was the game - sitting in the pub with his idiot mates giggling about how they have escaped their wives clutches to the pub - hilarious hmm
Nowadays I'll phone him in the pub and tell him what we are doing without him and how it would be lovely if he was with us ... but never mind, I'll see him when he's sober again grin

BodenGroupie Wed 03-Jun-09 11:02:43

Ginny, that does sound familiar! I can't believe that DH, at 56, still likes to rebel. Also, I've never met his friends...he has a whole life I'm not involved with - names never get mentioned and I know he often drinks alone (but he doesn't have a problem....) Even the men that I do know (husbands of my friends that we socialise with) do make the odd comment about him being "allowed out".

Snorbs Wed 03-Jun-09 11:22:51

BodenGroupie, I've heard lots of different opinions about whether you should drink in front of someone with a drink problem. Some people say that you should carry on with your life as normal and leave them to make their own choices, others say that to drink in front of them will merely encourage them to drink more.

For what it's worth, my view is that if someone with a drink problem is going to drink then they'll use whatever excuse/justification they need to do so. So if you want to have a drink then have a drink.

That being said, I ended up not drinking when my alcoholic ex was drinking. This wasn't because I thought it would have any affect on her drinking but, rather, it was because I could cope with her getting drunk and kicking off a lot better if I was stone-cold sober. If I'd been drinking too then I'd be much more likely to argue back and that just made things so much worse.

I think it boils down to doing what you want to do for reasons that are best for you. Don't consider what effect those decisions will have on your DH or his drinking. His choice to drink (or not) is not your responsibility.

As for telling him you're going to Al-Anon... Why not? Just be clear to him that you're going to Al-Anon because you think it might be good for you; you're not expecting to change him.

SnowieBear Wed 03-Jun-09 13:31:47

*Ginny, Ready* – thanks for the congrats, it means a lot. We’ve found a couple of parallel AA/Al-Anon meetings that we are hoping to go to regularly so they don’t eat so much into our time together (he’s doing two meetings a week already, both in the evening and I’m still working full-time), so I’m looking forward to getting the arrangements set up for that and regular babysitting for DS so that we can do it.

BodenGroupie, when my DH was drinking heavily, I used to drink too to numb it all – my drinking or otherwise did not have any impact in his own consumption, but as Ginny says, this is about what works for you. Now he is sober, we don’t keep any drink in the house and as I don’t go out and socialise, I don’t worry too much about what to do outside the family home. The thing is, we all worry about what others will say… did they notice he is drinking too much? Will they ask why I am not drinking? Funny – one thing as bad as the other, or is it? At the end of the day, it’s your life and they are not living it, be honest, be straight and don’t be afraid. By and large, the response you’ll have from people will pleasantly surprise you and be a source of support.

Tilly, the advice about Al-Anon and Alateen is sound. Being a teenager is hard enough in itself without having to deal with the fallout from having an alcoholic parent. Alateen would help a lot, but please realise you need help too and you can get it from Al-Anon. Regarding the accusations, all I can say, is alcoholic thinking will bring them forward regardless of what you do. Disregard everything he says when under the influence: no doubt he does believe it to be true, but that’s what the drink is doing to him. Don’t let it do it to YOU by giving any of his statements weight and value. This gets really hard when they say nice things you’d like to believe, but it’s all coming from the same pot – stand by what you know it’s right in your thoughts and actions, that’s all you can do.

Ready – well done, girl, well done. smile

Keep on keeping on!

tillypolonski Fri 05-Jun-09 01:15:52

It's all spiralling downwards here but Snowiebear 'stand by what you know is right' is what I will do.

My partner has been drunk/on his latest binge now for two or three days or so and the fall out for the children is huge. He now says that it is all my fault and that I have never helped him etc. I wanted him to talk to his parents but he says he will never forgive me if I speak to them about what is going on. He doesn't want to upset them because they are in their seventies but ignores the fact that my 82 old father was in tears begging him to stop drinking for the sake of his grandchildren and his family and that he and my mother have offered all the help they can to him (a place to go when he is on his own etc.) - my partner has never got on with his family especially and has always said that my family have been kinder and more like a family to him than his own.

He is now demanding his 'due' - he says he will leave us all if I give him enough money! I have always worked full time - I have needed to because he hasn't ever really worked - and brought in the family money and that isn't a problem (although I would love to work part time and spend more time at home with the kids). However, because he is drunk a lot of the time, my partner doesn't do much child care - only when he feels like staying sober. I cannot rely on him - I don't know when he will decide to do anything so I have to be ready to do it - as well as being the security for the children.

I have funded him throughout our partnership in his academic studies - undergraduate, postgraduate (Ph.D), postgraduate (a vocational M.A. which he has not finished because he was too drunk a lot of the time to get to uni so I carry a debt of about £3500 for this on my credit card). I really respected him and loved him and wanted him to feel good about himself and do what made him happy - I don't care what he does as long as it is something that the children can respect him for too - but this has not happened - not for a while. In the morning he is either asleep and too hungover to get up or occasionally still up and drinking vodka - I go to work, the children go to school and he stays at home. He then usually drinks more vodka or lager but occasionally does some work around the house. He finds this demeaning I guess but it is always thrown at me as how I couldn't do without him. The the money he spends on alcohol, I could employ an army of cleaners and they would be nice and wouldn't shout at me afterwards! However now he wants me to 'set him up' in a flat because he wants his rights financially - and then he will leave us alone. What message is that for the children?

I will seriously think about Al Anon etc. The only trouble is that my partner tried AA and it has been a bit of a nightmare since because he keeps telling me that he is an alcoholic and therefore can't help it. I am sure that this is not the message that they are giving him but one time not so long ago he went to an AA meeting after a binge and they were , according to him, really understanding - and for him (although I am sure this is not what they meant) that more or less condoned the behaviour. However he doesn't go now.

I hope people will be pleased to know that I have taken legal advice and that I will try and speak to someone again this am. to work out what I can do next. I am not prepared to let my children be exposed to this and to live in the purgatory - I want him to leave and my legal advice before was that I more than enough grounds (even before the last few weeks which have been worse) to get him to leave and to take out an injunction so that he cannot harrass/hurt us. The trouble is that he is never sober at the moment and I don't know what you do vis a vis someone who is drunk (i.e. cannot stand up properly)and who will not leave the house (and he really has nowhere to go as his friends are either too far away or too pissed off with him to give him a bed.)

This is the culmination of about six years and I am so scared but I need to do what needs to be done tomorrow (today?) so that my children and I can get in with living a normal life as opposed to this hell we are in.

Somehow writing it down makes me more determined to do the right thing for my children - so thank you for that.


I hope you manage to seek legal advice this am; this situation is not at all sustainable and is highly damaging for you and your children. You may well have to use the police too in order to get him to leave. I would certainly take out an injunction as a matter of course.

I sincerely hope you manage to get legally shot of him for good; he is no good whatsoever to be around and highly damaging to all who are around him. The enabling you did re paying for his studies as well; that money would have been better spent on yourself and your children. Think you realise that now.

Always remember as well you are NOT responsible for him. The fact as well that he dropped out from AA (and I would not believe anything he uttered re that organisation) is very telling as well.

Good luck to you, you can make a nice life for yourselves without him in it. Use all legal avenues.

And do go to Al-anon as well; at the very least speak to them and get their information.

SueMunch Fri 05-Jun-09 11:03:30


Have to echo that - you are not responsible for him.

And the determination you have shown throughout this speaks volumes for your future - you are already surviving without his imput so when he leaves you will be better off and will cope.

What little housework he does doesn't matter. Your children would be better off in an untidy house than living with this negative, toxic and incredibly draining man around.

As far as I can see he has no financial rights as it is you that has earned all the money.

He is an adult and as such is responsible for himself. Getting him to leave might be the only wake up call he will ever respond to - but if I was in your position I wouldn't want him in my life, for my children's sake.

Stay strong and take care.

serajen Fri 05-Jun-09 13:34:28

Tilly, just want to send you a hug, have been in a relationship with a guy like yours, it's so draining and you sound so strong, do what is best and draw on all the support you can find, you are a brave lady

secretsquirrel1 Fri 05-Jun-09 14:07:49

Hi Tilly, I so know what you are going through. I'm at work at the moment but have the house to myself tonight so will reply more fully later.....SSX

secretsquirrel1 Sat 06-Jun-09 15:50:41

Hi Tilly & BG

I was in exactly the same situation as you in 2007. I went to Al Anon (and told him where I was going!) before I made any decisions about what I was going to do next almost a year later.

This, I have to say, was the best thing I could have done to start with. I learnt to let go of the bitterness, disappointment, anger, resentment, stop punishing him for not being the husband that he once was, to realise that although I knew deep down he did still love me, he loved the drink more. That I would never ever win because drinking was a compulsion over which he had absolutely no control.

What all us partners of alcoholics have to realise is that we are as sick as they are - very hard to take that on the chin when you are busy spinning all the plates and he's doing naff all 24/7!

Once I understood what alcoholism was all about I started to get better; by putting 'the focus back on myself and taking it off him'.

Unfortunately, my changed attitudes were not enough to save our marriage and I made the most painful decision ever to file for divorce sad.

However, I do know that changed attitudes have helped the alcoholic to seek sobriety - I know of several couples where it has worked. So I don't want anyone reading this to just give up straight away.

I must also stress that Al Anon has worked for me but it might not work for everyone. I can understand how it doesn't work for some - it is not a case of 'oh I'll go to Al Anon and they will tell me exactly what I need to do to get the alcoholic to stop drinking'. It is not a quick fix either - more a work in progress. And you have to be patient enough to allow time for the healing process to start. Everyone is so different, and we have different degrees of desperation.

Personally, I found that through Al Anon there was life outside of the hellhole that was home; that it was ok to laugh, joke, actually have a life that did not revolve around the alcoholic. I also started to let go of what I thought I deserved and stopped punishing him for his failures.

Tilly, you asked for advice about finances as you've paid for everything and he hasn't etc etc.
Why don't you CAT me, then I can explain more fully what happened with me - it will give you some idea what to expect & what you have to do to protect yourself & your DCs.

Hope this has helped. SSX

Hi all - also checking in. Boden, your DH sounds JUST like mine - my girls are younger than yours though, 4 and 7.

My DH is currently asleep on the sofa. Like you Boden, my DH is a sleepy drunk, he tends to just zone out by about 9.30 or so (that's after about an hour or so of me listening to him talk complete bollocks over dinner). So unless we have company I do spend every friday and saturday evening alone, mostly on the PC or reading. Not much fun I guess.

Here's what I've been doing so far. I recognise it's a long journey but every one starts with a single step and all that.

I bought some books off Amazon and read them, I have also confided in a good friend, she was great and it felt like a relief to be open about things not being great.

I had a very calm and reasonable conversation with DH about his drinking saying I was concerned for his health and the future of our marriage. He admitted he has a problem but then a few days later went into a big sulk saying he is being unfairly criticised and since then I have seen nothing but denial. If anything he has been drinking more. I have started keeping a diary of his drinking to show to the drug/alcohol person at our GP's - still haven't made an appointment to go see them however!

I have also started a healthy eating/exercise regime and have lost 7lb's and already feel much better. I really need to put "me" first more often.

I have also planned activities for me and the girls at weekends - today we went swimming, tomorrow we will go for pizza, if he is sober and wants to come, he can, if not, then we will go anyway.

I still feel very afraid, have lots of concerns and worries but I am just trying to arm myself with some info and take this slowly without worrying too much about what the final outcome might be.

I love this thread, it is so useful and so helpful to know there are others in a similar boat. Lots of love to all.

llareggub Sun 07-Jun-09 00:05:50

I posted a long time ago on the last thread, and have just spotted this part 2.

My DH is an alcoholic and he has been sober since 15th January 2007. We've been chatting about this thread and he tells me that he knew in his heart that he had a problem a long, long time before that. Looking back the signs were there.

He goes to AA once a week which his sponsor says is not enough, but what with a full-time job, a growing business and 2 children there aren't enough hours in the day! Life for us now is remarkably good, considering that 2006 was a horrendous time. His drinking was at its peak and he was scruffy, did not have good hygiene, was acting oddly and was hiding cider bottles all over the place.

The change in him has been incredible and although I can't pretend that it has been an easy journey, we are getting there and I am very proud of him.

Alcoholics can become sober but they must never drink again. I support him by not drinking too. I don't miss it and DH tells me that life is wonderful without alcohol. He still takes anti-depressants and at some point we'll need to tackle those as well.

I did see a counsellor at one point and that was helpful. I'd still like to know why he drank like he did, and he is working through the steps with his sponsor so maybe one day he'll work it out. There is a family history so we are hopeful that our sons will break free of alcoholism as they will grow up without seeing alcohol being drunk at home.

I am truly aware that this current sobriety may change in an instance, and every now and again I get the fear if he seems unhappy.

Hi all, just popping by quickly to see how everyone is.

tonight I asked him to leave the house, he'd been obviously drunk since 3pm and in a foul mood. culminated in him throwing dd1 (thank god she's unharmed) and hitting me. took kids upstairs, called the police. atm he is in a cell sobering up. I am numb, I know everything will hit me later.

so this is it. Finished. Unless he can sort himself out, I face at least a year on my own. I have spent tonight trying to explain alcoholism to ds, who is 5. have had to explain that daddy won't live here for a while. afahek daddy is sleeping off his beer before he has to go on the time out step at the police station.

tillypolonski Mon 08-Jun-09 00:58:52

Thanks to everyone!

Things not going quite as fast as I imagined here but i am staying resolute. I am absolutely blessed with some very supportive friends who have been rallying round, offering support, taking my children for sleepovers so they aren't exposed to the chaos, offering me their very large husbands to help eject my partner from the house etc.! (I haven't taken them up on that... yet)

Tried to make my partner leave on Friday but he was hung over and literally refused to go - I packed his bags and offered to take him to any destination of his choice but no joy. I am seeing my solicitor on Tuesday so I will take legal advice re: this. I am very lucky (in some ways at least) in that my oldest friend (we have been friends since we were four years old) is a solicitor. Now - she specialises in liciences for pubs and clubs!!!!! but she has recommended another solicitor in her firm who I have seen once before and who I am seeing on Tues. This woman doesnt work on Fridays and Mondays unfortunately but in the meantime she has been there for me, checking things out with other family solicitors in her firm etc. I am not sure how I will ever repay my wonderful friends for all they are doing for me but I still feel so scared and so alone even so. How stupid is that?

My DCs had a sports event to go to this w/e and we went - and they had a good time with their friends from their club and I enjoyed being away with the other parents. We were away from Sat am until Sun eve. My partner was out cold on Sat am but texted me today to say thar he has chosen to be sober - not sure I believe him... He was asleep in bed when we got back so no chance for my DCs to share their adventures this w/e with him. This morning my DD said to me 'Does Daddy know I am in this competition?' - well he did but he didn't feel it important enough to be sober and to be there to cheer her on! (Sorry if I sound bitter...)

It just makes me so upset that I have to lie to everyone as they want to know where my partner is etc. - the last comp w/e we had he was too drunk to come as well and I am running out of excuses. We stopped off to see a friend of mine who I haven't see for a long while on the way home and again I had to lie about my partner being ill. They were asking about him and his job as well and my children know that he has lost it because of his drinking and they have to listen to me tell lies - and I am trying to bring them up not to lie! I feel like I am living a double life - do other people experience this? A number of my close friends know what is going on - and are wonderful - but there are quite a few very close friends who don't and I feel so bad. I don't want to lie to them but it is so hard to tell the truth. My partner gets very angry when he realises people know. He accuses me of poisoning people and he feels that he is running out of friends because - in his eyes - I am telling them untruths.

Anyway - have to go off to sort school bags, shoes PE kit etc. It is so good to have support here - very strange but the advice and support from people who are in the same position as me - or something like - is very important...

Sorry - another ramble.....

SS1 - does CAT mean contact you? Sorry I am new!

We stopped off to see a friend of mine who I haven't see for a long while on the way home and again I had to lie about my partner being ill. They were asking about him and his job as well and my children know that he has lost it because of his drinking and they have to listen to me tell lies - and I am trying to bring them up not to lie! I feel like I am living a double life - do other people experience this? A number of my close friends know what is going on - and are wonderful - but there are quite a few very close friends who don't and I feel so bad. I don't want to lie to them but it is so hard to tell the truth. My partner gets very angry when he realises people know. He accuses me of poisoning people and he feels that he is running out of friends because - in his eyes - I am telling them untruths

Tilly, tell me about it. been there. recently I stopped lying about it, because my close friends knew I was holding back anyway. And if you're going to divorce anyway, your friends will find themselves in the position where they feel they have to choose which of you to remain in closer contact with anyway.

This is a double life we live. in many ways the addiction f**ks up our lives just as much. and tbh this thread has kept me sane and given me so much strength. Now I just have to get through today. I have a close friend who dropped everything at 10pm and drove 20mins just to hold me together. I don't know how I'll ever repay her kindness.

I have to go and get my mummy face on. I need to keep today normal for ds, although I think I'll keep dd1 at home today.

and yes, CAT does mean that. click on the little letter on the right of the blue bar with her name on.


Re this comment in particular:-
"We stopped off to see a friend of mine who I haven't see for a long while on the way home and again I had to lie about my partner being ill".

Presumably as well you lied out of feelings of guilt, embarrassment and shame. All of these I assure you are totally misplaced.

I would have told this person the truth; the truth sets you free. Lying like this reflects badly on you. Also lying in front of your children when they know the truth of the situation sends them very mixed messages. As mentioned before, many women in these situations often end up lying for their partners; again lying for your man (I hesitate to use the word partner as he is clearly not fit to have such a role) is enabling behaviour. Enabling helps no-one and it only gives you a false sense of control. You have enabled him with money and your home and now you're still enabling him by covering up for him.

You must STOP enabling him and detach emotionally and completely. He will destroy you all otherwise. You need to further read also about co-dependency.

Even though you get the children out as much as possible they know and know only too well about the chaos he brings in his wake. There are the 3c's to remember as well - you did not cause this, you cannot cure it and you cannot control it.

I hope you manage to get him out of your lives for good; he has done and is doing more than enough emotional harm to you all. It is perhaps only when you are free of him will you fully realise the extent to which his alcoholism had you all in its grasp.
I would also speak to Al-anon as a matter of course. Your children could use the services of Alateen.

Do see the Solicitor as planned on Tuesday and use every legal means possible to get him out of your day to day lives. I do not say that at all lightly.

And no, I would not believe him at all when he says he has chosen to be sober; he is only telling you what you want to hear. The fact that he texted you that as well is very telling, he can't even be bothered to have a proper conversation with you. That as well is no subject suitable for a text message. How dare he do this.


P.S CAT means contact a poster privately. You can do this through MN

Hi R4ACoffee - so sorry to hear about what has happened, and glad you and DD are okay. Although it is obviously devastating, perhaps now you will be able to move forward.

Till, I also echo the comments about not holding back from good friends. I have started to adopt this policy lately, including confiding in my DH's sister, and it has been such an enormous relief.

As for me, DH actually stayed sober yesterday and we even had (good) sex last night. He is such a different man when sober, like Jekyll and Hyde. I truly think the sober version of himself just does not understand what an arse is is when drunk - not violent thank god, but just really really annoying!

One question - according to what I have read, one of the things to help break the cycle of co-dependency is not to nag etc - however, does that mean we simply never mention the drunken episodes? I don't want to bang on about it, but at the same time, I feel as if just ignoring it is somehow condoning it, does that make sense?

Well, I'm spending a lot of time on the phone to dv workers in various guises. dh is still locked up, prob won't be out before 3 at the earliest. I am in the process of trying to get something, i forget what, to keep him out.

Twt, that is part of it, because it then becomes part of a viscious circle where they then drink to blot out their guilt. I found it described in the AA's big book, the chapter 'for the wives'. it's also here down the page.

ok, time to try to continue staggering through today.

ginnny Mon 08-Jun-09 12:31:08

Ready shock at his disgusting behaviour towards you and your dc. He should be ashamed of himself. Thank God the dc are unharmed (physically at least sad) but maybe this is the wake up call that will rid you of him.
I know all too well about the double life. But we really are fooling noone. The number of people who, when i told them, said that they had guessed what was going on totally shocked me. I thought I was keeping up such a front. Now though I tell people, its not my problem, its his. He also gets annoyed when I tell, particularly when I tell my Mum for some reason and I've had all that about poisoning people against him, that's just becauae it brings all the guilt and shame up to face him and he can't cope. If he knew what I said on here to complete strangers he'd go mad grin
Tilly - I agree with Attilla. Texting is just not enough. You need to see proof of it in his actions.
Teenyweeny - My DP is the loveliest, kindest gentlest man when sober, but completely the opposite when sober. Don't get lulled into a false sense of security when he's nice though, stick to your guns and don't back down.
Regarding the nagging, it doesn't change anything. If they are going to get drunk no amount of nagging will change that, they will just say you drove them to it. You can show your disapproval by completely detaching from him until he's sober again. Whether that means going out with the dc or not letting him in the house when drunk. Its like having a child, reward good behaviour and ignore the bad.

SnowieBear Mon 08-Jun-09 13:31:30

Ready, I’m at work and snowed under, but I wanted to send you my best wishes – I’m so sorry it happened, I’m so sorry DD was there also at the receiving end. Will you be able to keep him away from you and your DC now?

Echo Ginny’s comments re double life, if you carry on with it for long enough, it’ll make anyone go barmy and it’s important to realise that sanity can be found in the trust of others. I remember going off to bed every night incensed at DH’s behaviour and making firm commitments to myself as to how I’d deal with things in the mornings, only for morning to come and with it my constant questioning of myself… was I over the top? Surely, things were not that bad… maybe today things would be better, maybe today would be the day when all changed for the best again. Fooling ourselves and damaging our sanity does us no good, and it’s no good for our DC either – one parent out of it and the other chasing their tail.

ginnny Tue 09-Jun-09 10:07:19

How are you today Ready?

hey all. I'll try and make sense, I have a thin veneer over a churning mass.

My HV came over while I was in the middle of making a statement to a solicetor over the phone in order to get an injunction. she was horrified, both at what she was hearing, and that it had been going on for so long without any hints to pick up on.

Unfortunatly the police were unable to take any further action towards DH, despite everything it all boiled down to his word against mine, he was very charming and persuasive one he'd spent the night sobering up. Legally I am unable to keep him out so he is in the house. I am on edge, even more so now, will explain in a bit. My HA are extreamly reluctant to change the locks, I got the whole spiel about how I could talk to her, but ultimatly they don't want to make any descision. angry

I have also spoken to the DV outreach worker and am meeting her tomorrow.

I spoke to child protection today. They are not happy about myself and the children being in the same house. However, they are happy that I want out of this fucked up relationship and am taking steps. If he doesn't leave though they will have to do an assessment. It is helping that my HV was aware of some of the situation, and that I am actively having contact with her.

This afternoon I was in court to try and get 1. non-molestation order, 2. occupation order, and 3. prohibited steps order.

I got 1 and 3. I wasn't expecting 2, as he has no friends or family, and so nowhere to go. As I got home, (we had to get the bus to the court, it's in our county town, 12 miles away) the man was there to serve the papers. he was there for about 1hour, a bit longer!

A bunch of flowers has appeared, I saw it earlier behind the compost bins. Apparantly it appeared earlier, and so I must be having an affair and I'm going to lose the children to him because of everything (self harm at 16, 12 yrs ago, PND, currently taking AD's.)

The idea is rather funny, since when do I have the time to even think about it!? (affair that is)

the allegations he keeps making, as above I have forewarned all parties, and tbh, the CP chap agreed that was probably on the ad's because of the current/recent situation if anything.

Anyway. He is pissed off. cold turkey due to no money. We are in court on Fri so he can answer the allegation, between now and then he has to find a solicetor. AIBU to dig out the bottle of bacardi (currently hidden behind the tumble dryer) the night before and leave it partly visable? my solicetor is hoping he'll lose it on fri in front of the judge.wink

ah well. Onwards and upwards. my hv is coming round tomorrow. i cannot sing her praises enough, she is lovely.

I guess Sun was my rock bottom... now I'm going for it. Divorce tomorrow...grin

Hope everyone else is oksmile

onlygotonelife Tue 09-Jun-09 22:44:07

Hi Ready - wow, you have come a long way in a short space off time - I'm just sorry you had such horrible experiences to get to this point. A big un MNly hug from me [[[[ready ]]]]

I'm a bit surprised at the not getting an injunction bit - wqhen I saw a solicitor when I was at a Women's Aid meeting, she said to keep a note of anything that happened to support requesting an injunction, and from what I'd said was happening, it would likely be granted.

So it didn't sound like there had to be any proof as such, and obviously it many cases these things are going to be a case of your word against his.

And the bit about him having nowhere to go - how does that make it OK for him to be in the same house as you?? It must be very difficult for you, well done for going through all this, you're being very strong x

secretsquirrel1 Wed 10-Jun-09 00:13:05

I have only just caught up with what has been happening.

Oh my God - Ready, I am so relieved to hear that you and the DC's are ok. How appalling that this had to happen for you to finally hit rock bottom. Thank God for the support you are getting from your HV.

Don't worry about digging out any bottles that you know about - there will be a whole load more that you don't know about. Oh yes he will be well pissed off - because the house of cards has come tumbling down and he has been exposed.

I have just spent the past 16/12 in the same house as my ex H whilst the divorce was going through - but he never lifted a finger to either DD or myself....if your STBEx has to live in the house with you, then you must ensure that the DC's are never left alone with him.

As I was paying for my divorce, I was told that an injuction would cost about 5K - I seriously was considering it after a year of living in limbo, waiting for the divorce to come through. And also this was because he wasn't violent to us....of course, my Brief was telling me of all sorts of scenarios- such as yours-but as he wasn't doing that I was told that I had to just bear it - the psychological toll was just awful angry!

However, I told DD that 'daddy has this illness that makes him fall over, smash things up, shout and get cross, but he doesn't remember any of it. That despite this illness, he still loves her underneath it all'.

It's a bit like a mantra - and she has repeated it to her childminder and a couple of others (who had already been told the bare minimum). And thank God they had been told because they wouldn'tve been able to handle any of it, especially coming from a 5 yr old!

Tilly, once you have worked out how to CAT me, please do so - I was in exactly the same situation with finances as you are now.

Also - that bit about nagging....there is absolutely no point whatsoever in trying to discuss the drunken episodes. You have to try to understand that the alsoholic is in a blackout - he will have no recollection of what has happened. That is why you must take yourself out of the room once they are angling for a verbal.

The only thing you can say (when it is the morning after the binge before) is that you will not accept/tolerate unacceptable behaviour. Just make that short sharp statement - when he has 'sobered up'- and leave it at that.

ginnny Wed 10-Jun-09 10:07:11

Ready. shock that he is still in the house after what he has done. I'm sure you have done this already, but make sure you have a bag packed full of all your documents and some clothes in case he kicks off again and you and dc need to run for it.
I wouldn't bother hiding the bacardi. As SS says if he wants to drink he'll find a way!
Stay strong. You are doing so well.

secretsquirrel1 Wed 10-Jun-09 10:59:23

Ready, how are things today?

How's everyone else?

SnowieBear Wed 10-Jun-09 12:42:23

Ready - I hope you and the DC are keeping as well as possible in the circumstances. Try to keep strong, this situation is not sustainable, it'll soon come to a head and you have to be ready for it. How are things now?

Thinking of you.

Hi all,

He's still very pissed off, and I agree with you all, that he's being exposed, and is losing everything. I have all my important documents at my friends up the road. No bag packed, I'm really hoping if he kicks off I can get him removed.

I totally agree that this situation will not continue, I could tell he was simmering when he came home mon, and the simmering is now becoming a boil. My neighbour is briefed to not hesitate calling 999 if she hears anything, and my mob lives in my pocket.

Of course he is going to be feeling quite ill due to the withdrawal. Re the bacardi Q, I stopped hiding his booze long ago, but I was given the bottle for christmas, and hid it to prevent him drinking itgrin

Oh, and it was my lovely neighbour who got the flowers!!! She got them mon, and some cake and i never got the chance to go round, so she stuck them on the gate, because she wsa in a rush. smile

How is everyone else?

MissyMimi Wed 10-Jun-09 20:58:18


I'm new to mumsnet, haven't had time to read all the threads but what I have read sounds so similar to my situation. I just wanted to bookmark the thread and will have a full read and add my story if that's ok? I really need to talk to people who aren't in my real life if you know what I mean.

Anyway hope to be back soon x

secretsquirrel1 Thu 11-Jun-09 10:34:54

Post when you're ready, MM!

Ready - I reckon there will be some serious wheedling soon.....he will become like an octopus - you won't know where those tentacles are coming from - so be warned wink

SnowieBear Thu 11-Jun-09 12:24:10

How's it going Ready?

SnowieBear Fri 12-Jun-09 08:50:48


secretsquirrel1 Fri 12-Jun-09 17:36:10


Oh this is getting so boring now. After a "good" week i.e no alcohol Sun/Mon/Tues/Wednesday DH has now had a drink Thurs/Fri/Sat. I expect he will be drinking tomorrow as well as it is our school fete so no doubt he will head for the beer tent. Last night's little session was enough to have him asleep in the chair by about 9.30pm. Tonight we went to some friends for a takeaway and he was actually falling asleep in the car on the way home (about 9.30) and then crashed out on the sofa the moment we got in, too pissed to even kiss his DD's goodnight. My overwhelming feeling with all of this really is just complete tiredness and boredom, I can't even say I feel angry, just sad and fed up really.

This isn't normal behaviour, is it? Please tell me that there are normal families out there who spend happy weekends together without Dad getting pissed and falling asleep. That there are couples who actually spend a pleasant evening together once in a while that don't end with the husband asleep in a heap and the wife ranting away on MN?

I sometimes feel I am losing the plot. His argument is that he has had a long and stressful week and needs to just kick back and relax sometimes with a drink. If I don't like it, it's my problem! Inwardly I don't feel I am being unreasonable, but sometimes I do wonder. Am I??

I swing from wanting to leave him (usually at night and then I lay awake all night plotting) to thinking that is the very last thing I want.

On the plus side :

He has a good job and earns good money, he provides well for his family.
He works hard during the week.
He is a loving Dad.
He is kind and gentle.
He is intelligent, funny, well read, interesting person.
He looks pretty good, dresses well, is in good health.
He is supportive of me and my goals.
He is never violent or verbally abusive, in fact we rarely argue.

On the negative side

I end up spending every weekend evening alone listening to him snore.
Every single social and family occasion ends up with him drinking to the point of being pissed, not just merry but slurring words and stumbling type pissed.
We rarely have sex.
He does unsafe things when drinking like falling asleep and leaving the back door unlocked, he has also driven drunk before (no passengers!) and when crashed out would not be aware if the house fell down around his ears, so I don't feel able to leave him with the children overnight.
When drunk he is boorish, irritating and egotistical.
He doesn't really engage much with the DD's at the weekends as he is recovering (in the mornings) and doing stuff on the computer or whatever the rest of the day - we do have family days out, but it's not like he really "does" things with them like taking them swimming or bathtime or whatever - it's a bit like he has pets or something that he occasionally exercises but otherwise leaves entirely to me.
He suffers from anxiety/depression and is not supposed to drink anyway with his AD's.

I don't know if that seems "enough" to justify ripping the family apart and me ending up as a single mum with all the financial and social downsides of that. Overall he is not a "bad" person - he doesn't drink during the week, is never off work sick or anything like that, he is not a horrible or unreasonable man. The girls would be devastated if we split up, they love their Daddy so much and are always so excited when he comes home. And yet at the same time I can't hel but feel that there must be more than this - is this really a "proper" family life? I am only 42 and yet I feel lonely - I really don't think I want the rest of my married life to be like this until I die. Or he dies which seems more likely given the abuse he gives his liver.

Sorry to rant on, I just felt the need to think out loud and rant into cyberspace, not expecting any answers really. It's getting late so off to bed with a big sigh, just not sure what to do next really.

Ready, I have been wondering how you are getting on - what's the news? Are you okay??

secretsquirrel1 Sun 14-Jun-09 00:05:59

TWT - you are very 'lucky' in that your list of +ves is still a fairly big one.

This is the best time for you to start getting some help for yourself - because you are in a more 'fortunate' position than most of us were when we first found this thread.

Your H is still earning & contributing financially. If you were to get help to deal with your reactions to his drinking, then you may find that he may decide to get help too. No guarantees here, of course, but you are doing so very well by not reacting to him and sounding off on here instead smile.

Al Anon may be of help - it isn't for everyone....but it saved my (and many others') sanity. It will give you the tools to deal with impending crises which will help you avoid the confusional state that you will find yourself in (which will lead to anger, bitterness, resentful feelings, fear) - *and you will* - because the illness is a progressive one....I can only say that with me, I was so wrapped up in the madness of living with an actively drinking alcoholic that I didn't realise quite how things had got so bad.

You cannot control what he does and says but if you change your attitudes and behaviour then you minimize the effects of any negative attitudes on your family. You need to get rid of *what you think you know* about alcoholism, then start all over again, with the help of Al Anon if only for 6 visits. It is a work in progress - you don't get a list of do's & dont's.

Your children have an unconditional love for their daddy - they also have a natural tolerance and compassion for the alcoholic. They know exactly what is going on - even though you are not arguing. The danger is that they get neglected emotionally (re-read your +ve's list!).


I would agree with SS's response in its entireity.

The lives of you and your DDs may look fine, well on the surface at the least, but digging deeper there are many problems and you're all being exposed to his alcoholism to your detriment. Your current list of his positives may get shorter as well over time. You may not be arguing but there is underlying resentment and come Thursday of this week he'll start drinking again and the alcoholism merry go around (of which you are all a part) recommences.

Alcohol is itself a depressant; he sounds like he is self medicating with alcohol as well. Bad sign that. He also seems deep in denial re his comments about drinking to relieve stress. Its BS and the denial talking.

The effects are wide ranging as well. Your daughters may well go as adults to choose men who have drink problems themselves. They as children can become super responsible for the alcoholic - as are you seem to be now. If your children are over 12 I would recommend they talk to Al-ateen as this is for teens specifically.

I hope you yourself manage to go along to Al-anon; at the very least call their helpline and get their literature sent to you. You will have to relearn the subject of alcoholism.

You are also not ultimately responsible for this man (she writes repeating ad nauseum). This situation (and it ain't great now) will undoubtedly get worse over time. Unless he is fully willing to accept he has a drink problem and seeks help of his own volition (which at this time he shows no sign of doing) along with fully accepting responsibility for his actions (you're also carrying/enabling him and desperately trying to calm the troubled waters) things in your house won't change at all.

You cannot help him (and that is very hard to accept), he has to want to seek proper help for his own self rather than seeking solace or whatever he's looking for in a bottle. Alcohol is a cruel mistress and his primary relationship is now with drink. You three are not at the top of his priority list at all, let alone on the weekends.

There are no guarantees here; he could lose everything and still carry on drinking. Again you are not responsible for him here, that is his decision.

Have people made comments on his behaviour when you're out socially?. Have they tut-tutted?. Do your parents fully know the extent of his drink problem, how many people know?. I reckon very few people are fully aware and this is also because of your own understandable sense of shame and embarrassment towards him in such situations. Alcoholism also thrives on secrecy, you need to open up to someone like your GP or a trusted friend. Writing here is a good start but you certainly need real life support as well. I would urge you to seek support, its okay to ask for help.

Your H may look good on the outside but the overall excessive alcohol is damaging him internally. And its not just his liver that being affected either.

As SS says in her fifth paragraph you can only change how you react to him. You need to remember the 3cs as well:-

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

You're 42 (same age as me), you're still young and you will and can start again - if you truly want to. One day (and sooner than you think) your children will leave home and what then for you with your drunken H, if you're still with him then?. What you're currently doing is living a half existence.

Merle Sun 14-Jun-09 20:10:20

Hi TWT, just read your last post. I could have written it myself about my family life. Not sure what to do, either. I spend most of my time 'keeping my head down' - no longer hoping that things will improve, though.

Hi all thanks for your kind words. As predicted he has been at the beer stand all day at the summer fete, then we all went back to some friends for a quiet drink - of course he got completely trollied, I had to wake him up to bring him hime, then he fell asleep on our sofa again by about 8pm - DD's finding it hard to understand why Daddy can't kiss them goodnight, again. The other husbands were drinking as well, to be fair - but none of them seemed as inebriated as him. He drinks a glass of wine in about 10 seconds - there is no sipping/savouring, he just gulps it down like there is no tomorrow.

I have checked the AA website and they have a daytime meeting on a Friday quite close to me, I don't work on a Friday so it's possible I could go although as it happens I have a commitment this week - evenings are impossible for me. I also can't tell if it's an open or closed meeting though so need to ring the helpdesk to find out.

I guess I feel scared of going along to AA because that is then "officially" admitting we have a problem here. I am also left wondering what is the chain of events that will happen after that. I guess it is a feeling of knowing that a whole can of worms will be opened and not really wanting to let them out!

Yes Atilla you are right that his drinking has been noticed but I guess most of the couples we socialise with also like a drink -just not to the extreme, so he is something of a figure of fun, people joke about him sleeping through dinner parties etc but it no l,onger seems funny. His family I think also tend to joke about it, but deep down they know - it's that old Elephant in the room thing again.

Unusually we will both be at home tomorrow in the daytime when the DD's will be at school. I think I will speak to him then when he is sober. I really feel this cannot go on, for my sake and for the girls.

I almost wish he would have a crisis which would sort of force a confrontation - on the other hand it is probably better to try and tackle it now before it reaches crisis point, especially for the girls' sake.

Thanks again for letting me ramble. I'm off to bed now to re-read my book about living with a functional alcoholic.


Your children are undoubtedly confused, upset and yes angry as well at their Dad. They love this man very much and yet he can't even put them to bed and give them a goodnight kiss because he's drunk.

They are also learning from you both and observing your reactions to him as well. What are you teaching these young ladies here?. You cannot go on like this either - all you're doing is carrying him now. This elephant in the room needs to be addressed properly by you and it needs to be brought out more into the open.

The other men can drink socially - your H cannot do that and won't ever be able to, the "off" switch is not there. Knocking it back the way he does is physical and mental dependency on alcohol; he's not enjoying it as such - he's drinking it out of being totally addicted to it.

Your friends may feel pity towards you and perhaps even make light of it as well to spare your feelings.

Would urge you to attend this meeting on Friday (is this an Al-anon meeting?) as it will help you immeasureably. You need to attend such a meeting. By writing here you have "officially" admitted that there is a big problem here so going along to a meeting won't actually be any different really. They'll be people very much like you there.

Your H may well spout the usual promises to seek help and change when he is sober but unless he really wants to address the underlying causes properly, he will not. Denial is a powerful force.

You write about tackling it - but he also has to put the work in for his own self and not because you want to help him. You can help your own self by seeking support but that is all you can yourself do. In the end you cannot help him no matter how much you want to help. You are only responsible for your own self and your girls. Not him.

SnowieBear Mon 15-Jun-09 13:21:18

TWT - re: your comment about opening a can of worms... it may help to think of it along these lines: by going to Al-Anon and recognising something is wrong, you are opening said can at your leisure. My experience tells me that if you ignore it for long enough, the can of worms will explode at one point and then you won't be in control, but reacting to whatever it throws up.

Ready - I'm getting really concerned about you. I know that RL must be taking all of your attention right now, but if you can, just post a line to let us know you and the DC are OK. Wishing you well, always.

How's everyone else?

onlygotonelife Mon 15-Jun-09 17:52:45

Ready - I hope you're OK x

secretsquirrel1 Mon 15-Jun-09 23:52:50

Yes, I'm wondering how things are for you too, Ready....

ludog Tue 16-Jun-09 11:04:20

I am delighted to have found this thread. My dh is a recovering alcoholic (sober just 1 year). It has been a long rocky road to where we are now. Alanon was the one constant thing that kept me going. I started going to meetings about 8 years ago and I really believe that my change of attitude was what started dh on the road to his recovery. It's almost impossible to live with an active alcoholic...the goal posts keep moving and just when you think you have learned to cope a worse crisis happens and you think you are going insane. My dh was a binge drinker, so we could have periods of relative "normality" and then he would go on a binge that could last 10 days and my life would collapse around me. He had to lose so much before he faced up to his problems. I had started separation proceedings and had got as far as appointing a barrister to represent me, he crashed his work van on a motorway and had to be cut out of it by the fire brigade. To this day he has only very vague recollections of the hours before and after the crash. Thank God he wasn't injured and, more importantly, he didn't injure anyone else. He is still off the road (he was disqualified for 3 years). I thought he was a hopeless case, but as I have said, he is sober today and we have a good life. He now takes responsibility for himself and is actually interested in the house...when he was drinking it could have fallen down around his ears and he wouldn't have noticed! Just checking TWT that it's an Alanon meeting rather than AA that you are going to. AA meetings are for the alcoholics and are closed meetings, Alanon is for family and friends of alcoholics. I can't praise the fellowship more highly. I think it is the support of people who know exactly what you are going through that makes it work. You can be totally yourself with no pretence and you are fully accepted. I hope you are all doing ok today and I hope you don't mind a newbie jumping aboard!

SnowieBear Tue 16-Jun-09 17:59:39

Hi Ludog, welcome onboard. The success stories in the making are also welcome, congrats to you and your DH. Mine is 3 months dry, so it'll be great to compare notes as to how best to support recovery. Echo your gratitude to AA and Al-Anon!

Ready - are you OK?

secretsquirrel1 Wed 17-Jun-09 22:48:26

Welcome, LD. It is so lovely to hear of the successess on this thread, because they are like sudden bursts of sunshine....yes it does get very dark on here, but that's the reality of dealing with unnacceptable behaviour from an addict.

Congratulations to both you, Snowie & OH's for being able to get through to the other side.

Please post, Ready....

Brad79 Wed 17-Jun-09 23:44:21

Hello All.

i am new top Mumnet and have just stumbled across this thread. What a lucky find.

My ex partner has a substance abuse problem that has gradually took hold of her life and become the problem instead of being the crutch to deal with emotional distressfrom problems in her past and within our relationship.

Although the good news is that hopefully she will be off to rehab on monday for 5 months that is being tailored for her.

We have two beautiful boys aged 2 and 4. At present I am their primary carer.

ginnny Thu 18-Jun-09 11:14:22

Hi Ludog. Thanks for posting your happy ending. It gives us all hope that this can be beaten, and its really encouraging that your change of attitude seems to be the turning point for your DH. I really believe that my attitude is changing my DP slowly. He still has his moments but on the whole he is so different to this time last year. We went to a family BBQ on Sunday and he had one can of beer and then drank tea when he got home because he knew that if he got drunk we would have just left him to it and he wouldn't have seen us for a few days. That would NEVER have happened before.
Hi Brad79 - hope she gets through rehab OK.
Ready - hope you are OK. Thinking of you.
Hope everyone else is OK and managing to enjoy the sun!

Hi everyone,
Sorry to worry you all Thursday 11/06 I ran and we are safe in a refuge he has only kicked off verbally but i needed peace. I've changed my mobile number so he can't harrass me anymore and have now had to block out going calls on my bt line back home Trying to get an occupation order so I CAN HAVE MY HOUSE AND MY LIFE BACK.
Hope everyone else is ok? Missing your support (big thanks to my nice friend who is typing this).

secretsquirrel1 Thu 18-Jun-09 23:52:43

Ready - thank goodness you are all safe! Please post as & when you can - we're all with you....

Welcome, Brad79 - well done you for keeping it all together for you & the boys....and here's hoping it all goes well on Monday for your ex P.

Well my DD is off to see her daddy tomorrow - I have a weekend of more cleaning up....genuinely cannot wait to get stuck in grin. Only the study & bedrooms to do now. Got the garden done today and found empty vodka bottles behind the shed. I can't even bear to touch them to put them in the bin - how crazy is that?

And I'm doing an extra shift on Sat night - I really need the money for the summer hols (I have 4/52 off!). I'm really lucky to be able to do that/have that option so I'm not complaining!

Night night!

onlygotonelife Fri 19-Jun-09 06:02:08

Ready - so glad to hear you're OK - sorry that you had to get away, but hopefully this is the beginning of life getting better for you. Hope the refuge is OK, a least you should get some peace (totally understand the need for that, so often think of it myself) and will get support to get things in place to protect you x

ginnny Sat 20-Jun-09 10:39:42

Such a relief to hear you are OK and safe Ready. Good luck with the occupation order - how long does that take?
Only - how are things with you?

SnowieBear Sun 21-Jun-09 16:31:02

Ready, I read your message on Friday evening and it's made my weekend! Sorry I couldn't post earlier. I am delighted you are all safe and sorry you had to run, that the situation was there to force you out of your home. Now concentrate on keeping well and getting it back and safe for you and your DC - please keep us posted and let us know how things go, OK?

Brad, welcome, my best wishes for your ex-DP for tomorrow. It's going to be tough for all, but I do hope she makes the most of this chance so that she can be a mum to your DC in future.

SS - how's the cleaning going? smile A most therapeutic approach, I'm a devil with a hoover too when I get in the mood!

Ginny, I'm glad you are seeing positive changes and that you recognise the part your own behaviour has in making them come about, I hope the weekend was good for you.

Have a blameless week, everyone!

Monty100 Sun 21-Jun-09 23:36:25

Is anyone around?

secretsquirrel1 Mon 22-Jun-09 17:51:15

I will be later when DD has gone to bed....grin

Monty100 Mon 22-Jun-09 21:55:46

Hi SS, have posted over in the other thread I started last night. I've had great support on here.

Went and saw my friend briefly a while ago, she was a bit of a closed book but her family are going to be around quite a bit which is a relief, so I'll be here in the background for her.

Thanks everyone.

secretsquirrel1 Mon 22-Jun-09 23:30:12

Sorry - it has turned out to be a late one after all....what about tomorrow am? I have the morning off as it's DD's sports day in the afternoon

Monty100 Mon 22-Jun-09 23:57:49

Hi SS, I work full time, I booked an emergency day's leave today. Phoned in at 7.30am. So back tomorrow, but I do get a chance to log in from time to time during lunch and such so speak tomorrow. xx

secretsquirrel1 Tue 23-Jun-09 00:02:37

Monty - just caught up with your other thread so I'm way too late....Hope you are ok after all that; I hope your friend will be too with the right support, but she has to be willing to give it a go at the very least.

You may find that she is paying lip service to everyone else, that she has suddenly 'sobered up' and thought....Hang On, what have I signed myself up for here? I don't need any help because I don't have a problem!! She may 'go along' with it for a while. Please please don't think for a minute that this will be it, that she will be on the road to recovery. She may start it but may wonder off it anytime.

If her kids are between 12-17 then AlAteen would be a very good idea.

How is everyone else?

I'm grand, thanks Snowie....I've been like Mrs Doubtfire on speed - I'm having a friend over for lunch before sports day tomorrow. I'm having a normal life again. Hurrah!

tillypolonski Tue 23-Jun-09 00:13:01


Haven't posted for a while - partly because I have been stuck in the middle of a nightmare!

Anyway - brief summary:

Partner went away (a couple of hundred miles or so). I had to pay for his rail ticket mind you as he had got through the £400 he had taken from our savings on booze and fags.

My DS is refusing to speak to him which is fair enough but my DD is really upset asking when Daddy is coming back. She is really clingy, feeling sick, not wanting to go to school etc which is very unusual for her. She has a school trip tomorrow tho which she is really looking forward to so that will help.

My partner says that he has to come back as he cannot stay with his parents any more and he has fallen out with his sister so has nowhere else to stay. He does agree that we will separate - although he says that it is not what he wants and that it is entirely my decision. He says that I have to give him money (he has no income) to have a flat etc.

HOWEVER - and this is the bit that I feel both proudest and most upset about - he will be getting a letter from my solicitor tomorrow telling him that I am asking for a divorce and also that he needs to leave the home (i.e. not return) voluntarily otherwise I have grounds for a molostation order (and another order that I can't remember the name of ). I am torn to bits about this. We have been married eighteen years - I really thought he was the one I would grow old with.

My partner has said that we will do this in a civil way but I am scared that when he gets the letter, this will go out of the window. He says he will come back home - if only temporarily - no matter what.

Oh and my 81 year old mother is seriously ill!I am so angry that I cannot look after her the way I should because of my partners behaviour.

But I do feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel - I should have done this ages ago. I know that it will be hard but my DS is calmer and happier than he has been for ages - and I will do everything I can to make the same true for my DD.

Thanks for listening to me! And, anyone else in my position, please be strong. A little thing that really affected me was a message from my brother in laws Mum who is trapped in a marriage with an alcoholic (through finance and other reasons). She wanted me to know, though my sister (her daughter in law) that I has to act because she did not want me to have a life like hers. So I am doing it for her as well!

Night night!

secretsquirrel1 Tue 23-Jun-09 10:01:49

Tilly, well done you for resolving once and for all to make that change.

Of course it won't be easy - you need to cut yourself some slack there - but under no circumstances give him any more money, don't be blackmailed/threatened/pressurised.

He left; get legal advice about his claim that you have to allow him back in. You don't; if he insists on coming back he can go to a hostel (your local SS's will have a list) - you must not let him back in, because the cycle of madness will start all over again despite your best intentions. Better if he stays where he is and he stays away, esp. until he has received the letter.

You only have his word that his family don't want to know. You certainly don't want to be in the position of having to put up with more mad behaviour.

Look at how things have improved already with your DS? It will be the same for your DD too. All she needs to know is that daddy has an illness that makes him do things that he doesn't remember, that he sometimes says things that he doesn't remember saying, that he sometimes falls down/breaks things/falls asleep in the middle of the day (delete as necessary). That he still loves his DC's but his illness is making it very difficult for you all to live together, because it is making his behaviour completely unacceptable. That's how I managed it with my DD and she's only 5. It becomes a mantra - and it helps you to stay focussed as well.

How old are your DC's? Would they be old enough to go to Al Ateen? Are you getting help for yourself? Give Al Anon a ring - even to just talk to someone who will know exactly what you are going through. They don't advise as such (ie. give you a list of things that you have to do), but they will support you

ludog Tue 23-Jun-09 10:39:22

HI Tilly. I remember what it was like to be stuck in the middle of that madness. My dd2 was the Daddy's girl (still is) and always got really clingy and anxious when he was drinking. I found it helped her for me to just let her cry it out and talk as much as she needed to. I remember when I started separation proceedings and sharing with an Alanon friend that I really didn't want to go ahead. Her reply was that sometimes we need to do something although we may not want to. In our case, the realisation that he was going to lose his family was my dh's rock bottom. He was served with court papers and advised to get a solicitor to represent him. He finally got sober that year, although there have been some relapses. I'm not saying that everything will work out "happy ever after" for you from now on, but no matter what the outcome, your life is going to get better from here. I second the advice re Alanon and Alateen... it is a fantastic resource and I wouldn't have got through the dark days without all the support from members. How is your Mum doing? That is really tough to have to deal with as well. Look after yourself, make sure you are eating properly and getting enough rest, don't be afraid to ask friends and family for help. We all need to lean on others from time to time. Take care xx

tillypolonski Tue 23-Jun-09 23:55:35

Thanks so much Ludog and SS1 - for your support and good advice.. It really rang bells for me re: my DD - she wants to see her Dad so much and got very stroppy with me this eve - but then says that I can 'divorce Daddy if he drinks again - I don't care'. She doesn't know whether she is coming or going. I am being very clear with her why I am doing this and you are right that 'sometimes we need to do something although we may not want to'. I am just so guilty that I left it so long.

My partner has been remarkably calm about my asking for a divorce although he did write an email to me saying that he would always love me etc. However he does not want to fo through solicitors - says he cant afford it although I have been told he would get legal aid (I on the other hand as I have a job and didnt lose it through being drunk will have to pay out shedloads!). Bitter - me?

I have spent most of today in tears. My Mum is in a bad way and my Dad is not coping with this either. Luckily my lovely sister (who lives quite a long way away) has been up for a few days and has done a lot of parent care as well as picking the kids up from school etc. My brother in law is also up and he is a really good role model etc for my kids (my sister doesn't have children but is a fab auntie - even tho she does like to hand them back after a certain time!). She has said that she will stay a couple more days but has to get back to work at the end of the week. If my Mum would get better it would make a big difference as I would have one less thing to worry about and could concentrate on the kids more.

I am also lucky that, although very few people know anything and what they do know is very little, at work people are very kind. A colleague was so sweet today. I had said yesterday that my personal life was falling apart and I think he thought I was joking so today when I had to explain that I needed to be out of a meeting to take a phone call (from my solicitor) and explained just a very tiny bit of my problems he was so nice that I promptly burst into tears! Gawd - I am wobbly at the moment. Wobbly but resolved though!

Need to go to bed now - you are alos right about getting sleep, food and so forth. I do find it hard to sleep - esp waking these light mornings so I tend to go to bed late but will try and get to bed before midnight tonight. If I sprint upstairs I might just make it! Thanks to everyone....

ludog Wed 24-Jun-09 07:06:15

Hi Tilly, I hope you managed to sleep ok. I used to find it hard to sleep too. I would wake up with my mind racing and eventually fall asleep in the early hours and then wake exhausted. What someone suggested to me to try was a gratitude list. I remember thinking; " Ya right ...I have soo much to be grateful for!" BUT when I went through my list I did have a lot, and I found if I listed them off to myself I slept quicker and better. It sounds a bit mad but it worked for me. The other thing that helped me through a crisis was to tell myself that "This too shall pass" During particularly bad times I sometimes turned the "this" round to "shit"!!!! It's very hard to stay positive in the face of so many problems so try and stay in each day and deal with what it brings. If you think too far ahead, you will be overwhelmed, but step-by-step you will get through this. I would ignore dh re the solicitors btw as you will need sound legal advice for your divorce. I hope you won't be offended if I say a little prayer for you and your family (I don't know what your beliefs are so think of it as sending you positive thoughts.) Have a good day today.xx

ginnny Wed 24-Jun-09 10:17:31

Hi Tilly. As a dd of an alcoholic too I can sympathise with your dd so much.
In my case I was 16 when my parents divorced and although I was upset I can remember how lovely and calm the house was after my Dad left and I wished they had done it sooner.
His drinking ruined my childhood (and made me a very screwed up adult too sad), he almost destroyed my Mum and the only reason she didn't leave him sooner was because she couldn't bear it if we blamed her for splitting up the family and taking our pisshead Dad away.
It took me till I was in my 30's to understand his alcoholism and its effects so there is no way a young child can get their head around it all.
So now I'm rambling on but what I wanted to get across was that even if it seems like you are upsetting your dd by divorcing him, in the long run it will save her a lot of heartache.

SnowieBear Wed 24-Jun-09 10:35:13

Tilly, it's a hard time you are going through, but yes, it will pass. You are doing the right thing by your DC and by you - if it helps, you are also doing the right thing by your DH... this may be the wake up call he needs, or it may not. Don't get too focused on that, just remember that whatever the outcome, it'll be a much better one than living in the nightmare.

I understand the trouble with the DC. Mine DS is only 3 and got more proficient at detaching from DH than I ever did, clever boy! Even nowadays, if DH is not 100%, DS will ask me if daddy is "poorly", i.e. has he been drinking? DS now has to come to terms that people will have ups and downs completely unrelated to drink, and that that's OK.

SnowieBear Wed 24-Jun-09 10:43:02

DH gave me on Monday a "Just for Today" card from the AA, as he thought it would also do me good. I think it could do all of us good, so here is the text:


Just for today I will try to live live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appal me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for today I will be happy. Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Just for today I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my 'luck' as it comes, and fit myself to it.

Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.

Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out; if anybody knows of i, it will not count. I will do at least two things I do not want to do - just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurts; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.

Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, talk low, act courteously, criticise not one bit, not find fault with anything and not try to improve or regulate anybody except myself.

Just for today I will have a programme. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.

Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself, and relax. During this half hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective on my life.

Just for today I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.

tillypolonski Wed 24-Jun-09 10:45:18

Thanks Ludog

Didnt get much sleep but that was because DD was up from 3.00am with projectile vomitting and the runs! She is now asleep in bed and it is an ill wind that blows nobody any good as I have been forced to take a day off as I clearly can't take her over to my Mum and Dads as I would normally do. So, all is quite calm here. I am pottering around actually managing to do some tidying/cleaning which the house sorely needs and I have done bits of work too (phone calls/emails etc. - I have one of these Blueberry things - as my DD calls it - and it is a pain a lot of the time but has been useful today as I have managed to get through a backlog of stuff). I have been struggling into work this week and feeling wretched about not doing my job properly so today is a rest in a way.

My partner has texted me to say he is, after all, taking proper legal advice and I am pleased about that. Then everything can be clear and fair. Ironically I have spent the last ten years or so begging him to stop drinking and trying to get him to stand on his own two feet and he seems to be doing it now that I have asked for a divorce - typical! I am waiting for a call from my solicitor as well and it will be good to speak to her in the comfort of my own home rather than furtively at work and then having to cover up the fact that I have been crying. The bad news is that he is insisting that he is coming back tomorrow and that, as he will be homeless otherwise, he needs to stay at our home until he sorts himself out with a flat. I had asked him to stay away voluntarily but he is so wrapped up in what is right for him - and his parents can't have him any more apparently and his sister wont.... We will have to go back over to my parents which in a way is OK as I will then be more on hand to look after my Mum. He promises that he will be out asap and yes I know that his track record on keeping promises is not good but I think I could then get him legally out of the house if he dug his heels in. It will be disruptive for the kids tho' - the commute to school is fairly long as well.

Ludog - your advice is great and I DO have so much to be grateful for. I have two amazing children (projectile vomitting and stroppiness from my DS last night re: a misdemeanor at school notwithstanding!). I have a great family and some brilliant friends and I will have to spend a considerable amount of time thanking them when this is all over. I have a pretty stressful but very rewarding job which I used to enjoy a lot and I will get back there I know. And the sun is shining and I am going to Scandinavia next month with my DCs! Blimey - this is good! I will try and remember all this at all times - it gets overwhelming as I am sure you know and I sit and have a good sob but there is no use feeling sorry for myself. Forward is the only way...

ludog Wed 24-Jun-09 12:17:40

Onwards and upwards Tilly!
Snowiebear I love the "just for today" card too! Although when I got it first I tried to do it all at once and got very frustrated!!

secretsquirrel1 Wed 24-Jun-09 12:55:13

Echo Ludog re; JFT card - I was exactly the same!

Tilly, do CAT me re trials & tribulations of the divorce process....

My EH was stuck in the armchair in our lounge in front of the TV for 16 months, on Legal Aid, just waiting for it all to happen, Goddammit angry!!!
That is why I'm afraid for you and your DC's when you say you H is coming back.

Then my EH's Sol. tried to push me for mediation - what the hell use is mediation when you are trying to mediate with someone who cannot remember what happened the previous day? That was just the beginning - so I can go into all the gory details and also help you to avoid pitfalls....

secretsquirrel1 Mon 29-Jun-09 10:38:05

Bump! smile

BodenGroupie Thu 02-Jul-09 23:56:34

Thanks to those of you who encouraged me to go to AlAnon - just got back from my first meeting. Blubbed through a lot of it, completely out of character for me, but I think it was partly relief that after 20 odd years of this situation I've finally taken the first step to learning how to deal with it.

Others there were incredibly warm. Felt a bit put off by the "higher power" stuff, but will go back next week.

Thanks again.

ginnny Fri 03-Jul-09 10:52:49

Well done Boden! I'm glad it helped.
As for the higher power stuff - I was a bit hmm about that too, but they don't push it on you and a lot of people find it helpful to believe in it.
Don't worry about crying - they are used to it. I blubbed too in my first session - its the relief of being able to say it all out loud isn't it.

BodenGroupie Fri 03-Jul-09 12:37:04

Yes, I'm sure it is and I have to say I feel so much happier today than I have for a while, probably because I'm actually doing something and felt I was given permission to get on with my life.

secretsquirrel1 Fri 03-Jul-09 13:25:05

Al Anon is not a religeous meeting, it's a spiritual meeting - The 'Higher Power' can be whatever you want it to be....don't be stressing out about that or be put off by that side of it.

Concentrate & listen to what is being shared - you will learn so much and will realise that everyone there knows exactly what you are going through as they will have experienced it too.

I'm surprised that your group doesn't have a specific welcome for newcomers that explains all that - I must admit, I was in too much of a state myself to take any notice of 'Higher Power' when I first went.

CAT me if you want to - I can send you an explanation if you like!

SnowieBear Sun 05-Jul-09 13:35:55

Boden - congrats for making it to a meeting!

Re: Higher Power, here's something that may help... it certainly helped my DH to deal with his Step 3:

"It's like the first day at school. You don't know who the Head Teacher is, you don't know what he looks like, you don't even know his name, but your are damn sure it ain't you!"

I hope everyone is OK. Have a blameless Sunday!

ludog Sun 05-Jul-09 18:06:23

I love that description SnowieBear. I was a bit wary of the higher power at the start too but I have got more comfortable with it over the years. It was good, for me, to be able to sit back a bit and think that someone else was driving for once!! The thing I found worked best for me in the beginning were the slogans. My favourites still are; "Keep it simple" "This too shall pass" and "How important is it?"
Boden, I hope you keep going back. Those first few meetings are hard. The first time I tried to share at a meeting I bawled my eyes out. I felt such an idiot and didn't go back for 6 years! Now, it feels like the only safe place to cry. I love the way that other members don't "shush" me or "there, there" me. They pass me a tissue and wait for the emotion to subside. That way I don't have to bottle up my anger and sorrow and I can let it go. I have found it very helpful to do the same for my dds...just respectfully let them have their cry and sit with them.
Take care everyone. xxx

BodenGroupie Sun 05-Jul-09 20:21:38

Thanks again all.

SS1 - suspect they did a newcomers bit but unfortunately I spent the first ten minutes sitting in an AA meeting blush so I probably missed it. Gales of laughter behind me as I ran out of the room blushing - I do like to lighten an atmosphere when I can.

I think the biggest step for me just from the first meeting was understanding that although I am not responsible for my DH's drinking, the way I respond (or don't) can affect what he does. Very interesting. He hasn't mentioned that I've been and I do intend to go again on Thursday, but he is being a bit more controlled when we're alone. Unfortunately, we've seen a lot of friends this weekend and that and drinking seem to go hand in hand. I stayed stone cold sober at a dinner party on Friday (the only one who did) and it was very interesting.

secretsquirrel1 Mon 06-Jul-09 14:32:40

Hi Ludog & BG - Yes, I like 'this too shall pass' but the thing is about the slogans, I found that they didn't make much sense to me at the beginning....and that was when I really needed the help most of all.

I bought & read the books cover to cover because I couldn't get enough info and of course all the slogans popped up and I wondered what it was all about.

I would suggest reading all the (relevant)pamphlets first before tackling the books - I tried to run before I could walk, but don't we all when you suddenly have all this new info?!

BG - it's quite liberating when you are given the tools to effectively deal with the way you (can) change your reactions....for so long I thought that because I was the sober one, my way was the right way, little knowing that my ways were actually completely ineffective.

And I kept on 'doing what I was doing' when he was drunk & behaving badly and yet wondered why I kept 'getting what I was getting'. My EH was always in a blackout so he had no idea what I was getting so steamed up about. I would carry the argument over to the next day, and although he knew 'something had happened' because of how I was & the atmosphere, there would be no other evidence because I'd cleared it all up - the broken stuff, the vomit, etc. So he was very much 'what is your problem'? And that would be a red rag to a bull.....My Problem? My Problem? You're the one with the f.... problem, rah rah get the scene!! Then the cycle would start all over again (manic grin).

Yes, I can laugh now at how mad it all was but I was so at rock bottom with not being able to change anything, and that horrible sinking feeling that it was only a matter of time before it was going to start all over again whatever I did/said/however I tried to manipulate his behaviour at social gatherings!

I found that the shares at Al Anon were absolutely invaluable - people would say 'the old me would've reacted like this but the new me reacted like that' and you could see how changing your reactions to a situation could work.

It might not work in getting your OH onto the road to sobriety but you sure as hell get your life back on track - you start helping yourself instead of trying to help/focusing all your energies on them.

notsohotchic Mon 06-Jul-09 23:26:11

thanks ss1 for directing me here. My ex continues to drink too much, and has the children over 3/14 nights. Ages, 9,6 and 4. I suspect his latest relationship has finished because he's been spotted down the local hell-hole boozer early eve, on his own. This is worrying me because I am not confident he is supervising the children enough in the mornings eg. my son went up (ex sleeps in attic room - not good for hearing -) with a nose bleed the other morning and ex told him to get some loo roll and tip his head forward , didn't even get up! Daughter (9) has been on internet unsupervised in the morning too! Also after being spotted down the pub lone drinking early eve, he was up early next day to drive my daughter to a school trip (as a parent helper ffs!)He has been a 'functioning' alcy I suppose, although I couldn't live with him! I wonder where I stand legally because although he will go crazy I don't trust him enough to just stand by while he behaves like this! I warned him today that he must supervise at all times and NOT drink when he has them or I will be straight to my solicitor. Like a couple of other posters, I have seen him get redder and puffier in the face the past few years, and his breath always reeks,and he has seriously bad shakes. I feel so bad for my eldest seeing him like that. She was always closest to him.

ineedalifelaundry Tue 07-Jul-09 23:48:39

Hello. I've been watching this thread for a while and have been building up to telling my story. Not as shocking as some I've read here but here goes...

I've been with my DH since we were late teens. Married in our early twenties. Now in our mid thirties. Just had our first DC, 10 months old.

When we first met we were students, and like most students he was into binge drinking, but only with friends on big nights. On quiet nights in with me, he usually didn't drink. His mum had been an alcoholic and died when he was 17 (2 years before I met him). His dad died unexpectedly 2 weeks before our wedding. He had also become a very heavy drinker in the last years of his life. DH was 24 at this time and had now lost both his parents. Their early deaths were caused partly and indirectly because of their drinking.

DH began drinking every evening himself at this time (13 years ago) and became a heavy user of cannabis. The first few years of our marriage were very rocky but we somehow held it together. If I confronted him about his drinking / drug use he would be in total denial of there being a problem. After a few years he began to acknowledge that he had a problem but would just sink into depressive moods, blaming everything on his parents' behaviour / poor upbringing / parents' deaths. He is often very pessimistic and fatalist.

When we discovered I was pregnant (18 months ago) he gave up cannabis straight away (yay!). He gave up cigarettes a month before baby due (also yay!). He also promised throughout the pregnancy that he was going to stop drinking before the baby was born but he "had to deal with one thing at a time". But drinking is the hardest thing for him to stop and he still hasn't managed it. At the moment he is saying that he will "give up" on July 12th, but what he is intending to do is drink only on weekends- to him that means Fri Sat and Sun, and not drinking Mon to Thurs. I know this is very unlikely to work. He's tried it before.

He is a 'functioning' alcoholic - he holds down a job because he doesn't drink at all during the day. But he simply cannot get through the evening without it. He drinks between one and two bottles of red wine to himself every night. He sometimes has beers or spirits too. I don't drink at all any more - I've been completely put off alcohol by him.

I hate the smell of him and the look of him drunk. I hate the nasty, obnoxious attitude he often gets when drunk (he is a lovely guy sober). I hate the fact that, when I get downstairs after putting DD to bed in the evenings he is always drunk and often asleep on the sofa so we get no time for 'us' any more. I hate not being able to co-sleep with DD because he has always been drinking so it's too dangerous to have her in our bed. I hate the snoring. I hate the fact that he spends at least £70 a week on booze while our bank account is spiralling into the red. But most of all, I hate the fact that he won't stop drinking for his beautiful daughter, who he adores, and who he gave up everything else for.

I love him. I don't know if I can keep my daughter in the same house as him, or face the rest of my life married to him, if he doesn't stop. sad

Sorry this is really long. I can't talk to anyone else about it.


I think your story is shocking actually and there is now a child in this house that is broken as well.

He has to want to stop drinking for his own self, not his daughter or you. If he did it for those reasons it won't work. If he cannot or won't stop drinking (he is likely to be deeply in denial as well about his drink problem hence his comment re drinking on the weekend) then you have to make life changing decisions with both you and DD in mind.

The fact that he has given a date to give up (i.e July 12th and why then?) is also not good; he won't stick to it and will go back to his previous patterns of drinking. I think he is more than adept at telling you what you want to hear. If he was at all serious about stopping at the very least he would be seeking counselling to work out exactly why he is drinking to excess (i.e his childhood) and medical help of his own accord through attending AA or going into an alcohol detox clinic.

You are NOT responsible for him ultimately and I think like many women in these situations you are playing the enabler role to him. You are around and act as his crutch by holding it all together.

You need real life support as well; I would suggest you talk to Al-anon, get their literature sent to you and even try to attend one of their meetings.

Despite the many warning signs prior to you getting married you may have subconsciously thought you could somehow change him for the better; he gave up some other addictive substances after all and perhaps you naively thought that marriage and or a child would make him somehow more "responsible". Did you think thus?. Well that was a triumph of hope over experience wasn't it. This is not a healthy and or sound relationship for a child to witness at all, let alone for you to be a part of. He has moved from one addictive substance for another; he seems to have an addictive personality most likely due to his dysfunctional childhood. His alcoholism is learnt behaviour (it certainly can be learnt behaviour) in that his mother was alcoholic and his father also went onto abuse alcohol. He grew up with this and learnt this as his normality. You cannot fix him (he is not yours to fix) and you should not try to. You cannot act as someone's rescuer and or saviour in a relationship; such approaches are doomed to failure. You say you love him - what is there to love exactly about him?. Love is not enough and your resentment will build over time. You're in financial dire straits also because of his drinking.

Quite apart from what his alcoholism is doing to you, what is all this doing to your daughter as well?. Its all highly damaging for you both. What is your role to him these days?. What is she learning from him -and you about relationships?. He is clearly not a good role model for your daughter to have around. Some children of alcoholics go onto choose alcoholics themselves as partners in adulthood. Not what you want for your DD I would think. Have a look also at NACOA's website.

You need to remember the 3cs:-
You did not cause this
You cannot control it
You cannot cure it

There are no guarantees here. He may well go onto lose everything and still choose the drink but you are still not responsible for him.

ineedalifelaundry Wed 08-Jul-09 11:59:38

Thanks Atilla for your detailed reply.

He has chosen July 12th because it's exactly one year since he gave up cigarettes. I agree that it's unlikely to work. Especially as he plans to keep on drinking at the weekends. In his heart of hearts, he knows his problem is bigger than that, and yes he is (most of the time) in denial. However, I am resolved to stick around for the moment.

He does want to stop for himself as well as for us. He has put on a lot of weight through his drinking and he hates his body now. He knows that he won't lose the weight if he doesn't cut out the booze. He also says with regularity that he doesn't want to end up like his parents.

He has in recent months mentioned the idea of counselling / support once or twice. But he is terrified of actually making that step, or even admitting it's absolute necessity. I think his mentioning it is some progress though. Perhaps I'm being over optimistic, I don't know.

What exactly do I love about him? Everything, apart from his drinking.

His drinking problem will eventually kill off any love you have for him. Currently his primary relationship is with drink; this is coming first. Everything else is secondary.

Neither of you can go on like this; your relationship will be stone cold dead before long because you will have had enough of him and his empty promises to change. Do not therefore stick around indefinately - give your own self a time limit. You have to show him you are deadly serious with any intentions you have. You cannot and should not enable him.

Do talk to Al-anon; they are helpful at helping family members of problem drinkers. They will help you re emotionally detaching.

His drinking problem will eventually kill off any love you have for him. Currently his primary relationship is with drink; this is coming first. Everything else is secondary.

Neither of you can go on like this; your relationship will be stone cold dead before long because you will have had enough of him and his empty promises to change. Do not therefore stick around indefinately - give your own self a time limit. You have to show him you are deadly serious with any intentions you have. You cannot and should not enable him.

Do talk to Al-anon; they are helpful at helping family members of problem drinkers. They will help you re emotionally detaching.

BodenGroupie Wed 08-Jul-09 16:27:49

Ineedalifelaundry - a lot of your post sounds very much like my situation. I have allowed this to go on for twenty years and am no longer sure if I love DH enough to stay - there's still something there on the good days but these don't happen as often as they used to. His drinking is very well hidden, to the extent where I sometimes think I'm imagining it but it is causing huge financial pressure.

I went to my first AlAnon meeting last week and found it emotional but helpful. I won't forgive myself if I end my marriage without having tried everything - counselling is out of the question as he says he/we don't have a problem!

A few of the women at the meeting said they went to AlAnon first and their husbands went to AA as a result of their experiences. You have a big advantage that you sound like you are still communicating - do give it a try.

ludog Wed 08-Jul-09 19:45:49

Hi Ineedalifelaundry and BodenGroupie, my experience of Alanon was that I was going for quite a few years before my dh finally got sober. I really believe it was the catalyst for change in our relationship. Prior to my attending Alanon, I focussed obsessively on dh, what was he doing? where was he? was he drinking? if he wasn't drinking, would he start again tomorrow?......You get the picture. Slowly I learned to focus on myself and my obsession with dh waned. When I changed how I was reacting to him, our whole relationship changed and he began to fully experience the negative effects of his addiction and this prompted him to face up to his problems. It sounds so simple and straightforward as I type it out, but it was far from easy. In fact, despite the fact I started going to Alanon almost 8 years ago, dh is only sober just over a year (although he did have periods of sobriety they never lasted more than a few months before). He is a regular at AA now and I still attend Alanon and always will as it helps me deal with everything life throws at me, not just alcoholism. I cannot recommend Alanon highly enough, my life has changed so much since I started going and I have no doubt that dh and I would have split up years ago without it. I hope you keep going and get the help and support I did!

ineedalifelaundry Wed 08-Jul-09 21:05:56

Thanks ludog. I really might try al-anon. I have to find out if there's a meeting near me.

BodenGroupie Wed 08-Jul-09 21:06:31

Thanks Ludog - I noticed there were many more people at the meeting with partners who had stopped drinking than whose who were still drinking.

Unfortunately DH has just announced he's going out tomorrow which makes it harder for me to go to the next meeting.

secretsquirrel1 Thu 09-Jul-09 12:08:07

INALL - Good luck with your search for a meeting near you.

BG - You can always talk to someone at the Al Anon General Service Office if you can't make a meeting.

ludog Thu 09-Jul-09 14:24:34

There's also an online meeting facility. Google stepchat and follow the links, you need to set up a username and password. There is a chat room always open and there is usually someone about to chat with.

ginnny Thu 09-Jul-09 17:56:14

ludog - I just registered on that website.
It looks fantastic.
Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

Tanee58 Fri 10-Jul-09 01:56:11

Attila means well and talks a lot of sense but- as in my case - there is one thing that holds us to these men - and that is love. Yes, the drinking could kill that love in the end, but if he shows an awareness that there is a problem, then don't give up on him just yet - try to steer him toward seeking help when he is sober and therefore more receptive. That is what I am trying to do with mine - again a man who is a good, kind, lovely man, with a damaged soul who self-medicates with wine and is so, so afraid of what therapy will make him face. My dp is not able to do it yet, but he is aware of what harm he is doing to himself, and to me. He is making small gestures that show that awareness and that he values what I give him. These men cannot just be abandoned - that would be simple, and easy, but I believe this is a harsh thing to do to men who are not being deliberately harmful, and should be the last resort (unless there is actual mental or physical abuse, in which case I would say GET OUT). Mine is being much better since I confronted him. He still drinks, but that is his choice, and he is not abusing me or my DD now, since I confronted him and said if he is unhappy, he can go.

What you must do, is seek support outside the relationship, to give you a perspective on it and support - but as long as you feel love for him, hang on. After all, if WE were the people with a drink problem and all the issues that underlie it, would we want our partners to abandon us?

ginnny Fri 10-Jul-09 10:28:05

Once again Tannee I think our DPs were separated at birth.
You have just described mine perfectly!
(its not the same man is it shock)

ludog Fri 10-Jul-09 12:23:36

Girls, can I recommend a book for you? It's called "Co-dependent No More" by Melodie Beattie. It makes very enlightening reading on how us spouses of addicts become sick ourselves over time. I found it very helpful when I was in the depths of despair. dh was very like yours. I am so glad I stuck with it as the real dh is back to us now. In fact he is a new, improved version, as he was already a good bit down the road of alcoholism when I met him. That says a lot about the state of my self-esteem that I recognised the problem and didn't run for the hills! In the last year, he seems to have matured so much. We are married 17 years and he is 44 btw.

ineedalifelaundry Sat 11-Jul-09 11:29:35

I'm not going to be able to go to al-anon meetings - they are all in the early evenings when I work. Had hoped to find a daytime one but no luck. I will try the stepchat website though - thanks.

Ludog - your happy ending is a massive inspiration. How long has your DH been sober?

ludog Sat 11-Jul-09 14:58:58

Just over a year now. He did make it to a year before and had a massive relapse, so I don't take anything for granted. I know he could drink tomorrow, but today he is sober. He is very regular at AA now which is the big difference and he is a lot happier in himself. Honestly, if he could get sober, anyone can and that's the truth!

Tanee58 Mon 13-Jul-09 17:24:21

Ludog that is a VERY encouraging story. I do hope he continues dry smile. What saddens me is that the tendency on MN and other sites so often seems to be, to advise the partners of addicts to leave rather than learn to live with them and continue to love them. We may hate the addiction, but unless the person is destroying our own self-worth mentally or physically, I believe we should try to work with it. Often their addiction is not the end of the story - there is often an underlying problem that merely stopping drinking/drugs/whatever does not address, and unless that is treated, the addiction may well return. Mine suffers from depression - though even when happy, he still likes to drink. I have a certain conflict about this, as I too enjoy a drink most evenings, but I will stop at one or two glasses, whilst he goes on to a second bottle. Ideally, I would just like him to share a bottle with me and leave it at that, but that would be normal and we are not dealing with 'normal' here. It's the fact that his drinking 'removes' him from me, that I hate. I feel that if he sought help for the depression and the drinking, he might find his way forward - but treating one without treating the other won't work. At present, he treats neither, so I am working on keeping myself and my DD busy and happy. I think it's called 'detachment with love' in alanon-speak.

Ginnny, oh yes, have we compared photos of our DPs yet? grin


Only you could make that decision as to whether to leave or stay. I would argue that you are treading a fine line here and I don't actually think you're helping him by your actions let alone your own self here. Where are the consequences for his actions?.
Where's his will to help his own self?.

On a wider level too what are you both teaching your daughter here about relationships?. You both seem trapped in a cycle of dependency.

Alcohol is itself a depressant. If your home became an alcohol free one what would happen then?. You certainly cannot be drinking with him in the evenings - this is enabling behaviour.

I would be interested to hear what any of you make of the following from Promis (addiction treatment centre).

"The first and foremost responsibility of someone living with an alcoholic must be to protect any children who may be in the household or otherwise possibly affected. Do not trust an alcoholic to have care of children, particularly not if the alcoholic is likely to drive a car. However, although children must be one’s first responsibility, one should not neglect oneself. Why should one’s own life be destroyed by the alcoholic or dedicated primarily to supporting and protecting him or her? There are better lives to be led than that. In fact, anything that is done to help the alcoholic can simply be "enabling" him or her to continue his or her path towards destruction. Other families have learnt this to their cost and some fortunate families have learnt (primarily through A1 Anon, the sister Fellowship to Alcoholics Anonymous or through Helpers Anonymous) how to detach themselves from the illness while still loving and respecting the suffering individual. They also learn to look after themselves and their families by not protecting the alcoholic from the consequences of his or her behaviour. Letting someone you love get the painful consequences of his or her actions may seem cruel but it is in fact kind because it is more likely to bring the condition to a satisfactory end (though Alcoholics Anonymous) before everything is lost".

ludog Mon 13-Jul-09 23:24:42

Tanee, only you can make the decision to leave or not. I know that I had reached a stage where I was no longer willing to live with active alcoholism and I started to take steps to get out of the situation. I think the realisation of all he was going to lose was dh's rock bottom. I think he also sensed in me that I was taking those steps (starting separation proceedings) because I had reached my own rock bottom and not because I was trying to scare him into stopping. I know that he could relapse, but I see him protecting himself by attending his AA meetings and keeping away from people, places and things associated with his drinking. If he were to relapse now, I would be able to have compassion for him and help him back to sobriety. BUT if he was to go back to the way he was I couldn't stay, for my own sanity and for the sake of our children. It's much harder to get a divorce here (Ireland) as you have to be separated 4 years first and I think that fact alone may have kept me plugging away for longer than I might have if I could have got out sooner. Having said that. I am glad it did keep me here and that we are still together. These are decisions only you can make. I personally don't know if drinking with him is a good idea. He is never going to be able to stop at one or two no matter how much you wish he would. That's the big difference between social drinkers and alcoholics really. It took me a long time to accept that about dh...I just couldn't understand how he couldn't see the logic of what I was saying. He tells me now that alcoholics have a logic of their own which bears little resemblance to reality.

Tanee, I have rarely posted in this thread so forgive me for 'butting in' but I just thought I'd add my tuppence fwiw...

My DH has smoked cannabis for almost 20 years but was off it when we got together/got married, knowing my feelings about it (I divorced my xh for lots of things including the effects of being a drug addict). 7 years down the line, he kept promising to give up and strung me along for a long time, being a typical addict. Well, to cut a long story short, I made him leave early May to go and sort himself out. He ended up staying at my parents and has been clean for nearly 3 months, I let him come home after the first month... He attended a drug dependency clinic but has now been discharged so now he only has his community mental health clinic to attend and I'm hoping he will continue to address his issues with depression and anxiety (as well as a whole host of issues!). Thing is, the green was making all his illnesses even worse but he couldn't see it. Three months without the green and he is still suffering with depression and still has issues to address. I was his enabler up to a few months ago but have learnt that there has to be absolutes in order to continue living with an addict and if that means going without, then so be it. He struggles immensely with lack of sleep and has a few times begged me for permission to have a joint, just to help him sleep and a few months ago, I might have let him - partly for a peaceful life; partly to help him sleep. But now I have to keep absolute and just keep saying NO as he has to address the issues that lead to his addictions and his consequent lifestyle changes. Him giving up the green has been a massive life changging event for the whole family but thats not the end of the story. Yes, I am prepared to be here and support him as his wife through all of it, but on the condition that he does not, ever, smoke green, without exception. I used to think that was a lot to ask but I now know that its not so much to ask and that I deserve to set the rules for me and my kids...

Oh my goodness I've ranted here!!! Sorry blush

Having said all that, ironically he has started taking prescription drugs (painkillers) and so we've had to address this with the gp and the community mental health clinic (waiting for an appointment), as he seems to be addicted to addiction if that makes sense. It's his problem to deal with now though - I've learnt that I can't fix him, he has to take responsibility for himself now and I love and respect him even more so for doing it...

That's my tuppence anyway, not sure if its even relevant or if it will help in any way. I'll go off now lol! Take care all xxx

SnowieBear Tue 14-Jul-09 13:26:51

Tanee, my DH has also been clean since early March and I can agree to the letter with everything ludog wrote yesterday. Those that know our story here can tell you I spent since Xmas trying to get him to leave the house as I had certainly reached my own rock bottom and realised that I could not help at all if he was not prepared to help himself. Having had proper treatment and joined AA, our lives have totally changed. It still requires all that love, affection and commitment you have to your DH now, but instead of it being somehow ‘wasted’, it makes a difference, day after day. I cannot stress it enough, if he has an honest desire to stop drinking, the AA will help. After 10 years of hell, hospitalisations, NHS treatment centres, cold turkey, attempted moderation and all sorts of snake oils, it is the only thing that works. You don’t need to leave him, but you if you want to help his recovery you need to do what you can – Al Anon will help you there, but don’t expect to be told what to do, you’ll have to work it out yourself – please try to join a meeting. A good starting point in the meantime is not drinking yourself; it’ll keep you thinking clearly, if nothing else.

Princess – you are right to be weary of his addiction being transferred to a different substance, it does happen, so well done for keeping this in check.

I hope all is OK with everyone.

secretsquirrel1 Wed 15-Jul-09 12:55:51

Tanee - just to say that all addicts have 'something going on behind the scene' - mostly it buried in the past somewhere. And they are usually all hypersensitive as children...they are unable to deal with lifes ups and downs 'as normal' hence the need to use a crutch to help them deal with 'life in general' - be it with drugs, alcohol or gambling.


I'm using my friends internet, I have so missed this thread. we are doing ok, beginning to sort my head out (Ithink). I've been experiancing a lot of flashbacks, some really bad and lasting for ages, some brief. don't quite know what's worse, the good memories or the bad ones.

Anyway, within 2 weeks of arriving at the refuge ds was settled into a new school, and dd1 into a nursery. It's ok there, clean, not cramped, we have our own bedroom, and it's nice to talk to others, one realises tey all work from the same manual.

I went to court for the occ order, at the last minute he signed an undertaking to be out on or before the 1st sept. don't know what state the house will be in, I had a friend go in for some stuff while he was at court, beer tins everywhere, porn everywhere, he's been smoking inside...

Still, I can't wait to get my life back.

Hope everyone else is ok, wishing you all peace and quiet xx

SnowieBear Fri 24-Jul-09 19:08:10

Ready, how wonderful to hear from you and to know you and the DC are well and settled! You've made my week girl grin. Roll on September 1st.

ginnny Sat 25-Jul-09 12:46:40

Great to hear from you Ready! You are amazingly strong, you really are.
The worst is over now - you are nearly free!
Thanks for updating us - keep in touch.

secretsquirrel1 Mon 27-Jul-09 11:10:07

Well done Ready! Will be rooting for you.

Tanee - just going back to something you said earlier about MNs advocating that its best to leave the addict -

I'd like to think that even though I eventually left my H, I did give it everything I had; I spent a year of Al Anon in the hope that my reactions to his drinking would change which would then change his behaviour. I would say that the help I got from Al Anon enabled me to make an informed decision - not just a wild reactonary one that was not an informed sensible one.

However, once his behaviour really spirolled out of control and he started behaving very badly in front of our DD, that was the barrier that he crossed and I had to get us out of it. Luckily his behaviour did not go as far as actually hitting her - which I know has happened to other posters. But it was only a matter of time before it did - ironically, me having learned not to react to him meant that he was doing more and more to get me to react.

We as adults have choices, our DC don't. That is the reason why I had to do what I did - I just felt that it's important to say that.

hey all,it's amazing the ways one can find to mn grin

Tonight,I'm ranting, the new resident here has ordered a takeaway - GIVING THE ADDY OF THE REFUGE FOR DEL. FFSangry

Anyway,thank you for thinking of us,I'm slowly getting my head tog. I had to take the DC to my home town1hrs drive away on sat for contact, and the sod met me atthe carpark then followed me to the shoeshop, asI had arrived early to get DD1 new shoes. He is still obsessed with the idea of me having sex. preferably with him, and preferablynot with anybody else. as if I really want that at all after all the drunken gropings.

I have to agree with SS,I spent thelast year trying my hardest to make my marriadge work. His behaviour was similar to a toddlers,he just kept trying harder to get me to react. Even now he is layingon the emotional blackmail, but every attempt of his is just affirmingin my mind it is allover. He just ticks all the boxes of a classic abuser.

Anyway, missing your support, but I shall keep in touch, I've Changed my holiday so I go in 10 days to the sea side without him,bliss,and roll on sept!!!

Best wishes to all hope everyone is ok xx

secretsquirrel1 Wed 29-Jul-09 09:41:03

Aw Ready - chuffed to bits to hear how much more empowered you're sounding now. Your DC's will be so much happier away from all that mad behaviour.

What you said about your STBEH's behaviour made me smile hmm - my EH always makes a big show when I drop DD off @ his parents for the w/end; he scrubs up 'cos he's trying to make me see what I'm missing but when I collect DD he's back to the 'usual'....unshaven, unwashed grin.

I do feel sorry for his parents but it is no longer any of my business.

We do 'get on nicely' though - I have to ensure that for DD's sake 'cos at the end of the day, he is still her daddy.

SnowieBear Thu 06-Aug-09 17:48:04

Bumpety bump!

secretsquirrel1 Mon 10-Aug-09 23:00:59

Big Bump!

I've been away without internet access....

How is everyone? My DD & I are both very well.

This week has been sad, though.

My ex BIL died from a massive heart attack last Monday, he was only 40. Needless to say this will either make or break my ExH - (I saw him today as DD staying for a couple of days)....he looked truly truly awful, so I guess it'll be the latter. Thank God his parents are there or I'd've had serious doubts about leaving DD with him. He was still overjoyed at seeing DD & vice versa - he may be sick but he's still her daddy sad.

I am so glad to be out of all that madness - if I was still married, it would've fallen to me to sort it all out. And 'people pleasing me' would've done it as well!

My SIL (my brother's wife) has now told the rest of my family that she has 3 years tops (recurrent breast cancer/secondaries). I knew back in Nov that it would be very bad news but kept my counsel - it was not my business to say anything. So I have prepared myself and will make the most of what time we have left.

On a brighter note, we have also had 3 days of sun so that makes it all feel a bit better smile.

moanyhole Tue 11-Aug-09 00:46:00

hi all,just want to introduce myself. im maried to a compulsive gambler, he is in GA since november, having been in denial for years, and having gambled with our future and left us in big debt. he unfortunately has taken to drink now, he has been drinking enough for it to matter. he says he'll try to give it up- i dont know.
We have a toddler and a baby.

anyway just to introduce myself- ill read the thread tomorrow and get to know everyone!

hope its ok to joinxx

ginnny Tue 11-Aug-09 10:01:05

Hi Moanyhole! Funny how they sometimes jump from one addiction to another isn't it. I suppose if they have an addictive personality they need something to replace it with.
SS so sorry to hear your bad news. Ex H will no doubt use the bad news as an excuse to drink more sad but as you say you are out of that now.
Hope everyone else is doing OK.
Things here are kicking along nicely. DP is not working much atm but managing to find things to do to keep him out of the pub and is actually being really helpful with childcare and housework while I'm at work shock
Ready - hope you are OK. Not long now till you get your house back is it?

secretsquirrel1 Tue 11-Aug-09 22:59:41

Hi MH & welcome to the thread.

Thanks for your kind thoughts, Ginnny. Pleased to hear that DP is being helpful....very much one day at a time; make the most of it - why oh why can't it be like that all the time?

Yes - calling Ready?

secretsquirrel1 Tue 18-Aug-09 06:38:35


HecatesTwopenceworth Fri 28-Aug-09 17:15:29

Hi. I started a thread here and lu told me about this thread. Hope you don't mind me barging in. Will have a read through this and your first one if that's ok.

SnowieBear Sun 06-Sep-09 10:30:12

Hi Hecates, just had a look at your other thread, you are very welcome here. What you said about intruding made me smile - alcoholics are alcoholics, and those who live with them face all sorts. I don't think anyone here thinks in terms of degrees of alcoholism. True, it's a progressive disease, but this only means that its effects are also progressive for us around the alcoholic.

I really second what many people, including Ludog, told you - go to Al-Anon. You cannot really change him, but you can change and help yourself and your kids. He may or may not take the cue, don't pin your hopes on that and concentrate on what's best for you and yours. Yup, easier said that done, I know, but if you read this thread and the previous one a bit, you'll see we've all been/are on the same road. You'll always find support and sensible advice here, I hope you stay with us.

DH is still with AA and things are OK. Still working hard at it, dealing with ups & downs and trying to keep perspective on things. It's been six months now, the longest I've ever seen him sober! I'm taking DS on a week holiday to see my family abroad in a few weeks time - my uncle has been diagnosed with lung cancer and is having an op them, so I really want to be there to support my mum, they've always been very close and I love the big fellow very much indeed sad. DH doesn't want to put his sobriety to the test by coming... I knew that much, so I never expected him to and it's not a problem.

How's everyone else? Is this one of those times when people are not posting because a) nothing much is going on, or b) so much is going on it's a right muddle and it hurts to write about it?

Hoping it's the former... Keep on keeping on.

ginnny Sun 06-Sep-09 13:38:39

Hello Hecates - don't be silly. You aren't barging in. I'll have a read of your thread in a minute.
I've not been on here lately because nothing much is going on. DP is being great - he has the odd wobble now and again, but on the whole we are getting on well and he is much more self aware and if he feels the need to 'go off on his own for a few days' then I let him get on with it. His birthday is coming up and for the first time I'm not dreading it. I know he'll go for a drink but he'll spend time with us first and then its up to him.
It wouldn't suit everyone but I've found a way to deal with it that seems to make everyone happy.
Your DH is doing brilliantly Snowie, and its good that he is aware enough to know his trigger points and to avoid them.
Anyone heard from Ready? Hope you are OK if you read this.

SnowieBear Sun 06-Sep-09 15:53:32

Ginny, good to hear you are well and that it is working for you and yours. Funny you mention not dreading his birthday coming up... it was our 10th wedding anniversary on Monday and I approached it in the same relaxed manner - it was fine! smile Strangely, that's made me look forward to Xmas (yes, I know... blush) for the first time in yonks!

Hi ginnny

Attila heregrin.

I am very glad to read that you and he are doing okay at present.

I still think though that you have sold yourself short here primarily because you are still around for him despite all the crap he has put you through (and I still remember the incident at home with the mirror). It is ultimately your choice and you do come across as being a lot happier these days than in previous times. For those reasons I am happier for you although still feel a bit uneasy.

I still think though you are worth a million of him though and he is your blind spot. You're too good for him - and always have been. Have always thought that as you've always come across and both intelligent and erudite in your posts.

With best wishes


ginnny Sun 06-Sep-09 17:09:05

Thanks for your honesty Attilla. Always appreciated! I guess you can't choose who you fall in love with can you? And I was so miserable when we split up last year I decided to compromise. So far its good but I will walk away if things ever get to that point again, he knows it too.

ginnny Sun 06-Sep-09 17:32:22

Hecate - I've read it now.
I would say go to Al Anon. You did really well on the phone call he made to you until you let him push your buttons and get the reaction he wanted.
Al Anon will help you change your reactions to his drinking and help you look after yourself.
My DP used to enjoy the binges all the more if he knew I wasn't happy or if we'd had a row. It was like forbidden fruit to him. So childish isn't it?
Now I just let him get on with it he doesn't do it half as much as he used to.

ginnny Sun 06-Sep-09 17:35:41

Have a look at this Hope it helps

secretsquirrel1 Tue 08-Sep-09 21:24:48

Hi everyone, SS signing in grin. Wonderful to hear from you all and welcome Hecate...I have read your other thread but have refrained from commenting - so far wink!!

Calling Ready - hope that you are all ok.

My life is so good now that the madness has gone. For instance, after school today, my DD was able to invite her friend round (& mum!) just like that! And the sky has been blue and the sun has shone - and I'm off to a wedding on Fri and 2 nights in a very posh hotel. I can't wait!!

As for the exH - well he is getting really bad now. The death of his brother is going to be the death of him too at this rate.

He has also just started to break arranged weekends - he said that the family had been invited away for two weekends on the day of the funeral.

Once upon a time I'd've snapped that normal people would've checked that there were no other commitments first, but my Al Anon head accepts that he isn't going to react like a normal person.....however, whilst it is sad about what happened to his brother, he has been told that he has to think of DD and he has to put her first (though we all know that only after the bottle will she be first hmm)!

HecatesTwopenceworth Wed 09-Sep-09 17:20:42

thanks ginny.

ss1, by all means, let me have it! grin

He's still saying no more. But he's at the beginning of his loop, iyswim. no drinking - odd drink - binge a few times - disappear a few times - decide to stop - odd drink - etc etc

I guess I just have to see how long it takes.

Thing is, he shows no signs of missing alcohol when he's on one of his "breaks". Which confuses me because I would have thought someone with a drink problem would be edgy and craving it all the time?


re your comments:-

"He's still saying no more. But he's at the beginning of his loop, iyswim. no drinking - odd drink - binge a few times - disappear a few times - decide to stop - odd drink - etc etc

I guess I just have to see how long it takes".

Think you'll be waiting a long time, if not the rest of your days frankly. As you rightly put he is in a loop, its a cycle by any other name. He is telling you what you want to hear by saying, "no more". He likely does not really mean it though and you will keep hearing similar sentiments if you ahve not already done so, it is said to keep you both quiet and acquiescent.

"Thing is, he shows no signs of missing alcohol when he's on one of his "breaks". Which confuses me because I would have thought someone with a drink problem would be edgy and craving it all the time?"

Alcoholics don't have to drink every day, he probably has developed a high tolerance to alcohol over the years - but the underlying desire to consume alcohol is still there.
I bet you a crisp £5 note as well that he badly underestimates how much he actually drinks and that he does not really feel he has a drink problem. Such people are very good at being in denial.

You cannot afford to keep enabling him by making excuses for his behaviour or covering up the consequences of his actions.

Unless he himself decides to tackle the root causes as to why his alcoholism developed there is nothing you can personally do to help him. You can only protect your own self and children you have.

You are NOT responsible for him ultimately; only your own self and your children.

The 3cs re alcoholism:-
You did NOT cause it
You CANNOT control it
You CANNOT cure it

And the last two are probably the hardest lessons to take in. Talk to Al-anon if you have not already done so, they can and will help.

SnowieBear Wed 09-Sep-09 18:07:02

Hecates, there's a book I found through Amazon called "Under the Influence" that actually put things in perspective for me in terms of how alcoholism develops - it's written by two respected doctors. If you can, get a copy and have a read - you'll surprise yourself by how much of the alcoholic behaviour described there you'll recognise and it'll put things into context quite a lot.

ludog Wed 09-Sep-09 22:06:29

There's a very good pamphlet in Alanon called "A merry-go-round called denial" It describes very accurately the cycle of drinking/bravado/crisis/rescue/remorse that we go through, in particular with binge drinkers. I couldn't believe what an accurate picture of my family life it was. It describes the cycle as a continuous 3- act play and says it will continue until one or more of the participants change how they fulfil their role.
My dh was a binge drinker, so we could have fairly good stretches of "normal" drinking. Inevitably, though it always ended in a binge and with me threatening to leave and him promising to change. It went on like that for years, but when I got help and stepped off the merry-go-round the whole picture changed. Hope everyone is doing ok. All good here, kids back at school, dh still sober (for today!) and my computer addiction growing apace!! Maybe I'll get a month in Rehab if I keep it up!!

secretsquirrel1 Sun 13-Sep-09 19:55:26

Hi everyone!

Hecate - the main thing to recognise is that you are getting sucked into the cycle as well now. In that you are 'wondering' about how/what/where/whether the drinking is/is not happening.....

You will find that you can only really comment on what you can actually see with your own eyes. Alcoholics will lie and cheat and pull every single low down trick in the book if they think that someone is 'on to them' - they will do whatever it takes to 'maintain what they think is normality' and you are in danger of doing likewise - very much 'keeping up appearances that all is really well when deep down you know it isn't'.

My EH used to obsessively lock to bathroom door for hours on end, couldn't wait for me to go to bed first, would sometimes even get up during the night or early in the morning (in the early days of our relationship). Don't even start to look for evidence - what you find and destroy will be replaced by more.

Equally, Atilla is right about the underlying compulsion to consume alcohol; what you have to start to understand is that you are completely powerless to even think of trying to stop this compulsion. He has to hit rock bottom himself - you have to make sure that you look after yourself and that you don't fall down the pit with him.

ErikaMaye Sun 13-Sep-09 21:06:10

Would it be okay if I joined you?

I have been on here before talking about my DPs problems. They don't always cause too many issues, as they seem to come and go, but its a relief to know there are other people around dealing with things similiar.

DP suffers from Anorexia, which is a big part of his problems, I'm quite sure. He is a valium addict, and smokes cannabis. He also drinks a lot.

I feel so bad saying all that, because he is such a good person, he takes the best of care of me, and he has cut down dramatically since I became pregnant, and has put on weight, which I'm so proud of him for. Its mainly the amount I worry about him that stresses me out. He gets so self destructive verbally when he's been drinking, and I can't cope with seeing him like that sometimes. I love him to pieces, and seeing him tear himself apart with his own words is so hard

He sometimes seems to know he's drinking too much, and sometimes tells me I'm over reacting when I mention it to him.

Recently he's started on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety tablets, so he is starting to get some help. I just worry so much about him. Because of his limited calorie intake as well, the alchol goes into him a lot quicker. Some weeks it will be the occasional can or two a night, other weeks its a bottle of gin or vodka.

He's a good person, and I never feel at risk from him. He never lies to me, he just wouldn't; I trust him. He makes me laugh, and he loves me, and he treats me well. But sometimes I can't deal with the worry.

Sorry I needed to get that all out. Thank you for taking the time to read.

SnowieBear Wed 16-Sep-09 18:24:50

Hi Erika - of course you are welcome here!

It sounds like your DP has a number of issues, but you shouldn't feel bad for discussing it, it shows you care about him and your future together, it's not a betrayal, although I understand why you may feel as if it were.

I'll try to post a more sensible reply tomorrow (just got back from a funeral and have to see to DS), but the most important thing I'd like to convey to you now is that it is crucial that you look after yourself - Al-Anon would be a good starting point to start unravelling things for you and give you a perspective on your joint situation you most likely need. Please do not think of looking for this type of help as a betrayal, it is most definitely not - it is certainly the best you can do not only for yourself but also for your DP. Please keep well.

How's everyone else? Ready, wherever you are, I hope you are well and happy.

ginnny Thu 24-Sep-09 12:47:53

Has anyone heard from Ready?
Hope she is OK.

secretsquirrel1 Fri 25-Sep-09 13:10:55

No, I was wondering as is everyone else?

ludog Sat 26-Sep-09 16:15:54

Hi everyone
We are having a sad time here. One of dh's closest friends is dying from cancer. We were in the hospital with him last night and are both so heartbroken to see our lovely friend hanging on to life by a thread. Dh is so sad, but keeping strong and leaning on me and his AA friends for support through this tough time. His friend was such a support to me and the kids when dh was in rehab. Life seems very unfair sometimes doesn't it? If you are the praying type, please keep us in your prayers, if you aren't into prayer, just send us some positive thoughts, I think we will need them all over the next few days.

ginnny Sun 27-Sep-09 13:18:23

Ludog - so sorry to hear your news. Will be thinking of you and DH.

ludog Sun 27-Sep-09 15:08:01

Thanks Ginny, he is still with us. His heart is still strong, it could be up to a week like this wondering when he will pass away. We were at the hospital again last night, it wasn't as emotional as Friday, I think we were all in shock at first as he went downhill very fast this week. There was a good few of his family and friends around his bed last night and we were chatting about all the good times and telling funny stories. He had a wicked sense of humour before he became ill. I hope he could hear all the stories, they say that your hearing is the last sense to go. It seemed strange to be laughing and joking at such a time but there will be a time for tears too. I feel we are in Limbo at the moment not knowing when the time will come. My dds are very upset too as he was like an uncle to them and they are all very fond of him. Thanks for your kind thoughts. xx

ludog Tue 29-Sep-09 10:26:28

Well, L passed away yesterday. RIP. We are all a bit numb here. I am worried that dh will drink this week. Of course I can't say it to him or he will get all defensive but I am really nervous of how he will cope. The funeral is tomorrow and it is going to be tough on us all.

ginnny Tue 29-Sep-09 11:11:42

I'm so sorry Ludog sad
I hope you all get through the next week OK.

NotSoBoredByMyselfAnymore Tue 29-Sep-09 23:10:11

I hope you all don't mind me butting in. I am currently married to a man with major alcohol issues though not sure he is technically an alcoholic. We have two small kids. There is a long thread here about it - I've told him I want us to separate and he seems happy to go along with this. My agonising continues though as I worry about the impact on the kids etc etc etc I don't know what advice I am after really, but any insights or comments on my situation from people who have been on similar situations would be most appreciated

ps LUDOG - I am so sorry about your friend, I hope you and your family get through it all ok


Re-read all your previous thread again; you were given some great counsel on there and you need to take heed.

And after all that he has put you through you are still asking?. He has done nothing to hold this "relationship" of yours together, you have done all the work. From what you write he has long standing alcohol problems. He is NOT your responsibility.

Look at your children; your home is broken already. Look at your 7 year old properly. You have a choice ultimately, your children do not. Children who grow up with an alcoholic parent in their midst do become damaged by the experience (they can become super responsible for the alcoholic parent and could even choose alcoholic partners themselves). It is certainly not a legacy you want to leave them.

magnummum Wed 30-Sep-09 08:56:07

Hi Ladies, I don't quite belong here as it is my DM who is an alcoholic but having had a quick look at today's posts just wanted to quickly add to advice to Notsobored.

I'm an adult child (in my 30s) and my mum has had a problem all of my life and my parents divorced when I was 4. I'm sure the divorce must have had some impact but nothing as compared to the misery of witnessing my DMs behaviour over the years. I like many others am still struggling to deal with it and the impact it has on all of our lives (see yesterdays thread - At wits end dealing with alcoholism). Please put yourself and your children first.

Snorbs Wed 30-Sep-09 09:34:54

Notsobored, I replied on your other thread but I just wanted to reiterate the effects that alcoholism can have on children. My alcoholic ex comes from a family of four children where at least one of the parents had long-standing alcohol problems. Two of the children (including my ex) are self-confessed alcoholics, one has long-standing alcohol problems but I don't know enough to say whether it's alcoholism, and the last is married to someone with long-standing alcohol issues.

Also, my own father's an alcoholic and I ended up in a relationship with an alcoholic. I don't believe that to be coincidence.

NotSoBoredByMyselfAnymore Wed 30-Sep-09 10:15:51

thank you all for writing

he keeps saying he doesn't have an alcohol problem and that I am making it into a bigger deal than it actually is. I tell him that denial is one of the symptoms of alcohol dependency but he just shrugs it off. Problem is I don't know who is right. Am I just making a mountain out of a molehill? He rarely gets roaring drunk, never violent, can be a bit unpleasant after a number of drinks if I say something he doesn't agree with but nothing major. Today he told me he is and has always been melancholic, he has a touch of depression he feels, maybe manic depression he reckons hmm first I've heard of that, and that he drinks to help him get through it all. But it is not a problem. He feels that, except during the summer when he doesn't have to work, he just drinks a normal amount. Cited to me the fact that since Saturday he has only had 3 pints a night. Nothing wrong with that he says. On friday however he had about 3 large vodkas, lots of bubbly, lots of wine and 4 or 5 armagnacs (we hosted friends for dinner - there were two other big drinkers there, one of whom is his brother). He maintains I have just gone onto a more "affirmative" "enlightened" path since having kids and opening up a bit more to my sort of spiritual (feel weird even writing that!) side. I have gone from being a heavy drinker myself to more or less giving up booze (will still have odd glass of wine, maybe twice a week but no more). I think he thinks I am overeacting to his drinking and trying to make out that is the problem in the relationship, rather than the fact that I have changed. I am so confused about it all. He continues to maintain that my timing of the separation suggestion has made it impossible for him to react. I am at wits end. Am I overreacting? How can I possibly know.


The more he says he does not have an alcohol problem the more I am thinking that he actually does. But he is not your responsibility ultimately.

I think you're right and he's just doing his usual denial of the problem again (he likely also badly underestimates how much he is drinking per week and he is unable to go without drinking alcohol for any real length of time. Alcohol also acts as a depressant and it sounds like he is self medicating). All his talk about the separation making him unable to think is excuse and bull frankly and is projecting. He is still NOT taking any responsibility for his actions and is still blaming you for it all.

You've been with him for a long time and things have not changed; infact things have got worse over the years for you all and now there are children as well as you to consider. What are you both teaching them here about relationships?.

Put them and you first now. Speak to Al-anon for you and get support from them as well. I do not say this lightly but I feel the only way you and your children will be happier is to legally separate. I do not write this at all lightly.

secretsquirrel1 Wed 30-Sep-09 10:34:30

Ludog - I am so sorry to hear your news. I hope that you all manage to stay strong.

NotSo - I have divorced my alcoholic H because mine & DD's lives were becoming a living nightmare.

I would say that you need to start detaching from his behaviour and fast - because you need some vital head space before making any major decisions.

When you are in this continual cycle of mad behaviour (eminating from living with active alcoholism) you become as sick as them. Your reactions lead to threats that you will never carry out (one more drink and we're through etc etc), or behaviours that punish him (silence/manipulative behaviours).

When you are living in the madness, there is no way you can make logical sensible decisions. You need to start focusing on yourself and your DC's, and once you have stepped back from it all, only then should you start making decisions about the future. *You can't fix him - you can't be responsible for him.*

I read your other thread and saw lots of really good advice about you going out and getting your life back. Once you start doing this, your children will benefit as you'll feel so much better.

If you have read back through this thread, you'll see that Al Anon has been suggested - you should look them up and you'll find that there are many people in exactly the same situation as yourself. It helped me to make rational decisions that ultimately I was informed enough to make. CAT me if you want any further info.

You have to start looking after You. Your children don't have a choice in this situation but you do.

I can't tell you how fabulous life is now - DD does still see her daddy (he has moved back in with his parents) - but she is a well adjusted and balanced child who understands that her daddy has an illness that made him behave the way he did.

secretsquirrel1 Wed 30-Sep-09 10:38:25

Sorry, crossed posts with you Atilla! grin How are you?

Hope everyone else is ok. Calling Ready?

ginnny Wed 30-Sep-09 10:54:53

Hi Notsobored... (like the positive name change smile
I just read your thread and just wanted to say that he is showing classic signs of alcoholism the biggest one being complete denial.
You have done the right thing for all of you by separating from him this way. You must stick to it though or you will lose all credibility. By doing this you are forcing him to take responsibility for his actions, and he will try and twist things round so that you feel guilty/in the wrong, but remember that is just a tactic to stop him having to face up to the fact that the problem is with him.
Read the link on here about detachment, his drinking is his problem, you can't stop him doing it, all you can do is look after yourself and your dc.
I am another one who grew up with an alcoholic father and ended up with one myself and a whole bag of other problems too. My fathers brother was an aloholic and his son (my cousin) drank himself to death at the age of 35.
Ready - hope you are lurking and doing OK x

NotSoBoredByMyselfAnymore Wed 30-Sep-09 11:33:52

thank you all again

meerkat - thanks for being so frank - in moments of clarity that is exactly how I feel too but I find the moments of clarity hard to hang onto when faced with his reasonableness

and snorbs and ginny thanks for sharing the effects of alcoholic parents you have experienced. Again you see I get stumped on not knowing whether he is or isn't. But I guess I should just accept the fact that he most certainly hasn't got ahealthy relationship with booze, or his own internal emotions anyway. Whether it constitutes full blwon alcoholism is open to interpretation I guess.

I am wondering whether to call his mum and have a chat with her. She has been like second mum to me since I met her but I am not sure what good it could do. It's not like she can (or anyone) can force him to do anything and he will probbaly just get annoyed at me burdening her as he sees it unecessarily. They are not the most emotionally open/expert family anyway (who is?!)

secretsquirrel - thanks for sharing your experiences. I am glad your life sounds so much happier now. I am not sure if I can CAT, I'll try.

Do Al anon have a helpline I could phone for advice, an ear? I was due to go and see my counsellor today but she had to cancel at last minute and I am feeling a bit adrift. Finding it very hard to concentrate on work etc

Snorbs Wed 30-Sep-09 11:53:39

OK, let's assume for the moment that he's not got any kind of alcohol addiction or unmanageable compulsion to drink. Let's assume he's got a perfectly "normal", take-it-or-leave-it approach to booze. Does that assumption improve the situation to any degree?

He knows that his drinking is causing massive problems in his relationship with you and is making you desperately unhappy. So if he's not got a drink problem and he's just drinking like this wilfully and in the full and conscious knowledge of the problems it causes; he just doesn't care. Looked at that way one could almost argue it would be better if he were a self-confessed alcoholic...

One piece of advice I got that was eye-opening to me was to try to ignore what a (suspected) alcoholic says about their drinking. Instead, pay attention to what they do. He had a major session on Friday and followed it up by drinking every day and drinking more than is considered wise on each of those days. And this is by no means a one-off, it's simply the latest part of a repeating pattern.

Given the cold hard reality of how much and how often he's drinking it's clear he's got a drink problem of some description. What his actions are showing you is that he knows his drinking causes problems in his relationship yet he fully intends to continue drinking. Call it alcoholism, drunkenness, piss-artistry, selfishness or being a lush; the name you choose doesn't matter and is irrelevant to what he's doing.

Ilovechristmas Wed 30-Sep-09 12:03:51

I have been lurking on the boards and posting a little, mainly due to looking at answers for my own problems. I guess we all did this for a while as you are looking at the possibility that this is your fault. Notsobored; my OH denies being an alcholic also and if I mention that I wont discuss anything or argue when he has had a drink he will just say 'it is always my excuse' and 'I had to throw that one in'. He denies it even though he will start drinking at lunchtime and then carry on until 12 at night. Sometimes he guzzles and sometimes he has a leisurely drink. We met when I was going thru a bad patch and I too enjoyed a drink - 'what the heck' I thought, it made me feel better. That stopped many years ago and Im an occasional one like you as I realised how it was effecting me, but I look at it as a blip in my life. He too uses the excuse, just because I dont do it anymore that has made me holyier that thou. Funny isnt it they come out with the same stuff??

ginnny Wed 30-Sep-09 12:11:09

Nobody likes the label "alcoholic" as it conjures up images of trampy old men drinking cider on a park bench. But the truth is, that an alcoholic is someone who depends on drink to function, or who continues to drink despite the negative effects it has on their family, health etc.
I denied my DP was an alcoholic for years as he managed to work, didn't drink every day etc, but he was a functioning alcoholic, which so many of them are. Don't be fooled and as Snorbs says, whatever you want to call it, it amounts to the same problem at the end of the day.
Here is a link to Al Anon

secretsquirrel1 Wed 30-Sep-09 13:45:28

Notso - you can call AlAnon on 0207 403 0888 between 10-4 and there is a helpline as well outside these hours.

NotSoBoredByMyselfAnymore Thu 01-Oct-09 07:55:08

thank you all, it is so helpful to hear other perspectives on the same sort of drinking - he can almost convince me it's normal, but I know it's not. The level of dependance to function is so high. he told me yesterday that he drinks to cope with life, sometimes he finds himself going into a black hole so then he stops for a day or so which seems to help and then continues. I do know he stops sometims for about that, a day, upon which he is hugely grumpy and retreats to bed as early as he can as he can't face the reality of a night without booze. Sadly those were about the only nights he was interested in intimacy, unless it was really bad in which case he would just lie in bed saying "I just need this day to be over" (in fact that was usually his excuse for resisting my advances, back when I used to make any)

I hope you don't mind me coming on this thread. You've been a great help to me and I will read and re-read your words every time I waver. As I always do having been with him so long and still liking him so much outside of all of this.

secretsquirrel1 Sat 03-Oct-09 14:11:30

Hi Notso, to CAT you click on to 'my mumsnet' on the top toolbar, then once you are on the page, scroll down to the bottom and click on to 'contact a member'.

Just because you are going to start focusing on yourself, it doesn't mean that you have to stop caring about (& liking) him. It's just that we are all at the end of a very long food chain....we just are'nt used to putting ourselves first!!

ludog Mon 05-Oct-09 14:46:56

HI everyone
Thanks Ginny and SS for the kind words last week. It was a difficult, emotional week for us all but we got through it and dh didn't drink. He is very, very sad at the loss of his friend but he seems to be coping. I suppose I will always worry (even at an unconscious level) that these sort of situations will cause him to relapse. He did a reading at L's funeral and I was so proud of him. You know, he was just the way Notso and Ilovechristmas describe their dps when he was drinking. The difference in him with 16 months sobriety under his belt is astounding. Give Alanon a try and see how you get on, don't make any rash decisions for six months or so (unless you are in some physical danger). I can't believe how different our lives are now. The madness and unmanageability I lived with before Alanon was unreal and I almost had a breakdown from the pressure of trying to control everything. good luck to all the newbies, with support you can get through anything!

NotSoBoredByMyselfAnymore Wed 07-Oct-09 11:43:11

hello again all

ludog your story of your DP is inspirational. I doubt mine would ever (want to) remain sober for even 6 months.

last week he announced to me on about Thursday I think that he'd had an idea and it was that maybe, just maybe, he'd try to stop drinking, or maybe drink less, with absolutely no outside intervention and with only himself as adjucticator/moderator and that there was absolutely no way he was starting until Sunday. Made me laugh. In the olden days I would have totally engaged with this, tried to egg him on, tried to support him, ended up upset when he didn't do it etc etc etc. This time I just said it sounded like that would be good for him and left it there. Of course he drank a full bottle of wine and more each of the following two nights (which rather worryingly seems to have no observable effect on him now) and went to the pub on Monday where apparantly he got the barman to mix some alcohol free beer with regular beer into a pint for him hmm then last night he went on pub crawl with his brother. No idea how much to drink - he seemed fine this am but amvery sure he wasn't out in pubs with his bro drinking shandies, or lemonade. I didn't mention anything about it and am glad I managed not to.

As I see it we need to separate officially. He seems very happy with status quo just now,up in the spare room. TBH it's odd, we seem to have become separate SO EASILY it makes me wonder why I was expending all that energy for so long trying to pretend any different. we are in our separate rooms,do our separate things with kids at weekends, eat together sometimes, everything very civil and pleasant. Weird. Suppose things might get messy when one of us (me of course given that he is about as proactive as a dead sloth) mentions again the need to actually physically get separate places. Am not doing it rght now as situation (financial and shared childcare wise) suits me right now. But am sure a time will come.

Am not sure I need to go to al-anon right now, but thanks for all teh info. I feel pretty sure we need to split. I can't shoulder it all myself anymore and I can't help him if he refuses to really try himself (am feeling quite sane,clearheaded and strong today obviously - wait til I hit a weak moment)

My DD1's behavior is becoming every more volatile. She is a sensitive girl and so I reckon she must be picking up soem vibes (altho honestly there are far fewer harsh words between us these days than ever before) so I guess we need to talk to her and her sister soon. Am quite dreading that.

Squirrel I still can't figure out CAT. Can you email me? I'm on m s p b r i t t l e (no spaces) at gmail dot com

secretsquirrel1 Wed 07-Oct-09 12:44:50

Have done so, Notso!

ILoveChristmas - guess what? The mad behaviours make them all one and the same person grin

Snorbs Wed 07-Oct-09 21:42:49

NotSo, well done for not engaging with the vague "I'm going to stop drinking! Well, cut down, anyway. But not right now..." crap.

It does sound like you are somewhat in limbo; your relationship seems all but dead yet you continue to live together. Of course it's your right to move at the pace you are comfortable with, but I do wonder if it would help get your attention off him and onto you if you got some physical distance from him. What would be the next step from here?

NotSoBoredByMyselfAnymore Thu 08-Oct-09 00:02:19

thanks snorbs - yes I am beginning to think you are right. I am still too focused on him, and he isn't even thinking about the situation at all as far as I can see. Floating about happy as they come. Asked today if I am happy enough to "mosey on like this" for the foreseeable. I didn't really know what to say.
I had an initial meeting with a psychodynamic therapist today and it was interesting, he said that DH sounds extremely detached (SO right) but also that it seemed I wasn't facing the situation as real.Once he said this I realised that perhaps that I wasn't prepared to face it all as "real" as I am petrified of telling the kids and the effect on them. I had told teh therapist about the fact that DD1s behaviour has been extremely volatile of late and interestingly enough his take was that it sounds like the only one who is accepting it as real is the one we are trying to conceal it all from. ie DD1. I'm pretty sure whatever she is picking up is all subconscious as conversation turned to divorced parents at teatime tonight and she didn't say anything.

Oh god. What a mess.

thanks for email secretsquirrel

you lot are a brilliant support. I am so grateful

Snorbs Thu 08-Oct-09 00:18:48

It's astonishing what children can pick up when you think they are oblivious.

The reason I asked about the next step is that when I was splitting up with my alcoholic ex, whenever I sat down and thought about the whole situation I ended up almost paralysed with dread. It was too much, too big, too all-encompassing. What was easier for me was to just think "what's the next step". I didn't necessarily take that next step immediately - sometimes I needed a break for a while to regroup - but I did have it as something to aim at.

NotSoBoredByMyselfAnymore Thu 08-Oct-09 08:08:40

yep, "paralysed with dread" I can identify with that one

obvious next step is to split our finances which have always been joint

I can probably bring myself to do this in next week or two

ginnny Thu 08-Oct-09 12:59:26

Well done Notso.
Your dd will cope, children are more resilient than we give them credit for .
She is probably behaving this way because she is frustrated. She knows something is wrong but nobody is telling her what.
Like Snorbs said, take it one step at a time and don't be railroaded into staying this way by him. He is probably thinking this is great - he gets to live in the house with you and the dc, doing as he pleases and drinking as much as he likes while still getting his pants washed and dinner cooked for him. Every alcoholics dream!!!

SnowieBear Thu 08-Oct-09 13:36:32

Re every alcoholics dream – a domestic slave that does not interfere with their drinking... Of course, one option to open to emphasise what separate lives mean under the same roof is to stop doing chores for him. I had the most horrendous two months at the beginning of the year doing exactly that: no cooking for him, no tidying his mess, no cleaning his clothes, no ironing, nothing. I wanted him gone or in treatment and he was not going or acknowledging there was a problem. I don’t know to which extent the lack of clean undies helped him see the light grin – still dry since March, still working the Steps, still attending meetings (with very clean socks nowadays, I must add, and he helps oodles with the cooking, as I work full-time!).

peanutbrittle Thu 08-Oct-09 14:03:09

ah but you see my guy does most of the cooking in our place (he is home more than me, and more interested in a proper meal every night) he also washes his own kecks and sticks mine and kids on too while he is at it. He's not good at drying/putting away and we don't do ironing but in all not as bad as some.

He doesn't clean or tidy which drives me barmy but not him so me refusing to do it wouldn't make any difference.

Am going to get a cleaner though,as otherwise I'll go for him one of these days.

And need to keep it amicable for the kids.


No one benefits from being in a relationship with an alcoholic. Everyone else tiptoes around that person, you all end up becoming responsible for the alcoholic and their alcoholism. Doing so may actually impair any subsequent recovery; enabling them does not actually help them. It is very bad news for the children as well, it can profoundly affect their childhood.

There are no guarantees here; some alcoholics can and do lose everything but they still carry on drinking.

You must remember the 3cs with regards to alcoholism:-

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

peanutbrittle Thu 08-Oct-09 15:07:50

I read somewhere today (on MN I think) that there is a difference between an alcoholic and someone who drinks too much to deal with problems. What do you guys think about that?

H has toldme he drinks in order to cope with life, that he thinks he suffers depression, maybe manic depression. I've never seen signs of manic depression in him myself (i've known two manic depressives) - depression yes,but tbh it could as easily be caused by the non-stop boozing. When I put that to himhe said he had alwyas been depressed, even before he started boozing but that was as likely to have been standard melancholic youth/teenage angst as anything else.

Anyway, maybe that question is immaterial.Point is he is a nice guy, good to us in his way, pays the bills, helps with teh childcare etc but I feel no emotional connection with himanymore and I've said over and over I think the booze contributes to this lack and he seems unwilling to do anything real about that or to return to counselling. So I need out.

I worry that I am using an easy tag of "alcoholic" to make myself feel less guilty about it all

god, how much I have agonised over all of this, again and again.I just want to not have to do it anymore.


Have you considered talking to Al-anon; they can help family members of problem drinkers.
I'll put up their details for you.

Alcohol acts as a depressant and he could well be self medicating. Regardless of the root causes as to why he drinks (and there are always reasons as to why) it is affecting you markedly as a family unit. You're also caught up in his drinking; you're all on the merry go around of alcoholism as well, you're all feeling responsible for him. None of this is doing you or by turn your kids any favours. Its damaging you all.

Counselling and or rehab won't help if he's only doing so for instance because you're telling him to go there. He has to want to help his own self and some people never get to that stage.

Guilt is a useless emotion - you have no need at all to feel guilty. You are not responsible for him ultimately (you probably feel very responsible for him but that is truly misplaced), only yourself and any children you have.

You need real life support for your own self. Look after both you and your children.

Al-Anon Family Groups UK & Eire
61 Great Dover Street, London SE1 4YF
Tel: 020 7403 0888 (Helpline 10am - 10pm, 365 days a year)
Fax: 020 7378 9910

peanutbrittle Thu 08-Oct-09 16:57:34

just got home from work (left early feeling crap - sore throat etc) and I saw him walking down the opposite side of our road on his way to work. He looked so handsome. I felt so drab and lifeless. He walked across the road to say hello to me, all happy cos the kids were better this morning so obviouslt taht means it is not after allaffecting DD1. I could barely talk I wanted to cry so much. Got home and had a good bawl on the stairs .Now having large cup of tea and some flapjacks.Oh have I mentioned I am overeating big time,no wonder am feeling unattractive and drab.

Maybe I do need to ring AlAnon - not sure how to start though

thanks for number meerkat, it has been suggested and for somereason I've been resisting

peanutbrittle Thu 08-Oct-09 17:14:19

well I phoned AlAnon- the office was closed and the two other numbers they gave were busy

will try to find another opportunity later

what can they say to me though?


With a cold/flu anyone would be feeling drab and lifeless. Please do not be so hard or down on yourself.

After you've eaten pick the phone up and call them. They won't bite!. You'll be okay, honest. Maybe you have resisted until now because it will seem more "real" to you if you call somebody and say that your H has a drink problem. MN is great but you need real life support too.

You need real life support and you need to properly address why you overeat (it is likely due to him and his ongoing behaviour. The overeating is probably a coping/defence mechanism. Please talk to your GP).

You say he is a "good dad", well in his own way, but he's not a good husband to you is he. Can you not see the contradiction here?.

If he is alcoholic his behaviour will likely affect the children emotionally to their detriment.

Its easy to write, not so easy to put into practice.

Well done you for phoning them. That is a big step and a brave one to make. Keep trying the number. You need real life support too.

EvenBoringMyselfNow Thu 08-Oct-09 18:43:50

sometimes I wonder if it is all a drama I am making up just to keep myself interested in my life...paint myself as a victim or something weird like that

maybe it's normal,maybe I expect too much.He's a nice guy,if I weren't so "demanding" we'd be fine.

Maybe I should just accept it as it is. I've been reading lots about "acceptance". But I just don't seem to be able to do that.

In my brighter moments I am happy to have my own space now,my own room,my own bed etc. But I am so up and down.

I was anorexic/bulimic as a teenager (have never been "normal" so I do wonder if it is alla story I am spinning myself) so I do need to watch the overeating - I am usually quite good around food these days so am not going to beat myself upover seeking solace in a few too many flapjacks/bars of chocolate right now.But will watch it. At least i haven't hit the booze/fags which until this year has been my way of coping. Then I traditionally get drunk, get all emotional and sleep with him.And it all starts again.So am proud I am managing not to do that this time. I hav egotten my own relationship with alcohol to a much better place over the past 12 months, that's one good thing

EvenBoringMyselfNow Thu 08-Oct-09 21:42:30

can anyone tellme what happens at an alanon meeting - step by step - I think I have found one nearby that I could go to tomorrow night but am dead nervous

agree that maybe I need something outside of the GP/therapist...someone who knows what it feels like...

ludog Thu 08-Oct-09 22:56:41

Well while I can only tell you what happens in our local group as each group has it's own way of running the meeting, but from what I have seen as a visitor to other groups they are generally run on similar lines. The person chairing the meeting will read the opening and request a few moments silence to let everyone gather their thoughts and remember why they are there. They will usually ask if there are new members present and if there are, the chairperson will tell them a little about the meetings and explain anonymity to them. Then another person will maybe read a page from one of the Al-anon books and share on the relevance the reading has for them. While that person is speaking, no one interrupts or offers advice or comments. When they have finished speaking, it is left open for anyone else to speak (or "share"). Depending on numbers the chairperson may go round the room and ask each person in turn if they want to share, or may invite people to share if they want to. Personally I prefer the round the room way, as I find it more daunting to put my hand up and ask to speak!! If someone doesn't want to speak, they say something like "I'll just listen tonight thanks" and the chairperson moves on to the next person. When everyone who wanted to has shared, the chairperson closes the meeting with the Serenity Prayer. Then there is usually a cup of tea and a chat for half an hour or so. Although a closing prayer is said, the programme itself isn't religious and doesn't push any belief system on you. All faiths and no faiths are welcome. I really hope you get up the courage to go...the first meeting is the hardest one! It is advised that you attend six meetings before you decide if it is right for you. The one thing you are guaranteed to meet there is someone who identifies totally with what you are going through. That sort of support is without price really. I loved how no one judged me, no matter how many times I changed my mind about what I wanted to do. No one pushed their opinions on me or told me I "should" do this or that. They just shared their story with me and I was free to take any bits that seemed relevent to me and use them if I saw fit. There is a great dignity in being allowed to find your own way, at your own pace, to work through your own problems. The same support is waiting for you and I hope you reach out and ask for it. Good luck!!

EvenBoringMyselfNow Fri 09-Oct-09 11:59:40

thanks ludog, thanks everyone

I phoned them again and got the details of a group near me that is meeting tonight...I might just go

I just hope they can cope with my bewilderment about whether his drinking is actually the problem or whether I (and my various versions of insanity) am...probably a mixture of both

felt better in the end yesterday - walked through the park rather than using car to collect kids (perked me up) got home and played games with them after tea, sewing and jigsaws. Got them to bed ok and then ran myself a bath, changed all the bedclothes on my bed, had my bath, hopped into bed with my book. Feel asleep quite happily. I think it was important to do some things to make me feel comforted. I enjoyed changing the bedclothes whereas previously when we shared a bed I used to just resent it - why wasn't he doing it etc etc etc, also I suppose I just didn't like our bed then as we both used to sleep clinging to the edge as far away from each other as we could. God, the underlying daily resentments were enormous. Will be glad to get past those at least.

off out for lunch with some friends now , day off work today with DD2. Hurrah

ginnny Fri 09-Oct-09 17:40:12

Well done Even - like Ludog says the first session is the hardest, but I remember coming out of my first session feeling better than I had in years. It was like it all suddenly made sense iykwim.
I hope you find it as helpful as I did.

secretsquirrel1 Sat 10-Oct-09 15:43:54

Even, good to see you sounding more positive. How did you get on?

EvenBoringMyselfNow Mon 12-Oct-09 10:27:12

aaah, I didn't go though. Was feeling awful with rotten cold and sore throat and chickened out. Just as well in the end as I went to bed with kids at 8pm, got up on Saturday at 8am and still needed two hours in bed on Saturday afternoon shock

am out with a friend next Friday but may try to go the one after that

I do need to move on from this, apart from anything else I feel it's a psychodrama (whether real or imaginary) surrounding me that I need to escape from

SS thanks for your email - I will respond asap, it was really helpful