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I'm probably overreacting...(81 Posts)
Before I begin, I'm pregnant and hormonal so please be gentle.
Dp and I have been together a year and a half. I have 2 dcs already and I'm now 13 weeks pregnant with our much wanted baby.
He's been perfect. The complete opposite of abusive XH. Kind and considerate and always helps out with the dcs.
We were planning on getting married soon. Just a small thing. But now I don't know if I can. And I don't know if I'm overreacting. I feel like this could be an XH hangup.
So, on Sunday I had arranged to meet with an old friend and her dcs. We hadn't seen each other in more than a year, and she'd never met dp. I really wanted them to get on. Due to busy schedules on all sides, we started planning to meet in December and this was the first opportunity for us both. We would drive a 6 hour round trip and so would they.
Then dp was invited out Saturday night. He never goes out so I encouraged him to, they were watching the rugby. But i did say a couple of times how important Sunday was to me, so could he make sure he'd be able to drive back and help out. And of course be perfect dp for meeting my friend
He said no problem. I offered to cancel if he wanted a big night. He said it was fine, reassured me.
Long story short (or slightly shorter) he got totally wankered. Staggered in at gone 2 (we were leaving at 7) completely hammered.
I asked if he wanted to stay at home he insisted he wanted to come.
3 times I had to stop the car for him to vomit.
He then staggered around with us for a bit before finally going back to sleep it off in the car. We left early because he was so unwell.
I am very upset that he ruined the day and feel lied to.
I wish I'd cancelled it.
He is very sorry.
I feel like he wasn't interested in my plans and pissed all over what I wanted. But I'm aware this is what XH would have done, and this is the first time he's done something like this.
I wish I wasn't pregnant, I'm frightened I'm a mug again , I don't want to get married.
I want it not to have happened.
And I look at this and it looks like no big deal. So why am I so devastated?
Oh and of course, not that it's relevant I ended up doing all the driving too, and was shattered. Stupid pregnancy hormones.
I think you are over-reacting - but it is perfectly reasonable to be annoyed with him though. Have you managed to talk to him calmly about it ? Say up set you were, and ask why he got so drunk ?
As for the wedding - don't do it unless you are totally happy about it.
If my friend and I were to consider separating every time our husbands did that I/we would have been divorced a few times. He was disrespectfull and selfish but you will get over it.
Maybe he was feeling the pressure of being perfect and self-sabotaged? Or maybe he just was having a good time and over did it?
Fair enough to be annoyed.
I'm not talking about leaving him. But we've always talked about trust and honesty and I wish he'd just said so I could cancel.
I don't want to leave him. I love him. But I don't want to find out that he's not who I think he is either. I hope that makes some sense.
Any advice on how I can feel safer? Because so far all I can think of is to cancel my plans in such a scenario, rather than risk it.
I don't think you are over-reacting. I'd be equally devastated. He had a clear choice on the night whether to stop drinking, and chose badly. He needs to have a think about why he did that and the effect it had on you.
You have 6 months before the baby arrives, see how he behaves towards you. Make it clear you need love and respect if you are to stay with him xx
If you have any doubts do not get married.
It is far easier to get married later if this proves to be a blip than it will be to divorce if this becomes standard.
Sorry, and yes, we've done calm talking. He says he just didn't even consider Sunday. He was having fun. He is sorry.
I always find that my 'biggest' nights out end up being the ones where I really hadn't intended them to be big nights out
Do you think he is genuinely sorry that he ruined Sunday for you?
If so I'd give him the benefit of any doubt THIS time.
Presumably though he didn't mean to get so drunk... just got carried away on the night. It's not great at all, but if you start cancelling in advance in case he behaves like this you've already given in.
The only way for you to feel safer is for him not to behave like this again. Does he understand your feelings about it? If he has been really apologetic and regretful I'd forgive him this time, I think, but make it clear how disappointed you are and how selfish he has been.
I think it's really annoying he did this and reasonable of you to be upset about it. But if he has apologised and if this is as out of character as you say it is I would get over it. Im not condoning it but it is easy to get carried away occasionally when out with friends. I would postpone thinking about marriage while you are still feeling angry.
He has said he doesn't know when to stop. This is not something I knew about him. He basically said that he drinks to whatever the group is drinking. And has in the past drunk so much he's passed out and vomited whilst unconscious
He's never done this with me, but then he'd be matching my drinking when out with me.
So I think it's something he can't control, and although he is sorry, he knew there was a high likelihood that it would happen.
He was definitely still over the limit the following afternoon.
I'm not talking about a few pints, I'm talking a lot. And we don't have a lot of cash at the moment. So him spending £60 (it's cheap round here) is also an issue.
Sorry the knowing there was a high likelihood is with hindsight. I don't think he set out deliberately to deceive me. But I could be wrong.
That sounds much more worrying
How often does he go out drinking? Is it a once a year thing, or quite frequently?
I think the important thing is he is very sorry, and if he isn't doing this all the time then its probably forgiveable.
aslong as it is a one off!
It sounds like he was an arse and thoughtless but it doesn't ring alarm bells for me in terms of being controlling or abusive.
It sounds like he needs to grow up a bit with a baby on the way though - is he having a wobble about what's going to happen when the baby arrives?
Only a month or less. Which is why this hasn't come up before. He always had a weird thing where if I opened a bottle of wine he would have to finish it. It couldn't be left. Even if one bottle had already been had and the next was opened just for one glass or something. He would finish it.
Since I've been pregnant there's been only minimal drinking. So it's not an addiction or anything, just an inability to stop once started.
No, he's not abusive (even double checked all the red flags! And he's safe), but I think I want to start as I mean to go on. I certainly don't want to marry whilst there are any doubts at all.
We are a happy couple generally. And he makes me the happiest I have ever been. I just need to get past this. In the past I have forgiven quickly and easily and it bought me years of pain.
But dp is not that man, and I want to forgive him, but it actually frightens me. And that's not his fault, it's mine.
Have you talked about his inability to leave a bottle of wine open?
Do you feel able to discuss it all with him?
How does he feel about his drinking?
If you don't want to get married any more, call it off. It isn't up to us to tell you that you are over-reacting - there is no objective truth.
If you find out later that this was a bizarre one-off, the wedding can be back on.
I think it is incredibly important to be able to rely on someone. I would be very hurt too, especially when pregnant when you really need to feel like he has your back.
It sounds to me like your dp is someone who needs to think really hard about drinking and what the costs can be. If it could cost him his marriage to you, better he find that out now and work on while he can still fix it - and get married- than later when it will mean divorce.
I've told him I like an open bottle to cook with, and he admitted it was odd, but if it was open, it'd be gone.
After Saturday he is now suggesting he might have a problem.
And here's the selfish bit, I want to be able to drink with him and enjoy a glass of wine and be normal.
^^That's not selfish, it's a normal expectation.
Maybe he just needs to get a grip on himself.
You've mentioned addiction - is this something that deep down you're worried about?
And thank you all for very balanced replies.
I'm glad I'm not odd to be hurt. My family's view would be that I was ruining his fun by being upset.
I just want to trust him and feel safe, like I did a couple of days ago.
Luckily with the wedding being so small and no one having been formally invited yet, we can easily say we've decided to leave it for a bit.
I don't think I'm worried about addiction, and I know we can all get carried away as a one off, so when he told me it's almost every time I was really shocked. He's so sensible in all other respects.
Of course re think marriage at the moment.
However as this is the first time he's behaved like this with you, I would want to make it very clear that you find his behaviour unacceptable. You will not marry someone who vomits all day long after a night out and spoils a lovely day out. You must have felt very embarrassed in front of your friends.
Do think he's the sort of person to change?
I hope so. I think he will change. Yes I was mortified. He could barely say two words. And in front of the dcs too. They were lovely about it, and said we all need to have a good night out sometimes. I kept stressing how out of character it was
"I just want to trust him and feel safe, like I did a couple of days ago"
You should be able to trust him and feel safe.
I'd tell him how important this is.
Gosh I didn't realise the dc were there too. I would have been livid having to stop for him to throw up in front of them.
Maybe he has got away with behaving like this in other relationships and doesn't realise how most partners would not put up with this.
Seeing how upset you are may just make him realise how much he has to lose.
I think telling him you will not marrying him until he can go out and have only a few drinks, would be a good thing to do.
Yup, livid was right
Not a good role model.
I think that's pretty much what I'm thinking, Quick.
I should have made it clear it was a family outing to a family place.
My only concern about this, is that you don't want to put yourself into a position where you feel you have said 'I'm not marrying you because you went out and got drunk' because I think it's more than that...
Liza I have been very explicit about that. And he says he knows that's the case. I want him to go out and socialise. He doesn't do it much and he needs to (just as I do). This isn't about him getting drunk, it's about him getting drunk when he'd been asked to make absolutely certain he would be ok for a long day on Sunday with a lot of children.
I said I was happy to drive there and he could catch up on sleep in the car, and then he could drive us home later on when I would be shattered.
All happy, all agreed. I was expecting tiredness and maybe a mild hangover. That would have been fine. But he was so ill he couldn't do anything until at least 6 the following evening. We left three hours early because I would have to drive and was worried that after 6 hours at the wheel I'd be struggling to stay awake if we left it any later.
They'd been necking round after round of jaeger bombs apparently. That was after 6 hours of steady drinking.
I know, I really do.
Do you see what I mean about turning the night out into the 'deal breaker' though. It's the behaviour and the potential behaviour in the future that you want to deal with rather than not going ahead with the marriage as a punishment (not saying that's what you're doing, just that you want to make sure that isn't what comes across)
I would not be going ahead with the wedding at this time for what it's worth, you should feel safe and you should feel secure and you should marry a grown up man who is reliable and capable of refraining from necking alcohol just because it's looking at him.
Does his explanation of why he couldn't resist or slow down work for you?
OP this is worrying:
So it's not an addiction or anything, just an inability to stop once started.
There is a problem with alcohol there for sure. One of the red flags is not being able to stop at just one drink. Another is alcohol getting in the way of your life. I'm not saying he did what he did deliberately to sabotage you so there's probably no need for you to worry about that.
But he has a drink problem. Typically things like that don't get better over time by themselves. This would be an issue for me, though it mightn't be for other people.
Also, many have died from passing out drunk and vomiting in their sleep so that's not nothing and can't be treated as if 'oh we've all done that'.
His explanation is that he simply didn't slow down. I think he's telling the truth, but what worries me is that if he has never exercised any restraint, and he says this is the case, what if he can't? Even if he does, how do you start to do something that you should have learned to do years ago? Why was the passing out not a reason to stop? His then gf said he had a problem but he didn't believe her.
Why didn't I know all this before?
Hellto, sorry xpost. I agree. I've never passed out and I've had my fair share of heavy nights. None of my friends ever have either.
Hi op. I would be hurt too but it would be a shame to call off the wedding altogether, Mabe postpone til he's proved himself.
So, does he drink much at home?
(Please don't think I'm being judgy, I'm really not)
Not being able to stop when you've started drinking is a classic type of drink problem.
I passed out a couple of times at university but grew up and got over it by my early 20s. It's not something grown-ups should be doing.
Did you say upthread that he said himself he may have a drink problem? Sorry, can't find it now. I know if I were in your shoes, i wouldn't be walking up that aisle right now OP, though it's hard to know what to do for the best.
I think your best bet is to be honest with him and tell him that you won't marry him (and by implication won't stay with him) unless he sorts out the drinking. I've seen too many lives ruined by alcohol to say anything else. There are also lots of what people call 'functioning alcoholics' walking around not doing anything about their problem, but the effect that has on families is still catastophic. Someone doesn't have to be drinking meth spirits to be a full alcoholic!
No it's not. He doesn't drink a lot at home. Since being pregnant he's rarely even had one beer, and that's only been if I offer it. We would share a few glasses of wine with a meal. He drinks, but I wouldn't say heavily. The problem seems to be when out.
Hellto, yes I did. He's worried about his lack of control.
He said that and then I said it was just a stupid one off. Which is when he told me that it wasn't and gave me the history of drinking to excess.
"it's something he can't control"
"He's worried about his lack of control"
that is an excuse isnt it?
sorry i cant control myself... if he really cannot he has a massive problem....if he is making excuses then you have a problem ....
how old is he?
ask him to get some help.
dont marry him!
He's nearly thirty.
It's not that he says he can't control it, it's that it never seems to have occurred to him that he needed to.
He says now he knows he can and will control it
Time will tell. I'm not giving more than one chance.
I honestly thought he was different and normal. Normal issues, not big ones.
I'd say just wait a while and see how things go OP. Don't plan a wedding for the time being.
...oh and I'm sorry you're dealing with this at the moment. It's rubbish you should be worrying about this sort of thing. I really hope he pulls his socks up.
I had crappy, miserable pregnancies with the 2 dcs. What with XH either threatening to leave, or me asking him to, and then him coming back again.
I was feeling so safe and loved this time round. I didn't know it could be so nice. I want that back.
Well it can be and if this works out you will, as a couple be stronger than ever.
I've had this happen. dh was horrified, realised he had a problem stopping once out and having fun. He hardly drinks now but he realised that the mates who enabled the drinking weren't mates really as all they wanted to do was get hammered. He was quite shocked how they dropped him when he didn't drink or went home.
I read the riot act as its embarressing, and I am not having the dc growing up with a dad who has to stay in bed because he's a drunk. Been there, done that as a child.
He also read the AA stuff and we have a drink together, but he knows how the urge can grab him. He avoids it by taking up yoga, not coming home and opening wine straight away.
The open bottle thing is a big flag to me. He has to really look at himself and who he wants to be. Chuck it down the sink after a couple of glasses then... Or have a weak vodka and soda.
Lavender, that's really interesting. Thank you for sharing your experience.
I think it's given dp a big shock to the system. I just hope he does something about it now. I think he will.
Over the years I've come to believe that there are no accidents when it comes to human behaviour. He knew how big a deal the day out was to you. Something stronger than his desire to keep you happy was driving him when he went out with his mates. What could that have been?
He's shown you something, OP. Take a good look!
Oh, and an inability to stop drinking when started, as others have said, is the very definition of a drink problem. I know - I have one.
Yakshe, this is what worries me. But I think it was initially nerves (he doesn't know the group that well) and then got carried away. Perhaps it does have something to do with the baby and cutting loose, and we were having tests done this week which meant we were both anxious.
XH was PA and would have done this on purpose. But dp isn't.
You sound very grounded and thoughtful OP. I hope it all works out OK.
Thanks Yaksh. I feel a bit more together now.
I'm going to make it clear that this changes or we go. And we'll marry when I'm sure and not before.
The last thing I want is for him never to go out. Partly because then he'll never have to learn to control himself. I need to know that he can.
Ok maybe going against the grain here a little. I think when you come out of an abusive relationship your understanding of normal take time to settle ... your self esteem is in tatters and you often do not trust your own judgements. I understand looking for and rechecking for red flags - but ... I think this is your problem and not the problem of a new partner.
ThePIE I agree, that's why I posted. It's hard to see normal mistakes once you've been through EA or similar, because you worry about where it will lead. Hence my worry about overreacting.
But I would equally be wrong not to voice my doubts and sort things out. Dp did something stupid and he is sorry. He ( not I) has suggested he has a pattern of behaviour that I wasn't aware of, that he wants to change.
I'm not going to get married whilst I feel insecure or unsafe. Even if it turns out that's my insecurities, not getting married yet is the right thing to do.
Having posted feeling lost, I now feel like we can move forwards.
someone who drinks compulsively and then admits they have a problem, probably wants to stop drinking. Could you encourage him to seek some support for this?
I would have been angry too, i think it's a completely normal emotion to feel in that situation!
Thanks owl. I will support him in it. My one concern is that I don't want to police him. I don't want to worry about whether he'll come home and pass out. I have enough children, I don't need another. It would be disastrous for our relationship. I don't want to lose respect for him. I already have a bit.
yes I do understand that completely
Any suggestions on places for info on how to control binge drinking?
your GP? they run community run alcohol liaison services
It sounds like he just got carried away. He doesn't go out very often and probably got swept away with it all especially if he had not had a night out for a while. Thing is with men is that they don't want to be seen as wimps by their mates especially if it looks like they are going home cos their wife/partner expects them too. Pathetic I know but that is just men. At least he still insisted on coming. He could have just said he wasn't coming and stayed in bed. Plus he had his punishment by spending the journey puking. he may well have learned his lesson. It's not like he does it all the time so ghive him the benefit of the doubt.
Crinkle there's a bit more to this in the rest of the thread.
OP another thought: Even though I don't think he did this to sabotage you, I do think he subconsciously did it out of nervousness/social anxiety around meeting people he didn't know/friends he knew were important to you. Could there be a bit of an issue there too around using drink as a crutch in social situations?
I dunno, some food for thought. I think it's a big step already for the two of you to recognise it and talk about it.
There are strategies around actual drinking but it may not be easy for a guy to do it among mates (e.g., don't get in a rounds system, drink slower, a water for every pint, stick to lower alcohol drinks like beer, no mixing and no shorts/shots etc).
Whilst he is feeling like this get him to read the AA website - all of it. You can read it too. Dh read it all and was very quiet for a bit. The important thing is that you don't let him make excuses like " they made me have another one" or stuff like that.
Get him to call AA to see if it's for him, and yes he needs to be able to go out, but you need to know that when he tells you not to wait up, it's because he has planned a big night.
If he does it again, throw all the milk away, hide the coffee and go out for the day. ( tip from previous mn poster) then you both know it's not a one off and he either seeks help and goes to AA or well, it's a life style choice. I made it very clear to my dh it was not MY lifestyle choice if it happened again. Luckily he agreed and didnt try to wiggle out of it/ blame stress/ me/
Hellto, the anxiety bit is spot on.
Lavender, that's great advice.
So dp is home and has said that he has a plan. For the next month he doesn't want to drink anything. After that, for a year, he wants to restrict himself to a large glass of wine or a pint at home, maximum. And if he's going on a night out no more than three pints. After the year is up, depending on how it all goes, to just have a general limit of never more than 3 pints (or equivalent)
I've told him to have a think about whether he can realistically keep to that, because the last thing I want is him to set himself unrealistic expectations. But it sounds good to me. Three pints is plenty, and interspersed with other drinks will last a night.
I will get him to read the AA site.
At no point has he blamed anyone else, although he did say he was caught up in rounds. But admits that's no excuse.
I've said that it's up to him to police it. I won't be. And he said that that's as it should be.
He feels very ashamed , particularly of what the dcs think. But they are ok and I've spoken to them.
So the ball is in his court. He understands that this is his chance to take control of his own issue, and that I don't want to be around it if it controls him.
that sounds really positive to me. How do you feel about it - it sounds as though you've kept a real level head on you today, I hope you feel good about that.
I am also on the other side of an abusive relationship and really do get the need to have a reality check from time to time.
I'm both glad, and sorry, I'm not the only one, Liza.
I feel like it's a positive step. We've distinguished between his two promises. The promise he has made to himself, is his new limits. The promise he's made to me, is a more general "I will never drink to excess again". I asked for mine to be different, because that way I'm judging his actions and the consequences and not automatically counting every drink that he has. I hope that makes some sense.
I still wish I could be back in the oblivious cocoon I was in on Saturday. But that's not how the world works. So we'll give it a go.
Thanks to everyone for all the support today. It's been so helpful x
Glad you are feeling better op, but to me, he needs to promise himself he won't do it too- - he needs to know he will let himself down, not just you and the dc. It's hard to explain tbh!
Lavender I see what you mean.
I do think he wants to change for himself too. But I will talk to him about this.
Hello, I'm feeling confused again. I just feel so angry with him. I don't want to, I want to let this go and move on.
He's saying and doing all the right things. I know I'm just scared.
All you can do OP is see how it goes. Had you actually a date for a wedding, started preparations etc? Has he said something else to bother you?
Hi hellto, we had a couple of options but no set date, organisation hadn't got beyond the planning stage and was always going to be adhoc and informal. I was very much looking forward to it.
It is more about missing that feeling of safety that I had.
But I worry that's an overreaction too. I want to let it go.
Oh and no, he's been saying all the right things, even understanding that it's only actions that can change things and not words.
It's understandable how you're feeling it really is. You went through all that you did with your ex and now it feels as though this is the start of bad things with your DP, is that how you feel?
But remember, it's not so much what he did here (well it is and it isn't) but because it's something you're just discovering, it's going to be all about how it's handled by him from here on in.
At least it's progress that he's admitted it's a problem. I know plenty of people who had this sort of problem with booze, ie couldn't stop after one, not knowing when to stop etc. All but the vast minority handled those problems, whether that involved giving up totally or recognising bad drinking habits etc. It didn't mean those people were at fault in other ways or abusive or a host of other negatives. I think on balance he deserves a chance here to prove that he can do what he said he would..... you don't have to rush into marriage right now if that's not where you're at mentally.
Thanks hellto. That really is exactly it. XH had issues with alcohol (as well as just about everything else), and one of the things I really liked about this relationship was being able to share a glass of wine without being afraid.
He definitely does deserve another chance. He's a lovely bloke, and I believe he can change. It's my hang up.
It's good to hear that most people grow out of it once they decide to.
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