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DH's drinking

(17 Posts)
ninjapants Sat 13-Aug-16 21:19:44

DH is an alcoholic. He says so himself but in a jokey way, so I don't think he actually believes he is.
He was diagnosed with depression towards the end of last year. This led to a big increase in his drinking. He started to get back on top of things, though he was still drinking, then he lost his job (sort of related to his issues but a whole other story). Things got a lot worse and he was drinking to excess most days. He has recently got a new job, and while this is great, he thinks he no longer has a drink problem because he doesn't can't drink on the days he's working or he'd be unable to stop. Unfortunately he drinks non-stop on his days off. This is obviously bad for him, our relationship and family life. It also has practical implications as there will be times when I'm working on his days off and he will be taking care of DS. This hasn't yet happened since he started the new job but obviously concerns me.

I know I can't make him do anything about his drinking, nor prevent him from doing so. I don't want to leave him because I believe hope he can get on top of his problem. I love him very much and I know he has an 'illness'. It would also be very difficult practically speaking as I would struggle to find affordable childcare to cover my shifts, and cutting my hours/changing job is not a viable option (I do realise how selfish that sounds blush)

I'm hoping someone can offer advice on what I can do to support him and encourage him in any effort he makes not to drink.
Do I acknowledge his efforts when he's working? Ignore them as drawing attention to it makes him think about drink?
What do I do/say when he doesn't try at all? Just ignore it? Tell him it's ok, everyone has bad days? Go nuts about it?
Should I not drink at all (I don't drink often and never to excess) and ban alcohol from the house?
Also, what can I do to ease the burden of worry on myself and ensure DS is not adversely affected by DH's alcoholism and depression? Or is there really no hope and I just have to 'LTB'?

Any advice would be appreciated

OP’s posts: |
MyPath Sun 21-Aug-16 00:21:31

Looking forward to seeing some advice here, afraid I'm not reacting well at home so I've got no advice to give, except I suppose try to defuse your own anger. Yes it's shit when I come home and find DH on the beer with DD still up. 5th beer by 7pm today, I wish he drank that much water, might help his wrinkles. I get sarky and critical, and go so theatrical I end up having to apologise to him for being sarcastic... when he's the one drinking.

HCTurner Sun 21-Aug-16 20:33:07

My ex is an alcoholic and I ended up leaving him just over a year ago as I could no longer cope with his drinking - the stress was making me ill and I was worried about the effect it was having on our son.

There is nothing you can do to stop your husband drinking - only he can do that. Nothing I did that I did or thought was supportive helped. It probably made things worse!

The only things you can do are help yourself and help your DS. I have recently started going to a support group for families and friends of addicts/alcoholics and it has been a huge help in understanding alcoholism, hearing others experiences and knowing your are not alone. It was really hard admitting I needed the help and support, but I can't recommend it enough.

Good luck

tribpot Sun 21-Aug-16 20:44:00

Sorry - I don't think there is anything you can do. You not leaving is probably not helping, because it makes him feel that the drinking isn't that bad as there are no major consequences.

The disease theory of alcoholism is disputed and I don't think was ever intended to be interpreted as meaning 'oh well there's nothing he/she can do about it'. However, there are lots of diseases, both mental and physical, where the patient's decision not to manage the disease properly makes family life impossible.

Not drinking when he's working is not a sign of his attempts to get sober, that's just what functioning alcoholics do. It's not significant.

I think you already know what you need to do to protect your ds from this. It won't get better.

junebirthdaygirl Sun 21-Aug-16 21:10:48

You could say he can't drink at home or enter the house with drink taken. For the protection of your children. So he is welcome to drink but not in your company or in the company of the children. He is also welcome to be with ye and around ye when he is sober.
I have a friend whose dh was an alcoholic and if they went somewhere she told him if he went over 2 drinks she would quietly leave and go home which she did. No fuss just went. Didn't help him to get home just looked after herself. It was a wake up call for him. He joined AA and is now sober.
You need to do something. Do not cover up his drinking, pick him up if he can't drive, tiptoe around because he is hungover, loan him money etc. Make drinking difficult for him but try not to use your own energy. Join Alanon too.

dorsetnightrider Tue 30-Aug-16 22:16:18

Hi OP and all the other ladies with alcoholic OHs on here.

I am sorry to be joining but hope this thread is still going..?

When I first met my OH he admitted he had a drinking problem and he went to rehab designed for high-functioning alcoholics so it was non-residential and he was able to go about his business during the day.

After completing rehab he had stuck to his AA program and even though there were some bumps in the road, he was doing well. But then we faced some serious financial problems and since then (about 18 months ago) he has stopped going to AA citing all sorts of excuses; mostly saying "I'll do it when things settle down at work / I'm too stressed right now and need a break".

When I hear him say over the phone "I'm just going out for a drink with work" my stomach turns because I know he won't be home till 4am and completely incoherent. Or it's "can I just have 1 glass of wine with lunch" and I'll let him have one to avoid an argument because I'm just too exhausted these days. Sometimes it stops at one glass of wine and I have lots of hope for the future, other times it develops in to the whole bottle and then he will continue well after lunch is over.

This is always followed by grovelling apologies and "i won't do it again/I will try harder" the following morning.

We have a no alcohol rule in the house but that doesn't mean he hasn't snuck a bottle or two of vodka in his desk or an unused cupboard in the utility room.

Most recently we were staying in a hotel that had gin and sherry in decanters that were complimentary. I was going to ask the staff to get rid of them but I felt embarrassed and thought I could trust OH as he had been doing well recently. He has polished off both bottles 2 days in to our holiday - worst is he has done it right under my nose without me knowing (like when I've gone for a run or gone down early for breakfast etc).

I don't know what to do.. Stick by him and help him? I am always positive and have hope but it's starting to wear thin. Or give up because he will never change? I love him so so much it hurts.

Alfiemoon1 Sun 09-Oct-16 01:14:31

Is this thread still active ? Can I join ? My dh has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol yes he works the kids adore him but I am so sick of it of making excuses to them. I knew he liked a drink when we met 22 years ago but just thought he would of grown out of it now. To him it's not a luxury that he can have when we can afford it he has it regardless on his nights off and then gets a few cans on the way home from work throughout the week. No point in talking to him it's just the way of life but so much shit has happened over the years down to his drinking I am just weary of it all. X

FontSnob Sun 16-Oct-16 23:24:40

My exh is an alcoholic. I had to leave him in the end as I stopped loving the man he had become and the effect he had on me and our collective dcs. He was verbally abusive and destructive. I tried everything I could to get him to help himself. He still drinks now and I still battle with myself to let him have DD if I know it will be just the two of them. Now on the other side, a good friend was going through the same as I was at the same time with her dh. He is now 3 years sober. He went to AA and started on Antabuse and they are happily together still. I guess my point is that we can do nothing for them, it is 100% down to them. I can only suggest that you try not to enable them, try not to pile on guilt and try not to betray yourselves and your children by staying too long if dh won't help himself. Leaving was the best thing I did for me and DD, I thought it would shake him out of it but the things that make him drink run too deep and he is too self absorbed to accept who he is and make a change. It's bloody difficult living with an alcoholic. Warm thoughts to you all.

Bellyrub1980 Sun 16-Oct-16 23:32:21


dorsetnightrider Mon 17-Oct-16 09:59:50

Hi Fontsnob, I'm sorry to hear about the end of your marriage but also happy about your friend. You're right that it's totally up to the drinker whether they want to help themselves or not.

I'm pleased to report DH hasn't had any 'episodes' recently but he has been having a drink here and there because he is super stressed at work but he is coherent and normal and hasn't gone in to a dark place or a rage like he usually does when he binges. Don't know what to make of this?! Any ladies had experience of this and can help? xx

Alfiemoon1 Mon 17-Oct-16 10:15:30

Dh seems to have cut down not bought any cans on the way home from work and didn't have any on his night off. So will see how things go x

FontSnob Tue 18-Oct-16 10:53:07

Thank you and it's OK. I'm now married to a wonderful man who was my best friend for years and we have a ds together. DD loves her family and still sees her DF even though that's a close of stress for me, she asked him. I wouldn't change my experience because of where I am now. I am gutted for my step daughters though who were old enough to see his spiral and it damaged their relationship with him. Exh used to (and from what I see of him, still does) go in cycles, heavy drinking, rages, verbal abuse to less drinking, nicer, remorse full for a month or so, then back to drinking and rage and so on and so forth. I'd always find empty bottles of drink hidden around the house though and it was exhausting after a while.

FontSnob Tue 18-Oct-16 10:54:39

Sorry, that should read "source of stress and she adores him"! Not "close of stress and she asked him." Bloody autocorrect.

Alfiemoon1 Tue 25-Oct-16 20:02:02

Scrap that he's back on it with avengance drank so much last night he threw up and is back on the beer again tonight gggrr

Wolfiefan Tue 25-Oct-16 20:04:29

He needs to leave then. You can't make him stop but if he won't stop he needs to go. The kids don't need to see this.

dorsetnightrider Tue 25-Oct-16 20:16:14

Gosh Alfie that's horrible. You and the DC do not deserve this. I know it's so so hard. Is the house big enough that you can convince him leave the sofa for a spare room right now and stay there till he sobers up tomorrow?

I know once DH is on a roll he doesn't listen to a word I say so my advice is probably really useless.

DH has gone out this evening but managed only 1.5 pints when out with work mates earlier (I believe him / seems very coherent / not drunk or even tipsy) which I'm relieved for but I'm paranoid with all the Christmas parties coming up that he'll get over excited and fall in to a month-long binge sad

Alfiemoon1 Tue 25-Oct-16 20:54:51

The kids were in bed it was stupid o clock in the morning he was sick god knows how much he'd had as he's a hardened drinker and hasn't been sick for years

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