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Support thread for partners of alcoholics?

(44 Posts)
TarkaLiotta Tue 03-Jan-17 10:41:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TarkaLiotta Tue 03-Jan-17 12:08:04

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ProudestDad Tue 03-Jan-17 14:34:58

Hi TarkaLiotta, I have reached that point over and over and after yet another Christmas where my DP let herself down on the night of Christmas eve (and well into Christmas Day morning) blacking out and laying into me with insults and unpleasantness, I have been feeling the same.

I feel naive, but the fact that she listens as I tell her how her behavior has impacted on me and that I seem to gain her understanding, gives me some hope that I can support her as once more she adopts the attitude that one drink is one too many and therefore is not worth it.

Honestly though, even with this perceived understanding I think we have between us, the foundations of our 4 year relationship feel broken and unstable, leaving me with worry that it will happen again, as it has happened so many times before (however infrequently these episodes have become) and that I will simply walk away, with my heart in pieces.

Is your DH open to hearing your feelings about the impact his drinking is having you your life?

Take care

TarkaLiotta Tue 03-Jan-17 16:34:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JellyBoat Wed 04-Jan-17 22:04:59

I'm in the same situation too. DH sometimes admits he has a problem and just how bad it is, and other times just plays it down as if it's normal, says he's allowed to have a drink, it's been a stressful day/week/lifetime etc. He is so very fucking irritating when he's drunk, which is most nights, and sometimes aggressive, or at least argumentative - never physically aggressive or anything but just hostile and paranoid. But most of all I'm just really worried that he is actually going to drink himself to death. Nothing I say seems to make a blind bit of difference. I can't believe the quantities he can consume in such a short period of time. Anyway, I sympathise is all I really meant to say. Haven't got any advice unfortunately.

Pat4949 Wed 04-Jan-17 23:39:54

Hi I too have the same problem. It's been going on for years but it is much worse in the last year.
His is whiskey and since Friday he has drunk 2.5 litres plus beer. In 36 hours he drank a litre- unbelievable how he is still alive really.
He is so argumentative and rude when he's been drinking( which is every night) - I so want to walk away but it's never that easy is it-
Awful problem

userformallyknownasuser1475360 Thu 05-Jan-17 02:59:22

Hi there, I might be able to help from the other side of this, I am a recovering alcoholic (sober since Sept) and I can call a lot of the bull shit that is being talked by people who are drinking. At the same time if you do not feel it appropriate I'll not stay.

shouldihaveanotherbaby Thu 05-Jan-17 12:37:59

My DH doesn't really drink at home, but he drinks everyday at work. He works in quite a high pressure job which requires a lot of socialising but it turns out he also drinks during the day on his own.

He came home at midnight last night after drinking by himself and admitted to me that he is an alcoholic but doesn't feel that he can do his job properly without a few drinks.

He is still in bed today and says he feels a bit depressed. I have tried not to push him and suggested that we will figure something out when he feels up to talking about it, but I have a feeling that he doesn't think anyone/anything will help. (He saw a counsellor before a few times but thought she was useless).

I can't talk to anyone (friends or family) for fear of them judging him. I don't know what (if any) action to take or how to go about it. I feel like I am walking on thin ice with him on this issue.....

Any words of wisdom out there?

userformallyknownasuser1475360 Thu 05-Jan-17 21:37:10

Hi shouldihaveanotherbaby - in terms of your username ATM definitely not.

Not sure what job your DH is in, and it may require socialising....but not socialising with alcohol.

High pressure jobs are one thing, start throwing in excessive alcohol use and you are just increasing the pressure more. A lot of people think that drinking relieves stress and anxiety and it can - in the very short term, I'm talking an hour or so, no longer!

In fact what alcohol does is increase anxiety and cause more stress, both while taking it and after it. Sometimes the relief from stress is actually the satisfaction of the craving, rather than actually relieving stress.

People can help- I'm an alcoholic, all be it in recovery and it's good that your DH has admitted the problem, re not doing his job without a drink, the only way this rings true is if he is a taster in a brewery etc. He will do any job better if not drinking, but it will take a week or two for him to settle.

You sound like a lovely dw, and want to help him, but I would suggest your sweetness means you are enabling him - my dw was the same, I only woke up when dw left me.

I would suggest you read up in enabling the alcoholic, as well as thinking about attending a few Al Anon (not AA) meeting for you too.

If you want further info or want me to talk directly (to you or DH) you can pm me.

Linds53 Thu 05-Jan-17 22:50:12

To be honest, nothing you say to your spouses will make a difference, as it will be interpreted as nagging/interfering. They are addicts and will need to reach a point where they realise themselves something has to change. I found it impossible to deal with eventually. Al Anon helped me realise I couldn't 'fix' him and the things I did to protect/help (hiding bottles/pouring drink down the sink/lying and making excuses for him to family and friends) were actually just preventing him from facing the truth about the damage his drinking was doing.

Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername Thu 05-Jan-17 23:10:58

Been in this situation, did everything I could to stop him. Even locked him in a bedroom. Linda53 is so right - we are 'enablers', and by doing everything said above, we aren't (or in my case, weren't) helping them. My husband eventually died from alcohol abuse, leaving several kids, the youngest was 6. I did everything I could, but it wasn't enough because ultimately, he didn't want to help himself.

shouldihaveanotherbaby Fri 06-Jan-17 19:56:19

Thank you for your advice. I'd not ever thought that I might be 'enabling' him. He seems depressed and spent most of yesterday asleep. He has suffered from depression and panic attacks in the past so I wonder if he treats the depression with drink or if the drink causes the depression. Or maybe both!

I have told him that he needs to seek help but I am drip feeding the suggestions, otherwise he will just put the shutters down. He knows he needs help and that is a big step in itself.

I will def call that helpline and see what they suggest.

Linds53 Fri 06-Jan-17 20:35:33

He will seem depressed and will spend a lot of time sleeping. Alcoholism does that to a person. There's no point wondering which came first, because the fact is that alcohol is now the problem. His doctor can't/won't treat him for depression while he's abusing alcohol. Knowing he needs help isn't necessarily a big step. My husband in his rare sober moments realised he had a problem. When he was dying he told me it was 'self-inflicted injury'. Action is the only thing which will make a difference and the decision to act must come from him. Anything you say to him while he is drunk/needing a drink is wasted breath. He won't be listening. I'm sorry if that seems harsh. I have so much sympathy for you. It is hell, but the important thing to remember is that whatever happens you don't need to be pulled down with him.

vxa2 Sat 07-Jan-17 08:01:38

OP I am in recovery. I think that admitting he has a problem is a HUGE step. It is the first step to getting and staying sober - if someone does not accept they have a problem they won't accept that they need to address that problem. The next step for your DH is to get help and you can help him with that. I would suggest a visit to the GP first. If not think about contacting your local drugs and addiction service - should be able to find on local health authority website or just general google. You can generally self refer which is what I did. They were fantastic.

As far as treatment of depression whilst still drinking is concerned it's not that it cant be treated while drinking but the drinking and the depression are entwined so the approach needs to take account of that. From my experience in recovery I would say that most people who struggle with alcohol also have mental health issues. Recovery is a real rollercoaster but there is no doubt that stopping drinking has improved my MH beyond belief. That said I still suffer with anxiety and depression for which I will need treatment on an ongoing basis. But at least now the treatment is more effective because alcohol is out of the equation,

Your DH has taken a huge step forward. PM me if you would like. smile

vxa2 Sat 07-Jan-17 08:06:47

Sorry that message was in response to shouldi's situation.

Linds53 Sat 07-Jan-17 14:20:46

vxa2 is quite right of course and its lovely to hear something so positive. Admission of a problem has to be the first step of any addict who finds recovery. It's just that in my experience of coping with an alcoholic, words sometimes came easily, but weren't followed up with action. I tried everything, please believe me: I took him to the GP, A &E, all our local services. He used antibuse, went to rehab, had counselling and still he drank himself to death. The cravings for alcohol beat everything, time and again, and the trouble was that my kids and I were on that rollercoaster with him. For the sake of our own mental health I removed my children before it crashed. I am only sharing my experience. No wisdom has been gained.

shouldihaveanotherbaby Sat 07-Jan-17 20:16:19

Thank you so much vxa2 for your positive message. I don't want to write the situation off as having no hope.

I have talked again about visiting the GP and he has talked about now doing Dry January. He went to work yesterday and didn't have anything to drink during the day.

I have come across the term 'functional alcoholic' and this seems to fit him quite well. I.e he can have a couple of pints at lunch, another couple on the way home and not appear affected in the slightest. Nobody knows that he has had any beer. Me included. Stealth drinking.

Do any of you have any experience of supporting/being a 'functional alcoholic'?

LobsterQuadrille Sat 07-Jan-17 21:02:55

Hi shouldihave - yes, I was a so-called functioning alcoholic for many years. I would drink at lunchtime, often a bottle of wine gulped down in the toilets, and perform perfectly well in the afternoon. I've been in recovery for some years now and am not in the least proud of this "functioning" aspect but have many fellow AA friends who were just the same - in fact at one meeting a couple of years ago, we all knew all the toilets in Canary Wharf - serious insanity.

Alcoholism is a progressive illness and the more we can get away with, the more we tend to push the boundaries and take ever increasing risks. It's a horrible and dangerous game to play but our arrogance and complacency often leads us to believe that we are invincible. Most drunks often have an ill conceived view of how others really see them and aren't as clever as they think.

In my experience the functional aspect comes to a sticky end. Sometimes that's enough for people to hit what they call rock bottom, but often they fall further. As has been said above, until an alcoholic admits that he or she is powerless over alcohol, little can be done. It's the wish of pretty much all alcoholics to be able to drink "normally" and despite hundreds of experiences to the contrary, we cling onto this delusion, sometimes to the bitter end.

Sorry, I'm not sure if this answers anything other than giving my own opinion that in the long term, "functioning alcoholic" is an oxymoron.

TarkaLiotta Sun 15-Jan-17 21:01:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Linds53 Sun 15-Jan-17 22:16:34

Just try and focus on you and your kids Tarka. Try not to worry about where he is or what he's doing. He's a grown man and as I've said before is the only one who can make the decision to stop drinking. Stay strong. Don't let guilt or worry about his safety affect any decisions you make. He needs to accept that his drinking has consequences. You haven't caused this, have no control over it and certainly can't cure it. Thinking of you x

Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername Sun 15-Jan-17 22:35:53

Sending virtual hugs and flowers. Linds53 is right, and definitely stay strong throughout the next few hours. This is just the start xxx

TarkaLiotta Mon 16-Jan-17 09:26:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Linds53 Mon 16-Jan-17 20:19:13

I wouldn't dream of trying to tell you what to do. But in my own experience I regretted taking my husband back into the family home because it was extremely difficult to get him out again when our lives became unbearable.I also feel I shouldn't have let our situation go on as long as it did, and that those unhappy years are the ones which did the damage to my DC.

TarkaLiotta Tue 17-Jan-17 10:27:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ddmcm Thu 19-Jan-17 22:32:46

Hi, is anyone still on this thread?
My OH is a problem drinker & I feel so low about it
He definitely has a bottle of wine a night & 2 at the weekend
I suspect he might be having a drink when he is off work with our toddler on Thursday/Friday but when I ask him he makes out I'm mad/nagging
He fell asleep on the couch at 9pm tonight (was slurring &seemed wobbly)
It is just so draining & I think he will never stop
Any words of wisdom out there?

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