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Tired of husband's drinking! Advice needed

(21 Posts)
cazb78 Mon 29-May-17 22:12:53

Hi everyone,

Just needing to vent! Currently on holiday in caravan with DH and kids (9 & 11) and as usual I'm sitting watching TV whilst DH opens his next bottle of beer - probably his 8th pint tonight.

We've been married 10 years but met when 20 so we've been together 18 years. When we met, going out drinking heavily on a Saturday was normal, but DH has continued this behaviour ever since. Now though he drinks heavily every Friday and Saturday night, sometimes Thursday too, and I've begun to get sick of it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a drink, but he just doesn't know when to stop and it's got worse over the last 4 years. If we go to the pub he has beer after beer after beer. It's almost like a competition between him and out friends. I think in his mind he thinks everyone our age behaves like this, but I know they don't. I find it embarrassing when he starts slurring his words and I know he has a reputation amongst my friends for being a drinker.

I'm not sure why it annoys me so much, but can only think it's because I come from a family of non drinkers whereas he comes from one that drinks a lot. He sees his father drink loads and therefore thinks it acceptable. However I really worry about the effect this is having on our kids. Their abiding memory of him when they get older will be of him always drinking and of me always having a go at him. I never envisaged having a husband who enjoyed drink so much and had hoped he'd be more mature and develop more healthy interests and pastimes.

I really need some advice on how to approach this with him as I really am at the point where if he doesn't cut back I will leave. I'm just so tired of booze ruling our lives. Even now on holiday I can see him planning the day's activities by working out if there will be a pub to visit during the day! I've tried to talk to him before but he just makes light of it or gets nasty. He says 'well I go to the gym so it's fine' , which obviously is not going to help his liver whatsoever 😂 Why can't he see that the example he is setting to his kids is not a good one?
Btw he is a good dad, he works hard, provides well for us. I just want him to cut back. Any ideas? Xxx

Tia and sorry for long post! X

Biddylee Mon 19-Jun-17 19:50:48

For someone to stop drinking, they need to come to that conclusion. Drink makes people selfish and even when they know it causes problems, they will pass the buck.

Talk to Al-anon - which can offer you support.

I'm sorry you are in this situation. I hope you can find some support. xx

SloeGinRocks Fri 07-Jul-17 14:36:36

Have pm'd you OP

PrettyLittleBrownEyedMe Sun 16-Jul-17 19:14:42

Hi Cazb

I don't mean to hijack your thread but I came on today to make a post about my DH's drinking and it would have been EXACTLY the same as yours. I'm very interested to see what advice/thoughts you get.

DH is also an excellent husband and father and we have had a very long and strong marriage. He has always been a heavy drinker but it seems to be getting worse although I feel he ought to be 'growing out of it' by now: he's 52! I can't begin to count the units he drinks in a week (dozens and dozens) and, like you, everywhere we go has to include a couple of drinks fitted in. If there's just time for one, he'll have two. If he's bought four or six cans to have in an evening, he'll go to the pub on his own for a couple first. When I talk to him, he says he knows he drinks too much but he loves it and it doesn't affect his job, life or health so why should he stop? He has never once driven home from anywhere because he couldn't contemplate a night out doing anything without a drink. Like you, I worry about the effect on our DCs (17 and 19) who are also getting the impression that everything we do has to have a drink involved. I think he's past the stage where he should be passed out on the sofa in a stupor. He's also a heart attack waiting to happen (overweight and not much exercise).

I apologise for long post on your thread but it matched my situation so much I have taken the opportunity to vent too - sorry. How can you make someone stop drinking when they just don't want to and don't believe there are any negative consequences?

flowers to you, OP, for being in the same difficult situation.

cazb78 Sun 16-Jul-17 19:35:27

Hijack away!! It's nice (well not nice
Iygwim) to know I'm not alone. It's a difficult situation as I don't think u can change anyone unless they want to change. My husband worked away 2 nights last week and drank both nights. When he got home from the Airport on Thursday he then drank as soon as he got home, then did the same Friday and last night, although we were at a party so I'll let him off last night! I am frightened to say anything to him anymore but on Friday I caught him looking at a website for tips about how to cut down, so I asked him if he realised he has a problem and he admitted it. He doesn't realise that he's a different person after a drink and it's embarrassing. He also stinks lol! I know that all my kids will think when they are older is how dad used to drink when they were younger. My parents never drank which is why I always feel guilty when I drink and from a selfish point of view that is why I want my husband to stop drinking as much, because it encourages me. I haven't received any real advice, only messages from others in a similar situation. I hope you manage to get through to your husband. Might be worth telling him what I told my husband I'd read in that it is people who drink small amounts EVERY day that will end up with liver disease and liver failure in their 50s and 60s. Makes u think xxxx

PrettyLittleBrownEyedMe Wed 19-Jul-17 16:05:42

Thanks for your reply. Mutual support is a great thing! In a way I'm not surprised you haven't received much actual advice - what CAN you do when it's another adult who is perfectly well aware of the situation but is making a conscious decision not to change it? It's a good sign if your husband is at least making steps towards acknowledging the issue- maybe now is the time for change...

In your OP you talked about leaving: do you actually think you would? It has crossed my mind but sometimes it's hard to weigh the negatives against all the positives. I've also thought that he'd still be in my life and the children's so the influences would still be there. I wish you good luck in finding a way to deal with this together.

DifficultLemonDifficult Fri 21-Jul-17 13:56:02

Can I join in too? Your story is one I recognise. DH's main priority is alcohol. He is never drunk - at least, he never seems drunk, but he drinks every day. During the week he will drink a bottle of wine every night. On the weekends, it's two drunk over the course of a day. 12pm is drink time, no matter what. If we're out somewhere, he starts to get antsy and wants to go to the pub. I recently discovered he drinks a beer on the train home from work every day. This feels a bit too much like secret drinking to me. I don't know if it is alcoholism, if it's the relationship with booze that his heavy drinker father has modelled, or if he's self-medicating. I've laid out my feelings about this but it has changed nothing. I have no control over it. I can only walk away from it. Not what I imagined when we got married.

PrettyLittleBrownEyedMe Sat 22-Jul-17 15:59:22

Hi difficult, I'm sure you can join in too although it was originally cazb's thread - and only after I posted originally did I notice how old it was! Not much traffic through here, evidently...

Your story sounds familiar too, and it resonates with me when you say that it's not what you thought when you got married. I've said to DH many times over the years 'you're always either drunk or asleep or both' - which is what happens with monotonous regularity. The sad thing is, I don't like him so much when he's drunk and it's when most arguments happen. What do you think your DH might be self-medicating over? What does he say when you've explained how you feel? It's such a hard problem as i can never decide how much I ought to be able to dictate to him what he drinks (not that he takes any notice anyway) - I wouldn't like it if he tried to tell me what to do, after all: but on the other hand it does affect my life too. So difficult.

DifficultLemonDifficult Tue 25-Jul-17 08:04:47

Hi PrettyLittleBrownEyedMe - thanks for responding. It's just so monotonous and predictable, isn't it? I'm sorry you are also experiencing this.

I wonder about self-medicating, because if I'm honest, it's how I've used alcohol in the past. When I felt sad or stressed, I would reach for the bottle. That is something I have acknowledged and worked on. I may well be projecting of course.

He's also a typical boarding-school child, in that he is very emotionally inaccessible (sweeping statement, I know, but something I've discussed with friends who have husbands who are similar in that way).

I feel like we're on borrowed time. I've watched two people I love die of alcohol-related illnesses, and if he follows that pattern, like my previous partner, then he probably has about seven years left (partner died at 49, DH is 42). Even pointing this out and then posting out that we have six year old child doesn't seem to make any difference.

I know what you mean about dictating the amount we consider "acceptable", but if I'm honest, I know the answer is "nothing". When we talk about it, he deflects - he's very good at turning it round to my weight (WHOLE other thread...). He even once said out loud that he's an alcoholic. Which I agree with. It is what comes first with him. He will always find money for it. He doesn't care about how I try to manage my relationship with it. He doesn't seem to care if it's going to kill him and he doesn't engage with the long-term effects on our child.

cazb78 Mon 31-Jul-17 07:01:43

Well I'm on holiday in France at moment. Husband got so drunk last night he didn't even know what he was doing. I told him I thought he'd had enough as he started pouring the next red wine and I got told to shut my mouth. Bear in mind this is in a hotel room, in front of our children. He then disappeared into town for a hour. I was hoping he'd gone for good but alas no, he returned and was nasty again. A shame as we'd had a nice day. I definitely want out, I can't stand it anymore. But as you say prettylittlebrowneyedme it's not that simple. If I didn't have children it would be easy.

Lauralou69 Sun 27-Aug-17 18:48:56

Please try to get out when you get home? I get it's difficult but your children will be damaged if you don't. How dare he speak to you like that in front of the children! I've recently stopped my ex having contact with our daughter because of his I know how tough it is but your children don't deserve this or you for that matter.

cazb78 Sun 27-Aug-17 22:40:24

I know. That's what worries me. Once again we are away and he's still out. More and more I am thinking a divorce is the way forward x

Lauralou69 Sun 27-Aug-17 23:25:27

We had a holiday where we had to flee to another hotel because of his drinking, it's horrible but I'm out of it now and although not completely out of the woods (court case), just not being around the drinking is just so much better. Stay safe and keep thinking of that future without worrying about his drinking. X

Shezza71 Sun 10-Sep-17 00:34:02

I have the same issue with my DH. Started noticing a change in his behaviour when drinking whisky, petty and argumentative.
I started to take note of how much he was drinking. It was half a bottle of whiskey every night plus lager at one point.
We argued over it told him he was an alcoholic. Told him I was intending on leaving.
He promised to stop. His mood didn't Match up with no drinking though and after snooping found he was hiding a bottle of whiskey at the top of his wardrobe he finishes work around 1pm, I work until 5/7pm so he was drinking and putting it back before I got home, he put the empty bottles in his car to dispose of elsewhere.
He fell out with our eldest dd19 around Easter time and she refuses to speak to him, awkward as she lives at home.
I keep going on at him he rolls his eyes and moans about me going on about 'that' again.
He can be vile after drinking and it will end us, but he refuses to see a problem let alone get help.
The house smells and our bedroom is disgusting, he goes to bed earlier than me because of his shift work so when I go up it smells like a stale brewery.
So I know where you're coming from but I too am at a loss as to what to do xx

peachandplum Sun 10-Sep-17 00:36:58

He's alcohol dependent and he is abusing a substance.
You, by proxy, are allowing your children to live in a household that is abusive.

letmeeatcakes Sun 17-Sep-17 08:46:51

Reading through all the threads and I want to cry as I can relate to all comments. I have been with my partner 17 years we have two dd's just starting their teen years, he was a school boarder from a very early age and is non-communicative. He admits he is an alcoholic but when I suggest counseling he says he will only go if I go because I need to sort out my 'problems' !! I hate it when he starts slurring his words, repeating everything at least three times and when I tell him he is drunk he gets spiteful with his words and turns everything around and tells me that I am not perfect and then lists all my faults and comments I have made to him from years ago !!! He was married, briefly, before I met him, has been in counseling before although I don't know if it was marriage guidance or alcohol related. We moved to Europe 8 years ago so walking out is not an option as I have nothing left in the uk, (house was sold....) and until dds finish school (both in local schools following local curriculum) there is no option to move them and disrupt their education which has just settled down). I dread going out (which is rare) as when I come home the kitchen is a real mess, saucepans burnt and oven/hob left on (he thinks he is master chef after a bottle and a half of wine). so I am well and truly stuck here but I need to survive this. So I guess what I am asking for please, anyone in a similar situation, what coping mechanisms do you use,?he needs help and support how can 'I' help him or how the hell can me and dds get out of this relationship and country if he won't change? When he is not drinking he is a great dad, and great person to be with.
Sorry, I hope I haven't hijacked the ops post but reading about others in a similar situation does help me not feel so alone and isolated with this problem. Thank you

Elizadot Sun 17-Sep-17 09:12:00

I know exactly how you all feel, and I wish I had answers. My dh has always drunk heavily, and I suppose in the beginning (over 20 years ago now) our relationship revolved around it (something I'm not proud of). However, he continues to drink so heavily (easily over 100 units a week). We have dcs who are old enough to recognise the state if him, the smell of him and my annoyance. I have said too many times that enough is enough, but it never stops. There are so many times when alcohol has ruined an occasion or a weekend. Dh will literally spend our last pennies on wine and beer. He will borrow from the children or take my bank card without my knowledge. Two weeks ago, after drinking at home, he went out (whilst I was sleeping) he returned home at 2am without his shoes or his glasses. I was awoken to him outside the house unable to stand up. I issued an ultimatum, but last night he did the same thing (although managing to keep his shoes), his coat was muddy probably from falling over. What do I do now? I want him to leave, I can't do this anymore, he won't leave though, and I can't leave with children (no where to go). Any advice appreciated. And to everyone on this thread, I hope you are finding answers and hope.

cazb78 Sun 17-Sep-17 09:47:28

Elizadot, I do feel for you as I do for everyone else. When I started this thread I had no idea how many others were in the same position. I hate to say it but people will only change if they want to - I am the same, we all are - so hoping it will is fruitless. My husband has finally decided he needs to cut back. Sadly it's taken his mother to have a word with him for this to happen but at least he's trying and I've been happier as have the kids. How log it will last, who knows. If this hasn't happened it would have been up to me to make the change, i.e leaving. Not that I want that. So all I can say is get advice, find out if u could manage on your own because at the moment you are suffering and your children are too. You don't have to accept it. Xxxx

rizlett Sun 17-Sep-17 09:54:40

It's very painful when partners drink too much especially when there is a lot of denial about the whole situation and when you try to help it kind of gets worse.

The best chance of success in either remaining with someone who drinks to excess or if you want to stay is to get more support for yourself and your dc. If possible try and contact Al-anon - for families of alcoholics for non judgemental support and to find so many others in the same situation. [it helps even to read some of their online support.]

rizlett Sun 17-Sep-17 09:55:30

oops. Al-anon helps if you want to stay or if you would like to leave or even if you don't know yet.

Therealslimshady1 Sun 17-Sep-17 10:24:38

Is your DP quite fat and unhealthy? Does that bother him?

We have the same problem, and it waxes and wanes. At times he seems to have it under control and at times heavy drinking creeps back in

I think it will never go away, alcoholism runs in his family and both his parents are heavy drinkers, so it is his "normal"

I hate how he smells when drunk (sour) and how he can suddenly turn on me (we are having a nice chat and suddenly he looks at me through narrowed eyes and says "you always treat me as a loser, as if I am some kind of loser". I have learned not to argue with a drunk, but save it up for the next day when he either can't remember or feels deeply embarrassed and is apologetic and goes "dry" for a few weeks or months.

He thinks he is in control of his drinking.

I know that any control is temporary

He hates his slight beer gut (hence my question at the start) and resolves to drink less...

We have had a good summer (very "normal" levels of drinking) but I can see work stress having an effect on him now.

I can't give you any advice, as I have none

I guess I feel powerless, and it is up to me to lump it or leave it. It was really bad 3 years ago, but a lot better now, so....

Still, I can never relax about it...

Life is not perfect and people are not perfect, it is not as if I am perfect myself.

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