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Tired of husband's drinking! Advice needed

(9 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.

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