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Please help.

(32 Posts)
normalgirl Thu 15-Mar-18 20:04:12

I don’t know what to do.Married for 15 years with two children.Husband has always had a tendency to overindulge in booze but only occasionally.Over the last 5 years,his boozing has increased exponentially .He doesn’t drink during the day ,but I have found bottles of vodka,gin in his car and when he goes out on work trips etc ,I know he drinks to excess.
Every time I have found alcohol hidden ,I have created a huge ruckus and temporarily things calm down.He promised me he wasn’t drinking on the sly last week but I found a bottle of gin in the car.When confronted ,he wove some implausible bull shit tale.
I am so angry about being lied to constantly.
I have told my family,some friends about his problem and booked a session with a counsellor.
He is in denial and does not admit to having a problem.
I have told him I want a separation and he has agreed.
It is so fucking hurtful that he would choose not to confront his problems and resolve them than wanting to separate.
I feel so alone and worried I may not be doing the right thing for my children who adore their father,but status quo cannot continue.
He is not abusive in anyway,but he has lied to me and deceived me repeatedly about his boozing.
What am I supposed to do?

AcrossthePond55 Thu 15-Mar-18 20:49:38

You did not cause this
You cannot control this
You cannot cure this

That's the first lesson to learn as the family member of an alcoholic. And it HE an alcoholic.

Please contact your nearest chapter of Al Anon. It's a support group for the families of alcoholics. You'll find much wisdom and strength there.

And absolutely yes, see a counselor. For YOU. They will help you figure out what you want for your life and for your children.

HopeClearwater Thu 15-Mar-18 20:58:36

God yes please leave. I put up with this for far too long.
A word of warning though - DO NOT let him have unsupervised access to your children. Especially not driving them. I though my H would never drink and drive with our children in the car. How wrong I was. There is no limit, no boundary that an alcoholic won’t cross.
You are doing the right thing for your children by saving them from growing up in an alcoholic home.

normalgirl Thu 15-Mar-18 22:26:15

Thank you for your messages.
So conflicted.I am 40 years old,keep thinking what my life is going to be like.I have felt very lonely though with him in the last few years.So anxious and scared.I am a professional, so financially independent .So feel a bit strong.
He is a good guy otherwise, scared of throwing it all away.But he is not the same person when he drinks.
Thank you for your advice.I have warned him about the driving too.
I am falling apart a bit.

AcrossthePond55 Fri 16-Mar-18 01:32:51

And in 10 years you will be 50, love. Then 60. Then 70. Would you rather spend those years in the hell you are living in or living a life of peace and security?

He's not a 'good guy'. No one who puts alcohol before the safety and security of the people he purports to love is a 'good guy'. Alcohol is a bastard.

And if you are afraid of 'being alone', remember that you can often be more lonely when you are with someone who is not good for you than you can ever be by yourself.

normalgirl Fri 16-Mar-18 06:28:54

Thank you.I needed to hear that.

AcrossthePond55 Fri 16-Mar-18 13:07:22

You're welcome. Now take a deep breath and get the support you need and deserve. Then make your plans for YOUR future.

HisBetterHalf Fri 16-Mar-18 13:40:31

Why are the bottles in the car?

MaggieMay23 Fri 16-Mar-18 14:06:10

You've done the right thing. I was married to an alcoholic he was funny clever kind man when he was sober but the alcohol eclipsed everything. I wish there'd been something like mumsnet to guide me and support me through it all but this was almost 20 years ago and I struggled on hoping things would improve hoping that he'd cut the drink out. I told no one, I tried to keep it a secret from people. I thought no one knew and I could compartmentalise my work life and my home life. I suppose I felt ashamed and that I was somehow responsible for him being an alcoholic. It's only when he died - of a cancer very directly related to alcoholism that I realised lots of people knew and were sympathetic to me. You have to do this for you.
You and your DCs deserve a good life without the worry of whether he's going to be sneaking vodka or whatever. I still hate the clink of glasses on a table even now 20 years later
It will be hard but just remember why you're doing it
I'm now happily married to a man who likes a drink but can stop after 2 pints.

Beegee01 Fri 16-Mar-18 18:27:55

I know I'm going against the grain here but if he is a good person and the alcohol isnt affecting his behaviour does it really matter all that much what he chooses to do? I understand the lying must be very hard to deal with. However, if he had a difference addiction eg smoking and was having sneaky cigarettes would you view it in the same way, assuming of course that neither of these changed his behaviour towards you? I know that alcohol is a terrible addiction and it destroys families; however, apart from hiding the drinking from you how does it affect your day to day life with him? Maybe consider what a great person he is and don't separate from him because of this.

Beegee01 Fri 16-Mar-18 18:29:39

I suspect the other people who have posted and have told you to leave him are people who have had to put up with abusive and possibly violent alcoholics over a long period of time. From your OP, your husband doesn't sound like he fits into this category.

MaggieMay23 Fri 16-Mar-18 20:13:13

@Beegee01 that's a massive assumption that you've made there. My DH was an alcoholic but certainly not violent or abusive. Its the long term effect on him and his family that's an issue

normalgirl Fri 16-Mar-18 22:49:40

The bottles are in the car because he has a drink before he comes in .He is perhaps worried about my reaction if he were to swig 200 ml of gin every evening.
No,he isn’t violent or abusive,but he has breached my trust.He comes home after having had a drink,sits on his phone like a zombie,eats his dinner and goes to bed.Not much of a companion for me.It is so lonely .
Maybe alcohol is just one of the many issues we have.But I have turned into this suspicious,paranoid,anxious person,always trying to work out if he has had a drink.I am constantly googling”Is my husband an alcoholic?”.I hate the person I have turned into.I used to be so cheerful and optimistic.

HopeClearwater Sat 17-Mar-18 13:29:54

And you Beegee clearly haven’t lived long term with an alcoholic.

AcrossthePond55 Sat 17-Mar-18 20:59:14

You don't have to justify yourself normal. People who've never lived with an alcoholic or had one as a close relative cannot understand the emotional and psychological toll it takes on one. It colours everything you do that has anything to do with them. Every promise they utter makes you full of suspicion. Every unanswered phone call ties you up in knots of worry that they're lying dead, or worse, have killed an innocent person in a car accident. Every apologetic promise fills you with anger because you know it's worthless. And what's worse is that if goes on long enough you begin to grow a hard shell and to view everyone with suspicion.

I used to be so cheerful and optimistic.

And you can be that person again.

Mellodrama Sat 17-Mar-18 21:10:34

My husband died last week due to his alcoholism 😢💔 I HATE it

Mellodrama Sat 17-Mar-18 21:12:42

P.S., HE's not selfish, THE DISEASE is selfish - those who say he's not a good guy are extremely narrow minded

Karcheer Sun 18-Mar-18 10:57:31

Please find an Alanon meeting to go to.

You have to focus on what you can change (you) and what you can't (him). By learning about yourself and the disease will help you manage him and your life and also enable you to make decisions about what your next steps are.

He has a disease which he may or may not be aware of. Has he recognised he is an Alcoholic?
He will need to decide for himself what to do about his disease. It can be managed (AA, 12 step program) but he will have to make the decision not you for him. Often Alcoholics have to reach rock bottom i.e. end up in hospital, lose job/wife etc before they realise the disease is making their lives unmanageable.

If you find bottles leave them there (they are his mess), don't buy alcohol for him (enabling), don't go looking for bottles - what's the point? You aren't hurting him, only yourself.

But remember he is a nice, loving man, it's not his choice it's an illness,he is sick.

The disease is a family disease and his making you sick too, which is why you feel unhappy, stressed etc, but ALanon will help you. In the way AA could help him.

Regarding the lies. Remember pretty much every word that comes of an alcoholics mouth is a lie.
And don't bother Googling anymore. I can tell you, he is an alcoholic. If he is hiding bottles he is.

Don't waste any of your energy getting angry with him or shouting because all you are doing is making yourself feel worse and in a way your enabling him to drink, as he now has a reason to i.e I may as well have a drink because she's angry with me anyway.
Just bite your tongue, leave the room and do something nice with your children.

Remember, this too will pass smile

AcrossthePond55 Sun 18-Mar-18 16:44:53

flowers for you Mello

I understand where you're coming from, it is a disease. BUT, there is an element of selfishness in it. The alcoholic chooses to take that drink. The far harder, and unselfish, choice is to choose to get help.

We cannot allow or accept that the alcoholic in our lives 'cannot help themselves'. To do so would condemn them, and us, to a life of hell. They can stop, they just choose not to. It's not an easy choice and the road back to sobriety is painful, physically and mentally. Then they have to live the rest of their lives dancing on the edge of sobriety vs drunkenness. I see it in my brother. He's sober but every day when he gets up he must make the decision not to drink that day, then struggle every day to keep to it. And he will struggle with this every day, until the day he dies. He's one of the bravest people I know.

If the alcoholic in our lives will not make the decision to get sober, our only choice is to either stay and live in misery with their destructive choice or to leave and make a calm and happy new life free of the shadow of drink. One choice is out of our control, the other is entirely within our control.

MaggieMay23 Sun 18-Mar-18 17:21:41

Wise words @AcrossthePond55. I had a choice to get out of my marriage to an alcoholic but I didn't take it - I was probably so caught up in the dynamics of it all that I couldn't see myself detaching easily - in fact after he died it took me a long long time to get back to being me - whatever that is! Perhaps if he'd not became ill I might have left as my life was becoming intolerable with his alcoholism - the watching, the waiting etc This is why the support and advice of mumsnet is so crucial. It wasn't around when I was going though it.

AcrossthePond55 Mon 19-Mar-18 13:29:31

flowers for you, too @MaggieMay23

Mellodrama Mon 19-Mar-18 17:29:11

@MaggieMay23 I hope you don't mind me asking but did the alcohol play a part in your DH's death too? sadthanks

MaggieMay23 Mon 19-Mar-18 18:13:52

@Mellodrama Firstly I'm sorry for your loss.💐
Yes it did. His health was suffering for a few years and then he got cancer of the oesophagus. I remember going to see the oncologist after he'd had the tumour removed and she said very clearly "this is a cancer that is directly related to alcohol" and that "We see it a lot among heavy drinkers". The cancer got into his bones and he carried on drinking and got pneumonia which killed him.
What do you DH die off - it's ok if you don't want to say

Mellodrama Mon 19-Mar-18 18:38:41

@MaggieMay23 I'm so sorry sadthanks My DH suffered a Stroke 5 years ago and was forced to quit work as he was left brain-damaged, since that, he became very depressed and begun drinking excessively sad We had to separate for this reason 2 years ago but remained very close (we have 3 young DC together).

His post-mortem was inconclusive so have to wait for the toxicology to come back sad but they mentioned an enlarged heart and the possibility of Pneumonia sad

His funeral is tomorrow 😔💔 How did you cope? I'm lost 😢😪💔

MaggieMay23 Mon 19-Mar-18 19:01:24

@Mellodrama I'm so sorry for your loss. That sounds awful for you and your family.

My cousin an alcoholic sadly, died with an enlarged heart at 50. She just got up and went to make a cup of tea and collapsed and died.

I think I coped because I was numb - I'd closed off my emotions in order to cope with his drinking. People kept telling me that I was so calm and that it would would hit me soon. - it took about 8 months before it did. I felt in some ways relieved and other ways desperately sad. I relied on my family for support a lot. I couldn't talk about the alcoholism for over 2 years to anyone except my close family. I thought people wouldn't understand.

I had bereavement counselling too - twice!

Just do things your way and at your pace and talk

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