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Anyone living with an alcoholic in lockdown?

(32 Posts)
sumsitup Sun 03-May-20 18:37:08

Name change for this thread as I don't want this following me around MN.

My DH is a high functioning alcoholic. He's been to non-residential rehab about 4 years ago and was sober for about a year then relapsed, then found moderate success with AA with periods of about 2-4 months of sobriety before going on a bender - eventually couldn't keep it together so has stayed away (his choice).

His triggers are financial pressures (he's self-employed) and work stress. Being in lockdown he's had work and financial stress and has been drinking every 3 or 4 days. This afternoon while I was out with DC, he got through a small bottle of vodka (13.3 units). He's passed out in bed but I'm dreading him waking up and picking a fight with me because he's drunk. We'll end up shouting at each other and I'll cry a lot.

It's unbearable. I just want to be back in to some sort of routine where he can go to the office and focus on something other than being stuck inside all day in a small flat with 2 kids.

Anyone else??

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Lookatthat Sun 03-May-20 18:43:20

Have also NC for the same boat here - have been aware DH drinking had been getting more and more problematic but lockdown has made it clear he’s a functioning alcoholic. He’s used to working v long hours in a high stress environment and lost his job just before lockdown. Constantly flits between saying he has no money and turning up with bottles of beer/wine. To the outside world he’s just a normal dad but I take all the nastiness that is either because he’s been drinking or because he’s in need of a drink.
Is your DH helpful when he isn’t drinking? Does he recognise its problematic again?
Sending flowers and wish I could say something to help.

sumsitup Sun 03-May-20 18:52:34

Thanks @Lookatthat and I'm sorry you're in the same position. I'm also so sorry your husband has lost his job - that's awful.

When my DH is sober, he's a fantastic human being, husband, and father.. that's why I love him! He works hard to provide for his family and takes pride in his work. But being cooped up inside all day with 2 toddlers and me 24/7 plus trying to make any money in this environment, well he's finding it really hard and heads straight for the vodka. He knows he has a problem but says he's too stressed out to do anything about it at the moment. When he's drunk he uses me as his verbal punching bag and its hard to live with.

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Mrsmorton Sun 03-May-20 18:53:58

My dad is. It's so painful not to be able to go and take him away from it.

sumsitup Sun 03-May-20 18:54:32

And what about your husband? A lovely man when sober?
How often is he drinking and do you see any light at the end of the tunnel?

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Lookatthat Sun 03-May-20 18:58:42

@sumsitup I understand the verbal punching bag comment - that is the same as my DH. I know to not take it to heart, but it still hurts, and I worry DS will soon hear or understand. I’m glad your DH is great away from the alcohol. Are you thinking of putting in plans for after lockdown, or hoping taking the stress of that away will help?

Lookatthat Sun 03-May-20 19:00:57

Sorry cross-post. Lovely when sober and not struggling without drinking...I find his worst state is when he needs a drink and can’t have one for whatever reason.
He’s drinking every day - not drunk every day, but definitely enough that it’s a problem.
I desperately want him to realise he has a problem and seek help, I know I can’t make him. But I’m scared he won’t and when lockdown eases I may have to ask him to leave. I really don’t want to break up our family, but I don’t know what else to do.

sumsitup Sun 03-May-20 19:25:14

I feel I have to leave it to him to sort out post lockdown. I'll support him as much as I can but ultimately it's his decision whether to pick up a drink or not.

I'm stuck in a cycle of him binging and us falling out but then having a wonderful few weeks of sobriety, then repeat with the binge. Eventually he'll have to manage his alcoholism or we split up. But for the time being, in lockdown, tensions are running high and living in each other's pockets constantly with 2 small DC is bloody stressful and his drinking tips me over the edge to some days just being absolutely unbearable.

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sumsitup Sun 03-May-20 19:26:37

Sorry for double post again. Do you think your husband will realise he has a problem? Or will it ease once he finds a new job?

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Lookatthat Sun 03-May-20 20:31:49

I completely understand that - it’s awful watching the person you love being overtaken by it.
Every few weeks he says he wants to stop, manages a day or two, then reverts back, usually having a big binge. I think deep down he does know it’s a problem, but isn’t ready to stop.
Are you able to keep your DC away from him when he binges?
We live in a tiny flat, usually he goes out to drink at least, so it’s really hard keeping away from it in such a small space.
I hope a new job will give him focus and it will ease, but I’m worried how long that will take - his industry has been badly impacted.

MoonBaby1 Sun 03-May-20 20:37:18

I’m in the same boat. Hi everyone!

My dh needs and loves work. Without it he’s useless. I keep hearing about every other man being bored so they make a shed or redecorate and I’m stuck with someone that’s either apathetic, grumpy and hungover or drunk and stoned. Tbh he’s a lot more tolerable when he’s drunk or stoned and is silly and fun for a while but without it is when he’s a complete arsehole.

It came to a head last week and we’re now in separate bedrooms (hooray!) and he’s stopped smoking weed in the day and drinking only from about 5ish but it’s still a toxic cycle.

We’ve got two young children and feel like they’re not getting the best of life right now.

sumsitup Sun 03-May-20 21:16:00

Hi @MoonBaby1 sorry to hear you are living with an alcoholic too, particularly in lockdown thanks

My DC are both under 3 so they don't quite understand when Daddy's behaviour changes and the vast majority of the time they don't see him drunk because he'll be out or if at home I send him to the bedroom but usually its when they're fast asleep.
We are in a flat too @Lookatthat so it's quite difficult to get space away from one another. We've been alternating sleeping in the bed and sofa. He snores really badly when he's been drinking so I'd rather not have to share a bed with him!

He's just gone out mumbling something about cigarettes but I think he's gone to get some more drink or cocaine 🙄 I just have to wait till he gets over this hump and decides to join us again in the real world. It's hard because that means all the childcare falls on my shoulders.

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Lookatthat Sun 03-May-20 21:58:00

Sorry to hear you’re also going through this @MoonBaby1 our DHs sound similar with their need to work. I almost wonder if it’s depression he’s slumped in to as he makes comments about not doing anything right when he’s drunk (completely out of context). I’m sorry that you feel your children aren’t getting the best of life - but they clearly have a mum who cares a lot.

@sumsitup I’m glad your DC are too young to notice, but it’s so hard when all the childcare falls on you, we have to be strong to hold it all together for our DC and ourselves. My DH has been sleeping on the sofa for the last few nights - no reason he can give for why, but at least it gives me some space and I don’t have to smell beer all night.

TheNavigator Sun 03-May-20 22:06:33

My elderly mother is trapped in lockdown with her alcoholic husband who now has alcohol induced dementia. She can't shield as she has to shop for the alcohol he is physically dependent on - between 12-20 tins a day.
I can only advise you to leave these men or you may end up like my mum in her old age. He went through long periods/years of sobriety but once an alcoholic...
Honestly get out now.

sumsitup Sun 03-May-20 22:29:34

Thanks navigator, I'm sorry to read your mums husband is physically dependent on alcohol. Must be awful for him and your mum.

We are not there yet and I actually don't want to leave my husband. We have more happy days than bad days, when that changes, I may change my mind.

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whiteflat48 Sun 03-May-20 23:44:35

So sorry you are both going through this. Please connect with Alanon (for families of alcoholics)

notoveruntilthefatladysings Sat 16-May-20 23:32:53

I'm also struggling with my husband at the moment. We had lots of time pre lockdown where things have escalated and arguments happen, he would go about 3 days and binge again on a bottle and a half of wine. In lockdown it's been most days, then in the sunshine cocktails were added in and maybe a beer or 2. He keeps saying he'll have 3 days off and then manages 1 day, only to binge again. He also stays up til 1-2am and as it effects my sleep and wakes me I ask him to go i the spare room. I'm feeling utterly lonely and resentful of him.
Tonight he was twisting things and putting words in my mouth on my opinions of him. I think he was gunning for a drink but so far resisted as he knows I'm feelingreally fed up.
I've gone to bed, he's sitting up and I bet he polishes off the open wine in the cupboard tonight ...

mooching Fri 22-May-20 16:51:23

I am in the same boat, DH Drinks 2-3 bottles of wine every night. He is not abusive and we rarely argue but that is because our communication is down to almost zero. Pre lockdown he would start drinking when he got home from work which was about 6.30pm. He would go to bed much later than me. Now he starts at about 5pm and goes to bed earlier (about the same time as me). I don't think the amount he drinks has increased but we notice it more because come supper time he's probably had a bottle and he's a bit of an idiot.

My eldest is 13 and has started to ask me about it. It is really effecting their relationship.

He was a lovely guy when I met him but frankly is now a bit of a dick most of the time.

Dreading the long weekend and feel so alone.

notoveruntilthefatladysings Sat 23-May-20 10:50:02

Hi Mooching. Have you spoken to anyone about it? It's really helped talking to my parents/brother to get some perspective on things and make me feel a bit stronger. Have you talked to your husband about his drinking? I have and he understands I don't like it but refuses to acknowledge a problem. I'm more like his mum at the moment trying to get him to stop. I've also marked spirit bottles in our cabinets as he keeps drinking them when I go to bed. Truly sick of this!

mooching Mon 25-May-20 10:44:51

@notoveruntilthefatladysings thank you. I have spoken to some people about it and it does help. I do feel like a fraud though as most of our friends don't know. I feel like we're all hiding this massive secret about how shit our lives are behind closed doors. DH works hard and earns good money so we live in a lovely 4 bed cottage, lovely children etc and most people see me as a cheerful hard working person but I feel out family is broken once that front door closes.

Sheera1 Fri 29-May-20 02:54:23

Up crying all night. Again.

I am pregnant and was meant to marry DP this summer. I have a 10 year old. He has always had a problem with alcohol binge drinking since he was 20. He is now over 40 and still going. Over the years of verbal and some physical abuse we have cut out spirits completely and wine and many drinks non-premium lager. He is so lovely when sober but even after 6 cans of lager he is a different person and turns nasty. I walk away as we will just fight but it is devastating. Now I am pregnant he keeps saying he will stop. We have had 10 serious instances over lockdown followed by not talking for days. He always apologises and says he will stop and he is ashamed and for a day doesn't drink. Then it is LA and some cans thrown in and after a few days it is back to 5/6 cans and that is him cutting down. We then have the blow out. 10 days ago it was a pack of lager (12 cans) a bottle of fizz and then he started on rum and I found him broadcasting a telephone conversation from the hottub over a Bose speaker at 4.30 in the morning. He refused to come in and I found him passed out in the hot tub. It took me two hours to wake him and get him to come in.

After that, again not speaking, more tears and apologies from him and then the cycle starts again. Tonight it was the neighbour who is a known enabler. Some cans over the fence. I was relieved when he got to his last one. He announced he was going over the fence to sit and finish his beer. He promised no other alcohol he just wanted to chat whole he finished his beer. I had already noted the spiral and commented and hidden the rum. I come out and find him fucked on vodka from the neighbour at 1 in the morning. I am sitting howling in bed. Thinking we have to split up this time. He cannot be trusted. He is a liar and has no respect and he will never stop. I can't bring a child into this and I can't do it on my own. I already have a child who has additional needs (whom I wouldn't change for the world). So I am sitting here crying and googling what happens in an abortion over 14 weeks and how I am going to get him to leave as I know it will be the same usual sob story tomorrow.

Fucking hell. Just before I posted this I hear him coming up the stairs. He goes to the loo and I hear him spit (turns out on the floor!). I brace for him barging in pissed and hear him going into my son's room!! I leap up and drag him out but my son has already woken up frightened. Thankfully he went back to sleep after some reassurance. I can't live this.

LividLaughLovely Fri 29-May-20 03:23:22

So sorry to everyone on this thread. My husband was an alcoholic. All these behaviours and the despair is horribly familiar.

The best/scariest thing I ever did was leave him and have my own life. I really do know how hard it is, but I promise you life doesn’t have to be like this.

notoveruntilthefatladysings Fri 29-May-20 09:14:31

Sheera I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this, it sounds so familiar. Over the last week I've looked into a group called Al-anon. They are linked to AA but instead for family and friends. I tried my first zoom meeting last night (just listened with no camera on). It was good to hear other people's stories. I've found private FB al Anon groups too. No one offers advice and it's not therapy but they listen and you know you aren't alone. It may be worth looking into if you feel you'd like this type of support. My husband had blackouts and binges when my children were little. They are now 9&12 and recognise when he's drunk. He's also got worse over lock down so I really go feel for you. X

puppylambkins Fri 29-May-20 10:52:16

I'm pretty much in the same boat but maybe further down the line, my other half has been in and out of hospital with liver alcohol related issues he had given up but now back drinking and v nasty. I found Al Anon kept me going but haven't got to my regular group since lockdown. It's so hard

Sheera1 Sat 30-May-20 19:06:37

I hadn't heard of Al-anon. Thank you for the advice. He is swearing he will go tee-total. I am still not talking to him. I told him to leave but instead he shut himself away in the spare room all day hiding. He has been apologising over text and pleading for another chance. He remembers nothing apparently. When he got up in the morning he was all chipper and chatty and I was like "what planet are you on?" He says he didn't drink anything else (🙄 he left a little pissed and came back not even knowing what planet he was on and I saw him with vodka). He seems to have absolutely no memory at all. Doesn't remember me being angry with him over the garden wall, doesn't remember drinking anything other than his lat can, and doesn't remember coming home and waking up my son at 3am). I think he genuinely doesn't.

I have had one or two very drunk occasions myself over the year and I always change my behaviour after and what I drink and quantities as I am so mortified and scared I can't remember. He seems to take a black out as a sign of a good time.

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