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Who is being unreasonable here?

(233 Posts)
Soisitmeorher Thu 13-Jun-13 22:38:54

Me and ex W split up about three years ago, 2 dc. There were many reasons we split, we rushed into it. I was too young.

During the marriage my drinking was quite excessive, usually between 5 & 10 cans, usually around four times a week though sometimes more. Ex W always had a problem with it, though she knew what I was like when we first got together, she drank a lot herself then but stopped when we had dc.

Without going in to too many ins and outs, the marriage was a disaster and she claims that a lot of it was down to my drinking.

In spite of all this we are amicable now. Sometimes we will even spend an evenkg together watching a DVD and I might have a drink. Suddenly though she has changed the rules. A couple of weeks ago, I turned up a bit worse for wear and we had quite a nasty argument. Since then she has said I can't drink round her or the dc, not even a couple of pints before I come round. In short she wants me nowhere near her or dc when I have had a drink, even if I am fine. I get quite annoyed about this, I like a drink but I am fine after two or three but she just won't continue our previously amicable relationship if I have had a drink.

Also about once a month I stay over and sleep in my dc's room. I like to finish my drink up and watch some tv with earphones while I do. She says this is not acceptable anymore, to be drinking in the room my ds is sleeping or for a person who has had a drink to sleep in there with dc.

I think she is being very controlling to be honest, there's nothing wrong with me having a few drinks and it annoys me that she makes such a fuss about it. It's preventing us from carrying on being friendly tbh.

So who is being unreasonable?

HarumScarum Fri 14-Jun-13 20:53:00

I drink in front of my daughter, yes. I have a glass of wine with my dinner maybe twice a week, I have a glass or two of wine at a barbecue or lunch party or in a restaurant when we eat out, I have a glass of wine on holiday in the sunshine at lunchtime. I bet, though, the difference between you and me, OP, is that I have one or two glasses and then I stop, and you have that one or two and then think 'well, why not have a couple more?' and then it turns into more than a couple. And regardless of whether or not you think it is affecting you, it is. And your ex and children will and do notice and they are suffering from it. Drunks are no fun to be around, even when they think they are sober. I am absolutely aghast that a separated dad whose contact with his children is at stake would turn up 'the worse for wear' to see them.

WeAppearToBeAlright Fri 14-Jun-13 20:43:53

I have been both on the receiving end and a heavy drinker myself - and yes, the two probably are linked, as they may well be for your children.

My father was mostly a genial drinker, but geniality in itself was so unusual that we were both on high alert for when the next sentence would return to normal grumpiness - so nice or nasty drinker is irrelevant, it's the changeability in behaviour that makes children anxious about what will happen next, or how long it will last.

For myself - I would have agreed with you a few years ago. Why the hell shouldn't I drink what I want when I want it? I don't hurt anyone. I'm not a risk. I'm doing ok. And it was true - in my eyes. What I didn't realise - genuinely didn't get - was that not everyone, not even a minority of people drank like I did. And I didn't drink anything like you do. I was only 'ok' because I was used to it, not because it was in any way or shape normal. And I wasn't actually ok. I can't begin to tell you how much happier, relaxed, cheerful and generally capable I have been since I stopped all that. Mostly actual chemistry happening in the brain, with neurotransmitters and all that palaver, but also a little bit of genuine self-respect. I like being alive now. I like having a life to live, instead of just blunting it all, day after day after day after day.

And I never even knew I was missing all that, I thought what I had was all there was. Which is where you're strenuously arguing to stay.

trackies Fri 14-Jun-13 20:00:05

OfficialSweetieMonitor absolutely agree with "you have to want to change first."

There are over 200 hundred messages on here saying that you need to sort this out, not because we want to control you, but because you need help and some of us have been on the receiving end of alcohol addiction.
Please at least have a good think about it OP.

trackies Fri 14-Jun-13 19:53:36

"So do NONE of you have a couple of pints or glasses of wine round your kids then?"

I personally don't do this, but I have seen a parent doing this at a street BBQ and he said "god i've been dying for a beer" whilst he was setting up, before BBQ had even started. He then proceeded to have quite a few, with DC's who were 3yo and 2yo wandering around on the street.

Would never sleep in room with kid, even if i've had one drink cos it stinks, and it's not nice for the child. Not just the smell but cos sometimes they associate that smell with daddy might get silly, and i dont like it when he's silly like that, and there might be a fight with mum.

As for your ex-W. Ok lets just say for a min that she might be controlling generally and a PITA. We don't really know her.
But you CHOSE to drink excessively. It is always a choice of the person to drink or not to drink. Blaming it on her is just denying that you have any control over your addiction.
I guess what i'm trying to say OP is that please do not use a power struggle with your ex-W to try to justify that your drinking is not a problem for your kids.
It is a problem. You say you have a family that drinks alot. This is because kids are more likely to become alcoholics if they are surrounded by them when growing up.
You know you have a problem with drinking, then deal with it.
Not because your ex-W has told to you to. But do it for your kids.

HaveIGotPoosForYou Fri 14-Jun-13 19:22:23

You have asked the question but don't like what people are telling you. What's the point in asking if you aren't willing to listen to what people are saying?

Yes, you are being unreasonable.

Yes, you are a drunk.

Yes, your wife has every right because she worries/cares about her children.

She should've said what she is saying all along though, not just recently.

OfficialSweetieMonitor Fri 14-Jun-13 19:19:57

I used to drink too much. I've been drunk in charge of a baby. Convinced myself it wasn't that much, everybody did it - all the usual excuses.

Luckily I saw sense, and have worked hard to control my drinking. But it really is hard to admit it. There are other people who have been in the same situation as you. You can get help with this and it is not a weakness, but you have to want to change first.

NicknameIncomplete Fri 14-Jun-13 18:50:26

I dont understand this.

You want to see your kids and spend time with your kids you dont drink or turn up after having a few drinks.

Isnt it that simple?

trackies Fri 14-Jun-13 18:23:50

My DH had a dad with drink problem. He said when he was a child, even when FIL had only one or two he could tell as his voice would change. He said he hated his drinking. Here are some of the feelings he felt as a DC due to the drinking:-
angry, hurt, scared, sad, and more.

He then went onto being a heavy drinker himself, but since having kids he NEVER drinks infront of them, as he knows how it made him feel, and doesn't want his kids to feel like this. FIL still maintains that he was a 'good drunk'. Whilst DH insists that he wasn't and that it was awful.

We also have a friend who drinks all day. He doesn't look drunk just merry, but he can't do without it (all day drinking). He has a baby and can't soothe her probably cos he stinks of booze. He has very responsible, high earning job but can't see what's wrong with having a 'couple'.

My DM was also like this, saying that she just needed it for 'energy' and she 'wasn't really that bad compared to ......'. Really ? at 2pm in the afternoon you need a drink ? i don't think so ! But she's stopped (after years) as she finally realised that she wants to be around for her DG's foras long as possible. You know how i felt whilst this was going on :-
angry, hurt, scared, sad and more.

Please do something about this, as if you can't NOT have a couple of drinks when seeing your child, then you have a problem.
Don't ruin your life and your child's relationship with you, for the sake of alcohol. It's not worth it.

If you still really think you dont have a problem, then look at a few alcohol addiction websites to see if you're coming out with those excuses.

foreverondiet Fri 14-Jun-13 17:54:40

Sorry I think YABVVU.

She is only asking you not to drink in front of your kids. Sounds like you have an alcohol problem - its cost you your marriage and now its threatening your relationship with your kids. I wouldn't allow anyone to be in contact with my kids if they'd been drinking, other than say a glass of wine or so over dinner.

She is not controlling, you however are an alcoholic and need help.

re: your job - do you insist on drinking at work too?

ThistleDown Fri 14-Jun-13 16:47:48

OP my Dad was just like you. A functioning alcoholic he did manage to hide the extent of his problems from me for many years. When I was 21 he told me he had joined AA and for a while he stuck to it, he attended lots of meetings and tried really hard. However, he eventually fell back off the wagon and became worse than ever. He stopped being a functioning alcoholic and became a non functioning alcoholic. He ended up being a carer for my Gran which he resented and which made him drink even more.

Eventually he went to his GP and a liver function test revealed that his liver was giving up. He was given a year to live. Soon after he was told this he disappeared. For 3 weeks I had no idea where he was until one day the phone rang. He'd overdosed on Paracetamol and was in hospital. His liver couldn't handle the paracetamol and he went into a coma. For the next week I watched him die. He was 45.

Please think of your children. Do not let the drink kill you too.

Triumphoveradversity Fri 14-Jun-13 16:33:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mia4 Fri 14-Jun-13 16:24:05

Try taking this test OP: http://alcoholism.about.com/od/tests/l/blquiz_alcohol.htm

Also try considering that we are all saying YABU from your words, not your ex-wife's, we are also neutral and have no part in your relationship.

Saying your wife was a nightmare, fine she may have been but from your own words she's taken responsibility and stopped drinking while you are refusing to accept responsibility and blatantly in denial. She may be controlling in other ways, now, but it seems like she has your children's best interests at heart, rather then malice

Perhaps you should see a counsellor and get another neutral POV though tbh with you in denial it doesn't matter who says what you'll always get defensive and/or ignore

PearlyWhites Fri 14-Jun-13 15:24:17

This has got bd a reverse aibu

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 14-Jun-13 15:23:08

People with drinking problems should stop drinking if they want to not have the problem.

You clearly have a problem and if you were a woman mumsnet would be harsher to you because for some reason women are usually much harsher towards other women than they are to men.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Fri 14-Jun-13 15:16:25

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius i totally agree this has nothing to do with gender. I would be replying exactly the same whether you were a man or a woman.

Although if this was a parent living with the children or with sole parental responsibility, I'd also be saying that you cannot be responsible for your children, and are social services involved?

Whatever excuses and blame you are using, its clear from your own posts on here that you have a problem with alcohol, not just a problem with your ex wife.

I'm truly sorry you can't see that.

bobbywash Fri 14-Jun-13 14:47:46

As you're going to read this later, you should be aware that I also think that the behaviour you described in your earlier posts is wrong. I don't care what your exW thinks, you're wrong.

It's that simple, no drinking in the kids room. No going for a couple of pints whilst your in charge of them. No coming to pick them up the worse for wear.

I do drink around my kids, but usually because we're out for dinner together or we're in the pub, but then they are old enough to drink for themselves. When they were younger, yes I had alcohol when they were around, but I never insisted about my right to have a drink. If my ex had said don't then I wouldn't, as indeed would have happened the other way round.

Still as my average weekly intake was about 3 units, (it's now at about 5), it was never an issue.

WeAllHaveWings Fri 14-Jun-13 14:45:16

when dh and I first got together his dad was a functioning alcoholic like you

he held down a very highly paid and responsible job (director in a large national British firm) and money focussed mil everyone knew he had problems with alcohol but never challenged it.

dh and his brothers where raised knowing alcohol was more important to their dad than they were. and money was more important to their mother. Their self esteem was low (we are less important to our parents than alcohol or money) and their relationship with their father (and others) suffered.

alcoholics do not stay functioning for ever. dh's dad eventually, after many years, got asked to leave his job quietly with a big payoff - he thought the other directors were mad to think his alcohol intake was causing problems.

He tried to go self employed, and invested heavily in a franchise, but with less structure drank a bit more and the business failed - he never accepted drink caused the problem.

Mil left him for being an alcoholic with no money. He died alone, from alcohol related heath reasons, at 58 in a crappy rented flat in a big city and no-one found his body for 3 weeks (family were used to not hearing from him for periods of time).

Please try to stop making excuses, your drinking has probably already lost you your marriage, it will be your job and kids next. Accept and resolve your issues with alcohol, so you can be a good dad. It is making you think it doesn't affect your kids. I can guarantee you it does.

If your ex-w is reading this - well done for doing the best thing for your dc flowers

LisaMed Fri 14-Jun-13 13:53:17

Someone in the house is always sober. Ds is six, so needs to have at least one person around who is on the ball. tbh I don't think he has ever seen me drink and has only once or twice seen his dad with a lager shandy. This is not a problem for us. Even on Christmas Day one of us is always, always sober.

OP - genuinely trying to be helpful - look at some of the bunfights on here. We do not agree. It is unheard of for this amount of agreement.
- see if you can get in touch with Snorbs or pick up on their posts. IIRC they are male but had a wife with issues around alcohol. They may be able to give an insight from a male perspective that you can find helpful
- don't give your ex any ammunition, stay sober around the kids. If what you say is true then you won't have a problem. What other areas is your ex controlling? The wise ones on the Relationships board may be able to help with those and they have reached out to men in the past.

Trust me, staying sober is nothing compared to some hoops that other posters have had to jump through to see their kids. Hope it all works out.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Fri 14-Jun-13 11:24:53

Sticks star proudly on chest in support of the clearly unreasonable ex

Wylye Fri 14-Jun-13 11:22:47

Gold star for Special grin

Soisitmeorher - I don't drink if I am solely responsible for the children. I do have the occasional drink around them - a glass of wine with a meal, that sort of thing, and as they have got older, we have let them have a drink at home too.

I have never, ever been so drunk I have been hungover the next day. I've never drunk to the point of incapability or vomiting.

As others have said, you seem to be backpedalling as fast as you can. The very clear impression given by your earlier posts is of someone who drinks regularly and often. You used to drink in your childrens' bedroom. You turned up to see them whilst drunk. You could see nothing wrong with drinking whilst solely responsible for them. Now you rarely drink. hmm I am afraid I am inclined to believe your earlier picture as being the honest one - your later posts smack of changing your story because you haven't got the response you needed here.

It all comes down to this - which is more important - alcohol/your 'right' to have a drink before seeing your kids or, worse, when solely responsible for them, or your children??

Do you accept that it is irresponsible and potentially dangerous to drink when you are solely responsible for your childrens' safety?

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Fri 14-Jun-13 11:18:27


OH, OH! I know the answer to this one! Waves hand frantically in the air

Because he's accidentally openly admitted he's an aggressive drunk? He's inadvertently posted that he doesn't drive due to the amount he drinks? Because he drinks in his kid's room?

No wait. The correct answer is the ex is a suspicious, controlling bint, right?

TheBigJessie Fri 14-Jun-13 11:17:34

What other people have said. I'd love to call him a troll, but I could imagine my alcoholic mother writing something very similar on the internet after I forbid her entrance to the house. Every word is patent alcohol dependency.


Read this thread when you're sober.

Wylye Fri 14-Jun-13 11:15:22

OP - how does your Ex know you've had a couple of pints before you arrive?
Assuming she doesn't have you under 24/7 surveillance it's safe to assume she can tell when you've been drinking by your behaviour.
And if you say "She asks so I tell her" well why the hell would she ask unless you were behaving in a way that concerned her??
Therefore you clearly ARE affected by the amounts you drink. Otherwise she would be none the wiser and we would not be having this little chat. hmm

The way you describe your current drinking is pretty hard to take even in an otherwise happy marriage - you are no longer with your Ex, you don't live at the house, and you have a drinking problem. There is no reason on earth why she has to put up with this, and it is very unfair and downright rude of you to inflict it on both her and the kids. Please treat them with a bit more respect.

quoteunquote Fri 14-Jun-13 11:11:31

try this as an experiment,

Print off this thread,

Don't have any alcohol whatsoever for the next four years,

then have a review, have a good look at your life after four years without a single drop,

then re read the print out,

I think you will then have all the answers,

and everyone in your life, including yourself will be far happier.

If not you can always start again, but at least you will have an informed view,

It sounds like alcohol doesn't suit you, try a new look.

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