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When it comes to drinking

(143 Posts)
ThePerfectFather Fri 05-Jul-13 07:36:30

I look after the kids while my wife works, and by the end of the day I need a fucking drink.

I don't know if that counts as alcohol abuse or alcoholism, but my wife certainly seems to think so. She thinks I drink too much and says that since I drink every day, I "can't" go a day without drinking. The way I see it is that during the week I indeed "can't" go a day without drinking because I look after the kids and after 12 hours with them I want to drink to relax and unwind. Yes I am blaming the children for my rampant booze addiction that is tearing my life apart (hint, it's not).

On average I tend to drink around 4 or 5 cans of beer or cider between 5pm and midnight during the week. I get a nice little buzz, but definitely in no way am I drunk. I'm 37 and 6ft and weight 13 stone so my capacity for booze And that's 5 cans over 7 hours. I tend to stop drinking about an hour or an hour and a half before I go to bed at midnight to avoid needing to get up for a piss.

If I drank that amount in the space of a couple of hours as I might on a night out, then yes I would be well on the way. This is more like maintaining that slightly fuzzy level you get after one, maybe two, drinks.

The recommended daily maximum is 4 units a day, and so I probably drink more like 10 units. At the weekend I might drink more and actually get drunk. Some days I will drink more, some days I will drink less. I honestly assumed that since the booze aisles in supermarkets and off licences are so well stocked that a lot of people drink this way.

I don't get drunk often. I don't wake up every day with a throbbing head barely able to function. I don't drink and drive - EVER - I never even have a half if I am driving. If I need to get up early, I won't drink more than a couple. I rarely get stumbling-around drunk and reserve that for nights out with my mates and even then very, very rarely.

I also realise that drinking is bad for you. I know I am drinking well over the recommended daily limit, but that limit is pretty bloody low. Also, what is "too much" for a person? The idea that all men and women are the same when it comes to how much they can and should drink doesn't ring true to me at all. It's like saying there is a fixed number of calories you should consume - but that's dependent on lifestyle and body mass.

I'm not overweight, I have no health problems at all, in no way do I consider myself to be suffering mentally or physically because of the amount I drink. My wife is worried but she worries about pretty much everything 24/7, but I want to find out what other people think. Am I drinking too much? Am I an alcoholic?

Ilovesunflowers Mon 08-Jul-13 16:48:27

OP - yes you are drinking too much (as pretty much all the other posters have said). I have a problem with chocolate/junk food rather than alcohol. If I said I was having 5 chocolate bars every evening or 5 bags of crisps you would immediately say that is too much. The same goes for alcohol or anything else that is used as a 'crutch' to hold you up.

It's not just the potential liver problems that could be an issue in the near future but also diabetes. Alcohol causes high blood sugar. You will be going to bed every night with a high blood glucose level. This isn't good for your health and can cause nerve damage. Persistently high blood glucose levels (you don't lower them as easily when asleep) can lead to diabetes. You are also likely to hold your weight around your middle in the near future as this tends to be the case with excessive drinking. Holding weight around your middle is also related to getting diabetes in many cases.

Diabetes can lead to kidney damage, liver damage, nerve damage, eyesight problems (including going blind). Some people with diabetes end up with amputations. Is this the future you saw for yourself? Sorry if that's harsh but it could end up the reality.

I would could back to 3 drinks a night. Then at the end of the summer cut back to 2 a night. Then stick at 2 a night but try to have an extra day without any alcohol at all. You'll soon be amazed at the difference.

Pennyacrossthehall Mon 08-Jul-13 16:10:44

.... alcohol should be an insignificant pleasure that, given there are others, you could easily do without if you chose to. It should be no more essential to a happy life than white chocolate, or Krispy Crème doughnuts, to name some random things.

That's very well expressed.

maddy68 Mon 08-Jul-13 15:49:14

Yes that is alcoholism. Sorry

Can you go for three weeks without it? Try

You are at risk of losing everything.

I left my partner for similar reasons. He wouldn't drink at all in the day but come 6pm out would come the wine and he would drink steadily over a few hours.

He never thought he was drunk but he changed when he was drinking. Overly affectionate thought he was funnier that he was etc

Crux came when I asked him to pick me up from a hen do one night and he refused because it meant he couldn't drink.
I realised then there were three in our relationship and packed that night

maninawomansworld Mon 08-Jul-13 15:01:03

Yes you're drinking too much.
My sympathies though, kids are a bloody nightmare sometimes especially if you've had 'em all day! A drink really helps...

LondonMan Sat 06-Jul-13 09:08:45

You drink more each night than I do in a year. My point is merely that alcohol should be an insignificant pleasure that, given there are others, you could easily do without if you chose to. It should be no more essential to a happy life than white chocolate, or Krispy Crème doughnuts, to name some random things.

I think you need some lifestyle changes. If work that would pay for nursery is not an option, then better techniques for dealing with children so it's more pleasant for you. Enjoyable exercise in the evening. Zero alcohol on a weekday shouldn't be a hardship, however stressful your day.

I agree with the person who said that it's a bad sign your drinking doesn't affect you. I once knew a 28-year old alcoholic (had been drinking since 13) and I couldn't tell the difference between him sober and after a bottle of Vodka. (For a PHD scientist, his speech was a bit slow and confused in both states, I suspected permanent brain damage.) I'm the same weight as you, just breathing the fumes from one half of beer is enough to make me light-headed!

calmingtea Sat 06-Jul-13 08:45:26

Whether you just drink too much or have a problem I would recommend you take yourself off to an AA meeting (easy to find, free and you will be anonymous in a crowd), just for education and because it is eye opening. The effects on relationships (just do a poll here of the number of women writing here talking about heavy drinking ex's), and what happens when your drinking escalates. Or go to an Al Anon meeting and see how drinking affects families. Utterly heartbreaking.

You started your post asking if you are an alcoholic and have now decided that you aren't, it feels a bit like you are trying to persuade yourself and all the other posters here that what you are doing is normal. It isn't. You are drinking heavily, but most importantly the reasons you drink are not normal and it is affecting your relationship.

My XH did this, he lost everything - several jobs, his beautiful children, his wife. He never grasped how awful it was for his family. I can tell you whatever you say about your behaviour when drinking, your wife has reacted to your drinking, so it is not as 'normal' and acceptable and sober as you think it is. When my xh used to have even one or two pints, his attitude and behaviour changed subtly (not so much the effects of the drinking but the 'mood' that went with it). It was awful.

Idocrazythings Sat 06-Jul-13 08:13:06

Dry July

Idocrazythings Sat 06-Jul-13 08:11:19

Do they do "dry July" in the uk? That's what it is in Aus at the moment and people are raising money etc. maybe you should give it a go (julys only just started) its a good excuse to stick at not drinking for a month, and if you don't want to ask anyone for sponsorship just put the money aside you would have spent on alcohol and then at the end of the month donate it to a charity? (Or a weekend away or dinner out with your DW)

TimeofChange Sat 06-Jul-13 08:04:18

You need to make changes in your life.

Buy some good quality Multi Vits and minerals formulated for men.
Stop drinking for a month.
At the end of the month you will feel better.
Maybe spend the beer money on sending the DCs to a CM or nursery for one day pw.

You may find you enjoy being with your DCs.
It's sad that you don't enjoy being a SAHD at the moment.
Best wishes to you.

mumofweeboys Sat 06-Jul-13 08:03:45


my oh was a sahd and not through choice. He be became quite isolated. Things did get better when he started getting out of the house. He went to several toddler groups and met some other dads/grandads (though he had to try a few), he went to toddler swim sessions, toddler rugby, joined online forum and met sahd. He was really pro active in getting out of the house. Your local sure start runs great classess. Dont be afraid if your the only bloke

Beaverfeaver Sat 06-Jul-13 03:26:46

Also - listen to Wuldric

My DH is also from alcoholic patents and my father is, and his parents (my grandparents) both died from alcohol abuse at an early age.

I recognise it, as I am partial to a drink too, and it can often be the first thing I want to turn to at times of stress.

Just got to be strong though.

Beaverfeaver Sat 06-Jul-13 03:22:42

Its upsetting your wife.

= causing a problem.

therefore your drinking at this level is a problem.

It costs a lot too.

My DH does the same, as he has stressful job. I understand he is not getting sloshed, but its not healthy in the slightest and he understands I do t think its right and is doing his best to cut down and have at least a few drink free nights of a week.
I think you should also try to make the effort

amazingmumof6 Sat 06-Jul-13 02:41:29

(Desclaimer : I don't drink)

I think you drink too much and have problem, you drink every day by the sound of it and way over what I would call reasonable amount.

good on you for asking, I've not read thread, but I hope you had some good answers and support so far

one thing struck me : you said you don't normally get drunk or have hangovers.
you see that worries me.
that means your body is very much used to the amount of alcohol you drink.
and that is not good at all!

trust me, I know it is very hard to look after kids all the time ( clue in name!) and I do joke sometimes that I'm glad I don't drink, coz I'd be having my first shot of gin at 9.15 am when I'm back home after morning school run.grin

kids are bloody stressful. I eat cake to treat myself.
and watch telly or sew till 2am because I want to enjoy being without their noise! sad but true.
I think I have some form of insomnia because of worries and constant interrupted sleep.

we all need a way to relax and escapism has many forms - sadly most are unhealthy!

I'm sorry you feel you can only cope by drinking. it is not uncommon either.
And I'm sure your wife is only worried, but being nagged about your drinking is not helpful - I do wonder if getting drunk is possibly your way of "rebelling" or trying to "punish her", at least in part.
( it would be for me!)

I think you need to reduce your alcohol intake and find other ways to relax, switch off and recharge your batteries.
And I think you need professional help to change your drinking habits.

just for comparison my DH is 6' 5" and weighs 20 stones.
he has a glass of wine with dinner on weekdays and 2 or 3 pints of beer on a Friday or Saturday night.
they finish him off.
and he rarely gets drunk ( last time was last August)

I hope this is helpful and I'm here to support you.
( hug? or is that weird? smile )

Butterflywgs Sat 06-Jul-13 02:07:29

Sympathies, OP.
It does sound like there is a problem with your drinking. If there wasn't, I don't think you'd be asking, if you see what I mean?
I think some of the posts are unhelpful and verging on nasty, however. It does not help anyone to berate them, imply they are drunk every night when they clearly state this is not the case, and call them 'selfish' and 'abusive' etc. It does not sound like the OP is like this.
I'm glad you are going to try to cut down, and get help if you can't. That sounds like a sensible plan.
I wonder if you've considered what several other posters have said - that you don't sound very happy. There is no shame in not enjoying being a SAHP. Does your wife know how miserable you feel? It needs a serious discussion. As others have said, you could volunteer, work part-time etc etc.
I do not intend to be one. Do you think you could be depressed? (I say this as someone who has severe, chronic depression and anxiety. I know I drink too much to 'self-medicate' and I am taking steps to cut down.) I think it is worth a trip to your GP to screen for depression, anxiety etc - as well as to get advice on your drinking. Good luck.

Wuldric Sat 06-Jul-13 01:03:29

I am a heavy drinker. A very heavy drinker. I won't go into more than that here. I know I have a problem. I absolutely do know that.

But the message to you OP, is as follows:

1. You are still young and in denial. It only ever gets worse. Alcohol is a long and slippery slide. I am ten years older than you and my drinking was nowhere near as bad as yours at your age. My drinking now is absurd. Literally absurd. I hold down my job through sheer talent (and past reputation). Because half the time I can't get there for 9am. I usually roll in around 10. Sometimes later. Take it from me. You do not know what you are doing. You do not even begin to recognise.

2. Alcoholism is inherited. That is a fact I learned on one of my many drying out sessions. You are NOT just doing this to yourself. You are doing this to your children. It is not an accident that I am a daughter of an alcoholic parent. Who died at the age of 50, stumbling and drunk.

cumfy Sat 06-Jul-13 00:52:01

Vit D and alcohol

BridgetBidet Fri 05-Jul-13 23:30:17

Shellyboobs, there is such a thing as a beer belly, it's alcohol induced oedema which causes water retention and swelling around the abdomen.

BridgetBidet Fri 05-Jul-13 23:28:09

Cumfy, it's a vitamin B deficiency that drinking causes, not vitamin D.

cumfy Fri 05-Jul-13 23:00:12

Funnily enough, I did actually stop drinking entirely in January a couple of years ago and suffered a chronic vitamin D deficiency as a result.

Heavy consumption of alcohol causes Vit D deficiency. Stopping does not.

ShellyBoobs Fri 05-Jul-13 21:17:23

I'd like to respond to a couple of posts in this thread:

Firstly, 4 or 5 (pressumably 500ml) cans per day is not '5 or 6 times' the recommended limit; it's certainly and good 2-3 times, though.

Secondly, there's no such thing as a 'beer belly', so that's irrelevant.

Having said that, I do think OP's drinking is a problem and it's far too much in my opinion.

I would be very concerned if I or my OH was drinking to such excess on a daily basis.

(I just don't think that exaggerating the facts is going to help anyone)

OliviaBenson Fri 05-Jul-13 20:48:54

My Dad is an alcoholic. He makes the same excuses. He ruined my childhood- don't ruin your children's. If your stressed, do other things, a walk, reading, etc. you don't need to drink to de-stress.

BridgetBidet Fri 05-Jul-13 20:15:52

I worked as a typist in a hospital which dealt with liver patients. I am not an expert but I would regularly type up the notes of people waiting who drank the same amount each day as you during the week (e.g. 5 cans a night) and didn't even have the binges you have at the weekend.

Normally the reason I was typing up their notes was because they needed a liver transplant. The majority of them never got one and died.

I'm not being sanctimonious, I am an ex drinker myself and it was seeing those things that made me stop.

Drinking at the level you do a betting man would be inclined to put a bet on you ending up in the same situation yourself. Seriously.

You have children, do you not want to do the utmost you can to be there for them for as long as you can? You can't be being the best parent you can when you're drinking like this. It's beyond me how anybody can deal with a proper stinking hangover and a small child.

RoadToTuapeka Fri 05-Jul-13 19:40:18

Yes and yes to both questions. I would be taking steps with my DH if he 'really needed a fucking drink' every day after a day doing what loads of people do every day, ie look after children, especially if 's drink' was as much as that.

maddening Fri 05-Jul-13 19:31:20

Sounds like a drink problem and some addiction - maybe not to alcoholic in the terms you consider to be alcoholic. But over 70 units of alcohol a week is no good.

Yes you might feel healthy now but you can't see inside you can you? Alcahol in men particularly puts fat on the internal organs (apparently this is where beer bellies come from) as well as increased chance of heart attacks, strokes and cancer.

And as much as you think you aren't drunk I reckon it's unpleasant for your wife to be around you every night whether you're just tipsy and buzzed or slightly drunk - every fucking night - how fucking tedious! .

AnyFucker Fri 05-Jul-13 19:10:04

If you go back to your first sentence in your first post, the clue is there

You need a "fucking drink" after looking after your children

There is a lot of resentment and aggression in that opening, completely unprompted and subconsciously telling. This is a sweary site, granted. But if I was your wife, I would be reading between the lines here, and not liking the subtext.

You need to get a grip of your life, mate.

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