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to be annoyed by partner's drinking?

(26 Posts)
lilyb84 Fri 21-Aug-15 11:54:38

My DH is one of those people who has a tendency to drink too much at social occasions. I can't really judge as that was definitely me in my early twenties - but he's now in his late thirties. For context, this is probably only once a week at most as he works a lot of late shifts, but he'll go for a week without drinking then completely binge on his night out.

I'm currently pregnant with our first, but have actually been more relaxed about this than I was when I was also drinking - I'd been cutting down for a couple of years and was perhaps becoming a bit of a nag when he'd have four pints to my one or two, whereas now I have an excuse to not drink at all it hasn't been such an issue.

However, I'm starting to get a little tired, not only of his seeming lack of self control, but also the way he is when he's drunk. He's actually a very happy drunk but seeing him bumbling around like an idiot, not making any sense - especially in company - has started really getting my back up. He's very sweet and can be very affectionate after a few, but right now I feel like I need time with him that's focussed and sensible, at least some of the time, since we don't have many months of that left.

It's not just the effects of the drinking, it's all the other stuff as well - for instance, leaving social occasions late so he can have 'just one more' (or two, or three) even though I've asked for an early night, and then me having to basically look after him and get him home, often across London on night transport. He also smokes socially, which is still a marked improvement on both of us smoking full time (we quit over five years ago) but this seems to be ramping up so now he has at least one or two every time he's out despite having said he'd aim to stop this before the baby arrives.

My family worry about his drinking as he's been drunk at every single family occasion or event they've ever been to with him. At our wedding a few years ago he was so drunk I had to literally carry him into our hotel. At a work do last year, which was admittedly a very big occasion, he was out drinking from lunchtime until 11 and was so drunk he passed out in Holborn - literally on the pavement! - threw up on at least one bus and finally made it back to ours at about 1.30 in the morning, which I only realised when I went looking for him and found him passed out, covered in blood and sick, on the steps leading up to our flat. He found it funny the next morning - I was almost hysterical the night before, trying to clean him up in the shower in the middle of the night while he was barely conscious.

He has had problems with anxiety and depression, and to an extent drinks when he's feeling anxious, but since he's now been happily taking ADs for two years now I don't feel this is such a valid excuse any more - we talk regularly about how he feels and he seems to be happy. In fact, his drinking is generally just because he's having such a good time, and of course I don't want to take that away from him! He is a very fun person when he's out.

I love him and want to support him and I feel like this is an issue but he's just not seeing it. When I bring it up he either ignores it or accuses me of being 'boring these days', and I think he reckons it's all just fun. Finally, he doesn't earn a huge amount so when he does go out he'll be spending £40, £50 or even more at a time which is pretty much all his disposable income for the week. He pays his rent and helps towards bills but I'm the main breadwinner and am the only one planning or saving for our impending arrival - mostly because there's not really much more he can do.

I'm sure this will change once the baby's born as it'll have to, but AIBU to really not be enjoying his behaviour?

OliviaBenson Fri 21-Aug-15 12:03:00

How can you be sure it will change when the baby arrives? Why would it?

He is a problem drinker. If he doesn't see it, then I'm not sure what you can do. The change needs to come from him.

Sorry op. This must be really frightening.
Sorry

OliviaBenson Fri 21-Aug-15 12:03:29

Yanbu by the way.

StealthPolarBear Fri 21-Aug-15 12:05:45

Congratulations on your pregnancy. You're about to start looking after 2 babies

ImperialBlether Fri 21-Aug-15 12:07:25

You think this will change once the baby's born? Don't you realise he'll be out wetting the baby's head and it won't matter whether you're in hospital or not.

He's an alcoholic, OP. It's very worrying that your family have never seen him stay sober at any event. He sounds as though he's frequently in a very unsafe state, where he could literally die because of his drinking.

I think you're fooling yourself (sorry) if you think this will change once the baby's born. You will be staying in with the baby and he'll be spending any money he can on getting pissed.

You say you're the one saving as there's not much more he can do - well, he could start by not spending all that money on alcohol! You see £50 and you see baby outfits, perhaps a sling, or a day's childcare, whatever. He sees £50 and he sees alcohol. He doesn't see you or the baby at all.

Theycallmemellowjello Fri 21-Aug-15 12:07:58

You are certainly not bu, that sounds so difficult. It sounds like he has a major problem with alcohol. I think that you have to let him know how you feel and make clear what it is you want. Don't let him brush it off as 'social' - it sounds like the social occasions are an excuse to get paralytic. Unfortunately it can be difficult to get people with a problem like this to recognise there is a problem, much less change. I think you might have to give yourself a timeline - if he hasn't taken steps in eg 6 months or a year, then consider leaving the relationship. Otherwise it's easy to get caught up in the excuses and promises that it will change 'soon'.

ImperialBlether Fri 21-Aug-15 12:09:05

I think when the baby is born, you will get more and more 'boring' and he won't see the point in staying in with you. If he does stay in I'd start to look around for bottles in unlikely places.

Ragwort Fri 21-Aug-15 12:10:46

I'm sure this will change once the baby's born as it'll have to - hmm - I am sorry, but it is very unlikely to change.

I feel very sorry for you. sad.

lilyb84 Fri 21-Aug-15 12:12:30

Thanks for your thoughts, I think writing it down has made me look at it a bit differently. Honestly, 95% of the time it's not a problem, it's just the few occasions he does go out seem to always end up the same way.

He's a really lovely man and is very excited about our baby. I think perhaps his main issue is avoiding reality. But agree I do need to talk to him about this and encourage him to take a clearer view of how his behaviour is affecting me and potentially our relationship.

lilyb84 Fri 21-Aug-15 12:13:49

I have to admit to having very little sympathy for his hangovers or complaints when he feels he's 'wasted' a day by being hungover!!

AuntyMag10 Fri 21-Aug-15 12:18:26

He may be 'great' 95% but that 5% can totally wipe that out. You're in denial about the drinking problem he has. Don't fall in that trap of thinking when the baby comes he will change. It only makes the problem you have now worse. When he goes on these drinking sessions and you are the one shattered and needing help the problem will be bigger. Time to wake up and address these issues.

YesIleftthebastard Fri 21-Aug-15 12:21:12

Sorry I was married to a drunk and having a child made him worse. Get your oh to get some help before the drinking escalates. It's not funny when you have a baby and are trying to cope with someone who binge drinks

maggieryan Fri 21-Aug-15 12:40:33

Stealthpolarbear what a mean thing to say. Not helpful. My husband also drank too much but knew it was starting to become a problem. He kept saying never again and then would go out following weekend and get pissed again. Anyway we both quit smoking by reading Alan carr book so I went out and bought Alan carr " how to control drinking" and asked him to read it. That was 8 mths ago and he finished the book and hasn't drank since. Maybe just ask him to read it and see what he thinks. If you look at reviews on amazon it has helped so many people. Hth!

LazyLohan Fri 21-Aug-15 12:53:33

He's not an alcoholic but he does have a problem with alcohol, it's binge drinking rather than alcoholism which hopefully is one chink of light because it may mean it's easier for him to give up.

You need to sit down and have a serious talk with him about it, stressing that it could put your child in danger and that for the safety of your child you may have to consider leaving unless it stops.

I would leave smoking out of the discussion for the time being, that may muddy the issue.

But you do need to have a serious talk.

StampyMum Fri 21-Aug-15 12:55:03

OP, don't underestimate the anxiety he will be feeling about the baby. My DH was a nightmare in the weeks leading up to DS's birth. He got the drunkest I have ever seen him about 6 weeks before. That said, he's not a boozer by nature, although he loves a glass of wine, he rarely gets drunk drunk, and tbh, drinks less than I do. I was really worried about how he'd be when the baby came, but he did settle down, and now he really prefers to be at home with us, having dinner and sharing a bottle of wine, than going to a party. It took a while, but he finds his home life very satisfying now. I hope your DH settles down soon - once he's madly in love with the baby, you might find it easier to get him to calm down.
And he doesn't sound like an alcoholic to me, just one of those unfortunate people who doesn't know when to stop.

StampyMum Fri 21-Aug-15 12:55:06

OP, don't underestimate the anxiety he will be feeling about the baby. My DH was a nightmare in the weeks leading up to DS's birth. He got the drunkest I have ever seen him about 6 weeks before. That said, he's not a boozer by nature, although he loves a glass of wine, he rarely gets drunk drunk, and tbh, drinks less than I do. I was really worried about how he'd be when the baby came, but he did settle down, and now he really prefers to be at home with us, having dinner and sharing a bottle of wine, than going to a party. It took a while, but he finds his home life very satisfying now. I hope your DH settles down soon - once he's madly in love with the baby, you might find it easier to get him to calm down.
And he doesn't sound like an alcoholic to me, just one of those unfortunate people who doesn't know when to stop.

Itsbloodyraining Fri 21-Aug-15 12:56:26

I think that in a lot of relationships where the couple have been young and partying, it is the woman who does grow up first due to being pregnant, the man usually catches up nine months later when baby arrives (then his life is over too grin ).This happened in our relationship and in those of our friends. My dh did grow up and is now ultra responsible, main provider etc., but then I am a strong female who told him how it was going to be. In other relationships I've seen the men continue to be little boys, so they can change, but it depends. Good luck.

Thelushinthepub Fri 21-Aug-15 14:09:44

You've mentioned a very extreme example and I think that is pretty unusual, although I know many men who did similar in their 20s.

However, I think the rest of the drinking you describe is normal- it just depends on Your social circle I think. I love a drink, so does DH and my friends. Our families less so, and I suspect looks have been passed on occasion.

I can see it's irritating. I have had many friends in your position whose husbands are also doting fathers. Most have calmed down; some have calmed down with the odd blow out.

lilyb84 Fri 21-Aug-15 15:46:25

maggie that's a good idea, thank you. He really doesn't mean any harm but perhaps doesn't realise how it's affecting me (and I'm not just being boring!) - the Alan Carr book is how we both quit smoking (not that it's been massively effective in recent years, but might get hmi to re-read that too at some point - although the smoking really isn't much of an issue, I don't expect him to change something that was part of his lifestyle for so many years overnight).

Thank you also to those offering nice balanced views on this, I don't think he's alcoholic but do think he has a problem with binge drinking - mostly that he doesn't know his limits. As I say, I speak from my own experience and do have every faith that he'll be an excellent dad, if not necessarily the most grown up or responsible - but after all, that's just part of who he is, and who I accepted him to be when I married him.

Thanks again, I think I needed to get it out and it's been really useful to have some views from all sides and experiences.

Itsbloodyraining Fri 21-Aug-15 16:21:37

Also drinking on ADs really changes your tolerance to alcohol in my experience. It does funny things to your brain. Also nobody parties harder than new parents grin. You get chance to go out once in a blue moon and you go for it!You're sleep deprived and not used to drinking. He might be mopping up your mess in the future, so be careful what you say to him grin.

lilyb84 Fri 21-Aug-15 16:32:22

itsbloodyraining that sounds like sage advice - I'm going to be a mess when I get back on the booze grin

CalmYourselfTubbs Fri 21-Aug-15 18:45:03

he's probably bricking it because he's about to have a child.
regardless - he's an alcoholic.

he acts like a child and how can this drunken child mind a younger child?
expect him to get worse as time goes on.

i had an alcoholic partner once. i don't any more.

LazyLohan Fri 21-Aug-15 18:49:41

Anti-depressants do make people behave very oddly in drink sometimes. They don't really mix.

Don't listen to people telling you he's an alcoholic because frankly they know fuck all about alcolhism. Unless he is drinking at other times and concealing this from you he's not an alcoholic. This also means he doesn't have the excuse of addition for not stopping.

He has an alcohol problem and is a problem drinker. He is not an alcoholic.

Bunbaker Fri 21-Aug-15 18:55:09

Next time he drinks too much leave him where he is. When he wakes up with his head in the dog bowl or whatever. Don't help him to bed. When he wakes up where he passed out it will bring it home to him how much he has been drinking and how out of control he was.

LazyLohan Fri 21-Aug-15 18:56:28

Addiction for not stopping!! Ffs autocorrect!

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