Is dh being unreasonable or am I just uptight?!(28 Posts)
Bit of background as I feel it is relevant; had long term issues with dh's depression which resulted in heavy alcohol use and him racking up about £6000 of debt after the death of our child. He told me about it and I have given him thousands to pay it off. Now he is much better than he was but I still feel he drinks too much.
So, onto the problem. I'm on MAT leave with baby so income dramatically reduced.We have managed to get about £800 savings but are scraping by and I don't tend to treat my self so that we can save our money .He spent £40 on alcohol last week and has just brought 8 cans home because he wanted a treat and I said no to a takeaway as we need to save. He says as we now have a bit of money in the bank it shouldn't be a problem,he's happy for me to treat myself too. He thinks I'm being unreasonable and uptight for saying he shouldn't have spent money but that if he was insistent on spending it, then it should be something for all of us or it should go into savings.
I feel we've gotten into a rut where I'm still so resentful for how he has behaved so get annoyed whenever he buys alcohol as I think we should be building up our savings and he's so used to it he sees it as nagging especially as he has decreased his drinking.
I know I said I didn't want anything but that was to save money, am I being stupid or should he have used that money for all of us?
All my sympathies for your loss
Have either of you had counselling since the death of your child? Couples or grief counselling?
You were very supportive of him when he needed it through his depression. Now that you need his support he isn't there. He isn't seeing that you asking for a bit of budgeting is how you need him to support you. Try framing it that way.
£40 on alcohol is a lot for one week. How much does he drink normally?
If you treat yourself, he sees that as a green light to spend money on alcohol. In his head it means you will then be unable to tell him what treats he gives himself.
This is really hard but I think you need to set a budget and have some money each that you are both allowed to spend on what you want. If he has spent £40 of 'spare' money that is like his own spending money on alcohol that isn't so bad but if it dug into savings or there is less in the household kitty as a result that isn't so great. And anyway to be honest £40 is a lot in my opinion to spend on alcohol in a week if you are trying to save.
Is it £40 at home or £40 in the pub? £40 on booze bought in the supermarket is a lot of booze .
Also I've just re read your post and I do really feel for you. It really sounds like money is tight and this is an unreasonable amount to spend on alcohol. As you say , if you had together decided to spend the money on something for the family that would be different.
Just remember people with alcohol problems or problems in general are very good at deflecting the blame back onto you ie he says you are uptight/ unfair / you can also spend money. It's really not nice to do this and it's unreasonable. You are clearly trying to save for your family's future and trying to make out you are in the wrong is just a thing lots of addicts / people in the wrong do (sorry not saying your dh is an addict by the way)... They go on the attack when they know they are in the wrong and try and make you feel bad. But pls don't feel bad, stay strong - you are not in the wrong
My friend had a dh who spent £40 a week on alcohol and tobacco, he would make such a fuss if he didn't have it that it would have to be bought before nappies to appease him.
She divorced him, best decision she ever made.
Booze and fags before nappies? Classy bloke! Good for her for getting out.
Really sorry for your loss .
Your dh is spending a lot of money on alcohol. If he is spending it on alcohol in favour of a takeaway then I imagine he is happy to skip meals as the alcohol is filling him up. The definition of alcohol dependency or alcoholism is getting 30% of your daily calorie intake through alcohol.
You are not being unreasonable. In your position, I would be withdrawing an amount of cash he won't notice and putting it on a secret bank account as your rainy day fund. This is only a short term solution. In the longer term, he needs help/counselling. £40 a week is a humongous amount to spend.
Pearlman said it was your dhs cash. So not true, firstly, you clearly said you cleared thousands of debts. Secondly, income is surely joint money. You are on MAT leave.
I would as a minimum be putting the amount he spends on alcohol in a bank account in my own name.
But he has major issues to address
I'm glad I'm not completely overreacting, I feel I've loat all sense of reality. The £40 was alcohol at home, he bought a bottle of whiskey which was to keep in the house, that went within the night.
He definitely has alcohol issues but he disagrees and says he used to but not anymore. I think because he's gone for a period of time with no alcohol he thinks he's in control, but as soon as he has one drink it sets off this pattern of behaviour where he drinks daily and whilst it may start as one beer, by the end of the week it will be 8 strong ones in a night. His argument is that he's no longer drinking as excessively (was a bottle vodka + a day)
I feel like he is choosing alcohol over us but he keeps saying I'm being unfair as he's come so far. I'm annoyed at myself with enabling his behaviour, I'm angry at him for being so selfish. He always stops this pattern just long enough for me to start to think he's changing. I know it's improving but to me it's still not good enough, I don't think I'll feel happy with him drinking at all until he has proved that he won't fall back into that pattern of behaviour.
As for why I'm so annoyed about the money; all I'm getting is my maternity which covers rent, I can't put anything to one side as I don't have anything, he says we don't have money but then magically has enough for beer. I have suggested a set amount but he's reluctant as he thinks I'm trying to control him. I have already made him get rid of his credit cards.
I love him, we have been together since teenagers, but I feel like I have so much resentment and I don't know how to get past that. Just typing it all out makes me realise how much of a bloody mess it all is! I've given him until the end of the month to stop his drinking and get a handle of his low mood before I call the doctors, in my heart I know he'll refuse to go and I don't know what I'll do then.
I think you know in your heart he has a real problem and you probably would be better off leaving or something similar .... It's really hard but he sounds like he is in pretty deep and from experience, I know these things don't get resolved by inaction. When money is that tight, the amount he is spending on alcohol now madness... But money aside, the amount he is drinking is madness, let alone for someone with a problem. Doesn't matter that it's better than before - so what- it's still wrong.
I know, I hoped with him acknowledging it and making changes it would get better , which I suppose it has but not enough in my eyes. I've held on and held on but as soon as things start to look better I feel like we have another setback. He doesn't see my issue as it isn't £40 every week, sometimes he just has one beer but since having baby I think I'm just far less tolerant, I don't want his behaviour to normalise drinking. I can't seem to divide my reaction between him buying 4 beers on a Friday or him having a bottle of whiskey. I think I'm going to have to set myself a time line for calling it a day if things don't improve.
I'm going to be blunt.
He's an alcoholic.
Active addicts are supremely selfish the addiction comes before everything else.
I'm the child of an alcoholic, his wife and 2 children went without (including food in my mothers case) to feed his addiction. It also steals time, love and attention.
You and your child deserve better, get rid at the very least until he gets dry and even then proceed with caution.
At the moment he's big even admitting it.
He's an alcoholic. No question about it.
You deserve better. Your baby deserves better. You come across as the reasonable one in the relationship so in your and your baby's interest it's probably time to put your foot down.
Sorry for the loss of your child.
Can you look at your finances together and agree a spending money budget for both of you? He can't spend more than that. You could save yours if you want but then he wouldn't feel that you are dictating and making all the decisions.
He is an alcoholic and very selfish. While he has this problem (that he won't even admit), you and your baby are always going to come last to that. Can you live with that? I couldn't. I also wouldn't want my child to grow up seeing that as normal either.
A bottle of whiskey in one night!!!!! Yikes that is definitely not normal. My dh drinks five nights out of seven but usually only a few drinks and I thought he was bad.
I do think he has a serious problem and the money thing is just one of the knock on effects, I mean how can he help with the baby?
Does he work?
This doesn't get better I'm afraid. You need to gently disengage and work out what next without him. You have every right to resent it.
He's an addict and addicts prioritise their drug of choice. You can probably get support and advice as the family member of an addict, even if he won't recognise the need for or access support himself.
Many of the practitioners I work with are addicts in long term recovery. Over and over they tell me that people being kind and forgiving, providing financial support for their addiction, staying with them rather than leaving, etc, only enabled them to continue living that horrible, destructive, selfish life for longer. One of my colleagues tells me that he had no reason to get off the drink and drugs and into recovery until he had lost everything and everyone and was living in a car park (and by living in it I mean he slept, begged, scored and used there).
Your dc is worth more than this. You are worth more than this. Your DH is worth more than this- but he is the only one who can change himself. You can't save him. If he cannot accept that he has a serious problem and put all his energies into dealing with it, you need to leave until he does so. Because it will only get worse.
Thank you all for your advice, I think it has confirmed what I knew in my heart. I had said to him that if things didn't change that we would leave, I've j got to be strong and keep to my word. I will not have my child live in that environment. I know I have enabled him by being such a pushover, I've just been hoping things would get better, this is not how I planned our life to be!
8 cans is not a treat. Bottle of whiskey in one night is far from normal.
I don't want you to think that I am criticising you or saying you are a pushover or responsible for his addiction btw. God knows it's easier to tell someone to leave an addict they love than it is to actually do it.
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