AIBU to be annoyed with my partner?(22 Posts)
I’ll try and make this as brief as possible… I just need an outside perspective as I feel like I’m going loopy.
Sunday was my first Mother’s Day. There has been some tension between me and my DP since Christmas, largely due to his relationship with alcohol (and certain members of his family facilitating this) but we’ve been trying to resolve the problem… or so I thought. During this time, we’ve been in daily contact and spent time together but I’ve also been at my parents’ with DS while we try and figure things out.
Certainly, on Mother’s Day DP appeared to pull out all the stops and presented me with beautiful flowers and a lovely card from our DS. DS and I had stayed overnight with him on the Saturday, and on the Sunday he had lunch with me and my family and later popped in to his mum’s with DS as she was throwing a Mother’s Day buffet. Rightly or wrongly, I didn’t go because my relationship with my MIL and SIL is equally tense at the moment due to the issues I’m having with DP.
Here I should say that I am no saint, and have reacted badly to previous incidents, angrily letting rip at my SIL when she was been directly involved, and also angrily snapping at MIL when she’s tried to defend DP’s behaviour. I should also add that before DP went on Sunday, he insisted that he and hers wouldn’t be drinking at the party as it was a Mother’s Day gathering on a Sunday afternoon and everyone would be driving. My in laws like a drink (or ten!) and every visit to MIL’s house involves alcohol. Before I had DS, I was happy to drink, although I’d long since tired of every visit culminating in getting drunk. One of the issues I have with DP is that he seems unable to spend time with MIL or SIL without getting drunk.
So, DP’s at the Mother’s Day buffet at MIL’s house and after a couple of hours I text him to see how he’s getting on with DS. All good, he says. I’m conscious that DS’ dinnertime is coming up so I ask DP if he would like me to come and collect DS at 6pm so he can be fed by 6.30pm at home, or was there anything he could feed DS there? He text back, saying as I offered it would be good if I could collect DS at 6pm, because he was being irritable and was only happy if DP was holding him, which meant DP wasn’t able to socialise with anyone. I asked if he would be coming back with us as well, but he said he was going to stay as he hadn’t had a chance to speak to people at the gathering. No problem, I said.
When I got there, though, everyone was leaving. Strange, I thought, so when DP brought DS out in his car seat I asked him if he wanted to come back with us. He said no, he would come back when SIL was leaving. He seemed weird, a bit shifty, on edge (my mum, who was in the car with me, also commented on it). MIL, who had clearly been drinking and was slurring, came over to the car to say hello. It was a bit awkward, but we exchanged pleasantries and she said how happy and well behaved DS had been at the gathering (which immediately struck me as odd as it was my understanding that I was picking him up as DP said he was irritable). We were polite and once DS was settled in the car we left.
Afterwards, I text DP to a) ask what that was all about and b) ask why he was staying at a gathering to socialise with people who I’d watched leave. He said I’d imagined that he was shifty, his mum wasn’t drunk, and he wasn’t staying to socialise with the people who had just left, he was staying to spend some quality time with his mum on Mother’s Day (even though he’d clearly not said this in his earlier text). This resulted in a bit of a spat via text message because I felt he’d just taken me up on my offer to pick DS up so he could get drunk with his mum and sister. By 9pm or so, he’d stopped replying to messages altogether.
The following morning, he text to ask how DS had been overnight and how he was that morning etc etc. He claimed he’d had two glasses of wine with his mum and sister, was sober, and got a cab home with his sister later that evening. Based on his previous behaviour, his relationship with alcohol (and the state of our house – practically untouched, bed not slept in, etc) I doubted he was being honest, but he insisted he’d had two drinks, he’d just wanted to stay to spend some time with his mum, and I was being completely unreasonable.
It transpires he did only have two drinks with his mum (which would take, what, an hour to drink?) and after that he then got a cab back with his sister and her boyfriend and carried on drinking with them (possibly did drugs as well). However, he only admitted to that this morning. He says it doesn’t matter because we’re not really living together at the moment and there was nothing to go home for. I’m angry because I feel like he lied about the reason why he wanted me to collect DS, he lied about what he was going to be doing at his mum’s, and he lied to me about what he did after he left his mum’s for a good couple of days. I’m confused because I don’t understand why DP is so determined to drink that he will lie about what he’s doing in order to drink, and lie about how much he’s drunk. I’m also angry because I feel like he should be making an effort to fix things with us, and lying and drinking to excess, particularly on my first Mother’s Day, is the complete opposite. Also angry because SIL was complicit once again.
Firstly your SIL is not his keeper. Stop directing anger at her.
Yeah he was a twat, he lied and taking drugs is a big no-no.
But why are you concerned with alcohol? Do you see him as an alcoholic? He drinks too much? The drug consuming when alcohol has happened?
He's lied several times, and he clearly has a drinking problem, as do the rest of his family. He drinks because he is an addict, that's why he keeps drinking and keeps lying.
You've moved out to your Mum's because of this, and he's still drinking and lying.
What makes you think any of this is going to change?
So he has an alcohol problem? You seem to be trying to control his drinking.
You can't control or cure it.
"Seeing" him at present sounds like a bad plan.
Agreed that the problem is with DP rather than SIL. No real defence for directing my anger at her before, I just feel so frustrated that she (and others in his family) seem to enable his bad behaviour by either disregarding what's happened or drinking with him
I suppose I just keep hoping he will change because he promises he will. I feel like a hypocrite because prior to having DS I too used to like a drink but having a baby has obviously changed my priorities! DP often says in arguments that I'm a bore now. He (and his family) also think the issue is not that DP has a problem with drink but that I am a controlling party pooper who doesn't let him do anything. I just find it hard to trust someone who says one thing and does another. I'm desperately trying to reestablish trust with him but it feels impossible when we have days like Sunday.
I don't want to say he's an alcoholic because he functions reasonably enough - he goes to work, he doesn't get the shakes or anything like that. But there have been issues with drink. He'll routinely disappear after arguments and stay out all night drinking. Early on in our relationship he cheated when drunk... etc.
The lying is a massive red flag. Alcoholics lie. If he has a genuine alcohol problem - which it sounds like you think he does - then you're unlikely to be able to trust or have any decent relationship with him until he stops drinking completely. Alcoholics don't have the willpower to cut back. It sounds like he hasn't even acknowledged that he has a real problem, and that his family are dragging him down.
The saddest thing about addiction is it makes the addict weak, making it even harder for him to change.
Really really sorry OP. He probably does love you and your child a lot but is not strong enough / has not yet hit rock nottom and realised that he needs to stop drinking.
Tell him that he has an alcohol problem and that he is going to lose you permanently unless he completely stops drinking, try to get him to alcoholics anonymous. Either he finds the willpower somewhere to stop, or it can't work.
If he hadn't been so shifty and lied then I'd think he might not be an alcoholic - but the lying and evasion is so classic.
He's still an alcoholic. Look up the term functioning alcoholic.
So you weren't at home, but you're annoyed that he stayed at SIL's instead of going back to an empty house? Is that right? If so, YABU. If however you were at home, then yes, I'd expect him to have come home to you at a reasonable time, and do the bed time routine, giving you a relaxing Mothers Day evening.
Husky, I'm not annoyed he stayed out, I'm annoyed that he stayed out getting drunk, when it's not what he said he would be doing, it's not what he admitted to the following day, and drink has been causing so many problems between us recently.
Thanks boiing. That's what I've been worried is the case to be honest I've made things worse because when he's hurt me by lying, not doing what he says he's going to do, staying out drinking etc, I've reacted so emotionally and angrily, so when he says to people that he drinks because I've driven him to it, don't let him do anything etc they believe it. Also he thinks I'm a hypocrite because I used to drink with him before I had DS. I'm confused because he's always said he doesn't want to be out partying all the time and is committed to me and DS but then does the opposite.
He's an alcoholic, as are his mother and sister. There are plenty of "functioning alcoholics" who go to work etc.
He's not going to change until HE realises and accepts that there is a problem. That may be next week, next year, or never. It doesn't matter how much you or anyone else talks, begs, cries, or threaten him, until and unless he admits he has a problem nothing will change.
He's also a druggie by the sounds of it. Why would you want to be with someone like that? More importantly, why would you want or allow your precious child around someone like that? I would never in a million years leave my child/ren alone with an alcoholic drug user.
Does he drive? If he does, then sooner or later he's going to get into a fender bender and if your child is with him, how would you feel then? I'd be moving on from this person, and keeping my child safe by never allowing him to be alone with the child, or around the other alcoholic family members.
He's a lying, cheating alcoholic. Come on, OP, you can do better than this. You will always be on edge living with a man like this. Always doubting yourself, doubting him, wondering what's really going on. It'll break you. And there's nothing you can do to change him - he is as he is, and that's the way he likes it. You can have a lovely life with your baby, but just not with this man.
No he doesn't drive. There had been talk of his family looking after DS on one day when I go back to work but it would be either MIL or SIL so I'm not sure I would take them up on the offer. On New Year's Day I had to ask SIL not to come and pick up DS to take him to a family function after she'd been up most of the night drinking etc.
I don't want to paint myself as an angel, before I had DS, I was out drinking and had used drugs recreationally. However DP and I had always said that wasn't a lifestyle choice, it wasn't something we would ever carry on when we had kids. He talks a good case but he's disappeared all night drinking at least 6 times since DS was born. I'm just not interested in that any more. It was a completely recreational aspect of my life which just doesn't figure in my priorities. DP doesn't use drugs a lot, but they may well figure in a heavy night of drinking.
What Boiing says.
I can see why you think you are being hypocritical but the difference is you have stopped and aren't lying or being evasive.
I suspect you have been in denial and tying to find excuses to rationalise his behaviour - blaming SIL/family. This is understandable, this is the man (when sober) who you love and is the father of your DC.
A horrible position to find yourself in and only you can decide whether you can support him IF he is prepared to accept he has a problem and IF he is prepared to fight it. I'm not sure I would be able to let him take DS out alone if he can't be trusted to stay sober.
Hi op, it comes across as alcoholism I'm afraid. It's not just defined by being permanently drunk or having withdrawals, much more about reasons for drinking, if he controls it - or it controls him, inability to prioritise other people, events etc over drinking....I could go on.
You seem fairly self aware and able to acknowledge your own shortcomings, I think you need to look at this situation with real honesty and work out what's best for you and your child. Also, you probably need to scale back your expectations of him as a partner and parent (infuriating and unjust as it is) until he can figure out where he is and if he's prepared to change anything.
It's probably positive that you're not together right now. Look after yourself and son.
Have you heard of al-anon? They're the support network for families of alcoholics and are pretty great.
My dad has a terrible drink and drugs problem and I spent a very very long time thinking that I could help him change...love him enough to inspire change...be important enough to him that eventually he'd prioritise me. Sadly I don't see him anymore. The lesson i learnt is that you can't control their behaviour or drinking. You have to hope they find the incentive to change, and you can then support that. I hope your partner can recognise his need for help.
Here if you'd like to chat.
So sorry and best of luck
I'd thought about going along to an al-anon meeting but part of me feels like a fraud. That said, I can't deny that I am affected by his drinking. DP finds it difficult to talk about anything and in stressful times retreats to the pub. If we row, he'll storm out and go to the pub, or go to his sister's or a mate's house house to drink. I struggle with depression and anxiety and he feels powerless when I'm feeling low so will retreat to the pub. So much crap stuff has happened when drink has been involved, but I guess I've been minimising it to make me feel better and give me hope that things might improve
You have to learn how to be a single parent. Clear rules and boundaries, access and maintainence.
Make a clean break, none of that "we are'nt together at the moment" balls, it will just result in a confused child.
Do what's best for you and your son, and trying to make it work with his Father does'nt sound like the best thing for either of you.
I know, I've been there and we are much better parents apart.
Op in sorry to heat you are going through this.
Lying is a major symptom of addiction, and your oh sounds like he has a problem that he is nor willing to admit to. It does sound from the info you have given that he comes from a family of alcoholics. I've not had a sheltered life, but I can't believe that many mothers hit so drunk on the afternoon of mother's day, that they were slurring their words.
Arm yourself with some information, aa have a great organisation called alanon for those who are emotionally involved with alcoholics, look on their website.
Your oh sounds as if he functions quite well, but if alcohol or any substance has such a central part in anyone's life, it's a talk red flag.
Glad you have your mum to turn to.
I think I probably knew that learning to be a single parent was the most likely option, I just hoped there was another way
When I was pregnant DP's drinking got really bad (coming home so drunk I woke up to him trying to wee on me because he'd mistaken the bedroom for the bathroom etc) but I kept giving him the benefit of the doubt because I hoped he would change when baby arrived. I can't lie, I feel utterly heartbroken to think that he isn't going to change anytime soon
Oh newbirds that's all shades of shit, I'm so sorry.
The near future might look dramatically different to the one you thought you had planned, but I think it will be a hell of a lot better than the one you'll have if you stay. If you keep asking of him more than he is prepared to give it will likely sap a lot of your wellbeing and happiness. Going forward alone, being a good parent to your little boy and hoping that in time he'll get help and his act together is the best advice I can give.
Where did you say you're living?
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