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To expect DH not to stay out all night drinking?

(27 Posts)
Onvacation Thu 20-Apr-17 10:55:02

I've name changed.

I'm feeling massively depressed because my DH's drinking is causing massive problems in our relationship. He thinks I'm being unreasonable and his behaviour is normal. I think his behaviour is uncontrolled and I resent it, and him.

The context is that I don't drink. I'm allergic. When we met he lied about how much he drinks. I did realise that he was a heavy drinker, but I have always been clear that I can't live with a heavy drinker. I hate his behaviour when he drinks. I hate the fact that he can't drink in moderation (he is a binge drinker mainly). When he starts he doesn't want to stop. He is a arse when he drinks, but I have no tolerance for drunk people. However, at our age, nobody I know really gets totally drunk anymore. He still does. He slurs and sways. Through our relationship his drinking has been more of a problem, and he stopped totally for about 10 months. He then started again (not telling me). He has said he would stop again since, but generally doesn't do it for more than a few weeks (and lies to me about it).

Mainly, he doesn't come home when he says he will, sometimes he doesn't come home at all. He is hungover but hasn't drunk to the stage of throwing up for ages. This will happen even if it is his responsibility to take the kids to school or other things are happening. I never know when (if) he will be home, and sometimes I don't know where the car will be (although he somehow manages to get it home, he tells me other people drive it back).

For me, all this is totally unacceptable. I do not want my children to see him that hung over. I do not want them exposed to someone who has no control over their alcohol.

For him, it only happens once a week at most. He says everyone does it (because the group of single or childless people he hangs out with when doing it all do it a lot more often than he does).

I don't want to live with it. I don't want to spend another second of my life worrying about when or if he is going to come home. I don't want the continual text conversations of 'where are you, when are you home' 'I'll be home at x time' then the time passes and it repeats, until it becomes 'soon, don't worry'. I don't want to spend any more time with someone hung over.

But I know I don't drink, and so I have zero tolerance. I can't stand his utter lack of ability to control what he is doing, and I hate him drunk. How 'normal' is this and AIBU to tell him I will not live with this?

UndersecretaryofWhimsy Thu 20-Apr-17 10:57:40

It's not at all normal, and he has a drinking problem

You've answered your own question really. You can't live like this, so don't. End it and go.

Onvacation Thu 20-Apr-17 11:03:39

And if it happens less than once a week, say once every two or three weeks, or even once a month (it probably feels more often to me because I resent it so much each time it does happen)?

I do agree he has a drink problem. His lack of ability to control is a drink problem. But when ever I look at information on drink problems they talk about the drinking daily, or the getting drunk , and when he did go to the Dr to ask for help, he was told it wasn't serious enough (the Dr literally told him that).

MsMontyWomble Thu 20-Apr-17 11:20:20

You have literally just described my life!!!
I left my ex-P last week after the most hellish night and I said enough was enough. 10 years and 2 kids - he has stopped drinking before - oddly for 10 months like your OH but started again and I was too weak to follow through on my threat to leave.
But now I have, he is attending AA but for himself and our kids. I have told him I am done. I will support him as I want him to get well. But I am not a part of his life in that way anymore.
A person can only be pushed so far. I have been very honest with him since we split of all the hurt he has caused and he has been accepting of this.
My advice. Honestly, leave - you are worth more, and deserve more.
I could not spend the next 10 years or 20 or 30, repeating the same old horrible cycle we were in.
I believe me, him and the kids will all be happier moving forward from here.

UndersecretaryofWhimsy Thu 20-Apr-17 11:44:51

Some people wouldn't call him an alcoholic (yet), no, and the NHS won't take much interest while he has a job and home and isn't in liver failure. But if he can't have one drink and stop and he can't parent his children properly because of his drinking, he has a drinking problem.

Plus, who cares whether he would be formally diagnosed with alcoholism? The way you live is intolerable to you and will negatively impact on your children. You don't need a GP's permission to say that this behaviour is unacceptable TO YOU.

Problem drinkers and alcoholics always say everyone else does it/more because a. They want this to be true and b. They hang out with other alcoholics. Most people with kids would not consider this normal or acceptable. YANBU.

Onvacation Thu 20-Apr-17 12:47:53

Undersecretary thank you for your response. What you say is pretty much the way I feel.

MsMonty I can't read your reply without the tears. I don't want this to continue, but I do want him in my life, and the life of our children. 90% of the time things are great. Probably 95% of the time. But I have told him so many times that this is not acceptable.

He does have an alcohol problem. But he doesn't really seem to want to change, and so I have to make a decision. It feels like the decision is do I wait until it gets worse, because it has before, and then perhaps he thinks about changing, or do I make a decision now. His family are all heavy drinkers, he grew up in an environment where getting drunk was acceptable. His friends are heavy drinkers (through his work).

Kicking him out feels like a massive thing, and yet Undersecretary, as you say, it isn't normal, and I shouldn't have to put up with it.

So very sad.

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Thu 20-Apr-17 12:51:11

Not in his defence but in his eyes you married him knowing he liked drink. . In his eyes you have moved the goalposts by complaining about it now - that why he says you are the one being unreasonable. .I agree though it's no life for any of you. .
As they say here it really is time to ltb.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Thu 20-Apr-17 12:55:03

Whilst it might not be a priority for the health service, it's not good for him and it's certainly not good for your family. I would genuinely think about some time apart. Drinking for him is more important than you or your children, that can't be acceptable. Objectively it doesn't look like things are great 90% of the time, in reality aren't you unhappy far more often?

I agree to my DH having a night out every 2-3 weeks where he does stay out all night (actually gets a hotel room and is in bed by 12) because of the difficulty getting home alone. I know he'll be in to work the next day on time and if he has a mild hangover it won't impact on anyone other than him. I reckon he might have a heavy night on the booze 5 times a year, for stag dos and work parties. Again, I know where he is, we agree it upfront, he doesn't just leave me with the children.

Onvacation Thu 20-Apr-17 12:59:03

Justmadeperfect - you are right that I realised that he was more than a social drinker before we married. But before we married he tried hypnosis to help him to drink less (his idea not mine). What he did do before we married was to reduce the amount of daily drinking. I was always very clear that I did not like the binge drinking, and I did not like him drunk, and I didn't like it when he drank with me. On our wedding day, he really tried not to drink too much (normally it would be an occasion he would get smashed). He has reduced what he drinks. He doesn't drink in the house, and he doesn't drink with me. However, what he has never been able to stop is what happens when he starts drinking when he is out without me, which is essentially that he can't stop.

I think in his opinion, because he drinks so much less than he did, and he just gets drunk out with his friends, maximum of once a week, that is okay, and I should just let that happen.

But I don't want to. Not least because he NEVER says he plans to go out and stay out late (he says that is because I always disapprove). He also cannot decide to go out for a couple and come home, UNLESS he is with people who don't get as drunk as his 'drinker' friends. But he misses commitments, he lies about it, and he is remorseful and then all goes back to the same thing.

Onvacation Thu 20-Apr-17 13:05:22

Testing if he was back by 12, I could live with that. But he doesn't have to get up for work (self employed), and so he has no reason to be back. He also does the few weekends a year, staying away.

But I hate the getting drunk and coming home at 4am, not being able to look after the kids. I have had to change my plans on a number of occasions so I could cover for him. In the past, I used to trust he would be home by a certain time, and then it would be a bit later, and then a lot later. And now it is often the not at all. He doesn't tell me he is staying out. He just doesn't come home. And then he is in the house, stinking of alcohol. His family are partly the reason for his awful relationship with alcohol, and I do NOT want my children to think that this is at all acceptable. I do not want them to think that being drunk in your 40s is fine.

I don't know how to manage time apart. I don't know if he will agree. And I don't know what my children would think. It would be MASSIVE for them. At the moment, they are young enough that they don't really register Daddy hung over.

ginnybag Thu 20-Apr-17 13:10:53

I agree it sounds like he has a problem but is the core of the problem for you the fact that he drinks, or is it the lack of predictability the way he drinks causes in your lives?

I.e. could you deal with it if he did like a PP DH, and scheduled 1 or 2 nights per month where you knew he was going to be out drinking, staying in a hotel and you knew he wouldn't be back till lunch the next day? This would mean you knew when it was happening and wouldn't have to see it or deal with it or him whilst it did.

There's no reason why you should have to agree to such an arrangement - I wouldn't be able to live with someone with that little self control tbh at all - but if you don't want to deal with him drunk, can't take the unpredictable nature of his drinking and don't want to split up with him, all you are left with is compromise - and this might be one you can live with.

Presupposing you think he would stick to it, and not just take the piss with how often/what time he was back and the costs of it, of course.

pinkie1982 Thu 20-Apr-17 13:17:57

I could have written this post myself.
Xmas week my DP was out 5 nights, none of them home before 2am. I made him leave. He stayed at his mums for two weeks. I told him it is not normal behaviour and that I do not want DS thinking it is.
He came back saying it was his house too so tough. He didn't do it again until two weeks ago. He plays pool and last week he didn't come home until after 4am. This time it resulted in an argument in the morning, he had to look after DS all day so I could work and he wouldn't get up as he was 'tired'. His reasoning is 'can't I live a normal life like everyone else'. This isn't normal, not what grown men with families do and the exact reason why I made him leave at Xmas.
Last week he said he knows he has a problem but that's as far as it gets.

Honeybee79 Thu 20-Apr-17 13:27:13

I'm not qualified to say whether he's actually an alcoholic or not, but what you describe sounds horrible to live with.

Would he consider AA? Or are you at the point where you just want to leave regardless?

Think about getting some help from Al-Anon. They do great work supporting people affected by someone else's drinking.

Gottagetmoving Thu 20-Apr-17 13:43:47

It is not normal or acceptable behaviour and not everyone does it or think it is ok.
If you have talked about it with him and he seems he does not want to change there is not much you can do to change him.
You have to decide what you will put up with and let him know that you cannot live with him whilst he is like this.
It may not be a problem to him but it is to you and your children.

As it is, I think you need to live apart from him until ( if ever) he accepts he has an alcohol problem and seeks help.
In the meantime look up Al Anon who can give you some support on how to deal with this.

ApplePaltro33 Thu 20-Apr-17 14:01:51

well, you married and had kids with an alcoholic. Try al-anon?

the fact that you don't drink is probably skewing your own perspective. he's not a drinker, he's an ALCOHOLIC. if he wanted to have wine in the house and you'd said no, that would be a conflict between a non drinker and a drinker. This is an alcoholic and their likely enabler. you are acting as if you are at different ends of the spectrum but you are not. he is an alcoholic. even if you drank every weekend, you would still be nothing like him. And your children aren't going to be damaged by seeing their father drunk, they are going to be damaged by being the children of an active alcoholic.

you need to get to the ultimatums or leave part soon.

also worth noting that if his family have a problem with alcohol, your children may be susceptible to it too. there can be a genetic component. if you raise your kids in a chaotic home with an alcoholic, you are giving them the exact grounding to make it likely they will also abuse alcohol and other substances. and he hasn't come close to rock bottom yet. could you forgive yourself if your kids' lives were destroyed by addiction? i'm not sure i could. please give them every chance.

Meekonsandwich Thu 20-Apr-17 22:25:34

I feel for you.
But like they say, you didn't cause it and you can't change it.

They have to change it.

You have 3 choices,
1. Stay and accept.
As this is making you unhappy this isn't a great option.
2. Stay but tell him specifically what has to change in order for you to stay.
To be honest this doesn't work because they don't believe the situation is that bad and you haven't left yet so you probably won't.
3. Leave and not come back until he gets help.
The most drastic, but the most likely to work. I'm not saying it will work, he could use it as an excuse to drink and not want to change.

Myself I'm going with number 2 at the moment. In sickness and In health and all that, however I've set clear boundaries,
I will not tolerate binge drinking, I will not buy your drink, I will not be around you when you're drunk and you have to get help (councelling/therapy) and attempt to cut down. if i see effort, I stay. If not, nothing will change and I'm gone. I know it's hard, but you know what's harder? Watching someone you love hurting themselves and disappointing their children and dying through drug related disease.

Meekonsandwich Thu 20-Apr-17 22:27:56

And it's not helpful saying "you married and had kids with an alcoholic"
People minimise their issues in the early years. They hide their flaws and things get worse over the years when responsibilities grow.

Honeybee79 Thu 20-Apr-17 22:48:11

Agree Meek. Problems deepen and the pressures increase over time. Addictions creep up on people. Not helpful for others to simply shrug and say, "you married and had kids with an alcoholic". It's unlikely to be that simple.

Daydream007 Thu 20-Apr-17 23:19:57

He has a problem. If he is not willing to get help them leave. You can't bring up kids in a house with him being like that. You leaving might be the wake up call he needs and you would be going him a favour.

Onvacation Fri 21-Apr-17 09:29:40

Thank you all so much for your thoughts and experiences. Last night he refused to leave but he went out at my request so I could spend the evening without him in the house. I think he is going to stay in a hotel tonight and tomorrow. I told him that I was hoping it would be a permanent move, and I think he was scared if he went I would never let him come back. But I really don't know. I haven't spoken to him yet. Having realised on Wednesday that he wasn't at the club but round at someone's house, and that would have been the case each time he has been out, I realise that each time he has been out he hasn't been where I thought he was.

Onvacation Fri 21-Apr-17 09:34:53

Just to say clearly, I really am incredibly grateful to you all for sharing experiences and thoughts. I have told nobody in the real world but I really needed to check my perspective wasn't totally screwed or unreasonable. So a really genuine and deep felt thank you.

supermoon100 Fri 21-Apr-17 22:39:24

Good luck with it all flowers

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sat 22-Apr-17 07:14:50

Don't be reluctant to tell people in real life if you think that would help you. You're entitled to support and you gave nothing to be ashamed of.

MrsBobDylan Sat 22-Apr-17 07:39:58

I agree with a pp that he is an alcoholic. Also, I would think it highly unlikely someone else is driving his car home after his alcoholic binges. It would mean one of his drinking buddies was sober and that they then walk/take a taxi to their house after dropping him and his car at yours. Stop ignoring the obvious and letting him pretend you both believe his lie. Drink driving is more than him or you and his kids, it puts all of us in danger and is a disgusting thing to do.

I say all this as the daughter of a drink driving, binge drinking alcoholic. My dad eventually gave up when I was a young adult but not before his drinking had largely taken my childhood.

I think you and your kids deserve better.

Bibs2014 Sat 22-Apr-17 08:30:22

My DH was like this. It was really hard to get through to him that, so what if his friends drunk, I didn't want HIM to drink. I was a drinker too, but I didn't drink like him. I would know when to stop, he'd just keep going for the sake of it. I hated it.

It all came to a head one night when he'd drunk a bottle of wine and then cracked open the beers, at home on his own. I came home and went mental. I videoed his behaviour towards me when I drunk. We argued till 2am. The worst thing was we'd been TTC for ages and I'd cut right back to help our chances. I was so upset.

I showed him the video the next day. He was horrified. He then admitted he'd lied about the amount he'd drunk.

From then on he cut right back, even gave up for 3 months when the doc told him he needed to so we could have IVF.

I still don't like the way he drinks on the occasions he does drink TBH. I feel he uses it as an excuse to just drink more. But he drinks way way less than he used to. You feel like a nag though don't you? Men!!!

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