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Had argument with DP over drinking now he hasn't come home from the shop

(112 Posts)
youcanbetonHOLD Sun 08-Dec-19 23:43:59

Shitting it.
Recently decided to come down hard on DPs drinking and not be an enabler like I have been for the past 6 years. Pregnant again so that's why it feels more urgent now.

He regularly drinks large amounts. At least 8 cans. He drinks at least 3/4 times a week.
He will go to the shop at 11 and even ride his bike to the further one which is open later and much further away, just for beer and fags.

Tonight was more of the same. We went to the pub for dinner with our three kids. He had two pints. Brought 8 cans on way back. Only three left. He left at 10:40/45 to make it before shop closes for cigarettes and beer.

I took the house key and told him I don't want him smoking or drinking anymore. We had a big argument and heart to heart only two or three days ago where he swore he would stop.

Well its been 40 mins. And he isn't back from the SHOP. Only 5 mins there and back on the bike.
He is showing me who is boss isn't he? I don't know what to do.
I have called local pubs. Most are shutting now anyway. And friends who live nearby.
He has no family he sees anymore so I don't know where he could be.
I am worried he is hurt.
I am also worried I have unintentionally given him an ultimatum and he has chosen beer and fucking fags.

He said he was going for cigarettes but it would have been for beer as well.
He got through 5 cans in about an hour and a half.

I am worried about him long term.
And short term.

He agreed he had a problem and joined an online community for about a month about 2 years ago. Then he started drinking again and all arguments are deflected. He will stop drinking when I cut down on sugar. Or work out every day or start running (not being a dick- they were my failing goals)
He will not admit it is a problem anymore, even after our breakthrough.
Now I am worried he is out on his bike pissed up and Could be in serious danger. I would rather him home drinking than out in a mood. He didn't even take his phone! He let me go on it while he went to the shop because mine was dead.

He is lovely and kind and caring 90% of the time.
A functioning alcoholic though.
I am not going to leave him but the kids say things about daddy's drinking beer and mommy's drinking tea.
'I'm daddy I have whisky' etc. So very much affe ting them already.

His argument used to be that his dad used to drink 4 cans most night. Even if it was the last bit of money in the bank (I know it's true)

BeanTownNancy Mon 09-Dec-19 12:50:32

My father in law still doesn't accept he had a drinking problem, and he was in the ICU for a couple of weeks with the DTs after his pancreas straight-up died from alcohol abuse. They have to want to stop.

SleepingSoul Mon 09-Dec-19 12:50:34

I feel for you OP, I've sort of been there, minimising his behaviour and making excuses but the clouds parted once I ended it and I now see very clearly that a dad who prioritised his relationship with alcohol over his relationship with DC isn't a good dad, and that you set a very low bar if you think he's a good partner because he isn't violent.

I was afraid to end it because ex earned much more than me and I was worried about how I'd cope as a single mum. And I kept using DD as an excuse. As she moved from babyhood to preschool to school routines kept changing and there were different demands and I told myself it would get better when things were more settled and there were less demands but realised that it was a) never really going to happen and b) that if it did he still was unlikely to change. He accepted he might have an issue but wouldn't do anything about it. I had probably been debating leaving him for 5 or 6 years when I finally said no more.

As you said about your "d"p he thought it was ok to be drinking/ drunk because DD didn't see it, but it got to a point where he was starting earlier in the evening and /or carrying on until breakfast time the next day. I told him that was my absolute line in the sand, he told me he didn't think her seeing him at breakfast after a 12 hr session was an issue and that was that. That was how far removed from reality he is.

I had been using websites to find out what my position would be if we split, what financial support I might be eligible for, what might happen to our assets if we split etc so made that final decision feeling fairly comfortable that DD and I would be ok. And you know what, we're doing far better than I thought because I hadn't realised how heavily I was subsidising his drinking and socialising, I've made massive savings because I'm not propping him up.

My parents are still together and I'm sad I couldn't give my daughter that but now she's over the initial adjustment she's much happier now. She had made the odd comment about her dad's drinking and him being horrible to me, and we're both free of that now.

Sorry for the essay, but please do look at creating options for you and your kids, it might not be as bleak as you think especially if you have savings.

MapMyMum Mon 09-Dec-19 12:54:28

My dad was wonderful, kind, patient, got down on the floor and played with us etc. But he was an alcoholic, high functioning, worked hard and earnt good money. The only bad thing about him was he was an alcoholic, and he wasnt an angry drunk, he never rolled around drunk, he was a chilled guy when drunk. But it seriously has affected me in many ways. If you read a list of typical things that adult children of alcoholics do/feel, I do/have 90% of them. I never went hungry, I was never scared or hurt etc but him always drinking and being a drunk has affected me and my siblings in ways I never would've imagined, because he didnt seem like a bad drunk, iykwim.

Please please get him help, if not for him then for your kids

welshladywhois40 Mon 09-Dec-19 13:31:36

Hi, sorry I have only partially read your thread but you have asked a couple of times how you stop enabling him to drink.

Firstly it is always his decision to drink. You do not drive him to drink. If he doesn't see an issue then he won't stop or cut down.

My story is depressing and uplifting - my ex husband was an alcoholic who would have been called a functioning alcoholic who I believe was made redundant due to drinking at work - easier to redundancy then dismissal.

That led to a terrible spiral of more daytime drinking and I tired everything, no booze in the house - took his bank cards away. He aways found money, always drank. I left him after 5 years of this.

Initially he thanked me as he hit a rock bottom and was trying to get help. However he was found dead a couple of months ago as he just couldn't get past it.

My life now is totally different - I left him very much in debt (alcohol isn't cheap) and have got through that, new partner beautiful son.

I wish I had gone sooner - maybe if I had the help we was getting would have helped if earlier. Show your partner my message. My ex started on wine working up to a bottle of vodka a day.

SallyWD Mon 09-Dec-19 15:57:18

My ex was an alcoholic. For many years I tried everything I could to get him to stop. I was loving and empathetic, I was angry, I was tearful, I was practical and organised his doctor's appointments and AA meetings for him. I ran out of ideas until I finally realised this wasn't about me, there was NOTHING I could do. It was about him. I realised I enabled him by paying the rent, earning a wage, buying food. He had a roof over his head, a loving partner and food to eat. He literally had nothing to worry about except getting alcohol. I look back at those years and feel sick remembering it. I was utterly miserable and anxious. I hid it from the world. Everyone thought I was so happy but the stress took a terrible toll on me. We had no kids. I can't imagine going through all that with kids to look after. Life has been so much better since we split. In your situation I would move you and the kids out and say its over until he can stop drinking and seek help. I think he'll only take you seriously if you actually leave.

lazylinguist Mon 09-Dec-19 16:09:14

It must be incredibly hard for you, OP. But it's clear from your posts that this is already affecting your children. Do you want them to be like the posters on here one day, sharing their awful childhood experiences of living with an alcoholic father enabled by their mother?

Caledoniahasmyheartforever Mon 09-Dec-19 17:29:43

Sending flowers @youcanbetonHOLD. I’m so sorry you have received such vitriol when you have done nothing wrong! Mumsnet can be wonderfully supportive but has a habit of showing the absolute worst of humanity-how anyone can tear into a heavily pregnant woman, calling her selfish for bringing another life into this world is lower than low!

Hold your head up high, you are a good partner and a good Mother and your dc are so lucky to have you as a constant in their lives. Your beautiful babies have as much right to life as any other child! Having an alcoholic parent does not make you worthless or undeserving of life!

Does your Dp know that your dc role play Daddy being drunk? Does he know how distressed your babies were when you drank an energy drink, or that they were terrified that Mummy was going to get drunk too? If he knows and doesn’t care, then he is beyond caring for you or your babies. If he doesn’t know, then don’t hide it from him, he needs to know the impact that his drinking is having on your babies! Your dc are still young and you have time to turn things around.

Can I ask why you think you would need to leave the house? As Mother of your dc with full time custody, you and your dc should be able to stay in your family home. Your dp should be leaving! He will still have to provide for you and your dc, he doesn’t get to stop contributing just because you have split up.

Have you seen any bank statements recently for your dp? I ask because it’s very likely he has been using his savings to fund his addiction.

In your shoes I would give your dp an ultimatum, tell him that you won’t allow him to continue abusing alcohol in the same home as your dc. Either he admits he has a problem, genuinely seeks help for it by going to the gp and joining AA and committing to a proper attempt to stop drinking OR your relationship is over. If he refuses to admit he has a problem then tell him to leave, and mean it. If you can, ask a friend to take your dc out for a few hours so you and your dp can have a proper chat.

No matter your DP’s decision, I would look up your local meetings for family members, you will need their support

I am so sorry you are in this situation, you should be enjoying your pregnancy, not worrying whether your dp is at the bottom of a ditch having gone out for more drink.

Interestedwoman Mon 09-Dec-19 18:13:22

'It is hard to rent with universal credit now too.'

Landlords don't have to know you're on it. Just don't tell them. I used to invent an imaginary job and say I worked for a friend, and get them to give me a reference.

inkysplatter Mon 09-Dec-19 20:13:08

Possibly a very unpopular opinion but if he's not violent or abusive I would not be putting my kids in temptation accommodation and trying to survive off benefits unless Labour win next week.

I have a friend who lived in temp accommodation in the 90s and it sounded horrific, sex works and their clients coming through the room whilst he was doing homework etc. There was a lot more funding for it then as well.
I'd start saving any spare money you can. Encourage your partner to seek help. Be firm, but focus on yourself. Focus on what you can do in the future to become financially independent as soon as possible. Are you qualified? If not, what roles could you do in the future to help support your family? Maybe you partner will get help and change, maybe not, but you're going to have 4 kids including a newborn. Make a plan for your future and focus on you. Unless you're in danger I wouldn't leave without being ready.

Ginfordinner Mon 09-Dec-19 22:15:32

I’m so sorry you have received such vitriol when you have done nothing wrong!

I don't think that posters are being vitriolic as such, but many are speaking from bitter experience, and are perhaps being a little harsh because the OP keeps saying "yes but" instead of trying to face up to an extremely unpalatable truth.

SIL is retired now, and has a bitter, lonely retirement because her husband is in permanent residential care with advanced cirrhosis of the liver. He has alcoholic encephalopathy because his liver can't process the toxins in his body any more and it has affected his brain.

Interestedwoman Mon 09-Dec-19 22:30:50

;I have a friend who lived in temp accommodation in the 90s and it sounded horrific, sex works and their clients coming through the room whilst he was doing homework etc. There was a lot more funding for it then as well.'

IDK what sort of temporary accomodation that was, but I was given a lovely flat to live in just for me. This was about 6 years ago. I was in a council B&B before that, but only for a fortnight.

I was in the temporary flat for about 6 weeks/2 months before getting my own flat. My priority was on grounds of disability. The flat was just a council flat in a block, like any other council flat, but decorated really nicely and with the basics already in.

All of this is moot, though, as it is the 'D'P who should leave, if anyone.
Oh and OP, my consultant gave me the details of a program to stop drinking (just a course for a couple of hours once a week for 6 weeks) last year. I think the person still has to make the call themselves- you self refer to these programmes.

Inpatient treatment tends to be only for those who are severely physically dependent, and need medications such as valium or whatever and close monitoring because stopping drinking could kill them.

There are different levels of alcohol abuse/dependence which professionals use to choose the appropriate treatment.

If he isn't dangerously physically dependent, stopping drinking isn't unthinkable (as you've seen, he can stop/cut down etc.) The problem is staying stopped.
You can see, as others have mentioned and must've brought home to you, the effect this is having on your DCs- the fear, the normalisation of alcohol abuse etc. I don't have the answers but you either need him to genuinely get help, or to split up with him. Hugs and best wishes xxxxx

YouSir12345678 Tue 10-Dec-19 14:29:38

OP, you and your kids leaving (or you kicking him out, if you can) could save his life.

If he realises he's lost you all, and then also has to manage without you, it could be the rock bottom that helps him to change. The best thing you can do to help him would be to leave or get him to do so.

There's nothing you can do while living with him that will help him - the most helpful thing you can do right now is live apart from him, because so long as he's still got his partner and family around him he can kid himself it's not that bad, and so he'll keep on drinking and wrecking his body more and more and more, till by the time the physical damage alone is enough to create a rock bottom situation it's too late.

You can also make it clear to your kids that you will always be a family (this would hold true even if you went on to divorce), he will always be their dad, but that daddy is drinking too much for him to live with anyone else. You can be clear to the oldest ones that you still love him and don't think he's a bad person, and that this is just about what happens when someone drinks far too much, that they end up not being able to live with their family any more. That no one who has an alcoholic family member ever has to live with them or stay in a relationship with them, even if they might still love them.

It is not a measure of your love for someone that you live with them even though they're a serious alcoholic, any more than it would be a measure of your love for someone to live with them even though they had rabies. Some illnesses are just not the kind you can live alongside, sometimes the best treatment is not to try to.

The best way to deal with the real enemy here, which is alcohol, is to separate you and your children from your dh, which will both protect your children (and teach them an important lesson about what they have and don't have to put up with as adults themselves) and will help your dp far more than anything you can do by staying.

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