DH got drunk and binned DS’s birthday balloon

(71 Posts)
RealNameChanger Sat 12-Jun-21 18:41:21

The short story: after an evening of drinking, husband popped DS’s perfectly decent 3 day old helium birthday balloon. He can’t remember doing it, but yet he can remember that apparently I told him to do it, so it’s my fault that DS was upset to find out his balloon was gone.

The rest of the details:

Two of our children have birthdays days apart. I got them both helium birthday number balloons this year, first time we’ve done this.

On the eve of the second birthday in the same week, once I’d put the soon to be birthday child to bed, I brought the balloon and presents out of their hiding place, ready for the morning.

DH made a comment that we should “Get rid of the other balloon so it doesn’t look like DD is turning 85 tomorrow”. I can’t remember exactly what I said in response, but I probably concurred with a “yes if you think so” because in my head I remember thinking “yes we could move it to a different room if we are that worried about causing confusion, but I don’t think it’s a big deal and neither child will be bothered either way”. I definitely did not at any point in this short exchange think that DH meant bin it, and definitely would not have agreed to that. Because it’s wasteful, and was a present for our DS that he had been enjoying - who pops a child’s balloon whilst it is still perfectly decent?!

As well as our three older children, we have a young baby. When he woke sometime around 10pm, I went up to settle him and then go to bed myself. I said goodnight to DH, eldest DS (11 years), and DHs two friends who were over for dinner, and left them finishing up the board game they had been playing. I asked DH to finish writing his bit in DDs birthday card from us and leave it with the balloon and presents for her.

DD had a lovely birthday the next day. Except her birthday card from us was missing and DH couldn’t remember what he had done with it, although he did remember finishing the card.

Fast forward to later in the afternoon, DS came to me in tears because his older brother had told him that him and his dad had popped his birthday balloon and put it in the bin. This sounded absurd to me, so I told him not to worry, of course no one would have binned his balloon, they would have just put it in another room.

DH said he couldn’t remember, so me and DS went on a hunt around the house for his balloon, but couldn’t find it. Older DS was adamant that he watched his dad pop the balloon and put it in the bin before they went to bed the night before. So I asked DH again about the balloon and he still couldn’t remember what he had done with it (it wasn’t in the bin, which was why I was sure it must be intact somewhere in the house) but then he said “You did tell me to get rid of it”. So he was admitting that he’d “got rid of it” despite not remembering how or where, and at the same time being able to remember that it was my fault. Cue a small debate in our kitchen whilst everyone was in the garden out of earshot about the dictionary definition of “get rid” and me being quite confused as to why someone would pop and bin a child’s birthday balloon without their consent that had only been bought a couple of days ago. He concluded that whatever happened it was my fault as I’d asked him to “get rid” (apparently now remembering that I had told him to get rid, not the other way round)

He asked me to stop going on about it, as we had family guests over for the birthday, and he “didn’t understand why I was making a big deal about it”. So I have an upset DS who has been told it’s my fault his balloon was binned, an older DS who is probably hugely confused after watching his dad bin the balloon and then outright not remember anything about it the next day, and yet it somehow all happened because of me but I don’t have the right to ask questions about what happened to lead to me getting the blame?

DH also showed no remorse and gave no apology to DS for binning his balloon, he just didn’t seem to care about it at all, but I suspect he was being blasé so as to brush it under the carpet before his family were aware of his actions (they were present at the house at the time).

We also have still not located the birthday card from us to DD. Two weeks later, after several full house cleans, it has not turned up. I suspect it probably accidentally ended up in the bin with the balloon as if it were in the house I think it would have turned up by now. It’s not a huge deal, just frustrating in a ‘you only had one job’ type situation, and the only cards I keep from birthdays are the ones DH and I write to the children, so it was of some importance to me even if DD couldn’t care less about cards at 5 years old.

His behaviour when drinking does bother me (lots of incidents of misremembering or compete memory blackouts of stupid things he’s done) But it’s been a long year and a half of lockdowns, life stresses, and a new baby - I feel like I’m doubting my confidence to know what is normal couple bickering / misunderstandings, and what is something a bit more than that. I also feel a bit silly writing this many words about a saga with a birthday balloon 🙄Although obviously, it’s more than that, and I feel either he genuinely can't remember, or that he is gaslighting me by telling me it's my fault and that I'm making a mountain out of a molehill.

Am I being unreasonable in making a big deal out of a simple miscommunication? Or is something a bit off with DH's actions here?

OP’s posts: |
Hoppinggreen Sat 12-Jun-21 18:44:44

Well it’s not about a balloon or a card is it?
It’s the fact that he obviously has an issue with alcahol and it impacts you and your children.
If you continue to tolerate it you are setting them up for a life of shit birthdays

poorfanjo Sat 12-Jun-21 18:44:44

Not being unreasonable! He doesn't care does he? Doesn't care that he lost his daughters card, doesn't care his older child watched him pop a 3 year olds birthday balloon and then deny it later and he doesn't care about his child's birthday balloon.

Nanny0gg Sat 12-Jun-21 18:45:51

You appear to be married to a drunk.

What do you want to do about it?

Aquamarine1029 Sat 12-Jun-21 18:46:35

His behaviour when drinking does bother me (lots of incidents of misremembering or compete memory blackouts of stupid things he’s done)

It should do more than bother you, it should be completely unacceptable. Drinking to the point of not remembering is a deal breaker as far as I'm concerned, and doing so at home with your children is beyond horrible. Raise your standards and refuse to live like this.

SuperSecretSquirrels Sat 12-Jun-21 18:48:20

I’d be worried if he genuinely doesn’t remember. That’s weird to the point of needing to get medical help.

If he does remember but isn’t owning up then he’s an arse.

Shehasadiamondinthesky Sat 12-Jun-21 18:48:55

I'd be very concerned about him being in charge of children when he has a drink problem, it sounds like he cannot be trusted.


RugratMum Sat 12-Jun-21 18:50:27


You appear to be married to a drunk.

What do you want to do about it?


It's not normal to get absolutely blotto by yourself on a standard day. Either that or he's a narcissist who is never wrong- it's not his fault because it didn't happen, and if it did happen it's still not his fault. My narcissist mother has a memory like a sieve where fault is involved. Has he admitted fault on any other occasion?

Bvop Sat 12-Jun-21 18:51:11

The balloon isn’t a big issue. The alcohol is.

HavelockVetinari Sat 12-Jun-21 18:51:53

If he has blackouts he has an alcohol problem. Aside from that, he's a grown man, married with 4 children, it's utterly unacceptable to be getting blackout drunk the night before your child's birthday, who the fuck does that?

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeep Sat 12-Jun-21 18:51:53

How unfortunate having 4 kids with a drunk idiot. You know he won't change so are you planning to just live with it forever?

CanofCant Sat 12-Jun-21 18:53:02

He sounds fucking useless. You must be exhausted from carrying him.

lazee Sat 12-Jun-21 18:53:30

He's a twat.
Hope you and your kids are happy 😊

LagunaBubbles Sat 12-Jun-21 18:53:57

Why are you with him, really?

Couchbettato Sat 12-Jun-21 18:56:54

YABU buying balloons when they're terrible for the environment.

{Misses point of thread entirely}

Eskarina1 Sat 12-Jun-21 19:01:44

I think your 11 witnessing this behaviour in his dad, and your DH showing no remorse for upsetting your 8 year old and just blaming you needs to be a catalyst for change of some kind.

KeepingTrack Sat 12-Jun-21 19:08:35

Yep he is an alcoholic.

He is also a twat for the way he reacted to the consequences of his actions

The first I would do is to straighten the situation with ds so he isn’t convinced YOU are the one who got rid of the ballon.

pickingdaisies Sat 12-Jun-21 19:08:44

So why aren't you getting angry? How dare he tell you not to make a fuss, while he blithely blames you for everything that can't even remember! He's a complete arse.

RealNameChanger Sat 12-Jun-21 19:09:29

His whole family are big social drinkers, plus parents drink a bottle of wine between them most evenings with dinner. So I think he has grown up with the attitude that it is normal to sink a large amount of alcohol on a social occasion ie dinner with friends. Christmas with his in laws is always one of these occasions. He also has a ‘safety net’ in me as the responsible one who doesn’t like to drink too much. He is the one out of his family that takes it too far though. No one else gets blackout drunk. And the rest of his family don’t see the consequences or fallout of his actions. So I’m the only one pulling him up on it. But sometimes (like this occasion) he makes me feel like I’m the one in the wrong, so I can’t tell him his behaviour was unacceptable, because he’s already told me it was my fault. Then I post here and you guys make me realise that my instincts were right and I shouldn’t have let him dismiss me, I should have been more convicted to tell him it’s unacceptable.

He’s not dependant on alcohol. He just went 3 months teetotal because was on some fitness kick. He can choose not to drink. But when he chooses to be drunk he is a shitty drunk.

A lot of this has dawned on me in lockdown. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs. Combination of spending way more time together and not with anyone else (so I see the behaviour more), and me having a young baby meaning I’ve had to delegate more tasks to him, normally I guess I do most of the tasks that are important to me to do properly.

Right now I am compiling a list of the times he makes me feel like my grievance is not valid so I can see how much they add up over time. It’s not looking great for our relationship. But the lockdown and new baby is confusing me a bit as to whether things might get smoother again. It’s been a year and a half of weirdness and changes and that muddled things in my head.

OP’s posts: |
aSofaNearYou Sat 12-Jun-21 19:14:16

Tbh I actually think YABU about the balloon thing. "Get rid" means throw away, and you agreed to that. It had been three days since his birthday, it was a disappointing miscommunication but shouldn't really be that big a deal.

However, it's clearly just the straw breaking the camels back for you. If he has an issue with drinking then it needs addressing.

godmum56 Sat 12-Jun-21 19:23:28


You appear to be married to a drunk.

What do you want to do about it?

yest another vote for this.

StopPokingTheRoyalTitDear Sat 12-Jun-21 19:25:43

He’s more than a social drinker if he’s suffering memory issues. Well, actually he’s not suffering from those you and your children seem to be. I understand the frustration about the card and the balloon but his drinking and refusing to own up to shit behaviour is a bigger problem.

BogRollBOGOF Sat 12-Jun-21 19:28:16

The problem is the lack of responsibility for his actions. Getting that drunk is irresponsible and the pattern of it is problem drinking, even if he can go sober for months, if he can't control himself to a sensible level when he does drink, it is problem drinking.
Then he hasn't believed your 11yo's account and is deflecting blame to you, gaslighting you and the 11yo.

If he'd admitted that he doesn't really remember, but accepted the witness account and appologised, there would be much less of an issue.

If he's not willing to acknowledge his behaviour and alcohol issues, your issues are far greater than children being disappointed about the balloon.

SunshineCake Sat 12-Jun-21 19:29:34

Needs telling to get involved in his children's birthdays
Gaslights you
Gaslights the kids
Wants to throw his weight around even if it upsets small children
Is a prick
Fakes memory problems
Is a twat
At the very least he needs to buy dd another card and ds two more balloons

Hankunamatata Sat 12-Jun-21 19:31:10

Balloon is a huge over reaction by you BUT it's not about the balloon really. Its his drinking.

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