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To ask my husband to drink less?

(10 Posts)
Viv180 Tue 21-Jul-09 19:51:31

I have never posted here before, but feel at the end of my tether and really need some advice please...

I am really not sure if this is my problem or my DH's. He drinks at least 4 cans of larger EVERY night - more if he starts early and definately more at weekends - particularly if there is sport on TV!

I hate him drinking. Part of the problem is that my mum is an alcoholic and I had such a hard time growing up with her - she used to embarrass me at school, I had to clean up after her, we were taken into care aged 5 because she could not cope etc, etc

My Husband feels that I just have a hang up about alcohol. He says that he drinks to relax, he does not drink in the mornings (unless 'special occasion!?!') and can go a little while without drinking when he decides to 'detox' but he has not done that in a while.

I have asked him to cut down so many times and he did for a while - went for a few weeks without drinking Monday - Wednesday but that did not last long. As a consession to me, he now drinks the 4% Stella, rather than the stronger stuff, but it still makes me so sad.

We have three children under five and I worry about going out and leaving them with him, particularly at weekends as if they were ill in the night he would not wake up.
He often passes out on the sofa (although he would just say he dozed off)

It can be difficlut to know how his drinking effects his daily life, but he struggles to get up in the mornings (says he is 'tired') he is self employed and money is a big issue - we can not afford for him to lose a couple of hours worth of work in the mornings.

I love him dearly, he is in so many ways a great husband and father but I just can not get past his drinking - he does not get violent but can get mouthy - he will often not remember our 'conversations' and just talks jibberish - I did video him once and played back his drunk monologue but even that had no effect.

If you think I am being unreasonable, please tell me. There is a part of me that would love to hear that this is all down to my perception of alcohol and then maybe I can just accept it and get on with things, but this has made me so sad for so many years.

Sorry to have waffled on, but I really do not have anyone else to talk to about this.

idranktheteaatwork Tue 21-Jul-09 19:56:54

YANBU. His drinking is affecting his day to day life and therefore yours and the childrens. Your mothers alchoholism is not colouring your perceptions here in my opinion.

My dp is a (recovering) alchoholic so i know exactly how you feel about this. I did get to the stage where i would physically wince if i heard a can being opened....

Ultimately you cannot choose for him to stop/cut down his drinking but you can choose how you deal with it and him for yourself. Al-anon are a great organisation for helping the families of those who have drinking issues, have you considered talking to them?

MissMoopy Tue 21-Jul-09 20:01:22

You are not being unreasonable. You clearly had a very difficult childhood and your experiences will of course affect how you feel about your husbands drinking.
However, it does sound like he is drinking too much and as his wife and the mother of his children have every right to ask him to reduce his alcohol use.
He obviously doesn't see his drinking as a problem, but thats common with any dependency issue. You can't force him to stop or reduce his drinking, he will only change when he wants to.
Please get in touch with local alcohol advice centre for details about carer/family support services. Nationally there is Alfam which you will find online.
Good luck xx

sarah293 Tue 21-Jul-09 20:02:28

Message withdrawn

Viv180 Tue 21-Jul-09 20:02:32

I can really relate to the wince when I hear the can opening - particularly when he tells me he will be 'straight up' and I hear him open another can before coming to bed.

I have thought about Al-anon but really worry that I will bump into someone I know...

babyball Tue 21-Jul-09 23:07:42

YANBU - at LEAST four cans every night is a problem if it's something he feels unable to give up. How honest is he actually being about his alcohol consumption? My father has just come out of hospital with severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms and delirium tremens. He is virtually incontinent, confused and has numerous financial problems that myself and my brother are trying to help him with. He is only 62 and his body is completely shot. He started with a few cans a night when we were younger and it went from there. I am by no means saying that this will happen with your DH, but you really need to set some clear boundaries, and yes, threaten to leave if he refuses to cut down dramatically.
Alcohol can a good thing in the main and absolutely fine for most people. My husband and I are no angels and have had lost weekends, crazy nights out and much more in the past, however if you need to drink every night or excessively every weekend, it is something that needs looking at. When you have kids you also have to be really careful what they see and whether the person in charge of them is fit to be so. Most of my siblings and my childhood was lost whilst my mum worked as a waitress most evenings to clear his debts and he snored on the dining room floor. Was forced to grow up very quickly and look after my younger brothers. We never had the opportunity to arrange parties and sleep-overs due to his drunken state.
Perhaps your husband genuinely does not realise that he has a dependence at this stage. It does sound like denial however. Have another talk with him. He cannot expect you to have endured a childhood with an alcoholic parent with little effect and will need to appreciate this. The fact that he cut down for a short time and then went back to normal levels would start warning bells for me. Unfortunately I also speak from bitter experience. I wish you luck and really hope things improve for you.

Lauree Wed 22-Jul-09 00:29:17

Viv, you've recognised the problem. that's the first step.

I've been through the same, and I didn't even realise, really, until me and my DP had spilt, and others started talking about his alcoholism, that that was the root of our problems. my ex wouldn't get violent either, although he did once. How much verbal can you take before you realise it IS a form of violence?? I too struggle with the fear of leaving my son with his father ( who clearly loves him) and the fear that dad won't wake up in the night if there's a problem. And my son has epilepsy. Its such a hard decision to make. People have advised me to go to al-anon, too. truthfully I've never been, but even now a year after we split, I think I may go.

None of this makes much sense, but what I do know is this: You are not wrong. Alcoholics specialise in making their nearest and dearest feel that it is they that are somehow missguided, unreasonable, crazy, etc. You have probably already been far too reasonable. As you'll have gathered I have no answers to this. my DP now lives next door. we split our house in two because I couldn't live with him, and I think maybe he's drinking a bit less. No-one believes me because he's pretty high functioning - gets to work on time, is fantastic to his friends, etc, just was very verbally abusive and totally unreliable at home. And I can't trust him overnight with my son. He means well, but not enough to put the bottle aside for a bit. Actually tonight I have let my son stay with his dad, and I'm regretting it already.

If you can get help from al anon, or family counselling, do. In our area there is a sure start programme which offers couples counselling for people with under fives. maybe there is some help there for you? make no mistake, this is a serious issue, and I hope you can make your DH understand. If you can't, make sure you look after yourself and your children, and have a support network of friends around you.

Thinking of you and wishing you well.

babyball Wed 22-Jul-09 11:01:21

Hi Lauree - TBH this has been my experience as well. Alcoholics can be very good at giving the outer appearance of "normality". My mum's own father did not believe that he had a problem. Even when they got divorced (14 years later), he blamed my mum for the break-up.

ReneRusso Wed 22-Jul-09 11:11:06

YANBU. This does sound like a problem, not very extreme as yet, but has the makings of a serious problem. At least give Al-Anon a call to ask advice, they have a helpline.

Lauree Fri 24-Jul-09 15:37:40

Hey Viv. hope you're OK.
here's my latest experience... and don't forget this is my ex who I didn't beleive was an alcoholic. and believe me none of his friends and family think there is a problem, they all think I am a totally neurotic and unreasonable witch. By the way he drinks two
bottles of stella every night plus the best part of a bottle of red.

I went into his kitchen yesterday (DS was sick, and DxP was looking after while I went to work). while I was looking for DSs medications,in his kitchen cupboard, I noticed that half of DS's emergency medication for epileptic fits was gone. So either DS has had a serious fit and DxP hadn't mentioned it, or DxP had been trying the stuff himself. hmm

or the faeries had it. or I am an evil witch who makes it all up of course. Which is most likely??.

I am telling you this because this is the kind of thing that happens when someone is a drinker. Hope you can sort thing out before they get to this stage! x

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