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To give DP this ultimatum?

(26 Posts)
MissScarlett Mon 05-Oct-09 12:09:19

He does all the good guy stuff like helps with the kids, the housework, he's considerate and fun, he supports me in whatever I want to do, we love each other and get on well most of the time...

But about once every few months, he also gets really drunk, idiotic and verbally abusive. He is the son of a recovered alcoholic and he basically controls his drinking to an extent because he knows if he bomes a full-blown alcoholic, he will at some point have to give it up completely. His friends and his family all kind of aknowledge that alcohol is a problem for him and they would also like to see him stop.

After only a few beers, his personality changes - he becomes very quick to take offence - this often ends in a big row because I find him so irritating, it's very difficult to pretend everything's ok when he's acting like an idiot. It doesn't take him that much to get him drunk and kind of...sloppy, I suppose, slurring and banging into things and acting belligerently.

I don't like him drinking around the kids because he has a tendancy to do stupid stuff like playfighting which of course always ends in tears.

He's always looking for the opportunity to get pissed though, if he takes the kids out to the park, they have to stop at the pub on the way home so he can get a few pints inside him.

Last time we had a big row, he smashed our wardrobe in my bedroom, a bit of it kind of flew off and hit me, it didn't really hurt me but I was very upset about it and we worked out a plan after, when he was sober and sorry - that he couldn't drink during the day at the weekend any more - he had to wait until 8pm when the kids are in bed and asleep. This worked for a while but he has now got all these little get out clauses - if he gets a day off work, he can drink. If his football team is playing, he can drink, etc etc. I should add that I do understand to a degree, I like to drink socially - I'm not anti-booze or anything, but I just can't stand all the drama that goes with him drinking.

We're in our 30's now with two kids, and I just feel I can't be bothered with it all. After last night - a typical row between us - he starts drinking at lunchtime, is smashed by about 7.30p, he can see that I'm pissed off so starts on me, accusing me of being miserable (I hasten to add, I'm not actually saying anything, I'm usually trying to avoid him though I will make the odd pissed off remark) and then it escalates to the point where he's saying something like 'You can go and fuck yourself you cunt', threatening to smash the place up, telling me he's off - it's all over, and stamps off to the pub and then round to his mum's for the night.

So...this morning I've had the apologetic phone call, and instead of saying ok, come home tonight, we'll talk about this, blah, blah - I have told him he is no longer welcome to live with us if he continues to drink.

He says there's no way he's not drinking - so we're at a stalemate.
I don't want our relationship to end as it's good in every other way, but I just don't want to still be doing this in ten years, it's so bloody wearisome.

What do you think? Should I stick to my guns?

traceybath Mon 05-Oct-09 12:12:31

I would do if I were you. He's clearly got a drinking problem and needs help.

He's also being very abusive to you.

So yanbu.

honeybehappy Mon 05-Oct-09 12:13:16

YANBU he sounds awful.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Mon 05-Oct-09 12:15:42

Yes and no. I mean yes, you should stick to your guns, this needs to change. But careful about ultimatums if you aren't going to stick to it. Would you really end your relationship if this continued? You need to decide what your position is and be very clear.
I think you have no option but to be firm though. He needs to realise what he is jeopardising and he needs to stick to the boundaries that you agreed.
I sympathise - my DH is a 'problem' drinker too and if his stupid drunk antics were more frequent I'd be saying the same as you. As it is, they are 'manageable'.

cantpooinpeace Mon 05-Oct-09 12:15:46

Definately, otherwise it will escalate over the years and split you up in the end anyway. Offer him support if he wants to try and stop but this is destructive behaviour and If I was in that situation all the drunken antics would cancel all the good stuff he does most of the time - I'm no expert though and have no experience of this, just my opinion based on what I've read.

charis Mon 05-Oct-09 12:15:46

Stick to your guns Scarlett. He has to realise how much the drink is controlling his life.

MissScarlett Mon 05-Oct-09 12:16:22

He's not though. If you met him in RL, you'd think he's such a nice bloke - not in a charming-but-evil-underneath way - but he just cannot seem to function normally when he's drinking. Or am I just being naive here?

Chickenshavenolips Mon 05-Oct-09 12:17:07

YANBU. Please stick to your guns. My Dad was very similair to your H, and my childhood was marred by his occasional blow outs. Whenever we saw him with a drink in his hand, we were on egg shells. It was horrible, and I still feel anxious just remembering it. If he chooses the booze over his family, that's a sign that you should walk away IMO. I wished that my Mum had.

SqueezyCheese Mon 05-Oct-09 12:18:18

'You can go and fuck yourself you cunt' shock shock

There is no stalemate. You gave him the ultimatum, he won't stop - so now he goes.

Ultimatums are completely pointless unless you carry them through and if not carried through will reinforce that he can get his own way, verbally abuse you....oh, as long as he apologises after each occasion and behaves for a couple of weeks.

IMO it's the only way. You will not ever stop him drinking, only he will do that off his own back and he may never do it.

Stick to your guns, 100%.

bibbitybobbityCAT Mon 05-Oct-09 12:18:33

Yanbu. I would absolutely stick to my guns in your position.

MissScarlett Mon 05-Oct-09 12:19:14

sorry was replying to previous post from honeybehappy. Kat2907 -I think his drinking has been manageable - it's becoming less manageable now - I suppose I'm becoming less tolerant of it. We have been together since I was 21. I'm now 31. I don't want to be doing this when I'm 41, if you see what I mean.

roulade Mon 05-Oct-09 12:20:24

YA Definitely NBU! It proves he has a dinking problem if he chooses it over his wife and children.

SolidGhoulBrass Mon 05-Oct-09 12:22:34

Unfortunately, problem drinking always escalates in the end. I think you have to stick to your guns here. He will either decide for himself that he needs to stop drinking or lose his wife and family, or he will decide to sacrifice you to the drink. In which case you have to throw him out and keep him out, because he is going to get worse, not better, and sooner or later he will hurt one of the DC (you say he 'playfights' with them when drunk, this is actually very dangerous).

roulade Mon 05-Oct-09 12:23:54

*Drinking not dinking!

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Mon 05-Oct-09 12:26:39

My ex was a bit like this with his drinking.
He never got abusive to such a huge extent but due to growing up with an alcoholic (now dry for 14 years) dad it did blur the lines on acceptable/normal drinking.

I think previous posters are right though you can and should only issue this ultimatum if you are prepared to carry it through.
I mean he has said no he won't stop so is this it is he out or did you think he would say ok then i'll stop and everything would be fine?

I do think you've answered your own question though. If i'm unsure about these things I generally ask myself how would I feel in 10 years looking back and still be doing this?

Morloth Mon 05-Oct-09 12:30:56

Not being unreasonable at all.

Agree with roulade if the drinking is of more importance than his family then he is an alcoholic.

This isn't going to get better if you let him come home and continue, it will just get worse and worse.

The only concession I would be willing to make would be to go teetotal myself so that he doesn't feel he is missing out. I have a friend married to an alcoholic and this is what he has done, there is never any booze at their place if we are there for parties or whatever, and they always bring soft drinks to other get togethers.

Your kids deserve better than a drunk for a father.

MissScarlett Mon 05-Oct-09 12:39:55

Ineedacleaner....I'm prepared to carry the ultimatum through. I suppose I feel fairly confident that, although he has initially said he won't stop drinking, I think he will choose us over alcohol after a few days of thinking about it.
He knows that he can't behave the way he has been, and because of the last time this all happened, I suppose... that he was kind of on his last chance with drinking. The only thing that worries me is that he's trying to turn it all around on my by saying that I'm trying to control him, he's not allowed to do anything he wants to, etc etc.
I think this is bluster though. His ideal outcome is for me to back down and allow him to come home and continue to drink. I know if I do, he will indeed be on his best behaviour for a while, maybe even about four or five months but then it will all start happening again...

Sunfleurs Mon 05-Oct-09 12:44:02

Yes, stick to your guns.

I could have written your post 3 or 4 years ago. I gave ex ultimatum after ultimatum and it got worse and worse, in the end he pawned all our electrical stuff and I have had what I believe to be a nervous breakdown over the past couple of months. Panic attacks completely spiralling out of control and barely able to get out of bed some days. We split a while ago but the years of hoping and waiting and being disappointed and abused because of his drinking have really told on me and I don't know if I will ever feel like "me" again.

I so relate to the get out clauses. Ex would promise the world with regard to cutting down and then it would just creep back in with all the excuses that you listed. I look back at that time and my life had become horrifying but I couldn't see a way out.

Take this chance to make the change. It will only get worse.

MissScarlett Mon 05-Oct-09 12:44:12

Morloth -
Yes, I am fine with not drinking. I like a glass of wine, but I can take it or leave it.
I am concerned about the kids having a drunk for a father. My little boy is eight and I hate the thought of him seeing his dad with a beer in his hand, thinking, well, that's what men do, isn't it - particularly as I think my partners history with his own alcholic dad plays a huge part in what he's like today.

Sunfleurs Mon 05-Oct-09 12:45:38

Morloth suggested you becoming Teetotal alongside him. I gave up drinking because I thought my dc deserved at least one parent who did not put alcohol first. It didn't work though he was too far gone, but it would help I think if your dh can see what he is doing and wants to make a change.

MissScarlett Mon 05-Oct-09 13:26:04

Sunfleurs - I feel so sad for you and you kids and what you've been through - but I'm so pleased that you had the strength to make the break. I hope I have the same strength if I need it.
I'll definitely try the teetotal approach - I have learned from past rows that everything gets infinitely worse if I'm drunk too...

asdx2 Mon 05-Oct-09 13:32:17

I gave dh (his mum was an alcoholic) that same ultimatum 16 years ago even though he was never abusive but it made me anxious living with someone who would occasionally drink themselves stupid and try to cook.
He hasn't drunk since that day. If he loves you more than drink he will do the same. If not then let him go.
I never drink through choice but dh would be fine if I had a glass of wine although he would always refuse himself because he believes it would wake up long gone cravings.

DuelingFanjo Mon 05-Oct-09 13:33:50

Only do it if you can Stick to it. IE one more drink and he's back out again for good.

I stayed 6 years too long with my ex, giving him ultimatums and then letting them slide.

Your summary of his behaviour soundds very much like my ex. Belligerant is a word I used all the time.

SolidGhoulBrass Mon 05-Oct-09 14:07:56

MissScarlett there are loads of people who have had to go through the same thing with partners and I do not think ONE of them could say that the alcoholic partner did manage to reduce drinking to a sensible level and keep it there. It always creeps back up again, the abuse gets worse, the addict behaviour (lying, stealing, blaming everyone but himself) gets worse.
There are lots of people on MN who can give you very good advice and support, and something a lot of them say about alcoholic partners is: Remember the Three C's
YOu didn't cause it
You can't control it
You can't cure it.

Stigaloid Mon 05-Oct-09 14:22:23

He is an alcoholic. he will only get better when he wants to and when he helps himself. Go to AlANON meetings for support for yourself and be strong. You need to instigate tough love for yours and your children's safety and security.

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