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Told husband it's over. He has no support.

(123 Posts)
Tiddleypops Sun 11-Feb-18 06:33:30

I have told my husband that our marriage is over.
He's an alcoholic and so I know this is the right step for me and our child.

The problem I now face, is that he is completely alone. He has no friends.
A while ago, after I begged him to speak to his mum about his issues, he finally did so apparently (he only told me this yesterday), but she she brushed it all off with a comment about him being a "daft sod".

I don't hate him, he has 3 children (2 from a previous relationship, and 1 between us). He needs support right now, and clearly it needs to be from someone other than me.
He said he has been having suicidal thoughts (he said he doesn't want to kill himself but he can't help the thoughts) and I'm terrified he'll act on them.

I really don't know what to do sad I can't be with him, but I don't want him to have noone either sad

bastardkitty Sun 11-Feb-18 06:37:00

You say that him having no support is your problem, but it's actually HIS problem. He is an adult and responsible for himself. You cannot allowhim to usethis to prevent you from leaving him. A visit to the GP is a good first step. He needs to make this happen, not you.

tearsbybedtime Sun 11-Feb-18 06:45:33

You HAVE to put yourself and DC first, yes that is sad for him but of his own making no doubt as alcoholics haven't the capacity to make friends as their relationship is with the booze, take a deep breath and keep doing what's right for you.

Scullerymaid Sun 11-Feb-18 06:49:01

Could you speak to his mother, OP, and help make her
realise how serious the situation is.
It might have been her knee jerk reaction and she may now
have had time for it to sink in a bit.
Could she arrange a GP visit for him or have him move in
with her for a while, do you think?

Awful situation for you both, OP, sorry you're going through this.

Leilaniiii Sun 11-Feb-18 06:51:00

Actually feel sorry for both of you. OP, if by some miracle he gave up alcohol completely today, would you keep him?

llangennith Sun 11-Feb-18 06:53:13

This is NOT your problem OP and you have to step away from it.

Slartybartfast Sun 11-Feb-18 06:55:32

it is very hard for you, i am sure there are other posts from partners of alcoholics that will bring you comfort.

Tiddleypops Sun 11-Feb-18 06:56:32

Thank you for the supportive comments.

I'm just sitting here mulling over approaching his mum and trying to think of other avenues of support. He has had counselling arranged via the GP so I could get him to go back.

I have been on the merry go round long enough to know that the drinking won't stop as long as I'm his crutch. Actually this is his best chance if he chooses to take it sad

seefeld Sun 11-Feb-18 06:56:44

Has he accepted he needs to do something about his drinking? AA would be a good place for him to get support from others who have been through and are going through the same thing.

I’d also recommend Al-Anon for you, even though you have broken up with him. They’ll help you recognise that you’re powerless over his drinking.

Lobsterquadrille2 Sun 11-Feb-18 07:05:20

Hi OP, I'm a recovering alcoholic and AA offers fantastic support in a way that non alcoholics cannot do, because we all understand each other and how our disordered minds work (apologies to any alcoholics reading this - that's been my experience). There is a 24 hour helpline number which is staffed purely by recovering alcoholics who have at least a year of sobriety, who will listen to anything and most likely direct to the nearest meeting. The number is: 0800 9177 650.

I agree with PPs that this isn't your problem but understand the emotions involved. Try to distance yourself emotionally as much as you can. Alcoholics can be very manipulative and needy and it's not always done consciously. Good luck to you.

Tiddleypops Sun 11-Feb-18 07:24:09

Thank you, that's very useful. I will encourage him to call that number or at the very least store it in his phone so he has it to hand.

He's suddenly very serious about dealing with his drinking, which has shaken my resolve that separating is the right thing to do, but at the same time, I think his sudden eagerness is because of the situation between us meaning he can no longer be in denial in which case backtracking would be the worst thing I could do?!

Lobsterquadrille2 Sun 11-Feb-18 07:30:59

Obviously every situation is different but it's very easy to be serious about dealing with drinking at a crisis point (and to mean it) and incredibly difficult to put this into action for the rest of your life if alcohol has its grip on you. I'm not sure how long he's been drinking for - or if it's 24/7 drinking or more the binge type (alcoholism covers a very wide spectrum because it's dependence and the need to drink rather than how much or even how often).

Have you given him ultimatums before now and has he stuck to them for a few weeks and then picked up a drink because he feels he's kicked it and it'll "just be the one"? It really depends where you are down the line .....

InfiniteSheldon Sun 11-Feb-18 07:33:21

There's quite a bit of support out there he just needs to go to an AA meeting. It's not your problem it's his, so take a breath and stop believing it is yours. You recognize that you are a crutch to his drinking (enabling) go and chat to your gp and find a local support group for relatives of alcoholics and walk away

NappingFern Sun 11-Feb-18 07:34:05

I'm in similar situation. Only when I'm persistent about his drinking or ant he spends on booze does he make efforts to control it. My frustration is that I'm beginning to realise that even his good weeks just aren't good enough.

I care a lot for him, but don't want to be his wife.

Tiddleypops Sun 11-Feb-18 07:43:01

Thanks Lobster. That makes a lot of sense.
He's a daily drinker, and I suspect always has been to some extent (little anecdotes and admissions about things previous to our relationship have crept out over time. We were young when we met and I worked away a lot so it was very easy to hide his drinking and to minimise it as just being lad about town behaviour when I was home). His dad died very young from alcohol related issues so this is very ingrained behaviour. I've never given him any sort of ultimatum before, in fact I mulled this decision over for years before acting on it because I needed to be sure I wouldn't cause the children MORE harm by leaving him, especially if I were not not sure (which I was, but now I am not completely!) That said, we have periodically talked about the fact that we would not be able to stay married forever if he continued to bury his head in the sand which he acknowledged. This wasn't a surprise to him.

Tiddleypops Sun 11-Feb-18 07:44:24

NappingFern flowers I hear you. It's so difficult isn't it.

Lobsterquadrille2 Sun 11-Feb-18 07:58:59

Ok, daily drinking and I assume a reasonable amount, implies a degree of dependence which may be physical as well as psychological. I'd definitely advise a trip to his GP as a PP said. He shouldn't stop suddenly without advice (I did this once, many years ago, and had a seizure). Again, this is his problem and not yours.

Alcoholism is very complex. I'm sure he'd love to stop completely and he no doubt believes at the moment, faced with the prospect of losing you, that he can do it. It's extremely unlikely that this resolve would last very long at all - as below, a few weeks at best is my experience from the hundreds of people I've met in AA (and they have been committed enough to get to meetings). The trouble with this illness (and apologies again to those who believe it's a straightforward choice) is that it convinces you after a pretty short period of sobriety that you're actually ok and you'll be able to drink like a normal person going forward, and that it was a lot of fuss about nothing.

AA is what worked for me although it doesn't suit everyone and I'm sure that there are other solutions. If he is serious about it, he will get to meetings, find a sponsor and go through the 12 steps. And "get to meetings" means a minimum of four a week, ideally daily for the first three months. You sound as if you are wavering - I wouldn't tell him that you are, but observe what he does and what action he takes and you'll be able to see just how serious he is about it. Step one is "admitted that we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable" and, whether via AA or not really, that's key to any alcoholic who truly wants to recover.

Tiddleypops Sun 11-Feb-18 08:10:12

Thanks again. This is really useful.
I've read about the 12 steps previously in an attempt to better understand him and what he really needs to do.
I see AA offer email and online chat options too which may appeal to him in the first instance as this is a bit more anonymous. He seems very sincere about this sudden realisation about the damage this has done to him and us and that he needs to stop drinking, however I suspect, as you say, that this is his reaction to the immediate crisis and will be difficult to stick to.

I'll encourage him to seek some more help ASAP via AA (if he doesn't, I know I can't make him). The GP is aware of the problems, so it may be worth a return visit?

LaContessaDiPlump Sun 11-Feb-18 08:13:42

op, he won't stick to it. If he was serious about wanting to change then he would have done so when you discussed the problem before; he's only making an effort now because he thinks you might actually leave. Once that threat recedes, he'll stop taking your comments seriously again.

Sorry. You know it's true sad

Lobsterquadrille2 Sun 11-Feb-18 08:29:21

OP, I'm sure that right now he is very sincere about his desire to stop and his belief that he can. It's virtually unheard of to be able to sustain that abstinence or even to want to, without a proper proven programme of recovery. I've been there myself and can only equate it to a "normal" person being on a diet, and caving in at a certain point. In theory, giving up alcohol should be easier because you can cut it out entirely, but unfortunately that's where addiction kicks in and there are many studies (as well as my own experiences in AA) which imply it's genetic, which seems to be the case with your DH.

The really important thing for you is that, while in some ways it's great that you are so understanding and obviously care a lot about him, you must think of yourself and your DC before him. At the moment he's dealing with his demons and he'll have to do this alone. Yes, he should go back to his GP and yes, he should make contact with AA and do the things I've outlined below. You cannot and should not facilitate this for him - he, if he's serious about recovering, should be able to figure this out for himself and should realise that saying "I really want to stop and believe I can" is merely a statement of intent and doesn't prove or demonstrate anything at all.

You must distance yourself, both for your sake and his. If he means it then he'll take any course of action open to him. If he doesn't take any action then I'm afraid he's not hit rock bottom yet.

Leilaniiii Sun 11-Feb-18 08:52:02

If it were me? I’d say start AA today and if you manage to stay off the drink you can stay.

Make it a positive thing. Celebrate his achievements and key rings, go to Al Anon yourself, etc.

InfiniteSheldon Sun 11-Feb-18 09:32:41

I'd leave now and say start AA it's your problem not mine, and we can see where we are a year from today if you have acknowledged your issue and put steps in place we can try dating if we both want. My previous dh was a substance abuser i thought he wouldn't cope without me/had no support he miscellaneous else into our home within three months of me leaving with the dc.

CCN2012 Sun 11-Feb-18 10:40:54

I need some help. I've told my husband that I want a divorce but he is refusing saying he still wants to be married. I can't live with him any longer. About 9 years ago he had to go to court against another person for child abuse (he was the victim). Since then he's changed. He has depression and if he allows himself to, he will drink to excess every night. Since this court case he has been depressed. I've done everything I can to help him, gone with him to the gp, taken him to see a psychologist, sought help from forces charities (he's ex military). He has alienated my family, my children aged 11 and 9 aren't bothered by him which I don't want, I want them to love their dad. He's list numerous jobs, barely provides money for the house, his family hate me because if the things he tells them (mainly lies. He's got the kids over his friends (their godparents)and yet as soon as they are in bed he's texting me and phoning saying he's coming over. He thinks I have a boyfriend when I've never looked at another man since we've been together. He has spat in my face and pushed me. He calls me a c* in front if the children and has even called them the same name. What do I do? He's starting to scare me

Tiddleypops Mon 12-Feb-18 10:22:20

Just as a little update.

I suggested he talk to his mum again. He admitted that although he had dismissed her as a source of support, she would be there for him if needs be, and that she is just not that great at discussing emotions.

I suggested that AA would be a good source of specific help if he is really serious that now is the time he's going to kick the habit and that they can offer much more of the right support than I could offer - he quickly shrugged this off saying now he knows the error of his ways and that he only needs me... I think this just echoes everything you have said Lobsterquadrille2 and that actually he is just reacting to the current crisis. He's insisting on going cold turkey (has been without a drink for around 5-6 days). It is the fact he keeps telling me that he has no one and that he can't do this without me. This all makes me feel unreasonable, but also feels just like where we have been for the last umpteen years - he 'needs' me, therefore all my own needs are out the window! I think I should stick by my guns, but since our 'marital home' is my home (I own it) then it is going to be difficult.

Tiddleypops Mon 12-Feb-18 10:25:48

Hi CCN2012, I see you have started a separate thread. It sounds as though your husband is a bully and that you are not safe with him around. Hopefully someone can give you some really constructive advice on the other thread. I hope you are ok flowers

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