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Being a problem drinker

(39 Posts)
littledrummerboy Fri 28-Sep-12 12:56:07

So I've had an ultimatum from my DW. she's going if I don't stop drinking. Over the last 3 weeks I've stopped during the week and have negotiated drinking on only 2 days a week. I'm not craving the booze but I don't want to stop completely. I want to be able to drink without having it every night. So far so good but I can't help thinking that this is not enough for her. Before people start saying an u abusive when I'm drunk. No I don't get physical I may although not for a long time talk loudly and shit most of the time. I am currently out of work as the profession I am in has been screwed by the government. DW has rightly given me a boot up the arse for this and I'm looking harder for any job than I've been before. I have issues clearly but don't know how to make her see I don't want her to go and take DC with her. Obviously if she did go I wouldn't even fight for custody of the kids as she's probably a better mother than I am a father. Some advice please.

EldritchCleavage Fri 28-Sep-12 12:58:21

Why not stop completely? Get some clarity, see where you are, and how you feel. You may need a bit of distance before you can clearly see how much of a problem you've got, if any.

littledrummerboy Fri 28-Sep-12 13:02:39

I don't want to stop completely. I want to be able to drink normally. Like I said over the last 3 weeks I've only drank at the weekends. Not missing it during the week like I thought I would having drank every night just about for the last 20 odd years.

stainesmassif Fri 28-Sep-12 13:03:11

What exactly are you asking? Your wife has said stop drinking or she's off and you don't want her to go...

stainesmassif Fri 28-Sep-12 13:04:21

Maybe she doesn't believe you can drink 'normally' and wonders if alcohol is more important to you than she is.

littledrummerboy Fri 28-Sep-12 13:05:29

Don't know really. Just want to speak to someone who have other views on it.

littledrummerboy Fri 28-Sep-12 13:07:57

I believe I can. She's given me threats before and I kinda took no notice foolishly. This time she's means business. But like I said I want to drink normally and believe this time I can do it for the sake of our marriage.

stainesmassif Fri 28-Sep-12 13:10:35

I would imagine your wife would say that for the sake of your marriage you need to stop drinking.
I'd suggest a visit to your dr for a full check up, talk to them about how much you have actually been drinking, and let your wife know that you're taking what she says seriously.
Your posts seem to suggest you're looking for any excuse to continue drinking.

EldritchCleavage Fri 28-Sep-12 13:14:50

I want to be able to drink normally

But what if you are one of those people who will never be able to? That's the possibility you've got to face. And why does this desire to 'drink normally' (what does that mean for you, by the way) weigh so heavily in the balance, when your wife is so unhappy with the drinking you do that she's threatened to leave with the children? No need to tell strangers on the internet the answer, but surely something to ask yourself, and urgently?

I don't mean to sound harsh, but drinking every single night for 20 odd years? If you were able to drink normally, you would have been doing it before now.

littledrummerboy Fri 28-Sep-12 13:23:38

I must admit it sounds like I could be a candidate for the not drinking normally but I do feel better for abstaining during the week and think that I could manage it. I guess I just haven't before as I grew up with alcoholic parents and I don't drink as much as they did so haven't seen the problem. I do/did a bottle of wine every night sometimes more sometimes less but never during the day and certainly never behind the wheel of a car.

peterrabbitismyfriend Fri 28-Sep-12 13:31:15

Why don't you agree to stop drinking until Xmas Day, then chat about the next steps.

I think she deserves to have you completely alcohol free after 20 years of endless drinking.

To be honest, you sound a bit self-indulgent and a bit self-pitying. I tend to find people who drink relentlessly like that suffer from a lack of self-control and tend to blame everyone else but themselves for where they end up in life.

I know being out of work is tough, but it's time you grew up and took responsibility, isn't it? That's what being an adult is all about.

It looks like she's given you a choice: alcohol or the children and me.

Are you really going to choose the bottom of a bottle over your family?

Numberlock Fri 28-Sep-12 13:40:19

I think you just want someone to say it's OK to just drink a couple of nights of week.

Your wife has made her feelings clear ie no drinking at all - and who can blame her - I may although not for a long time talk loudly and shit most of the time.

So what are you hoping to do? Garner support on an internet forum to show her she's being unreasonable?

becstargazeypie Fri 28-Sep-12 13:50:22

People who drink normally don't 'think that they could manage' to drink normally - they just don't have to control their drinking because they self-regulate and it just isn't something they need to exercise their willpower on. For instance my DH drinks one glass of wine, falls asleep, wakes up the next morning grumbling about his headache and doesn't fancy another glass of wine for a week or so. He's not 'controlling' it, he just doesn't fancy a drink.

Problem drinkers are different - they are constantly looking for the magic system that will turn them into a normal drinker. But there isn't one.

My experience is that total abstinence and regular AA meetings is a system that works long term. I told a relative of mine this about ten years ago. He scoffed at me and told me that he wasn't that bad, and was going to just control his drinking and that I'd clearly got more of a problem than him if I'd needed to go to AA. He died two weeks ago of liver failure.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 28-Sep-12 13:51:42

If you are an alcoholic then social drinking is simply not possible. You are now 20 years into drinking alcohol to excess; you are deluding yourself if you think you can do social drinking. Denial is commonly seen in alcoholics.

What is really more important to you; the alcohol or your family?. Your primary relationship is currently with drink and with everything and everyone else a dim and distant second.

You need to tackle properly the root causes of why you drink to excess in the first place; I am not totally surprised to see that you had parents who were themselves alcoholics. You learnt a lot of damaging stuff from them as well. You are drinking for many reasons - numbing your own pain is also probably one of them.

If you want to sort it out then you will need to do that on your own and without any contact from your wife if you do go into a rehab centre or contact AA. Any coercion on her part to get you to stop drinking is doomed to failure. You can fail but you won't let her fail.

littledrummerboy Fri 28-Sep-12 13:55:17

Well is that not the norm then to drink 2 nights a week? Don't normal people do that. Or am I now about to be hounded for talking about the fact I'm a drinker who wants to drink normally. Am I not allowed to do that. I'll reiterate the fact that in three weeks I feel better for it. No I don't want to stop completely. I was drinking every night. Don't want to do that anymore. I'm asking for friendly advice or is that unreasonable.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Fri 28-Sep-12 14:01:19

Is alcohol more important than your family? If so, keep drinking.

How have you funded your alcohol habit while not working?

There is no "norm" with alcohol. Some people drink lots, some none at all. The norm to judge yourself against is your relationship with alcohol - i.e. how important is it? How do you feel if you thought about never drinking again?

Speak to your GP or another professional. Go to AA or another alcohol support group - get educated about what it is you are going through.

Good luck.

becstargazeypie Fri 28-Sep-12 14:01:52

This is friendly advice littledrummerboy, you are not being hounded, you're being advised by people who've been there. It's not normal to count the number of days you're 'allowed' to drink and still call yourself 'normal'. It might be worth trying this quiz here

littledrummerboy Fri 28-Sep-12 14:05:28

Attila why is it not possible to just become a social drinker. Not every alcoholic is the same. I don't get up and immediately think I need a drink. I have colleagues that do mind. I have a drink when the kids have gone to bed. I don't/didn't get smashed off my face every night. But clearly I drink too much. I'm cutting down from 80-100 units a week to 20-25. Is that not a good start?

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 28-Sep-12 14:10:31

You are a functioning alcoholic and have worked. Not all alcoholics wake up needing a drink or even drink every day.

Your relationship with alcohol is still an unhealthy one and it has affected your family to its detriment. Your parents also had unhealthy relationships with drink, what did you learn from them?.

Do you want to seek outside help for your alcohol problem, cutting down without any outside medical support may prove problematic for you as well.

claraschu Fri 28-Sep-12 14:17:42

Of course lots of normal people drink 2 nights a week; I am impressed you cut down so easily.

You still sound like someone with a drinking problem; what's with the "talk loudly and shit most of the time". I don't understand, but it doesn't sound good.
Can you find a doctor, councillor, or AA group that could help you figure out what is going on, as you do sound confused, and like you need some RL help.

becstargazeypie Fri 28-Sep-12 14:18:04

littledrummerboy all the things you're saying are symptoms of alcoholism

- comparing your drinking to other people in order to prove you are okay is a symptom of alcoholism
- pointing out the times at which you don't drink (eg not drinking first thing in the morning) is a symptom of alcoholism. Noone who is NOT an alcoholic feels the need to point out that they don't need a drink on waking.
- the belief that your problem drinking is 'different' and can be controlled, because you're 'not like other alcoholics' is a symptom of alcoholism (Like my relative above - he was different to me, apparently, his drinking could become normal, not like mine. Now he's dead at the age of 51 leaving behind two kids who hated him by the end).
- feeling 'got at' and defensive when people advise you about your drinking is a symptom of alcoholism.

Phone your local AA helpline. When I phoned mine a lovely guy answered. I said that I didn't know if I had a problem with drinking or not. He said 'Well then you've called the right number, we can help you figure that out.'

littledrummerboy Fri 28-Sep-12 14:22:21

What's the number

littledrummerboy Fri 28-Sep-12 14:23:26

Just re read. Coz you know where I live and are local. Haha I'll look it up.

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 28-Sep-12 14:23:40

Yep, you need to stop completely.

If you could be a normal social drinker on two days a week, surely you'd have done it by now?

The way I'd see it if I were your wife is:

If you could be a social drinker two days of the week, you've been a total arse not doing it before now (right?)

If you can't - which I am pretty sure is the truth - you're in a very understandable position of wishing life were different. It's horrible for you. But it's not going to help you sort this out.

MrFlibble Fri 28-Sep-12 14:24:44

As long as the drinking takes a priority over your wife and family it'll never be normal

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