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is my dh an alcoholic? (long and gross- sorry!)

(35 Posts)
belcantwait Wed 24-Sep-08 12:14:43

this weekend dh had some kind of epithany (SP???).

We were away for the weekend on our own for a friends wedding. had been so looking forward to it as never get to get away on our own. the wedding was lovely followed by a champagne reception and obv lots of wine at the meal and free wine/beer/champers in the evening.
now, i like a drink, several in fact, but i'm a grown up and know that i want to enjoy the whole weekend and not feel rubbish so i say no to the odd drink, drink water as well etc etc.
dh seemed fine tbh til we got in the taxi, i knew he was then feeling ill as he had window wide open and wasnt speaking.
got back to the lovely hotel we booked ourselves as a treat, dh is staggering quite badly. i went into the bathroom then went to bed. dh staggers to the bathroom. about 15 mins later he is fast asleep sitting fully clothed on the loo. i try and wake him up, he just grunts. i go back to bed. about 10 minutes there is horrendous retching and vomiting noises. after having the pillow wedged over my head for 10 mins or so it seems to have stopped. i enyter the bathroom- it looks like there has been a red wine massacre. he has vomited literally EVERYWHERE except the effing toilet, bath is covered, walls everywhere. angry
the next day he was ill all day, i had to stop literally 3 or 4 times driving home (at teatime!) for him to be violently sick. bleugh. he says top me that day that he think he might have a problem with drink and he was thinking of calling the AA.
because let me assure you this is not a one off! oh no!
the thing is he can go a day or two witout drinking but if i suggest a glass of wine he jumps at it and will have to finish any half empty bottle. once he has started drinking he gets paniccy and desperate if it starts to run out. he cannot say no to free alcohol (blaming the weeekend on 'X made me'. i mean ffs he is a GROWN man, not a teenager. it ruins everytim we go out together because it goes on over days.
i dont know iff this is a sign of a problem or a problem that is to come or what i mean. i dont think its normal. does anyone have any idea? do you think he needs help?

quietlifeplease Wed 24-Sep-08 12:53:27

Hi Belcantwait....I have a similiar problem with my you are not alone. (hope that helps) Only he can admit that he has a problem and all you can do is be there for him until he is ready to tackle it. Its incredibly hard, on one had you love em to bits, but it can be sooo annoying and selfish. I end up not wanting to go anywhere just in case. Its nice to vent sometimes and have somewhere you can talk openly about stuff. Hope this helps a little.

TwoMore Wed 24-Sep-08 12:54:26

I think getting some help at this stage is the best thing you could do, whats to loose? Either he is or he is heading that way and if he is they can help him manage his drinking. Good luck, I hope it goes well.

FioFio Wed 24-Sep-08 12:55:28

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moopymoo Wed 24-Sep-08 12:59:22

it definitlely sounds like he has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. A trip to the gp in the first instance might get the ball rolling for some support and to get a general health check. My dh was very similar and I also have trouble stopping drinking spiraling. This is why we are now a booze free house and we rarely have a drink socially either - this works best for us. You might not need to be so drastic but you might have to be prepared to look at your own drinking too. IMO if it feels like a problem then its a problem.

thebecster Wed 24-Sep-08 13:05:25

If he's thinking of AA then better to go. What's the worse thing that could happen from him seeking help - he could mistakenly get sober? But if he doesn't seek help, when he actually needs it, the worst that could happen doesn't bear thinking about it. There's a saying in AA, can't remember the exact words but it's something like - 'Better be in a meeting thinking you're maybe just faking being an alcoholic than in a pub or prison cell pretending that you're not an alcoholic' The actual saying is snappier than that grin Memory shot to pieces from sleep deprivation...

FioFio Wed 24-Sep-08 13:07:39

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belcantwait Wed 24-Sep-08 13:08:11

thank you ladies.

whilst in the past i have felt that we were both 'on the cusp' of having a problem (ie if i have weeks where i drink nightly, i then feel ill if i dont have a drink) i now feel really its just him.
i am also embarassed that i know its the same when he is out at work events (he has embarassed himself at numerous occasions- mainly involving train stations for some unfathomable reason lol). he is quite senior in his field and i dont want him to become the butt of jokes and gossiping.
should he just call AA then? it kind of doesnt feel like he is bad enough iykwim

belcantwait Wed 24-Sep-08 13:08:54

oops x- post sorry

FioFio Wed 24-Sep-08 13:09:50

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DaphneMoon Wed 24-Sep-08 13:11:22

I have the same problem with my DP, he has a glass of wine with his evening meal and for some reason has to finish the bottle, he may have had a beer beforehand. He will then fall asleep on the sofa and will sleep until bedtime. If I wake him before that I can have the most ridiculous conversation with him you can imagine. I have actually filmed him because he made no sense at all. I have told him time and time again, if there was a fire I would not be able to get him out the house. He is 16 stone I am 9, what would I do? Recently he got into trouble with his boss, he was at a show and at night they went out and got hammered, the next day he stank of drink on the stand. His boss sent him an email telling him how ashamed he was. I read the email not even knowing about the incident. He is always shamefaced afterwards and promses not to do it again. But he always does. He was recently 40 and nearly all of his presents were alhohol. I have told him time and time again that it will be the death of him. He does not listen.

thebecster Wed 24-Sep-08 13:19:35

I know what you mean about feeling that it's not bad enough. Trouble is alcoholism is quite elusive to pin down. Another AA-ism is that it's like an elevator and you can get off any floor you like - you can get off quite high up, or you can wait until your life is in the basement. Going to AA really won't hurt. I thought they'd tell me that I wasn't enough of an alcoholic, and that I didn't belong there. Instead I realised very soon that I was amongst my own kind, and when I was given a questionnaire I scored at the 'yes you are definitely an alcoholic, no question' level, which really shocked me. Long time ago, I've been sober 14 years, and went into AA in my early 20s.

Trebuchet Wed 24-Sep-08 13:27:04

I would say yes he has a problem. The becster has a good point, my dad can go weeks, has never had vodka for breakfast or done those things that you think alcoholics do, but get one single drink in him and he is horrible his whole personality changes. He lies about drink as well, has sworn on my life to my face blush that he hasn't drunk, while barely able to stand.

While AA is fine and good for certain people there are others who just cannot do the whole group thing, ie dad. Its VERY hard to get any help one on one unless you are prepared to pay for it. Dad actually took a massive overdose due to his alcohol probs in July and was told he would get immediate councelling, max 3 wk wait. Still waiting.....

FioFio Wed 24-Sep-08 13:29:41

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thebecster Wed 24-Sep-08 13:48:26

I'm so sorry Trebuchet, that's so hard on you.

You're so right about 'those things that you think alcoholics do' - I had people telling me 'you don't need to go to AA, you're not...(insert stereotype: a homeless man, drinking vodka for breakfast, violent, low achieving, working class(! oh, yes, that one came up!)' I didn't bother arguing with them, I just went. There's no question that I did the right thing - it was just that my getting sober threatened them in some way (either it called their own drinking into question, or it called their co-dependency into question, or both).

quietlifeplease Wed 24-Sep-08 13:49:40

There is a really good book by Alan Carr, called ' How to Control Alcohol' It has some great reviews, maybe worth a try. I have bought it for my DH but haven't found the best way to give it to him yet, without it going straight in the bin!!!

Piffle Wed 24-Sep-08 13:53:58

the fact he mentioned AA is a massive admission that he wants help.
The important word being HE wants help.
Get on that path with him
Good luck

blinks Wed 24-Sep-08 14:05:44

Also, you will need to support him by not drinking around him until he's strong enough.

belcantwait Wed 24-Sep-08 14:08:13

he has said he isnt going to drink this weekend- we try to only drink fri sat and sun nights now- but i am going out with friends to a birthday do sat night so the drinking will be inevitable- the thing is he wont see it and i wont be still suffering the next day

blinks Wed 24-Sep-08 14:15:36

You may benefit from AL-ANON...

blowsy Wed 24-Sep-08 14:15:52

I don't know if he's an alcoholic, but he definitely has a problem with drink.

We are close friends with a couple and the man is similar to your dh, belcantwait.

Any get together we have be it a quiet dinner at one of our homes or a night out, he gets completely and embarassingly shit-faced and usually passes out by 9.30. He is quite often sick, too.

I really want to speak to my friend about it as it would worry me hugely, but I just seem unable to broach the subject.

In your case, he has actually admitted there is a problem, so he's on the first step to getting help.

Good luck!

DorisIsAPinkDragon Wed 24-Sep-08 14:32:27

My dh has recent admitted to a "difficult relationship " with alcohol he is not a classic drunk I knew he didn't have an off button when it came to alchol but I only recently realised the extent.

He inisted he could deal with it but I wasn't happy and suggested AA, so far it seems to be working there are many types of people there not all who wake up on the park bench etc but all can not deal with their cravings for alchol

If your dh thinks it may be useful to him go for it....

quietlifeplease Wed 24-Sep-08 16:48:08

Do most people just get worse and worse? Or can some stay as they are forever? DorisIsAPinkDragon do you go with your dh to AA? Did he just accept your suggestion or did you have to insist?

DorisIsAPinkDragon Wed 24-Sep-08 17:40:27

I don't go with him although I would have if he had wanted me too.

He says that most people get worse until they reach their point at which they will seek /accept help.

He also says he will never be able just to "have a social drink" again, but that is just him

We had a full and frank "discussion" as there were things that had been happening that I had no knowledge off, secret drinking etc refilling bottles with water to hide evidence and taking empties to skip at work, He was and is not a classic image of a drunk I felt more stupid for not even realising that he was drinking, it was confined to the evenings and he was holding down a busy job and helping with family life.

(He was also abit of a loose cannon at socail events... not violent but 0 to drunk in about 60 seconds)

However as I felt my trust had been broken, I could not trust him to solve the problem on his own, I suggested he ring AA (at that instant as I didn't want him to think too much about it or he would have just put it off and excused his behaviour iyswim )

I felt justified in insisting as I was obviously not able to help him. tbh AA has helped him see that a) he is not alone and b) he is not that unusal.

AA so far has been a help and he does talk about stuff when he gets in ( right in the middle of who do you think you are!!grin but i listen and we talk about it

I know he has adictive personality traits but becuase he is seeking help to battle the problem it makes our relationship easier he says the urge to drink has not gone he just is developing coping strategies.

I showed this to dh before posting and he adds:- has a copy of the "Big Book" (which is the AA "Bible")which although written in the '30s & '40s has loads of stories from AAs written about their alcoholism - really good. One big lesson brought back from AA is: if you have been wondering about whether you are an alcoholic - you are! DH would strongly recommend he goes along to an AA meeting - he may well find it a revelation.

belcantwait Wed 24-Sep-08 17:50:22

thank you all for your helpful replies- doris i am pleased you dh is getting the help he needs. i think dh would put himself forward for it following a big session drinking when he is feeling ill and remorseful. in the sober light of day i think he might think the preseumed stigma attached to going to AA might put him off iyswim.

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