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Have I done the right thing? What do I do next? Am I abusive?

(99 Posts)
westernshores Fri 03-Jun-11 21:45:40

I would really appreciate some perspectives/advice/anything really. Feeling incredibly lonely just now.

An appointment I'd arranged for today was rescheduled to 5.45pm - I called H (on his mobile), and asked if he could be home in time. He said he could.

He messaged me at 5.10 saying he was on his way. By 5.35 (when I had to leave), he wasn't back yet but I assumed he was on the tube as his phone went to voicemail. Our neighbour agreed to watch the DCs until he got back.

He called me a couple of minutes after I left, walking up the road (so 5 mins away from home). Fine. Except he was slurring. I asked if he was drunk and he said he wasn't drunk. I asked if he'd been drinking and he said he'd had a couple of drinks. I asked how many and he said three. I asked where he'd been and he said at work then when I scoffed said he'd been at some conference/meeting thing with vendors. He'd been there all day, I hadn't known it involved drinks.

This was really distressing to me because six months ago, when we were in another country seeing if we wanted to move there for H's work, he went AWOL after work. We had plans to meet somewhere and he didn't show up. He turned up at the hotel hours later, drunk off his face, having made no effort to contact me. He said I was being ridiculous and hysterical (I was in bits, his behaviour while drunk has been an ongoing issue and I'd thought he might've been hurt somehow). We talked a lot during the trip and I left the country telling him that I was considering ending the marriage over this behaviour- it affects his reputation at work as well - and that we needed to have some serious discussions on his return. He came back a week later and hasn't gotten pathetically drunk since. But we have talked about his drinking often - he's always defensive/offensive. These (unacceptable IMO), episodes are infrequent but always similar.

Anyway, didn't want to dripfeed but don't want this to be a huge essay either. I was concerned enough about how he sounded on the phone (having arrived at my appointment), to message him insisting he see a doctor on Monday as three drinks shouldn't make him slur and forgetful and perhaps there was an issue there (there's blood sugar issues in the family). He didn't reply.

I called him from my appointment as it was winding up, at 6.45pm (so an hour later), he sounded much more 'normal'. I suggested he bring the DCs to where I was - high street/park - and we get some dinner and enjoy the sunshine. He said that was a great idea and they'd set off directly and see me soon.

I called 15 mins later and his phone went straight to voicemail. Called again and again and again. Thought he might've run out of battery so went across the road to the park. Looked for the DCs and H. Walked to the playground. Walked to the restaurant we'd been discussing eating at. Was calling H constantly. Went back to the place I'd had my appointment in case he'd come by, nothing. Was 7.40pm at this point. Finally called the landline and H answered.

He had no memory of our conversation at all. I walked home and he told me (on the phone), that he'd had five drinks not three. I asked him where he'd thought I was all this time and he said he hadn't really thought about it. He said he was "checking his mobile right now" and there were no messages or missed calls from me.

I got back and put the DCs to bed - it was after 8. H said he'd given them sandwiches for dinner. I was really upset - told H that I'd told him last time that it had to be the last time and he'd said it would be and his choices were that he stopped drinking altogether while we had counselling or we ended the marriage.

He said "are you going to do some housework, then?" I repeated what I'd said and he said "I'll give up drinking if you do some housework".

No real point relating the rest of the conversation as he was drunk, slurring and obnoxious. Said I was being ridiculous, that five drinks wasn't that much more than three, I asked why, if three and five drinks were the same, he'd lied. He just sneered. I said "you're so drunk you've forgotton a conversation, how can that be acceptable?" and he said the conversation about meeting up etc had never happened. I showed him the call record on my mobile and he said "well I don't remember it so I don't think I happened".

At this point I just wanted him gone so I gave him the keys to his mother's place down the road (she's away), and sent him off. He said he'd lost the car keys and his wallet.

Went to check on the DCs and they said they were hungry. Checked the kitchen and no evidence of sandwiches at all (we had a new loaf today, it was still unopened). Called H at his mother's and he admitted he "probably hadn't" fed them.

I have no idea what to do. I was supposed to be out tonight but have obviously cancelled.

We're supposed to be moving abroad at the end of the year but - I have little enough support structure here as it is.

I don't know what to do. Make him come to counselling? He really doesn't understand that I am upset about the lying (and him being so off his face he forgot me and didn't feed the DCs, but it's more that he won't admit that's unacceptable).

How he is while drunk has been commented on by his colleagues and friends. It was funny/normal/unremarkable years and years ago - drinking until puking, staying out til 4am, he's pissed himself in the past - he and I have been together 15 years - but he's not grown out of it.

I think he's pathetic and I am hating him right now, but maybe I'm being melodramatic.

westernshores Fri 03-Jun-11 21:48:15

Oh god forgot the most important part!

Sorry for the essay.

I asked to see his phone when I got back (to see the lack of messages/calls he was claiming). It was off. He said "well, look, no messages". I said "did you even turn it on?", he said "I looked and there were no messages" (ie, no).

I threw the phone at him! Jesus! Which was completely stupid on the one hand, as he then just kept saying "well your behaviour is much worse, you're throwing phones around" - I apologised right away - and terrifies me as that is a really violent thing to do and I'm not usually violent.

Am I abusive, too? Jesus. If he'd thrown something at me I know I'd be packing his bags.

harecare Fri 03-Jun-11 21:51:10

You're not. He has a problem. Until he realises it he can't stop it. I'm sure lots on here have experience of alcoholics and can help, but truly, you are not at all overreacting.
Good luck.

Gay40 Fri 03-Jun-11 21:52:15

No, you aren't. You aren't. It's one thing getting pissed. Neglecting to feed your little kids and having them witness this twattish behaviour is another. Lying, drinking, denying phone calls have happened. Thinking worrying you is fine.
He clearly can't step up to the plate.

harecare Fri 03-Jun-11 21:52:28

I hope you threw it very hard at his head. If not, then it can't have even hurt him.

hester Fri 03-Jun-11 21:53:02

You're not being melodramatic. You have a big problem on your hands, and he has a huge problem that he is not facing up to. You are absolutely right to want this tackled before you head overseas, away from your support networks.

HOW you do that is another question. Have you tried an ultimatum before?

elastamum Fri 03-Jun-11 21:53:28

Poor you. He has a drink problem and like a lot of people who do he is in denial.
You are not being dramatic. He is drunk, he lied, he left you waiting in a park and he didnt

My advice would be put all thoughts of moving on hold unless you want to end up alone in a strange country with 3 kids and a drunk awol husband sad

elastamum Fri 03-Jun-11 21:55:00

Sorry deleted the worst bit he didnt feed your children and lied about it angry

babyhammock Fri 03-Jun-11 21:55:54

Doesn't sound like you're being abusive at all. I think you sound at the end of your tether and who can blame you...

blackeyedsusan Fri 03-Jun-11 21:55:55

your poor dc's you realise that you can not leave them in his care agaain if he has been drinking. he can not be trusted.

i wouldn't be moving abroad with him either. you need to get help as a family/couple. time apart whilst you assess the situation may not be a bad thing.

elastamum Fri 03-Jun-11 21:56:32

I once lived with someone like this. thankfully we never had kids, but it was a nightmare worrying about what he would do next

westernshores Fri 03-Jun-11 21:56:43

Oh god thankyou so much. I can't tell you how it feels to read those responses.

He is so adamant (not just today, always), that I am being ridiculous and overreacting and what he does while drunk is normal that I do doubt myself, not having much frame of reference. And I truly don't have anyone I would feel comfortable spilling this stuff to IRL.

Though I did call his mother to get her permission for him to stay over and if she'd asked why (she didn't, she had guests), I'd've told her. That's a big deal I think as usually I am ashamed of this issue and want to keep it secret.

blackeyedsusan Fri 03-Jun-11 21:58:37

i think you already know that throwing things is not acceptable. in your favour you have not blamed him for that.

elastamum Fri 03-Jun-11 22:00:09

You need to tell people. by covering up for it you are colluding in his behavior. Tell his mum why you want him to stay then if you can tell your close RL friends. Talk to your GP and Al anon. Start to take a few steps to deal with the problem and he may realise how serious it is. BTW I would have broken the phone over his head and I dont throw things either

BelleEnd Fri 03-Jun-11 22:00:18

Oh, I'm sorry OP. It sounds like he has a big problem, and may not accept it until you get rid of him. sad

harecare Fri 03-Jun-11 22:00:36

Don't be ashamed to tell people. Tell his Mother. If your relationship is to be saved you need to share the burden of his problem.

Anniegetyourgun Fri 03-Jun-11 22:00:52

Of course you shouldn't throw things at him. (I would have done, too, but that doesn't make it right.) The fact you did something you shouldn't have done, though, does not excuse him being drunk in charge of the DCs (how old are they btw? Could they have fed themselves?)

Being that out of it that he doesn't remember whole conversations, or that he hasn't given the children any dinner, and losing vital things like keys and wallets, sounds a bit extreme even on five drinks. Unless, as you say, it's his blood sugar making it affect him more. Or unless it's all lies.

If he's mortified and abjectly sorry in the morning, off to the GP with him!

westernshores Fri 03-Jun-11 22:01:35

Throwing things is not acceptable. I grew up in an abusive household and had issues with anger for a long time - still do but have worked hard to control them. I wish I hadn't thrown the fucking phone, mostly because he'll go on and on about it and use it as evidence that I'm unreasonable and he's perfect. Like the fucking housework comment, I mean, what the fuck.

balia Fri 03-Jun-11 22:04:11

He drank again after you called. He had more than 5 drinks. I was married to one. If you gave him an ultimatum previously then you have to stick to it if you want any chance of saving your marriage an pulling things around. You are not melodramatic or abusive - you are married to a drunk.

elastamum Fri 03-Jun-11 22:04:30

If he starts going on about the phone, just calmly explain that you have apologised but you are not going to let him divert attention from the core issue, which is his drinking.

westernshores Fri 03-Jun-11 22:07:29

He won't be mortified tomorrow. He'll probably barely remember anything (which means it didn't happen in his head, of course).

He now says he gave the DCs some bread as "it's what they wanted". IF (big if), he did, it would've been one slice of bread - no plates have been used. I don't know if that's better or worse than nothing?!

DCs are 4 and 3 so no, can't feed themselves.

I am finding five drinks hard to believe as well - I said to him that he'd lied already so how was I supposed to believe it was five. It could be that he was drinking/not eating all day and the 'five drinks' refers to what he had immediately before coming home. He DOES get 'drunk' (slurry and stupid), relatively quickly depending on what he's drinking.

I suppose the five drinks could be five triple gin and tonics, that wouldn't be unheard of.

I am going to insist he sees a GP - can I insist I come too, to check he actually says what the issue is?

I don't know what to do about the international move - I CAN'T have him acting like this in a different country, but... Maybe I should focus on counselling and refuse to move if he doesn't do it properly?

If he's going to sit there saying he'll stop drinking if I do more housework I don't know what the fuck point there is to counselling though.

westernshores Fri 03-Jun-11 22:09:49

balia, I just checked after your comment and am as sure as I can be that he didn't drink after he got home. He was in no state to be sneaky really.

He is a binge drinker, but rarely which in his head makes it okay? Back in the olden days of our relationship 'everyone' DID do it (city boys, traders), but his behaviour has been mentioned by colleagues and not in a funny way, which is to me a pretty huge red flag that he isn't just doing the same as everyone else.

elastamum Fri 03-Jun-11 22:12:38

Poor you. The five drinks thing is bullshit, the housework thing is a dversionary tactic and you cant leave a drunk with a 3 and 4 year old. Insist he see the GP and deals withn HIS problem. Get some help

LoopyLoopsBettyBoops Fri 03-Jun-11 22:14:14

He has some really serious problems that need to be dealt with. You can't go on like this, and you really mustn't go to live abroad with this hanging over you.

I agree, he cannot be left in charge of the children. I think probably a trip to the GP is his first port of call. You have to stay strong, annd believe in your conviction that you won't be putting up wih this.

Mum1369 Fri 03-Jun-11 22:16:02

If it's a pattern you recognise then don't blame yourself for your most recent response. You are just questioning whether this is really happening. It sounds like it is. It sounds like he needs help. Don't get tied up in the detail - look at what has been happening for a long time, don't let him focus on the last argument. Trust your judgement and your instincts. Lots of people on here have been in this situation and can advise

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