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Please help me get some perspective(22 Posts)
My DP went out for a drink last night after work, saying he'd be home by midnight. At 4am our DS (22mo) and I were woken up by a drunken phone call from DP, saying he had to tell me something, and that he'd been using cocaine for the last five months and he wanted my help. When questioned, he said he uses it every time he goes out with his mates or workmates (which is about once every week or two), and that he gets it from his two best (university) mates or a colleague. He's currently dead to the world, stinking out the upstairs with beer fumes.
It explains a few things - why his hangovers last three days, why he's constantly knackered and yet can't sleep properly. He repeatedly says he's 'never drinking again' and that I have to stop him going out.
We've always argued, but it's got a lot worse this year. For a long time he convinced me it was my fault, but I'd come to realise that he has anger issues - completely overreacting, shouting and swearing (earlier this week he shouted at me for making a slightly tasteless comment, terrifying DS, and then poured a cup of tea over the dinner I'd made and smashed the mug on the floor). DP is doing a GTP, training to become a primary school teacher, and I'd put his outbursts down to stress, but maybe there's another explanation? I don't know if taking coke a few times a month can have this effect?
What makes this worse is that, for financial reasons, we had planned for him to move into the spare room of these two mates, while DS and I went to stay with my PILs, and DP finishes his course. Clearly they're a bad influence (and yes, the colleague who gives him drugs is also a primary school teacher (deputy headteacher, actually) and has always seemed unhinged) so I can't let him move in with them now. But we can't afford to stay where we are...
Gah, I'm sorry this is so long. How bad is this? Last night he kept saying I had to help him, but I fear he's going to expect me to sort it out without any input from him. I'm beginning to see that he's totally irresponsible (there is other evidence of this). I'm sorely tempted to cut up his bank cards and treat him like a child - would this be overreacting?
Oh shit. Yes, absolutely, the coke is making his behaviour worse, cokeheads are horrible people, irrational and aggressive. Tell him that it's up to him to help himself and point him in the direction of drugs and alcohol counselling. Also tell him that if he doesn't sort himself out and stop the drugs and drink now you will throw him out of the house, and be prepared to do it.
No one should have to live with an aggressive addict.
I think your instinct that he is not going to take responsibility for his behaviour and his addiction, is absolutely right.
He's going to palm the responsibility for managing his addiction, onto you. And sorry, but you can't accept that responsibility because you can't control his behaviour. And anyway, people who tell other people they have to help them, are entitled tits - no-one has to help anyone else, you're under no obligation to help him actually, he's under an obligation to stop being a coke user whether anyone else helps him or not.
I personally would cut my losses and leave him. It wouldn't be over-reacting to cut up his back cards, but infantilising him in that way wouldn't actually help - it would just reinforce the notion, that you are the adult in this relationship and he is the child. Dunno about you, but the only relationship I want to have where I treat people like children, are with those I have with, er, children - I want to have adult relationships with other adults.
Thanks SGB. It is hard to judge my reaction to this. It's so out of character for him. I've made him sound like a wanker above, which he is around me, but outside of our relationship he's a lovely man, the kind of person people go to for help, and everyone likes having him around.
Unfortunately kicking him out is not really an option, as we are down to our last penny every month as it is. I'm just so angry that I've been leaving my child with this man while I go out to work every weekend (I took the day off today to see some friends - not happening now!).
I'll be interested to hear what he has to say when he wakes up, if he even remembers...
"outside of our relationship he's a lovely man"
Yeah but you live inside your relationship.
If you are to have any kind of loving relationship he needs to stop with the coke now. Tell him you will give him all the support he needs but it's ultimately up to him to stop. Things will only get worse if he doesn't and it's a very expensive habit.
If he's hooked, he'll use every excuse in the book to try not to stop "I only do it every now and again", "I don't have much", "You're overreacting". All bollocks. The people I know who have taken cocaine on a regular basis are downright miserable due to being in massive debt, losing their jobs as they go on benders during the weekend and don't make it into work on Monday, and even end up with criminal records.
Needless to say, if he ends up with a criminal record through possession he won't ever be able to work with children.
Ultimately, you need to put yourself and your DS first; make it clear that if he's not willing to stop there's no future for you as a family, as hard as that may be.
Thinking of you.
I would want to know why now. What is it about last night that made him confess? He needs to take responsibilty, for getting help, for doing it, the impact it has had on the family. If he can't do that I can't see how it will work out.
Yes, that's it HerBeX - you've verbalised my resistance to sorting it out for him. I've thought about leaving him so many times, even if just temporarily, but have no idea how I would even go about this. I have no childcare, and no means of my own. I guess going to the PILs is still an option, and he can just sort himself out.
Ralph, I hadn't even thought of the criminal record aspect. And I bet he hasn't either. Thanks for your other comments too
Kicking him out is definitely an option. You were planning to live separately in the near future anyway. Just bring that forward a little bit and ask him to go to his parents and you find somewhere cheaper to go with your child.
The coke thing is worrrying, and SGB is right about cokeheads being horrible people, but his abusive behaviour between coke binges is unlikely to be directly attributable to coke use.
"I've made him sound like a wanker above, which he is around me, but outside of our relationship he's a lovely man, the kind of person people go to for help, and everyone likes having him around."
That pretty much describes every abusive man - nice to everyone, shit to his partner. It's one of the reasons they get away with it - if they were always horrible, and everyone knew they were horrible, there would be far less pressure on women to stay with them.
It's not fair on your child to make him grow up in a home with someone who regularly uses coke. I am no stranger to recreational drug use in my past, but I would not want my kids near someone coming down from a coke bender. I wouldn't want that in my house. It's dirty, seedy, unhealthy, and nasty.
Someone who goes out once a week on a bender when they have a child at home is not a good parent, and not a good partner. Do you get to go out all night once a week too? Or is your job to stay at home like a good Mammy while he spends all the money you don't have on coke while you struggle to keep house and home together?
It sounds like you've made a bad choice in partner and father of your child. The good new is that choice is not irreversible. He'll always be your child's father, but you don't have to live with him and you don't have to spend your life being treated like shit while he is nice to everyone else. And you don't have to be the responsible one while he acts like a bold child.
Cut him loose. Maybe he'll clean up his act and one day you'll see there was a great man underneath. But he has to do that on his own.
And if (far more likely) he takes coke because he's a dick, and it's not just coke making him into a dick (I'm not sure the "cokeheads are horrible" is a causal relationship) then at least you'll be living your own life while he fucks up his own.
I think if you've thought about it lots, you probably should leave him.
It might be the kick up the arse he needs. If the PILs are an option, I'd take it and I'd take it immediately - instant negative reaction might be what he needs to know that you are not going to put up with his being a coke user.
I would tell his parents that I need to move in with them quicker than I realised and explain why. You could be really upfront wiht them, if that is the sort of relationship you have - would they support you if you said that you're moving in with them with a view to living together again with him once you're able to, but that if he doesn't sort himself out, you will split with him as you're not prepared to live with a coke-user and you don't want that shit round your children?
"What is it about last night that made him confess?"
He was off his head on coke. He'll probably wake up and deny it.
I'm so sorry. But there are massive red flags jumping up out of your post. Firstly, he is completely absolving himself of any responsibility. The idea that it is up to you to 'stop him going out' or stop him staying with his friends/dealers is frankly ridiculous. Until he recognises that he has a problem and he needs to sort it out, it will not stop.
Secondly, I'm shocked at what he did during an argument. Yelling at you in front of your child, scaring him and you, as well as pouring tea over food and then breaking the mug is disgusting behaviour and, I'm sorry, but to me a short step away from physically hurting you. If my dh did that, I would be out the door and that is the time when he would have to be sorting himself out.
I am normally of the opinion that people get told to leave their partner too readily, but really, I think you need to get out and soon. I think once you have some distance you will be able to think more clearly and objectively about the way forward. Do you have anyone you can stay with?
I type really slowly. Posters above put it much better than me.
Yes, sorry Springbok is right, we're all so busy focusing on the coke use (because it is such a big overwhelming issue) that we're not really addressing the DV issue as much. That pouring tea over is classic abuser behaviour, men who go on to use physical violence against their partners, do that kind of stuff first, as a way of testing how much shit will be tolerated and pushing it further and further.
Phew, lots to address here! Firstly, he said that he hadn't taken anything last night, just been drinking. Obviously I'm taking that with a pinch of salt, but I'm inclined to believe him. I agree I need to ask him what made him confess.
I don't think he's so far spent any money on drugs. I have to keep a close watch on our finances as money is so tight, and I haven't noticed anything suspect.
His parents live 150 miles away, so due to his course he can't go there. I've resigned from my weekend job, but I still have three weeks' notice to work out, but I'll definitely be moving once that's over (and it'll be a bit easier to get to my mum's, which is another 150 miles away again). I don't drive, so that makes it more difficult. I'm sure the PILs would be supportive of me if I told them everything, but I don't think I can do that to them.
God, I sound like I'm defending him. I don't want to.
The DV thing is difficult. I'm ashamed to say that there has been something approaching violence from both of us in the past, beginning with me. I can't place all the blame for that on him, though of course it is inexcusable whatever the reason/history. His temper is getting worse though, but I don't know if this is down to coke/stress/being a dick. Probably all three.
Thanks for talking to me about this, everyone. It's really helpful
You'll be a lot better off financially if you are not living with an abusive cokehead. That is probably why money is so tight at the moment, he is snaffling it to spend on himself.
How can he be doing that much coke and not paying for it? At around £50 a gram he must have some pretty generous mates if he's never paid for it. I think he must be hiding money from you if you haven't noticed this.
I would report the deputy head teacher too, it's appalling that he is working with children. Since when has cocaine use been acceptable amongst teachers?
I'd never get involved with drugs but I hate the way teachers are criticised for things they do outside work.
Doesn't that depend on whether it is likely to affect their performance as a teacher, Imperial?
Plenty of people have to stick to rigid rules about behaviour in their private life that might affect their professional roles.
I had a teacher who drank heavily; there is no doubt that he was less effective when suffering from a hangover. And the fact that he had frequently been seen drunk around town did not exactly help his discipline.
If this teacher is a deputy head, he is quite likely to be in charge of lecturing young children on the dangers of drug abuse and the illegality of dealing: if they find out that he is in fact a dealer, I would imagine that would considerably lessen his ability to fulfill his professional role in this instance. In fact, it would sabotage the teaching on these issues by any of his colleagues as well.
If the OPs dh is unable to stop behaviour that leaves him with 3 day hangovers and makes him violent, then I would say that is extremely likely to impact on his ability to teach.
Actually the OP did say that this Deputy HT is unhinged so I don't think it's that unreasonable to question his suitableness to help formulate policy re children. Also it isn't unreasonable to expect any professional to keep within the law - I'm pretty sure I could be sacked for being prosecuted for illegal drug use even though it doesn't directly have anything to do with my job - but most people have some catch-all clause in their contract about bringing their organisation into disrepute or some such
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