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what can i do about his drinking? PLEASE HELP

(56 Posts)
aanons Mon 08-Aug-11 11:05:07

DH has always had an addictive personality and enjoyed a drink. A few years ago he was falsely accused of something. It took 2 years (due to police incompetancy) to clear his name but in that time he began to drink heavily (hiding half bottles of vodka around the hous and drinking during the days). I eventually managed to get him to go and get some help from the gp. He cut back but didn't stop.
2 years on we have a DS and DC2 is on the way but DH drinking has started to creep up again. He could quite happily drink 12 units of alcohol a night. He has a job now and doesn't drink during the day but does drink every night.
I lost it with him the other night and threatened to leave. He said he knows he is drinking too much but says that we can sort it together (ie he doesn't need to go get help)
He has sgreed to cut back (2/3 cans a night) but I'm not sure if this is enough. Will it just keep creeping up again. I have offereed to go t total with him as I'm not bothereed about drink at all and am obviously not drinking at the moment anyway. but he seems to just want to 'get it undre control' as apposed to stopping. He would not go to aa. I have mentioned hypnotherepy which he's not 100% against.
What can I do? Will cutting back help? His argument is that he's not drinking during the day so he's not an alcoholic.
Help please.

BelleDameSansMerci Mon 08-Aug-11 11:13:57

I think you probably already know the answer to this, sadly... Unless he is willing to admit and address his alcoholism things are unlikely to improve. There is nothing that you can do - he has to do it himself.

You may find this site helpful.

ImperialBlether Mon 08-Aug-11 11:29:06

But is he actually an alcoholic? Do you believe he could slowly cut down and return to drinking healthily?

aanons Mon 08-Aug-11 11:33:00

I'm not sure. He's not drunk every day but he likes a drink every day IYSWIM. I think he can cut down but only because I'd badger him into it. Left to his own devices I think he'd get worse.

aanons Mon 08-Aug-11 11:34:58

Because he knows he's not as bad as he was (drinking vodka all day) he believes he's slowly getting it under control and that these increases are blips along the way
That is why he wont accept help as he feels he's better than he was (ie not rock bottem as they call it)

bejeezus Mon 08-Aug-11 11:39:04

agree with Belle

there is nothing YOU can do. You need to stop badgering him, he knows how you feel.

You need to concentrate on looking after yourself and your children

I would very strongly recommend getting support from Al-Anon. They have meetings all over the country at all times of the day

aleene Mon 08-Aug-11 11:39:32

Someone who is alcohol dependent will make up/believe all sorts of things about their drinking and cutting down. I think if you think there is a probelm, there is a problem. It will take a drinker a long time to realise and admit there is a problem and they have to do it for themselves. You can't do it for them. This may be a long road you are on and I wish you luck and patience. Try to get help for yourself too, you can go to AlAnon.

bejeezus Mon 08-Aug-11 11:40:11

oops-yes, Belle already linked to the Al-Anon site

aanons Mon 08-Aug-11 11:46:24

I can't sit and do nothing. I'm not going to meetings about him if he wont go himself, what's the point. Are you suggesting I stop nagging, let him drink what he wants? What if he never admits he's got a problem? Looking fter myself and my children includes helping him get better surely?

IAmTheCookieMonster Mon 08-Aug-11 11:54:58

The problem with functional alcoholics is that they don't reach rock bottom so its harder for them realise that they are alcoholics, in their heart of hearts they just think they are "having a drink to unwind and whats wrong with that?" and that other people are nagging them.

BelleDameSansMerci Mon 08-Aug-11 12:00:10

If he is an alcoholic there is nothing that you can do. You can point out the damage he is doing to your family, your relationship and himself but only he can make the necessary changes.

You might find this helpful - it is about how to help an alcoholic you live with.

Having an alcoholic as a father and living with the outcome of that every day makes me very intolerant of alcoholics and the lies they tell themselves and others. The link I've posted here takes a more empathic approach.

bejeezus Mon 08-Aug-11 12:01:29

whatever efforts you put in to 'helping him' will have the same effect as if you put in no efforts at all; the only difference being you will be exhausted, emotionally strung out and stressed with less time and energy for your kids. Kids, who will already be lacking parental input as their father has a drinking problem/ is an alcoholic

Al-Anon meetings are not meetings about him, they are meetings about YOU

You will need lots of support if you are married to an alcoholic (I speak from experience)

You cannot help him
if he is an alcoholic, then drink will become his priority over you and the kids

bejeezus Mon 08-Aug-11 12:05:20

by nagging him and 'trying to help him' you will be ENABLING him

there is plenty to read on the internet about this. A google search gave me this;

zookeeper Mon 08-Aug-11 12:14:39

aanons I do feel for you - my ex was - is - drink dependant, an alcoholic, call it what you want and I struggled for years to make him change. Finally I realised that he was never going to change or that even if he did I didn't want to be around to help him any more and we separated four years ago. I have no doubt that I made the right decision.

I do think your approach is understandable but wrong; imo, you have to accept that this is a problem that only he can change. Whether or not he does it with or without your support is for you to decide; but personally i would say that you need to be focusing your energy on your children and yourself.

It is very damaging for your dcs to grow up seeing you argue about drink and you will be so worn down, if you're not already, looking for bottles, checking how much is in them, trying to convince yourself that maybe you're overreacting, living with the repeated bitter disappointment each time you realise he's been drinking in secret again,etc etc. Why put yourself through that? and more importantly, why would you put your dcs through it? Because they won't be oblivious to it.

I don't understand alcoholism; I know that my exdp was really a good man but that his need for alcohol ultimately lost him his family life. I also know is that my family is so much happier now we are not dealing with it on a daily basis.

Have a look through the old threads - there are loads on here on this subject; there was a support thread when I was going through what you are. I remember Attila gave great advice, perhaps more thoughtful and considered than my "run for the hills " thoughts.

I really hope that it works out for you.

aanons Mon 08-Aug-11 12:16:12

I don't want meetings about me

zookeeper Mon 08-Aug-11 12:19:06

but it's you that needs to change your approach , moreso than him, and the meetings will help you , if only to meet other people who are going through what you are experiencing smile

BelleDameSansMerci Mon 08-Aug-11 12:19:38

What do you want aanons? No-one can give you a way to help or stop your husband's drinking because only he can do that. What we're trying to do is help you.

aanons Mon 08-Aug-11 12:20:16

So it is my fault? I need to change?

zookeeper Mon 08-Aug-11 12:21:02

no of course it's not your fault but you do need to change your approach, yes.

aanons Mon 08-Aug-11 12:22:10

I don't want help for me, i want to help him. I can't accept that there is nothing i can do. It seems I'm only able to make it worse. I'm sorry if i sound angry but to be honest I am.
I've been delbt a really shitty stick

zookeeper Mon 08-Aug-11 12:24:33

I know. It's bloody awful and you're every right to feel angry. I've got no magic solution, but i do know from my experience and from the thoughts of the thousands of people who go through this , that you can't change them. If anything, by tolerating it you are enabling him to drink. It's very difficult and harsh but there is loads of support for you out there and here if you want it

zookeeper Mon 08-Aug-11 12:25:39

Where are you Attila???????

QuintessentialShadow Mon 08-Aug-11 12:26:41

Your husband does not need help. You do. And your children.

Your husband is having a relationship with drink, primarily, and there is nothing you can say or do.

You dont want meetings about him, you dont want meetings about you (the spouse of an alcoholic).

What do you want?

To find acceptable ways of continuing to enable his relationship with drink so it does not impact on his health, his work, his employability, your health, your childrens health, your family finances, your ability to pay bills and the mortgage, while he is abusing his body with alcohol and setting himself up for liver and kidney failure and an early death?

Fine, if that is what you want. But I dont think it is possible.

You dont want help for YOU. You are accepting that he does not want help for HIM. He has his head firmly in the sand that is denial. And it seems so do you.

You cannot help him. You can help yourself and you can help your children. If you want to, that is.

BelleDameSansMerci Mon 08-Aug-11 12:27:29

I know it's not what you want to hear/read but you can't do anything to help or change his behaviour - only he can do that.

I'd be furious - not least at being powerless to control it. You do have hold of a shitty stick. I'd drop it but I'm not you. You can't clean it - it's not your shit.

joblot Mon 08-Aug-11 12:31:00

Alan carrs book about alcohol is very accessible, worth a read if your h is willing

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