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How do you help someone with a drinking dependency?

(42 Posts)
messagetoyourudy Thu 11-Aug-11 08:47:26

I am lost really. I feel my DH has a drinking dependency, I have looked at various definitions on the internet and he doesn't seem to come into the category of alcoholic but his drinking is alot.

Most nights he come home from work and the first thing he does is have a can of cider or a glass of wine. If it is wine he will drink a whole bottle to himself, if it is cider he will drink 3/4 cans of strong cider. He drinks quickly for the hit and can easily finish a bottle of wine in an hour or so. He drinks without thought so can be pouring himself a glass at 10pm even though he is about to go to bed.

At the weekend if we are all at home he will often start on a can at lunch time and drink for the rest of the day. He can never seem to say no to a social event and he has no off button. For example he went out last weekend for a few and came home very drunk at 3.30am! Even though he knew I was working the next day and he would have to get up with the kids.

He thinks that because he doesn't have a drink in the mornings it's not a drink problem. I am finding it very difficult as his brother has just split up with his wife over the much the same sort of thing (his brother was asked to leave the family home as he also just cant say no to 'fun' be it drink or recreational drugs) so it has brought it all to a head for me.

Both of his parents are drinkers and always have been, if we go over for sunday lunch it is not uncommon for his dad to be drinking a whiskey at 11am.

I would really like to help him stop/cut down I worry that my children already see drinking as the norm (they are 5 & 7). But is he doesn't see it as a problem how can I help? He suffers from boughts of depression and has recently admitted to having suicidal thoughts which really shook me as I thought we were happy as a family.

AuntieMonica Thu 11-Aug-11 09:06:18

hi there

from what you've described here, and bearing in mind i'm not a professional, i'd say he was alcoholic. my dad is alcoholic, as is my sister and my exH was too.

i'm so sad for you, but if you're really concerned, and want help, there will be lots of it around. it won't all be pleasant reading though sad

if he doesn't think he has a problem, then you won't be able to help him stop drinking.

what effect does his drinking actually have on your life? do you 'clean up' after his extended nights out? do you cover his tracks to hide it from your DCs? do you pay his bills for him if he 'forgets', do you sub his drinking funds?

don't hide the things he does, don't pick his dirty shoes up from the hallway in the morning (you know the ones, where he's walked through parks as he was too pissed to get a cab fancied a walk home), don't wait up for him to make sure he gets to bed ok, don't wash the sink out where he's been sick... if any of this sounds familiar, you are helping him stay alcoholic, you realise that?

a starter with helping him realise how much he's drinking could be to collect all his empties for a month, keeping a tally on the financial cost, and confronting him with a big bill that is for the same amount.

whilst things are ok for him to drink, he isn't going to want to stop.

sorry if this is harsh reading, but the only way forwards.

x

Snorbs Thu 11-Aug-11 13:23:37

I'd not get too hung up on whether someone is an alcoholic or not. The word "alcoholic" means different things to different people and there is no one universal definition. I would say that your DH has an alcohol problem and, sadly, alcohol problems tend to get worse.

The depression he is feeling is quite likely entirely caused, or at least significantly worsened, by the booze. And even if he does have depression that is entirely unrelated to his alcohol intake he won't be able to deal with that depression until he gets his drinking issues resolved. Another possibility - if you start talking to him about his drinking and he then steers the conversation onto how depressed he's feeling, then the conversation stops being one about all the booze he's pouring down his throat.

Someone with a significant alcohol problem has two big fears. The first is the fear of how desperately dull, hollow and awful life would be without the booze. Make no mistake - that's a powerful fear. To someone with a serious drug/alcohol problem the thought of life without their preferred drug is horrifying. How can they possibly cope without their chemical crutch?

The second fear more complex. It's a combination of the guilt over what their alcohol problem has already cost them (money, friends, opportunities) plus the dread of what they could still go on to lose if they continue drinking. And there's the fear of being found out as someone with a significant alcohol problem because, if they are, they would be under even more pressure to stop drinking.

In general, someone with an ongoing alcohol problem will largely ignore the second fear in favour of continuing to drink. The first fear is more powerful and the second fear can be explained away as "Well, at least I'm not drinking first thing in the morning so I can't be that bad and so the really awful stuff won't happen to me".

Again, in general, it is only when what their drinking has cost them mounts up so much it becomes unignorable that they start to seriously reconsider. At that point they may appreciate the near-certainty that their life is going to go completely down the pan if they continue drinking and they then do something about it. Or not. Many never get to that point and just continue drinking.

You cannot talk someone into sorting out their alcohol problem. Their alcohol issues are theirs to deal with. All you can do is make decisions over what you need to do to protect yourself and those you are responsible for from the effects of all the booze.

Regular heavy drinking has a cumulative effect. He may well not be properly sobering up from the previous day's drinking before he starts again today. Over time this usually gets worse.

Drunks make poor parents as their emotions and their reactions vary hugely depending on how much they've had to drink. Children need consistency and firm boundaries and someone who's spending half the time drunk cannot provide that.

Drunks also make poor partners as their primary relationship is with the booze, not the other person. They will blow off commitments in favour of getting drunk. They will make grandiose promises to their partners that they won't get too drunk at this party, or they won't be hungover the next day, or that they've only had a couple of drinks... and it turns out that those promises are hollow.

It is common for someone in a relationship with a drunk to end up as the booze police, counting how many drinks have been consumed, searching the house for hidden bottles, checking the recycling for empties that have been sneaked out. I know I did. Damn-near drove me nuts.

I wish I could say "Right, what you need to do is x, y then z and he'll stop drinking." But I can't. It doesn't work like that. I can say that my over the last five years my ex's drinking has cost her relationships, our children, numerous jobs, most of her friends, her driving license, her health and all her money. She continued drinking through it all (well, more accurately, she bounced between sober for a few weeks and drunk).

More recently she has stopped drinking and has stayed sober for some months now. I don't know what triggered this and I'm really not that interested - her drinking is her problem to deal with. My problem is to protect myself, and our children, from the effects of her drinking.

I can give you some recommendations:

First, ignore what he says about his drinking and pay attention to what he does. He's drinking a lot and he's doing so pretty much every day. That he feels it's not a problem is simply his opinion. It's not the only one that counts. If he was raised in a family of heavy drinkers (as my ex was) then their opinion of "normal" drinking is hopelessly skewed.

Second, try to get hold of a copy of either "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie or "Getting Them Sober Volume 1" by Toby Rice Drews. I think the latter might be of more immediate use to you than the former, but they're both good books.

Third, try to stop thinking about his drinking problem as something that you have the power to fix. You don't. There are things that you can do - that don't necessarily mean splitting up - that will reduce the effects of his drinking on your life. Either of the books above can help with that, as can Al-Anon (the friends and family offshoot of Alcoholics Anonymous) and one-on-one counselling. I got some counselling organised by my GP and it was incredibly helpful for me.

Good luck.

messagetoyourudy Thu 11-Aug-11 13:38:06

AuntieM

I am not just saying it but really I do very little to cover up for his drinking - I can't say I have ever waited up for him to get home, or that he has ever been sick, or too pissed to get a cab home safely. What I do is get annoyed that it's the first thing he does when he gets home from work, it would be nice if a cup of tea and a wrestle with the kids were his coping mechanics.

The effect it has on me - he smells bad, ever since I got pregnant I can't stand the smell of booze, it means I don't want to kiss him/have sex with him. The money is a big concern he must spend in the region of £40-50 a week easily. He snores and thrashes aroud this effects my sleep. He often cant drive because he is over the limit, a classic example would be when our youngest cut his head open and had to go to hospital he needed stitches - I fainted because of the blood but DH was over the limit (it was 6pm)

I am very irked about it at the moment as he went away to a festival 2 weeks ago, which was a 4 day bender. He then went out last weekend and came home at 3.30am. Its a friends stag do this weekend, and he wants my mum to have the kids (I am working) so he can not have the worry of coming home early/dealing with kids the next day.

He thinks I am being unreasonable and curtailing his fun as he feels he has a valid reason for each night out. On top of that we have been invited to a family sports day/bbq/camping on the bank holiday weekend but he doesn't want to go because its means he will miss another bloody festival!!! He has agreed to go but it is with reluctance and I know he will get really pissed.....

I am not opposed to people drinking - I like to have a glass of wine in the evening but not until the kids are in bed and a bottle of wine would last me 3 nights.

The idea of collecting his monthly empties is a good one as well as the financial bill.

solidgoldbrass Thu 11-Aug-11 13:44:29

It's not just the booze, is it? This man thinks he can do what he likes and you are there to do the housework and childcare; he is putting his own entertainment ahead of you and DC. Has he always been this selfish?

JustCallMeMrsTeabag Thu 11-Aug-11 16:08:47

I read your thread, and it's taken me a long time to decide to write, because I don't like 'sharing' about the fact that I had (or still have, I guess, because once an addict, always an addict) a drink problem. But when I read your post about your husband, I thought ''that was me'. I like to think that maybe didn't behave quite as selfishly as your husband is, but then that's just my view and if you asked my ex, he might say differently. He probably would, in all honesty.

I think you should print out this thread and consider one day giving it to your husband to read. Ask him to take a long, hard honest look at himself and his drinking. Your husband knows (very deep down) that he is drinking too much. Consciously, he may not yet be able to acknowledge his drinking is even a problem. He may think he is still in control. It's very hard to admit to having a drink problem, so don't imagine he is going to have an Epiphany one night and never touch a drop of alcohol again. Very simply, you can't do anything to stop your husband drinking, but I think you realise this. Only he can stop himself. And he has to want to stop more than anything in the world, otherwise he probably won't be able to. It may take him a long time to come to that point. It took me about 2 years before I admitted to myself that I had a problem and stopped drinking.

Like your husband, I didn't lose family or friends over my drinking. I never missed a day off work because of drink. I never passed out from drink, had black-outs or the shakes. I stopped drinking completely during my first pregnancy, and cut right down during my second, but couldn't stop completely. I stopped breastfeeding early because I wanted to drink again. I made sure I was home by 4pm every day so I could have my first drink. I liked weekends best because I could use that as an excuse to have a drink at lunchtime.

I did not think of myself as an alcoholic. But I drank between a bottle and a bottle and a half of wine every single day. I had a drink as soon as I got home, first two didn't even touch the sides, and I continued drinking until I went to bed. Once I had the kids, I would allow myself a glass of wine at 6pm. After a while, that became 5pm, then 4pm. In hindsight, absolutely everything revolved around my drinking. I always made sure I had alcohol in the house - always. I actually didn't like going out socially because it meant I couldn't drink as much as I wanted. I'd have 3-4 glasses of wine before I went out, to keep me going. I became aggressive and defensive if my partner broached the subject of my drinking. I didn't think I had a problem. Eventually, I lied to him about how much I was drinking, and I pretended to drink less than I did.

Don't stop making your husband aware of how selfishly he is behaving, or the impact his drinking is having on you. Ask him to consider speaking to Counsellor or a trained professional. Your GP will be too 'familiar' so probably easier for him to speak to a stranger. Tell him you love him but make it clear how much his drinking is hurting you. Let him know that what he is doing is not okay. It's not okay for him to behave this way and it's certainly not okay for your kids to grow up with his drinking pattern being 'the norm'. Only you know your cut-off point for sticking with him but the reality is, if he carries on drinking like he is, at some point the balance is going to tip out of his control.

I sought help, ostensibly for PND. I was still drinking heavily but somewhere along the line, something changed and I began to acknowledge to myself that alcohol was a problem for me. Still gave my partner an earful if he even mentioned my drinking, but deep down I knew that he was right. I set a date to give up, and I did stop drinking on that date. It actually wasn't as difficult as I expected it to be. I changed my routine and stopped doing things that I associated with alcohol. I drank Coke Zero instead and copious amounts of tea. My mood began to improve and I felt better about myself.

I made the mistake of having a drink again after 15 months, earlier this year actually. It was fine at first, just a half glass of wine every so often. Then, over a couple of weeks, my drinking started creeping up again. I knew that I was on a slippery slope but I thought I could handle it. Then, one day, this 'need' to have a drink just hit me. I craved alcohol in a way that I had never felt before. That was when I finally acknowledged to myself that I am an alcoholic. It took every ounce of willpower not to have a drink that day, and I haven't touched a drop since. I accept now that I can never, ever have alcohol again.

There is no 'happy' ending here. There have been many changes in my life since I stopped drinking. But on the positive side, my depression has gone, I feel empowered and in control of my life once again. I have more energy and certainly don't miss that horrible fuzzy-head feeling in the mornings. I still want a drink every so often, but I make myself a cup of tea instead and look at my children. They are not going to grow up with a drunk for a Mum.

messagetoyourudy Thu 11-Aug-11 21:51:59

MrsT - Thank-you so much for sharing your story with me.

The way you describe things is very like how my DH is, the way the weekend is his time to relax and have a drink early, the way he always want booze in the house. We stopped having spirits in the house because of how quickly they would be drunk, and he has in the past admitted to topping up bottles so I wouldn't know what he had drunk.

I can't see how he will feel he has a problem, he has probably drunk like this for the last 10 or more years. Shocking when I write it down. But what has he got to loose? Why should he change? I have let it be part of our lives hoping he will stop/cut down.

For some of it I feel like I have been an enabler. For a long time we both lived a party lifestyle and the 3 bottle of wine for a tenner from Threshers was our nightly norm. However, I suppose I always also looked after myself/went to the gym/did yoga/pilates/ate heathily and at some stage that grew more important to me than the booze. Oddly, I don't do any of those things now but have turned into my mother so anything more that 2 large glasses of wine pretty much means I will pay for it the next day!

And as you say I am so very aware of my 2 DS and how I want them to not thinking smoking and drinking is the norm. I feel that we could have such a happier life without this friction. And on the whole he is a good man dispite how it may seem - he has single handedly renovate our last two houses. He is kind and wants the best for our children, he is kind, funny and loves me with all of his heart but there is to me a piece of him missing, the piece that means when booze is around these things seem less important and I seem a nag/bore/not the woman I once was!

Snorbs - I have ordered those books that you recommended. I think my SIL will appreciate them too as she is currently living apart from her DH (my DH's brother) she is going through counselling for her own 'control' issues and is hoping her DH will go for his addiction/dependency issues.

Sorry all my posts are so long.
x

monstermissy Thu 11-Aug-11 22:00:33

I lived until very recently with an alcoholic partner for 16 years, we have just separated as i have finally realised that the drink will always win with him, i just cannot compete. Unfortunatly my 14 year old son whom has grown up with his dad being a drinker has decided he does not want to see him at the moment and is very uninterested in having a relationship with him. He says booze smells like unhappy. If he continues it will affect your children. My advice right now would be to walk away and never look back, its utter misery living with a drinker. This is because im still bloody angry with my ex for not being strong enough or wanting to quit enough for us to move forward.

I would get as much advice and support you can and speak to you dh lots. Dont waste your time on giving too many chances though i have wasted 16 years of my life hoping for the best and being constantly disappointed.

JustCallMeMrsTeabag Fri 12-Aug-11 08:26:01

Please don't think that you have, in any way, contributed towards your husband's drinking problem. You haven't. There is nothing that you could have done that would have made the slightest difference. You must understand that his wiring is so completely different to yours when it comes to drink, there's no comparison.

The pervasive social/binge drinking culture in the UK has a lot to answer for too. It's still completely socially acceptable to get completely drunk. For blokes, there is huge peer pressure to 'have a few beers with the lads". It's almost considered unmanly not to drink or to drink in moderation.

If your husband has grown up in a family where heavy drinking was the norm during his formative years, then I do believe this will have had a significant influence on him, and shaped his whole pattern of drinking. I'm not talking about being in a home where there was alcohol-related violence or aggression. I'm talking about a home where one or both parents drank heavily but were still able to 'function' normally at a basic level. It's not going to help if his brother is also in-denial about his own drinking problem, because your husband will use that as a way of' validating' his own denial of his drinking problem.

I don't know if there are different 'levels' of alcoholism. Certainly your comments about your husbands drinking habits were very similar to my own. I read the stories about alcoholics and the terrible tragic lives they led, but I never felt that related to my own situation. I didn't believe I fitted the profile of an alcoholic.

I wish I could help your husband. I wish I could take his hand and show him how much better his life will be if he stops drinking. You have already lost the man you loved, to a certain degree. He is still there, as you say: a loving husband and father, but the drink takes him away. It holds a higher priority in his life than you and the children. I don't know what will be his catalyst to stop drinking. He might have already acknowledged to himself that he has a drink problem, but perhaps is too scared to stop. For a long time, I couldn't imagine life without a drink and stopping was unthinkable. But please don't think it's too late for him. You say he's been drinking for 10 years? Well, I was drinking heavily for longer than that. Closer to 15 years, I think. Maybe even slightly longer.

I am not asking you to answer these questions here on this forum, but how much do you know of what's going on his life at the moment? How stressful is his job? Does he tend to drink more heavily when he feels under pressure? Have you got financial worries at the moment? Has his drinking increased since you had children?

Drinking and depression become a vicious downward spiral, and they go hand-in-hand. I drank more because of my 'huge' unsolvable problems (or so I told myself), I was desperately unhappy to the point of considering suicide, as I felt trapped and that my life was unbearable. Interestingly, once I gave up drinking, my 'problems' seemed to become smaller. Some disappeared altogether because they were only ever the product of my drink-related depression. Other issues I was able to start working through, because I had sobriety and clarity of thought for the first time in years.

One thing to consider maybe: if your husband is at the point of having suicidal thoughts, then you need to sit him down to talk about what's going on, and ask him to talk to a professional to get help. The drinking is the real problem here, but it may be easier for him to accept he needs help for depression, rather than mentioning alcoholism. Like me, he might be kidding himself that he drinks because he is depressed, not the other way around. Once he is in counselling, he may be able to start exploring the drinking issue. Just a thought.

littlemisspuddleduck Fri 12-Aug-11 10:21:27

I am in a very similar situation ... married 10 years .... before children we would drink together socially, but since having them I have noticed that H is very drink dependent. He doesn't drink in public (is this normal?) - but will have up to 3 bottles of wine a night (he even takes his last drink to bed ... and if I comment he tells me to stop nagging!). It's the first thing he does when he gets in from work ... and he drinks fast - often the first bottle is gone before I have taken a sip of the glass he pours for me. He spends a lot of time 'doing jobs' outside and in the garage so I can never tell how much he's having, and at weekends he starts early - often very drunk before the children go to bed. Although he always says he can't bear to drink at lunchtime?

I resent him and the situation ... it goes in cycles - I get frustrated and something tips me over the edge ... like finding empty vodka bottles hidden, or him being over the limit when I need him to drive - and we have a row - I say I can't take any more - and he gives up for a few weeks. That's where we are now ... him not drinking - and making a big deal of it ... I'm supposed to feel grateful - maybe I should ... but I don't - I don't want this life - this constant battle with him and with alcohol.

I have been to the GP for help and tried to push him in the right direction ... he went to an AA meeting and came home feeling virtuous because he "wasn't like all the others" and didn't think he had a problem (!)

I feel hopeless ... I know it's not my problem - but I'm sick of supporting him, and I don't want this life for my children - but equally I don't want them to grow up without their dad sad

.... sorry - that turned into an essay. Your message struck a chord with me and I just wanted you to know you aren't alone. I just wish I had some answers.

OneHundredPercentFucked Fri 12-Aug-11 10:51:25

You can't. Not really.

Haven't read the whole thread yet, sorry.

You can try and try and try to help him, you can bend over backwards for him, but the short of it is, anything you don't won't help until he is ready to help himself.

Sorry.

stayforthekids1 Fri 12-Aug-11 11:03:10

I dont believe you can help him. From my own experience....I was married for 7 years to a drinker like you describe in your OP. I tried all sorts to get him to cut back, stop. Nothing worked. Because he didnt want to. We separated last month...and still he drinks. So even losing his wife and not living with his four kids anymore, didnt change anything.

JustCallMeMrsTeabag Fri 12-Aug-11 11:14:41

MissPuddleduck, you refer to your husband as being very drink dependent. That sounds so careful and, well, mild. I would say that your husband is an alcoholic. Do you think of him as one? Or do you just see this as him drinking heavily.

The amount and rate that he is drinking suggests this has been going on for some time. Does he tell you he can give up whenever he wants and to stop nagging, he just likes a drink? The secretiveness of his drinking, hiding bottles, the giving up for a few weeks. Your husband is an alcoholic and has been for a long time. A lot of alcoholics prefer to drink in private. I was one of those too. There were times I would rather not drink at all if we went out, because I found drinking in public too difficult, too limiting. I'd be on my third before anyone else had even got half way through their first glass.

There are some usual reference books mentioned in an earlier thread, which might be of interest.

Other than that, I don't know what to suggest. You can't make him give up and clearly he doesn't want to. He is still in complete denial. But perhaps you should also speak to your local Al-Anon, if you haven't already done so.

JustCallMeMrsTeabag Fri 12-Aug-11 11:17:22

Second paragraph from the bottom of my last post should have read, 'there are someuseful reference books' .....not usual obviously!

littlemisspuddleduck Fri 12-Aug-11 11:49:28

Thank you for your reply - it's nice to see someone else's opinion on it.

Yes I do think he's an alcoholic ... and I resent it with every part of me. Alcohol has driven a very big wedge between us - I no longer respect him or trust him.

Although I say this to him ... he turns it back on me saying that he is giving up - that he isn't violent (he's not - but the emotional violence is every bit as bad) and that I am being unreasonable and unsupportive. He is controlling ... very controlling.

I am so often accused of nagging and being unreasonable that I have taken to keeping quiet and hope that he drinks himself to death. I know that sounds outrageous - but I am sick of fighting, I'm stuck in a never ending cycle - and I can't see a way out. Having a conversation with him is impossible - it's like we speak different languages ... and I come away so confused.

JustCallMeMrsTeabag Fri 12-Aug-11 12:14:13

Miss Puddleduck, don't let him sideline your emotions, or twist what you say. Don't let him turn the problem back onto you. Alcoholics are master manipulators.

Why can't you ask him to leave, because that's what you should do. Or you leave him. But you can't stay with this man. You probably have thought that many times already. For yourself, because you have the right to a life too, and especially for the sake of your children. Why can't you leave him - has he threatened you? Are you intimidated by him? Or has he just worn you down so much that you don't have the energy left to fight him anymore?

littlemisspuddleduck Fri 12-Aug-11 12:34:01

My new year resolution for the last 5 years has been to leave him... sad isn't it sad

I initiated the sale of our old house and told him that it was over ... but he convinced me to let him move with us - telling me that we would give it 6 months and see how we got on. 3 years later and he's still here. I have asked him to leave - I have packed his bags for him ... but he's still here.

He tells me that it's not fair on the children - that I am evil to split us up.

I am not working - gave up after second child - but am currently studying. I don't know where I would go - I have no money ... and above all I want the children to keep as much normality as possible. In my head I keep thinking ... just another year - that's all - then I will get a job and independence - then I can leave.

Snorbs Fri 12-Aug-11 12:40:53

"Having a conversation with him is impossible - it's like we speak different languages ... and I come away so confused."

You are speaking different languages. You are using language to try to understand him, to explain how you feel, and to try to work out compromise and change. He is using language to hide behind, to obfuscate, to side-track. Above all else he is using language to protect his drinking.

Active alcoholics - all active drug addicts - lie about their addiction. They lie to anyone and everyone. It's habitual, it's instinctive - they lie to hide their addiction. They throw tangents into the conversation to get the subject off of their drinking (eg, you mention how much they drink, they accuse you of nagging and, hey presto! The conversation is now about your relationship rather than their alcohol consumption). Most of all, though, they lie to themselves.

After all, if you admit to yourself you're addicted to alcohol then the only sensible course of action is to stop drinking entirely. So they lie to themselves about the depths of their addiction and how they're not really an alcoholic because they don't drink first-thing in the morning, or drink special-brew in the street with the tramps, or whatever it is that their personal definition of alcoholic behaviour is. They don't look at the similarities.

Earlier I said it's worthless to listen to what someone with a serious drink problem says about their drinking. They. Will. Lie. Instead, watch what they do.

tinky19 Fri 12-Aug-11 13:59:56

Hello, I am in similar situation with my DH. He's drunk for the last 16 years really. We used to drink together, as others have said, drinking 3 bottles of wine together. Then I fell pregnant with DS and stopped. Now two glasses is about my limit but he could still drink two bottles.
Recently he has cut down to 3 cans of lager a night. I am under no illusion that this may not last, but it is considerably better than before. (at his worst DH would hide vodka bottles - he had a very stressful experience which sent his drinking over the top)
Anyway, my dream would be for him to stop completely but he wont admit he's alcohol dependent, just admits to over doing it and so agreed to cut back.

My question is, should I go with this for a while? Hope he sees life is better between us? Is it dangerous for alcoholics of his level to stop drinking cold turkey? Or is this just him keeping me happy in the short term?
Oh, and has anybody tried hypnotherapy? Did it work?

bobblehead Fri 12-Aug-11 16:09:04

My dh tried hypnosis, didn't work. I think in order for it to work they would really have to WANT to stop drinking. While my dh admits he has a problem and will say he wants to stop, what he actually wants is for it to not be a problem. He likes drinking and wants to be normal, not to be an alcoholic or not able to drink at all.

My H's drinking became a problem after a long period of chronic stress too. It has improved over the last couple of years as he has "healed" a little so part of me is hopeful he will recover, but another part knows its not hopeful...

Like the OP, my dh comes from a family where heavy drinking is the norm. This makes it easy for him to justify it being normal, but also it is ingrained in him that this is how stress is dealt with, by having a drink.

I found Alan Carrs Easyway book an interesting read and am hoping one day dh will pick it up and question his views on alcohol a little more. He fully admits right now its scarey and would prefer to stick his head in the sand... (or bottle!)

tinky19 Fri 12-Aug-11 16:31:27

Hi bobblehead
Thanks for the info. DH said he would like the wanting to drink just that extra glass all the time to just be hypnotised away so I thought if it was something he was prepared to do then I might encourage him to give it a go. (anythings worth a go i suppose)
DH really hit a peak of drinking at the time his stressful situation hit it's worst. The whole stressful time lasted about 3 years and we are only about 6 months out of it so I too am hoping that as he heals and learns to move on he will need the drink less.
I am trying to be positive with him that he has cut down.
I think the idea of stopping all together terrifies him TBH. His parents aren't big drinkers but certainly drink more than my parents do. Glasses of wine at meal time the norm where as my parents might only drink a couple of glasses once or twice a week.
I will look out for Alan Carr's book as I've heard it mentioned before.

solidgoldbrass Fri 12-Aug-11 20:20:03

Hypnotherapy will do no more or less good/harm than any other method, actually. An alcoholic - or any other form of addict - will stop the addiction only when s/he chooses to. AA and other twelve step programmes work for some people but they won't work for those who are not actually ready to stop, and there is quite a lot of data out there suggesting that for some people they do more harm than good (high relapse rate, very dodgy attitude to life, oh and quite a lot of abuse of other people...)

messagetoyourudy Sat 13-Aug-11 21:33:53

So I'm trying to concentrate on what he does not what he drinks ( but still can't help noticing what he drinks!) last night I got home from work he had already had 2 can's of cider and was opening wine - it's 6pm. Kids are knackered as they have been at holiday club so I put them to bed while DH ponces around sending text/ringing friends/showering etc to go out. Then says 'Oh it's such and such leaving do I forgot I have to go out now to catch them' Its 7pm.

He comes home at 2.30am - (early in his book.) He stays up chatting with friend who needed somewhere to crash - comes to bed 3.30am he snores ALOT! Smells ALOT! I get up at 7 with the kids and to get ready for work. He does get up - cooks a fry up for everyone. I go to work. His friend watches Toy Story 3 with our youngest whilst DH takes DS1 to swimming lessons. So I think all good he's trying?

All good? When I get home at 2pm DH goes to bed for 2 hours having drunk cider at lunch time. I wake him at 4pm to take boys to bike park. DH takes the stabilizers off DS1's bike and teaches him to ride - SO HAPPY brings tears to my eyes to see the scene.
However, DH cant help but to say how stressy it was, how much DS1 moaned, got cross, cried etc - DS1 is 6 and a half for F's sake - get a grip! I am so cross I feel it's not about you DH - Our son learnt to ride a bike!

We get home, I cook and bath kids put them to bed.DH cooks us a nice meal - But!Oh! of course he is off out again - friend is DJing in town can't be missed - 4 cans of cider in his rucksack and get's the duvet down to sleep on the sofa. 'Don't expect me back early.....' says DH.

So what he does is a mix of high's and lows....... And that is what fuck's with my head. Great = get up cook breakfast, take DS1 to swimming, teach him to ride a bike, cooking a nice meal. Not great = over drinking, afternoon nap, moan about teaching DS1 to ride a bike and then off out again....

goinonabearhunt Sat 13-Aug-11 22:08:13

This is exactly what my DP is like. The first thing he does when he gets in is have a drink. Every night. I didn't realise how bad it was until I got pregnant and stopped drinking.

We rowed when I was 38 weeks pregnant as I wanted him to stop drinking so he could drive me to the hospital when I went into labour. After 2 days he begged me to let him have a couple 'to relax'. I refused, and I was right too as I went into labour early and had a very very fast labour.

Having a baby still didn't slow his drinking. In 9 months he has got up in the night with our DD just once. He is too drunk to hear her.

He also doesn't drink when out. This largely means we come home early from everything so he can drink. By and large he refuses to go to evening do's. He says it's for money saving reasons or because he's tired. But really it's because he needs to drink, and he doesn't want people to see how he drinks.

He's conversely very judgemental about other people's drinking habits. Particularly those who drink at lunchtime or in big social groups. He doesn't understand that they do it on special occasions or when they don't have responsibilities.

I don't rely on him for anything really. I can't sleep in the same bed as him as he snores very badly and flings his arms / legs around. I don't drink at all when he is around, and rarely when he's not. I never go out in the evening as I don't feel I can trust him to be sober enough if anything happened.

It's not much of a life is it?

happyeverafter Sat 13-Aug-11 23:04:42

messagetoyourudy I've been reading through your posts and your situation sounds so similar. My DH doesn't go out in the evening without me, he stays in. However when he drinks at home he usually drinks a lot. I've posted on here before about him and how I think about leaving but as you know it's not that easy. When my DH is sober (which has never been for any longer than two months), life is better and he is generally good with my dds.

I feel for you as like you once my DH has started drinking, I am effectively a single parent as DH 'disappears'. He then can't drive or help out with the dds. I'm on my own and effectively having to look after him aswell as the dds and there is no-one to look after me. This was brought home to me recently. I went into hospital for day surgery and my DH picked me up and took me home. I was feeling quite groggy due to the general anaesthetic and was advised by the hospital to take it easy, not drive etc. (On another occasion last year when I had surgery, DH managed to stay sober and did a fairly good job of looking after me). This time however he started drinking the day I came out. He'd driven me home, cooked dinner for me so I think he thought he'd done his bit. I felt so sad and I still do that when I was ill the drink still came before me. Had I needed to go back into hospital I would've had to get an ambulance to take me as I was basically 'on my own'. I felt low and vulnerable and needed to be taken care of that night.

It's been brought home to me time and time again that when DH is drinking, the drink comes first, yet still I don't leave. Mostly this is due to a worrying lack of money. At the moment DH is going through a sober spell so I currently feel guilty typing this. I think this is the problem it's like living with two different people. Eventually there will come a time when the situation will become totally unbearable and then hopefully I will be strong enough to leave. I think until then I'm clinging on to the good bits and playing a waiting game hoping for change.

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