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DH alcoholic? What to do

(48 Posts)
AprilFalls Tue 14-Aug-12 21:04:26

DH doesn't drink all the time but when he does he drinks a fair amount. Doesn't get embarrassing/loud/violent/nasty or anything. But he hides the evidence.

Empty beer cans in the cupboard/outside, drinks while walking to the pub (ie buys a 4 pack on way there, its a 5 min walk!). Drinks while walking back from the pub hmm I think he's having a 4 pack when actually he's bought 8 or 12 but is swapping them over in the kitchen so I don't realise. Found bottles (empty) of wine in the car, not drink driving but hiding them there.

Had many rows over the 10 years (and 3 dc) we have been together. Always promises to stop, or at least stop hiding it, I don't really bother about him drinking but its the lies and the hiding of evidence that annoys me.

He did it again this week. He is currently away for the next two weeks and I have told him not to come back sad I've had enough of the lies and never knowing what I'll find if I open the bin, open the cupboard, move the box outside etc etc.

My friend says its a disease/illness and he can't help it. DH has said he'll go to AA.

Any help? Anyone else been through this? Am a bit broken hearted that each time he swears he loves me/dc and won't do it again then the very next night, does sad

lowercase Tue 14-Aug-12 21:17:33

have a look at AA website on line.
the Big Book is availiable to view for free.
read the doctors opinion, or, more about alcoholism.
phone AA helpline, get someone round to have a chat with DP if he is willing.
he is powerless over the addiction, but there is a solution.
you could read the chapter 'to wives', you can also contact al-anon for support.

AprilFalls Tue 14-Aug-12 21:27:18

Thank you that's very helpful smile Will go read.

DH thinks he's not an alcoholic because he doesn't drink at 8am or during the day hmm

GingerWrath Tue 14-Aug-12 21:28:42

When does he drink? Every day, I. The evening?

AprilFalls Tue 14-Aug-12 21:36:17

Every Friday, Sat, Sunday he drinks say 8 cans a night (each night), but then if he goes out with a friend he might have 8 pints while out (he's massive) but also 4 cans on way there and on way back. 5 out of 7 weeknights he'll have 2 bottles of beer a night.

On a Thursday he does sport but he was drink driving on way back so now when he goes he doesn't drink anything.

Wolfiefan Tue 14-Aug-12 21:46:15

If he thinks he's not an alcoholic then I don't see what AA will do. There is a group to support families Al Anon? If he feels the need to hide it then it's an issue. Drinking does not mean he doesn't love you.

GingerWrath Tue 14-Aug-12 21:46:31

He isn't an alcoholic, he likes his beer, an alcoholic can't get up in the morning without a drink, an alcohol dependant needs drink every day.

EclecticShock Tue 14-Aug-12 21:47:42

Try al anon.

AprilFalls Tue 14-Aug-12 21:51:06

Ginger - I don't think that's true. Alcoholics can be binge drinkers not always every day drinkers I think. He can drink 6 cans in say 30 minutes. I wouldn't think this was 'normal'?

Will definitely try Al Anon thank you.

lizbee156 Tue 14-Aug-12 21:57:01

An alcoholic is someone who has a problem with alcohol and their drinking is a problem.
Drink driving and hiding his drinking are signs of a problem here.
AA will take him but he has to want to go, it's worth persuading him to go to his GP if you can OP.

Al Anon is a good place for you to get advice.

Good luck x

GingerWrath Tue 14-Aug-12 22:02:34

I beg to differ, alcoholics have to have alcohol to function, alcohol dependants mainly drink out of habit.

NatashaBee Tue 14-Aug-12 22:09:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bushymcbush Tue 14-Aug-12 22:21:31

GingerWrath, how do you know? What makes your definition of an alcoholic more authoritative than everyone else's?

Southfacing Tue 14-Aug-12 22:26:50

If he answers yes to 2 out of the 4 following questions, he's got an alcohol problem:
1. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
2. Have people annoyed you by criticising your drinking?
3. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
4. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover (eye-opener)?

solidgoldbrass Tue 14-Aug-12 22:31:49

Alcoholics Anonymous doesn't always work, and is based on superstition rather than science. An alcoholic will stop drinking when s/he chooses to. You can't make him stop. Begging and pleading won't work, nor will threats. You have to decide whether or not you can live with it, and if you can't live with it, or if it's getting worse (as it often but not always does) then you need to make plans to end the marriage.

OldGreyWiffleTest Tue 14-Aug-12 23:08:42

GingerWrath - I am afraid you are very very wrong with your definition of an alcoholic. Look it up.

Ozziegirly Wed 15-Aug-12 06:42:30

Good God, please don't take any notice of GingerWrath!

It's a stereotype that alcoholics all drink in the morning or can't function without any alcohol - and it's a total and complete myth. Please don't be put off encouraging your DH to get help by believing total nonsense like that.

AA doesn't always work, but it also often does.

I agree with reading the section "to wives" in the Big Book and there is also a pamphlet that AA publishes called "So you love an alcoholic" which I found very helpful (DH has been sober in AA for 3 1/2 years).

If your DH accepts that he has a problem, which it sounds like he does if he's hiding alcohol and saying that he would go to AA, then that's a good first step - it took my DH ages to accept that he was an alcoholic and I just had to stand back and let him figure it out for himself. Hard to do when you're used to covering up, making excuses and playing it down yourself.

shuckleberryfinn Wed 15-Aug-12 07:09:18

My DH is an alcoholic. Ten weeks dry so far. For years he maintained that there was no problem, much like yours. I wish I hadn't given him so many last chances and had left long ago. Instead I have let my mental health suffer and now he's ready to admit he's an alcoholic I haven't the emotional reserves to support him.

You can't make him stop. You cannot force him to admit he's got a problem. All you can do is look after yourself right now.

lowercase Wed 15-Aug-12 10:39:15

shuckleberry, have you considered al-anon?
get yourself some support brew

SoSoMamanBebe Wed 15-Aug-12 11:16:36

Why's gingerwrath wrong?

frustratedmum2 Wed 15-Aug-12 11:23:27

My father was an alcoholic, I have never seen him sober from 4pm one day in my life, yet he could hold down a job and function, unfortunately he became a sulky, miserable drunk in the end (after the 1st hr of chat) and nothing either me or my mum did would even make him admit he had a problem. Cut our losses and they split up, I didnt talk to him for years but have now rekindled the relationship a little, but I dont feel I ever really knew him only the shell if that makes sense.

AprilFalls Wed 15-Aug-12 11:48:34

Some really sad stories here sad

I do feel I'm at the end of my tether. Although he's not drinking say a bottle of spirits a day, he would cheerfully drink drive and he does lie constantly about how much he's drinking.

Plus he will drink before he goes out (as in the 6 cans in whatever short timeframe it was), so he's drinking to get 'drunk' as opposed to normal social drinking.

He has said he'll ring gp this morning and make appointment. I have an uncle who is President (?) of an AA chapter (?) Sorry I'm making them sound like Hell's Angels but I don't know the correct terminology grin. We're not particularly close but I've sent him an email asking if he'll talk to me and DH.

TheBirderer Wed 15-Aug-12 12:01:12

If it has reached the point where he would drive while intoxicated (and cheerfully) then you have absolutely done the right thing by kicking him out. He needs to get help and I would avoid any reconciliation, if you even want one, until he is getting help and has accepted that he has a problem. He needs to want to stop drinking and not simply be waiting for the consequences to wear off so he can start again. He's said he'll go to AA, but is he going so you'll let him come back or so he can stop drinking? He has to really, really want to stop and permanently. It might be that he's reached that point, but to me it sounds like he might have a little further to go.

It's a terrible, sad disease that ruins lives, it really is. I'm not saying kick him out, what a bastard, never let him back in- I just think he might stand a better chance if he sees what effect the alcohol is having on his life (the potential to end your marriage and split him from his wife and children) and focuses on sobriety before coming back home.

You also have to think of yourself. The pain of the lies and his actions must be immense.

Hammy02 Wed 15-Aug-12 12:12:14

He may not be an alcoholic but he definately has an issue with alcohol. It doesn't really matter what the label is. Only he can make the decision to give up.

lowercase Wed 15-Aug-12 12:14:22

i agree with thebirderer, let him have his rock bottom, when he thinks he has lost it all he has a better chance of really accepting what AA has to offer...

frustrated, your dad was ill, the denial / blindspot around alcohol is fatal...to quote the big book 'the persistance of this illusion is astonishing, many follow it to the gates of insanity or death' sad nothing you could have done.

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