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Not even sure what I'm asking...

(22 Posts)
claretandamberforever Mon 15-Oct-12 17:32:50

Please bear with me.

I'm really worried about my DH.

We've been together for 19 years and married for 12. We have two boys aged 16 and 9.

We've never really been a family who do much together. Weekends tend to be taken up by ferrying the kids around to their activities (football and athletics).

DH has always been a very heavy drinker. As soon as he comes in from work he starts drinking. It used to be cheap and nasty bottles of wine (like the big bottles of lambrini) but now he has moved onto big cheap and nasty bottles of cider. When he's drinking he's ok to a certain point and then turns into a nasty twat.

Everything is then just magnified, something he wouldn't take offence to in sobriety, will become a massive issue and then he acts like a knob. For example, he started a group on FB and when one of the girls who had been a longstanding member left and he wanted to know why, she gave him a list of reasons and finally said "if you didn't drink so much you would be a cool person, I feel sorry for your wife and kids living with a drunkard" and he then read this as an attack on his parenting skills and proceeded to e-mail her threatening her (thankfully she lives in another country but if she'd have been in the UK I wouldn't have blamed her for getting the police involved) and being generally belligerant.

Since his FB group went tits up he's become depressed and last night was messaging members of his group threatening to take an overdose of Naproxen. Two of the members were so upset they phoned him. He'd also told his work colleague that he was going to take an overdose and she talked him out of it on Friday night.

I'm at a point now where I am fed up of his drinking and have been for years but I don't want to break up the family. My kids aren't affected by his drinking as they are normally in bed by the time his behaviour reaches twat level.

We spoke this morning (one of the women who phoned him last night FB'd me and told me about the threat to overdose) and he just as usual blamed the drinking and said it was stupid, he would cut down on the drinking, he drank because he was bored blah blah blah.

He's come home from work this afternoon and is just fast asleep on the sofa.

I'm at a stage now that I want to say to him it's his family or the alcohol but I know that he'll quit drinking for a few days and then it'll start creeping back in again.

Like I said, I don't even know what I am asking for, posting this message on here

I think it's mainly his drinking that is the problem as we never argue about anything except his behaviour when he's in drink.

He drinks because he is bored, yet he does sweet FA around the house (but then gets a strop on about the state of the house), he doesn't do any shopping or if he's gardening, it has to be accompanied by a bottle of cheap shit.

What do other husbands do when they come in from work, and at weekends?

He once got sent to see an alcohol counsellor when his drinking affected his previous job and the counsellor told him he did not have an alcohol dependence because he'd cut it out completely for the week it took from referral to appointment, and told him he had an alcohol habit which was down to him to change.

Thanks for listening x

CheeseAndJamSandwich Mon 15-Oct-12 17:41:37

Well, that alcohol counsellor sounds shit. What is an alcoholic if not somebody who has a problem with alcohol?

I'm sorry you are going through all this. You don't have to put up with it, nor do your kids - they are likely to be more aware of what's going on than you realise.

An ultimatum sounds like rather a good idea. Or if you feel that would be too final maybe have a trial separation - leave and say you'll only go back if he sorts himself out.

CheeseAndJamSandwich Mon 15-Oct-12 17:51:55

Also, whatever you do you need to put in place definitive boundaries, making clear to him what you will and won't accept from him, and have a plan for what you will do (and when you will do it) if he continues to behave unacceptable. Maybe try and attend a local Al-Anon meeting (Alcoholics Anonymous but for friends and family).

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 15-Oct-12 17:53:49

I think you are deluded if you believe all this drama isn't affecting the DC

I would say what you are living with is intolerable

What do you want to happen ? Him to Ooo Ooo stop drinking and making an utter arse of himself ?

Not gonna happen while you stand by and do nothing, I am afraid.

You stick around until he makes good on one of his ridiculous attention-seeking threats and/or gets arrested for threatening people?

I think what you should is take steps to protect your family from the consequences of his alcoholism, which most likely means living away from him while he sorts himself out. Or doesn't. Whatever the outcome, you cannot control it....only he can do that.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 15-Oct-12 17:55:08

Not sure where those ooo's came from

ErikNorseman Mon 15-Oct-12 17:56:29

Well, he's an alcoholic. He'll come up with 1001 reasons why he drinks but that's the real reason. Unless he addresses that fact he won't stop. It sounds dreadful for you and others round you - don't kid yourself that your kids aren't aware or affected.

ErikNorseman Mon 15-Oct-12 17:57:11

It was a ghost in the post! shock

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 15-Oct-12 17:57:46

In fairness to the alcohol counsellor, he probably isn't an alcoholic if he can stop for a few days, more a heavy and habitual drinker. And they're right that it is 100% down to him to change his habits - whether he's an alcoholic or a binge/heavy drinker. But what's a name when you stack it up against his appalling behaviour? If he's depressed (and alcohol acts as a depressant all by itself) he needs to see a GP and get professional help. If he's drinking too heavily ditto.

Alcohol is far more important to him than you, the kids, his job... anything else. You cannot stop drinking for him and, if you've had enough, you're well within your rights to want a better life for yourself and your DCs. If you asked him to leave it wouldn't be you breaking up the family, that responsibility would fall to him.

Sorry you've had to live with this for so long. It's not too late for you to make a fresh start. It may be too late for him, however.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 15-Oct-12 18:03:41


re your comment:-

"I'm at a point now where I am fed up of his drinking and have been for years but I don't want to break up the family. My kids aren't affected by his drinking as they are normally in bed by the time his behaviour reaches twat level".

Why have you remained on the merry go around that is alcoholism?. Fear of being alone with two children?. Do you still love such an individual?.

How did you feel when that other woman called your DH a drunkard and felt sorry for both you and his children?. She was right wasn't she?.

Your family unit is already broken because of the actions of your drunkard of a H. He has and continues to put drink before his family and everything else. His primary relationship is with drink, that is his main priority in life.

You have a choice re your H; your children do not.

Your children are likely also to be far more affected by his drinking behaviours that you would otherwise care or want to believe. Do they bring their friends home for instance?. Infact I would be pointing both of them in the direction of Al-ateen as they can talk freely about their dad's alcoholism and how it affects them. You cannot fully protect them from their dad's alcoholism.

His alcohol counsellor that he saw previously was poor to say the very least. Infact she enabled him as well.

You also sound completely codependent and resigned which is not surprising really seeing as how he has dragged you all down with him over the years.

You have also played a role in his alcoholism. You have stayed within this to date as his enabler and thus enabled him to have his life at home. What do you get out of this relationship now?. You have both taught your children damaging relationship lessons to date. I sincerely hope your children never turn around to you and ask you why you put him before them.

Unless he wants to quit alcohol for his own self (and without any coercion or support from you) there is NOTHING you can do to help him. You can only help your own self and that of your children.

One day the children will leave home and it will be just the two of you. What then for you?.

An ultimatum to him can only be issued if you are fully prepared to see it through otherwise there is no point.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 15-Oct-12 18:05:37

Alcoholics do not have to drink everyday.

BTW, what is the longest period of time you have known this person to go without any alcohol at all?.

Opentooffers Mon 15-Oct-12 18:08:28

Has he gone more than 3 days without drinking lately? Alcohol dependent people would be shaking and very short-fused by this time. If he is not at this stage yet then don't let him get that far down the line because it's a difficult road back. This needs sorting out asap, he may require an ultimatum and counselling about issues he has rather than using alcohol as his emotional crutch. People who use alcohol to wind down, celebrate, de-stress, teat themselves after doing a task etc. are not far from finding a reason to drink all the time. He needs to realise how disastrously this could end up.

claretandamberforever Mon 15-Oct-12 18:10:53

Thanks for the replies (even the oooo ooooo which made me chuckle)

I am going to give him an ultimatum when he wakes up and stops sleeping off his hangover on the sofa.

He is the loveliest person when he is sober but I'm at the end of my tether with his drinking now.

However I feel sad because I know that a few weeks (if I'm lucky) but more likely days down the line, alcohol will creep back into the house.

I only drink on social occasions so wondered if I were being unreasonable in expecting him to give up alcohol completely.

I can't even bring myself to look at him when he's drinking. The sight of him with a wine glass in hand, and the minute he walks through the door after work and I hear the carrier bag rustle and then the 'clink' of the bottle of cheap shit on the work surface makes me physically sick.

I'm trying to be sympathetic towards the "I'm so miserable I want to take an overdose and kill myself" outbursts but the other half of me is saying it's just attention seeking behaviour that he wouldn't have exhibited if he hadn't been drinking and that makes me angry.

Another reason he says he drinks is for confidence.

If he does give up drinking I fear that he'll be so bored he'll just end up being horrible to be around. Even more horrible than when he's drinking.

Sorry it's a bit disjointed

MardyArsedMidlander Mon 15-Oct-12 18:12:19

I would also not be surprised if the alcohol counsellor didn't say anything of the sort. Bitter experience- it wasn't until my dad's funeral that I found out he'd been feeding me a line about 'cpntrolled drinking'.
It turned out he'd walked out on one counsellor because she'd told him he had to give up drinking completely.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 15-Oct-12 18:14:49

That is what alcoholism IS

They are horrible when they are drinking, and horrible when they are not

Something has to change, before he kills ALL the love and respect you still have for him. And that of his DC.

claretandamberforever Mon 15-Oct-12 18:17:15

Atila, probably a week is the longest I have known him go without alcohol, perhaps 2.

And yes I am an enabler.

I'm in the midst of writing him a letter (stupid I know) using a lot of what has been said by you guys.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 15-Oct-12 18:19:49

You are not responsible for him when all is said and done although you likely think you are.

Again like many posts of this type, its mainly about the alcoholic. Your life and that of your children revolves around the alcoholic.

He likely also self medicates any underlying anxiety and depression with alcohol. Its not working.

What about you, what do you want ultimately?. What you have tried to date has not worked.

What sort of ultimatum are you going to give him?. I repeat that unless you are fully prepared to see it through it will have no effect.

You can only help your own self and that of your children here; he does not want to know and talking to him will be a complete waste of effort.

He does not sound like a lovely person even when he is sober; he does nothing around the house and moans to you at the same time about the state of the house. He cannot even do any gardening without alcohol!. I have not even got onto his FB messaging and the threatening message he sent this other person - sending threatening messages over the Internet is an offence in law.

Opentooffers Mon 15-Oct-12 18:20:00

Not that I know what will make him see the harm, a lot is up to him not you. There is only so much you can try or do in life. Sometimes the answer has to be to walk away, you are a better judge of where that point will be.
He's not getting any younger, this will affect his energy levels massively so he won't be up for doing much around the house. Even cheap alcohol adds up. Better to spend the money on days out and healthy activities as a distraction, it all depends on how resistant to change he is. If an ultimatum doesn't work, what will?

lambethlil Mon 15-Oct-12 18:20:26

He is an alcoholic
Investigate Al- Anon and know that: "I didn't cause it, I can't control it, and I can't cure it"

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 15-Oct-12 18:26:26


re your comment:-
"Atila, probably a week is the longest I have known him go without alcohol, perhaps 2".

Not at all surprised to read that. And you have been married to him for 12 years.

"And yes I am an enabler".
Well done for admitting that. Now extricate yourself from that role you have imposed on yourself!. I would also add codependent to your description as well as there are often elements of codependency within such dysfunctional relationships.

Writing him a letter won't help either. He will not take kindly to it and will ignore said contents.

You can only help you and your children. I feel sorry for your children the most; they have seen and heard an awful lot in their young lives.

What did you learn about relationships when growing up?.

So what do you get out of this relationship now?. You did not answer that.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 15-Oct-12 18:30:53

"I only drink on social occasions so wondered if I were being unreasonable in expecting him to give up alcohol completely"

No you're not. Some people can stop at one or two drinks - he can't. Some people can binge drink or drink heavily and still be pleasant to be around - he can't do that. If he can give up for a week or two weeks there's no real reason why he can't give up for good.

"I'm trying to be sympathetic towards the "I'm so miserable I want to take an overdose and kill myself" "

It is attention-seeking behaviour. He realises you're on the verge of walking and the 'poor me' act is to get you to stay. And, so far, it's working so he'll keep doing it. Only when you pull the rug completely does he have to make a proper choice.

swallowedAfly Mon 15-Oct-12 18:39:26

hi. he really needs to get to aa. if you are going to make an ultimatum i'd recommend you make 'going to aa' part of the conditions.

you can be an alcoholic without being alcohol dependent. so yes alcoholics can be capable of giving up for a week - some people at meetings used to give up for long periods but be complete arseholes throughout as they were just dry drunks! you don't have to be physically addicted to alcohol (ie. experience physical withdrawal when you stop) to be an alkie.

hopefully if you can get him to aa he will hear others telling his story and be faced with the truth of what he is and hopefully that will bring relief rather than horror as you finally get a name for all the messed up thinking, feeling and living that comes with being an alcoholic. it is very common for alcoholics to think they only drink because of x,y and z when actually x,y and z IS the alcoholism itms. certainly for me i thought i drank in part because of my mental health problems but my mental health problems turned out to be, for the larger part, alcoholism itself.

sorry i'm not explaining well but here if you want to ask anything. i'm an alcoholic if that wasn't obvious smile

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 15-Oct-12 19:03:29

Brave and insightful post, saf always speak such plain and utter truth on these threads

Op, everybody is right here. You need to protect yourself and your DC from now lb. I am a bit concerned you said they know nothing of this. Do you accept that is part of your denial ?

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