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Control Freak- alcoholic

(39 Posts)
Feellikeafanny Sat 17-Nov-12 15:09:09

After my DH called me a fucking bitch last night he went onto say I am a control freak and unsociable. Apparently, I dont mix well. He's sick of me and had it up to here. He said this all in front of 13year old who was crying and a bit scared. He was very drunk. I spent my afternoon at a school social event asking people if they minded me standing with them as at some point last night I must have started believing him. I'm not any of the above, i know I'm not,but he's made me feel like a piece of shit on his shoe. It stems from his need to go to a local sportsclub and spend all day there getting pissed to coming home and having beers or a couple glasses of wine. Was tempted to pack up and leave. I don't know what to do, how to help him and his problem that has gone on for quite sometime now. He is a loving husband (when sober) but has just gone down the wrong road. I dont know how to help him?

Janeyjanejane Sun 10-Feb-13 19:43:40

My 'story' started the same way as yours. Nice guy, good dad, moderate drinker, occasional bender resulting in demeaning rants about my 'shortcomings' infront of the children. Gradually the drink changed his brain chemistry and he couldn't stop. He would not accept any help. He lost his job and died 15 months later, alone, hundreds of miles from us. His beautiful sons, aged 4 and 9, are utterly bereft. The nine year old has had a nervous breakdown. He made our lives a misery and his kids will pay the price for ever.

MrsjREwing Sat 01-Dec-12 16:11:37

xposts. I have SA, a symptom is depression due to sleep deprovation, the depression is a result of SA it doesn't cause SA. A sleep study will tell him if he has it or not. I don't think the SA has anything to do with drink, with me I used coffee and food to live with daytime sleepyness symptoms and fatigue still am fatigued drink would make SA worse surley?

MrsjREwing Sat 01-Dec-12 16:07:16

See the councellor for you alone, your dh can go sort out his sleep issues with the GP, he is a big boy, over 18, a married father not a child.

Feellikeafanny Sat 01-Dec-12 16:07:16

Thank you MrsJR. I know with DH there has been a long cycle of not sleeping properly and that does cause him major problems. I suspect undiagnosed depression and at times sleep apnea. He has refused to see the Doctor on either. He says it leaves him unable to handle his drink and that's where the problems start. I disagree, I think he is a very greedy drinker/eater and none of these things help his sleep but his sleep isn't the cause for these actions. IYSWIM, sorry such a garble trying. I am trying to sort it all out in my head.

Feellikeafanny Sat 01-Dec-12 15:58:06

Sorry, back again. The councillor he went to see is not 'just' a marriage councillor but deals with lots of different things including alcohol addiction. DH was pretty vague about seeing him again and doesn't know I've booked another appt, yet. I sound like the 'control freak' he called me, don't I? But if I let it go this time where des it all end? I am wrong to push this? Can I push this or am I fighting a losing battle?

Theresalwayssomething - how are you? It sounds like a very simiilar situation although the verbal stuff is new for me. Well, infront of the kids it is.

MrsjREwing Sat 01-Dec-12 15:51:45

I have a diagnosed sleep disorder that requires CPAP, I don't and never have issues with alcohol, one glass of red wine with a Sunday roast is my normal weekly consumption if that. We all cope differently. I hope you all find peace soon.

Feellikeafanny Sat 01-Dec-12 15:23:16

Hi, I'm back sorry for not updating it's been mad and weird and okay too. Well, DH admitted he had a problem with alcohol and went to see a councillor. And now I think he's changed his mind that it's an alcohol problem and 'it' has become a sleep problem. He does have huge sleep issues so I'm not discounting this as a problem and possibly one that adds to everything else but I'm scared that he will get help for one and not the other. I think he's angry at me for 'forcing' him to go. I didn't, but if he hadn't we would have left. So maybe I did? I have made a further appt for us both to go and see the councillor together as DH felt he was more a marriage councillor and he expected us to be there together.

theresalwayssomething Mon 19-Nov-12 11:36:59

feellike ive just started a similar thread.

my dh is the same, doesnt drink every day but always drinks too much on nights out etc and is abusive (verbally)

after another awful weekend just gone he is finally saying he needs to stop, but i feel like hes just feeling sorry for himself. he doesnt care about all the times in the past hes made me feel terrible.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 19-Nov-12 11:23:50


You can only help your own self as well as that of your children.

Living with an alcoholic will wreak their childhoods ultimately; they are learning and will learn all sorts of damaging stuff from both you (in terms of codependency and enabling) and him. Your H does not want your "help" or "support"; he wants you there to mainly continue to prop him up.

His primary relationship is with drink - he loves drink more than all of you.

Alcoholism is a family disease - you are all profoundly affected by his drinking behaviours.

You have a choice re him FLF - your children do not.

Again the 3cs re alcoholism apply to you as well:-

You did not cause this
You cannot control this
You cannot cure this

PlantsDieArid Mon 19-Nov-12 11:06:39

Trib, thanks for your techy wizardry!

PlantsDieArid Mon 19-Nov-12 11:06:04

Trib, thanks for you techy wizardry!

PlantsDieArid Mon 19-Nov-12 10:56:07

FLF, it is a mess, a horrible scary one. But it doesn't need to be a mess of your making or indeed one that you and the dcs need to clear up or stay mired in.

If he says he needs help, that's amazing.

If she asks you again, it's ok to say yes. Talk to her abpu different levels of alcoholism and that her dad doesnt need to be on meths and playing the mouth organ on the street to be an alcoholic. Tell her it's a disease that he can beat when he's ready to. Above all, be honest. It's the lying that will make her feel she's mad and tjTs brilliantly covered in the book I mentioned.

Feellikeafanny Mon 19-Nov-12 10:44:39

You're right again.

He is a binge-drinker and thats alcohol abuse. I know why I need a label it's because he has spent years telling me that it's normal. And I have spent years saying 'there,there'.

tribpot Mon 19-Nov-12 10:37:17

Link to PlantsDieArid's book recommendation.

To use a term which might be more acceptable: problem drinkers find it very difficult to accept their responsibility for their problem. He does want you to validate his behaviour and say it's okay.

Remember: he verbally abused you in front of a child and now all he can say is 'what do you want to do?'

Feellikeafanny Mon 19-Nov-12 10:32:43

Plants, I'm so sorry. Thank you for your post. My DD asked me if he was an alcoholic last year. I said No I realise I wasn't just protecting her, I was also protecting him and possibly me.

Snorbs, thank you for your post. I have a lot of thinking to do. I'm wondering at this point what exactly will change the position we are in now. He has to tell me he's getting help and actually do it this time. How long am I prepared to wait for that? Not very long.

It's such a mess.

PlantsDieArid Mon 19-Nov-12 10:19:01

Snorbs. Brilliantly put. That's exactly right. It won't change and you do have choices. Well done you, that must have taken serious courage. Hope you have peace now.

Snorbs Mon 19-Nov-12 10:07:57

One of the things about co-dependency is that we end up trying to control the uncontrollable. Our lives become consumed with coming up with strategies for trying to make that happen and the resentment that builds when we fail.

Trying to control the drinking of someone with a drinking problem is just such a futile situation. Once he starts drinking he can't reliably control how much he's going to drink or the consequences that arise from that. If he can't reliably control his drinking, you don't have a hope in hell of controlling it for him. He will see your attempts as nothing more than you being a killjoy control-freak, out to spoil his fun.

The term "alcoholic" means different things to different people. There is no single definition. But let's look at this another way. When he drinks, he tends to drink heavily. When he's been drinking heavily then bad things tend to happen - spoiling evenings out by falling asleep early, by causing drunken arguments, by experiencing anger and resentment from his wife.

He knows that his drinking often (albeit not always) ends up with bad stuff happening. And yet he continues to drink. What his actions are saying is that although he might not want those bad things to happen, he's willing to take the risk provided he gets to continue to be able to drink. His drive to drink is stronger than his desire to have a happy wife. As you yourself say, his love of booze is stronger than his love for you.

That is a sad and bleak realisation to come to, I know. When I came to the same realisation about my ex I decided that I'm worth more than that. I'll come second place to the kids but I'm damned if I'm going to end up in second place to yet another bottle of wine. It's not an easy decision to make though.

I'm really sorry. Trying to raise kids with someone with a drink problem is bloody depressing and horrible at times. Melody Beattie's book "Codependent No More" is really good at helping us to tear our attention away from the drunk in our lives and, instead, to focus on ourselves and what we want. I recommend it highly.

PlantsDieArid Mon 19-Nov-12 09:43:26

Ps sorry on phone excuse typos.

PlantsDieArid Mon 19-Nov-12 09:43:03

FLF, alcoholic always sounds like someone else, such a huge word.

My dad drank, we were also expats. He knew he was an arsehole, always full of remorse and promises. My mother would be furious if anyone used the A word, he just got a bit silly sometimes, nothing to worry about, bit of verbal, at least he didn't beat us regularly.

It's taken me over 30 years to come to terms with the damage hus drinking did. I started by reading this book g and finally realised that I wasn't mad. Please don't put your kids through it. He won't stop unless he wants to. There are steps you can taje which I wish my mum had, but you have to be a brave mother.

My dad still drinks, my mum still excuses him. I've wasted years of my life dealing with the legacy and more years than I care to remember with shitty men. Therapy opened my eyes.

Sorry if this is a bleak post but your daughters deserve so much more. Don't fool yourself that they won't be making bad choices on the back of your examples. PM me if there's anything you want yl ask or discuss and very very best of luck and courage to you.

Feellikeafanny Mon 19-Nov-12 09:18:56

ThatsNice - a scary read for me, so glad you escaped and have no regrets though. Thanks for sharing.

tribpot - if he wishes to minimise the effect his drinking is having on your family, that's his choice.

That really hit home with me. Last night he came home from work and spoke to me. He looked so lost but offered no solution just said 'I'm an arsehole'. I think he wants me to say 'it's ok' when I know it's not. TBH it was very hard not to cave in. But you're spot on tribpot and if i allow him to minimise his behaviour it will never end and will probably escalate.

He asked later what I wanted to do. He told me he loved me and that he is very fed up, 'work'. That's always the excuse. He told me he was not 'fed up' with me. I didn't really say much as I do feel he's looking for me to give him an out. Nothing more was said.

California - maybe if i put a label on it then there's a reason rather than it just being something he does? I don't know really...

Thanks for your replies

CaliforniaLeaving Mon 19-Nov-12 05:08:43

Why do you need to put a label on it fanny? It really doesn't matter if he is a fully fledged Alcoholic or just an occasional drunk. Whatever he is, it's unacceptable and now you have to take a stand, draw a line under it and do what needs to be done to raise your children without them having to deal with it.
Both my Father and Step father were fully functioning alcoholics who held down good jobs. It didn't make them any less alcoholic and toxic and down right nasty on occasion.
It's not your job to heal him or fix him or whatever you want to call it. Your job is to protect your children and yourself. He's an adult and can take care of himself even if it doesn't seem that way sometimes.

ThatsNice Sun 18-Nov-12 16:36:04

FLF, I don't mind at all, tho my boys were much younger than yours, 4 & 18 months when I made the decision to divorce him. I thought I still loved him but the sense of relief once I'd made the decision and acted on it (seeing a solicitor), told me that the feelings I had we're not enough to keep working on what we had. My oldest boy, idolized his dad and I had many difficult years from him of resentment thinking if sent his daddy away! I always however answered truthfully any questions they asked of me without embellishing with more than they'd asked. They gradually came to know my truth about it 100% over the years. They are 22 & 20 now. My oldest eventually disowned his dad when he saw him for what he was. My 20 year old switches his phone off at the weekend to avoid the drunken calls sad They do have a relationship of sorts with him now but it is an eyes wide open, accepting him all his flaws and all. The hardest moment as they were growing up, was them waiting excitedly as very young boys on visit day, for me to send him away without them as he reeked if alcohol. They were too young to understand and I was of course the bad guy sad I could not have contemplated allowing him to take them under the influence. It has been a long haul of many tough times with them (behaviorally) and him being, well a twat, but the pain of all that was worth every second of knowing I was minimizing his drunken influence over them. I never allowed him overnight access because of his drinking. For you though, your girls are older, have understanding, want you to get out and are seeing first hand his behavior. You are unlikely to get the behavior issues I did because mine were so little and didn't understand. Only you can make that decision to stay or end it. For me..watching the affects of him on my children starting at such a young age was enough for me to be catalyst to know I had to end the cycle and end it fast! I never looked back, not once with regret. Never! Good luck with whatever you decide. It looks like your girls will be behind you 100% either way x (sorry for the long ramble)

tribpot Sun 18-Nov-12 12:43:11

Please have a look at the Al Anon website. He doesn't have to drink every day to be an alcoholic or a problem drinker.

Your dd2's desire to try and have this out with him is understandable and I think she should be allowed to do that when he is sober. But your job is protect them from any further harm because you cannot help him with this. He cannot recover - if he wants to - if you do all the leg work.

I haven't read this book (which is for the families of alcoholics) - I've read the version which is for alcoholics themselves. It is very good and well worth you reading.

Stay strong - if he wishes to minimise the effect his drinking is having on your family, that's his choice. What you do then is the choice that you and your DDs will have to live with. I find the fact your dd1 typed part of your first post pretty shocking in terms of her perception of the depth of the problem sad

Feellikeafanny Sun 18-Nov-12 12:07:46

Thats nice - Did you still love your EXh when you left or had he destroyed it? How do your kids feel about him now.

Sorry, please don't answer if you think I'm prying.

Feellikeafanny Sun 18-Nov-12 12:05:49

Thank you for your replies.

Hesterton - You're absolutely right it's a big problem and my DD's are both amazing.

Random mess - No way we could afford for him to move out and as we live abroad our only option would be for me to move back with the kids. Not an ideal option at the moment due to where the kids are in school (GSCE's). But, I do need to speak with him when he's sober and at the moment the thought of speaking to him is more than I can bear. I am so angry with him, I need some space to decide exactly what i want from this talk. He will probably ignore what I say so I need to make sure if I have to leave then I am organised and prepared for the consequences that will bring.

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