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Feeling lost, where do I go from here?(6 Posts)
I have name changed for this as I feel really uncomfortable talking about my relationship openly.
I've been with my dh for 20 yrs and we have had 4 children. We have been through some really tough times in our family and supported each other through them I believe. We have moved a lot with his work and our eldest dd has been to lots of schools, but we have always settled well in our new communities and made friends. At times our relationship has been rocky, partly due to dh's drinking and we can be quite volatile (shouting and door slamming nothing more sinister). Dh works away a lot in his current position and this seems to have had a major effect on him.
When he comes home he is fine initially, then he becomes increasingly miserable and hard to live with until he eventually ends up drinking far too much for a couple of days, sat on the sofa slurring his words and being bloody horrible to me, and occasionally our eldest dd, picking fights and saying things about feeling trapped, me being a crap mum, rubbish at looking after the house (to be fair i am no great housekeeper but do work and do voluntary work and am a good cook, kids always clean and eat a healthy diet and do lots of out of school activities I taxi them to, so not totally useless) and totally miserable all the time, usually finishing off with announcing he is going to divorce me.
This week he out did himself by doing all of this in front of a group of my friends who were over for a meal, I knew he was in the middle of a drinking binge but didn't expect him to come home, join us at the table and start slurring drunkenly in front of their young children. I was so hurt and felt it was deliberate and intended to wound and humiliate me. My friends were lovely if shocked. Since issuing his finale an ultimatum to get the *k out of the house by the weekend he hasn't spoken to me despite sobering up and us having a family meal this pm. Our youngest dc did not want to stay in the house with him this eve while our ds was at an activity so came with me and hung around instead. He is sat across the room from me on the computer ignoring the situation.
The last time he was home and binged I gave him a choice, stop drinking to xs immediately, get help if you struggle or leave. I really believe it is time to move on for us both as he is clearly so unhappy and it is affecting us all so much. He has always refused to think about counselling for either his drinking or our past relationship problems, he works in an all male environment and says it is for wimps.
Not sure why I am posting, maybe it just helps to write it all down, or to start to work out what we are going to do. Sorry it is so long thanks for reading if you managed to get to the end
I'm so sorry this sounds no fun at all. What was this ultimatum? Was he saying he was leaving or was he asking you to leave?
Tempting to take him up on his offer of splitting up and show him the door!
They say people with alcohol problems have to "hit rock bottom" and decide to get help for themselves. I don't know what you can do there?
I sympathise with you, OP. I honestly do.
I started a thread not so long ago asking for advice on how to deal with a functional alcoholic. Many people advised to leave, but the problem is, a lot like the situation with your husband, my DH is not agressive, or abusive or violent. But he can be nasty if we ever have a argument when he's really drunk.
We haven't gone anywhere sinister either, the furthest we have been is pushing each other, at most twice, which is not great, but it's never escalated to hitting or anything of the sort.
I think your DH is a functional alcoholic, and that's really hard to deal with as drinking heavily in this country is seen as normal by most people. So if he doesn't see his problem, nobody else from outside will point it out to him. Only you know how awful it can be living with someone who drinks too much, and binges regularly.
My DH has made a fool of himself at weddings (though not socially on a regular basis), and I've gotten so angry with him I wanted to leave him straight away. But I'm still here. We have good moments too together during the day as his drinking is mainly late in the evenings, when I'm asleep anyway, or doing my own stuff. I try not to monitor his drinking, as that drives me insane.
If he's getting drunk on purpose, to embarrass you and humilate you, that's more to do with being just nasty or vindictive, and the alcohol is not fully to blame. But alcohol always makes things worse, rarely better, in my experience.
I was recommended this book and I'm reading it at the moment.
There are no easy answers for this sort of scenario, but if the children are old enough to understand, and there is no happiness for long periods of time, maybe it is time to live separate lives.
Even though I love my DH, I know that when the DC's are old enough and I keep getting regularly angry about his drinking, that I would consider living apart. Maybe still in a relationship, but not together under the same roof.
"The last time he was home and binged I gave him a choice, stop drinking to xs immediately, get help if you struggle or leave. "
I think your answer is a version of this. But turn it around a little. Leave.... get help with the drinking problem.... come back when you've resolved the problem then we'll see if there's a future. As harsh as that because, at the moment, he's in a cycle of selfish behaviour i.e. doing his own thing when he works away, putting up with family life for a day or two, and then opting out by drinking until he can be back on his own.
Thank you for your replies. It really helps.
I know you're right Nero he is a (at times) functioning alcoholic but unfortunately he has no insight at all into his drinking considering it totally normal even when his friends tell him it's not.
My db is a tee total alcoholic who needs hospitalisation if he drinks it has made him so ill and I think my dh sees that as the definition of an alcohol problem.
I grew up with a dad like my husband and it had such a profound effect on me and my db - one has an alcohol problem one married to someone with one, so I am only too aware of the potential impact on our dc. However my mum and dad did split when we were young and it didn't help as we still saw him and without our mum to protect us from his behaviour when drunk - he also got a lot worse after they split.
So still just as unsure what to do and still despite many years as a substance misuse worker hoping someone has made a magic wand I don't know about!
I feel sad thinking about you as a child going to see your alcoholic dad without your mum with you!
I don't know what to suggest, obviously you don't want your kids to go through that. But you do need to get yourself to a situation where you are happier and not anxious about his behaviour and moods. How to get there, that's the question!
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