Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Just discovered DH has a problem with alchohol

(28 Posts)
Dingobingo Thu 09-May-13 14:03:42

I've namechanged. I discovered this week that DH has a problem with alchohol. I think it would be classed as "alcohol abuse", not alcoholic. He hides his drinking from me, hiding beer cans behind the sofa etc. He has in the past agreed to stop drinking to help him lose weight, but I didn't realise it was the big problem that it clearly is. I feel so stupid. He only drinks in the late evening, he says around 4-5 beers a night, although not every night, probably 5 nights a week. He never appears noticeably drunk - this is presumably because he has built up a tolerance. He never drinks during the day apart from at social occasions, and then only 2-3 beers or a glass of wine.

I thought we were happy and had a fairly good relationship, everything seems fine. He's doing well at work, he enjoys his job. He seems happy, I thought we were happy. Yesterday night I went to take a sip from his orange squash and found it had vodka in - he was drinking it in squash to hide it from me. This is how the whole thing has come out. He told me this has been going on for years. He's very sorry and upset about the situation and he recognises there's a problem. He said he wants to stop drinking and claims he can do it without external help. He's asked me to take away his wallet so he has no access to money and therefore can't buy alchohol. I've done this, but clearly that's not a long term solution.

This is bad right? I feel totally lost and can see our lives falling apart. We have two young DC. I love him and he's a great husband and father. On the surface everything seems fine. On the face of it, four beers a night doesn't seem that bad to me, but it's the deception and the inability to stop, and the huge waste of money that would be better spent elsewhere. I don't know how this can turn out alright but am absolutely devastated to think that it might not. Please help.

notarose Fri 10-May-13 08:29:51

Good luck Dingo.

FWIW, everyone's posts about alcoholism ruining people's lives are true but don't have to be the only truth.

My father was (& still is) what we all euphemistically call a heavy drinker. And a secret one.

I drank just like him. I had a serious problem for nearly two decades. I'm ashamed of some of the things I did. But I no longer drink. I'm no longer ashamed. It's by no means inevitable that your DH will continue to get worse, or continue with his habit. I did not join AA. I did not admit to all my friends and family and colleagues that I was an alcoholic. I admitted it to myself and my DH, and will now happily talk about it to anyone who asks. But I had a good job and a busy social life and your DH does too - there there is no reason for all of that to unravel simply because you are dealing with the problem (quite the opposite).

(My father still drinks. I have tried talking to him but as you can imagine, we don't have a good relationship. I would urge you to address this problem with your DH before your children become teenagers. My father never did anything abusive, he hid his drinking or thought he did, but of course we all knew, and children copy their parents' examples)

I couldn't have done what I did without the help and support of my DH. Please do look out for yourself - it sounds like you are clear about that anyway. But don't forget that if your DH wants to get better then he can and that you can help him. There is hope.

Dingobingo Fri 10-May-13 08:59:23

Thank you Notarose. You have done fantastically well to stop drinking. I've seen a US study that shows 35% of alcoholics have fully recovered. I know that means that 65% haven't, but I'm willing to go for those odds at the moment.

I do appreciate everyone else's responses as well, I am not just ignoring it because I don't like what you say. There's an al-anon group near me and I'm going to give them a ring.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 10-May-13 09:01:28


There are crucial differences however between you and that of the OPs husband; you knew you had a dependency problem - and importantly admitted that to your own self. You took responsibility for your alcohol problem rather than just simply laying all that at your DHs door and letting him solely carry you. Those factors were the key to your recovery.

I sincerely hope that OPs H does manage to stop drinking but I do think that things at home for OP will over time become far worse and not least her children who do pick up on all this to boot.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now