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husband always drinking

(38 Posts)
Dorange Tue 21-May-13 15:52:29

My H works very hard but whenever he is off work he is drinking at home (goes to pub occasionally). He never gets drunk but I find it not necessary and expensive. Probably makes him lazy too. Even though he does stuff around the house he could probably be more active. For example: last Sunday there was a spring festival I was looking forward to go to. He was in two minds if he would come or not. I let him know that I intended to be very busy walking around, checking everything and meeting people. He decided to stay at home and even though he did a lot of housework he was drinking alone (didn't get drunk). I got home and told him I met his mate at the pub I went to (to meet a friend) after I saw the whole of the festival. He than was slightly annoyed he missed the opportunity (not to see te friend nor the festival) but the opportunity to go to a pub. I drink very occasionally with a meal and just can't understand the need to drink at any time if you are not working. Rant over.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 21-May-13 15:56:36

Have you considered that he could have a serious problem with alcohol?

Do you have children?.

It is a problem because it is affecting your day to day life, you are being affected by someone else's drinking. Do you find that you're increasingly covering up for him and excusing him?.

You cannot help someone who does not want to be helped but you can certainly help your own self here. I would be talking to Al-anon and get additional support for your own self.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 21-May-13 15:59:31

We all work hard in our own ways but not everyone feels the need to anaesthetise themselves with alcohol to the extent that you describe. Drinking alone is not a good habit.

Dorange Tue 21-May-13 17:22:37

Yes I have considered alcohol problem but as he still works, look after our 6 year old, doesn't get drunk .....

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 21-May-13 17:27:51

Functioning alcoholics often don't appear drunk because they're just topping it up to stay 'normal'.

Shakey1500 Tue 21-May-13 17:52:29

You know him best and if you're concerned then it's an issue.

But,from what you've posted (and I appreciate it may not be the whole picture) then personally I don't see too much of a problem?

You say he never gets drunk,did tons of housework,looks after your child no problems etc. Perhaps he likes
a couple to unwind? I had a glass of wine whilst cooking dinner on Sun. Dh and ds were out. That would be classed as drinking alone smile

Not diminishing your concerns btw if there's a bigger picture?

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 21-May-13 18:17:51

What Cogito wrote. He is functioning - currently. He may well not do so in the longer term.

This is affecting your life and thus it is a problem. You cannot do anything to help him though, not unless he wants to help his own self and that at present is not happening.

Dorange Tue 21-May-13 18:20:39

He never gets drunk at home
He had a phase of getting in drunk from the pub but it is in the past (hopefully)
It is not glass while cooking dinner, I am not counting but I would guess e.g. 4 days off work (Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue) roughly 6 cans a day?
Doesn't seem a lot, but my question is: Why?
Definitely searching my local Alanon, as my dad was an alcoholic and i probably have unresolved issues anyway.

Shakey1500 Tue 21-May-13 18:22:38

Can you elaborate on his intake? Does he drink at work? Go for a drink after work? Wine with every meal or couple of cans every night?

I don't think it's accurate or necessarily wise to suggest anyone is a functioning alcoholic with so little to go on?

Shakey1500 Tue 21-May-13 18:23:09


muriel76 Tue 21-May-13 18:27:31

Sorry you are worried, it sounds very difficult for you.

Can I ask 6 cans of what exactly? If its 6 cans of lager that is a lot to drink and still not be 'drunk' if that makes sense? If he is building a tolerance that in itself could be a problem.

calmingtea Tue 21-May-13 18:31:37

It is irrelevant if he is getting 'drunk' or not. A hardy drinker can easily down 8+ pints without 'seeming drunk'. What matters is whether it affects his relationships and his ability to not put alcohol before these relationships. If it affects your marriage, it is a problem. If you don't have children yet, don't bank on anything changing when they come along. How would you feel if he opted out all Sunday, while you were looking after a baby and a toddler. Just because he preferred the idea of sitting in a pub to being with his family. If it is not affecting his job now, that doesn't mean it won't in the future.

Why? Self-medicating? Numbing? Escapism? An ex with a penchant for not coming home and sitting alone in the pub downing pint after pint, once said to me, he liked to treat himself to a pint when he was sad; angry; tired; lonely; happy....

LulaPalooza Tue 21-May-13 18:49:28

That's 24 cans in 4 days. If he's drinking something like Kronenbourg or other premium lager that's about 2.2 units per 440ml can = 52.8 units of alcohol.

The recommended maximum amount for men is 21 to 28 units per week. So in 4 days he is drinking about double the weekly recommended maximum amount.

Now, the alcohol unit guidelines are just that... guidelines. I drink as does DH and there are lots of times when we have exceeded that... but to drink that way on a regular basis is at the very least unhealthy and at worst he is close to having a drink problem.

Any GP and addiction counsellor would look at the number of units consumed in a week along with other factors - mood, behaviour, family relationships etc.

Talk to AlAnon and have a think about whether your family history affects your perception of other people's drinking habits... but from the information you've given here your DH ahs definitely got into some unhealthy drinking habits. Talk to him x

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 21-May-13 19:11:26

I was not altogether surprised to read that your Dad was an alcoholic; we learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents and you were certainly taught some damaging lessons that likely remain unresolved to this day.

You have a choice re this man, your child does not.

Shakey1500 Tue 21-May-13 19:12:39

24 cans across 4 days as pointed out,is above guidelines. So is it affecting your relationship,his ability as a parent or his work? Obviously you are concerned enough to post,have you spoken to him?

As background my Dh was a heavy drinker pre having DS and I doubt we'd still be together had we not relocated. Whereas before he would be in the pub at any given opportunity almost every day,now he has a couple of cans indoors every other night and go to the pub average once a fortnight. He probably does drink the guidelines most weeks but it in no way limits his parenting,work or marriage so I'm ok with it. Helps that I've seen how far he's come etc

Dorange Tue 21-May-13 21:04:18

I am not sure if he drinks 6 cans of beer per day, I am not counting but he usually goes to the corner shop and comes back with 6 cans, sometimes, because that is the way they sell it (obviously he could buy less). Sometimes are cans left in the fridge and sometimes he fall asleep without finishing (waste).
He will drink wine if come from work and needs a drink to wind down and there are no beers.
He work shifts, usually late at night, sometimes 14 to 15 hours a day so he says he needs a drink after work to relax. But when he is having a day off he will slowly drink at home too.
I grew up with my dad being a alcoholic and my mum also drinking a lot so at first I accepted this as normal behaviour, but since I drink very little, I just don't see the need to drink so much. I associate drinking with party, celebrations, friends, so for me drinking alone, at home, during the day, just because you are having a day off is weird and waste of time and money.
We have intimacy problems. He is alone, always complains about not having friends and he doesn't have any hobbies or interests a part from work and home...he also lacks self confidence due to poor education, dyslexia and problems growing up, so yes, I probably make excuses for him...

Shakey1500 Tue 21-May-13 21:23:00

Have you told him how you feel?

There's obviously problems as you say, with intimacy, social aspects. Could he be depressed do you think, and use alcohol as a crutch of sorts?

Dorange Tue 21-May-13 21:42:30

I have spoken to him about him spending too much time at the pub when finishing work earlier because since he works so much, spending free time at the pub for me was just selfish and irresponsible. Also he would get home drunk and try to talk about our problems and it obviously usually ended up bad. After loads of conversations, he stopped going out to the pub and getting drunk and became more involved in the house. He always had a good relationship with DC so this isn't a issue.
We have problems in our marriage due lack of interests in common, he doesn't have any interests, hobbies, nothing, I feel there isn't intellectual feed for me, nothing to talk about. Sex is bad, I don't feel attracted to him.
Now I know it will turn into a LTB thread wont it?
I tried to mention depression but than he wont accept or probably say if we had more sex he wouldn't seem need to say I feel less inclined to have sex with him after hearing this.

Shakey1500 Tue 21-May-13 21:52:31

Well there's no LTB from me at present smile

You clearly don't sound happy sad When did it all start to change? Did something happen to prompt a change or has it been a gradual decline?

I'm assuming (perhaps wrongly) that he wouldn't be too interested in counselling/therapy. Or would he? If he knew just how unhappy you were. Would you? How old is/are DC by the way?

Dorange Tue 21-May-13 22:05:23

Dc is 6.
He says he doesn't want to talk about his life/problems/feelings to a stranger, so counselling suggestions never worked (he is a bit 'ignorant' like this.
I got pregnant very early in the relationship - 8 months - we didn't know each other very well.
We had loads of financial problems, visa problems, he has problems at work too but Dc is what bond us together.
We are in a better position now, financially and more mature too. He drinks less, is more involved, I am no longer a bored housewife, I work and have my money and Dc is 6 so it is a lot easier all around, but I guess the problems in the past worn me out and I can't let go or forgive...e.g: he going to the pub and coming drunk years ago when I was bored with a baby/toddler or spending money in alcohol when we were skint.

Shakey1500 Tue 21-May-13 22:23:30

Oh I can so relate to the anger and resentment. As mentioned, DH needed no encouragement to be in the pub whatsoever. This was before DS came along though so I can only imagine how it must have felt for you.

Are you saying that back then, you told him how you felt, then he stopped and got more involved? And he's aware that you're unhappy now (about different things as well as the alcohol) but isn't prepared to take steps to fix?

Sorry, re-reading it sounds like I'm putting words in your mouth. Not meant to. One thing I will say from my perspective ref- the resentment is that a line has to be drawn if he listened and changed. But it would appear that you are really unhappy about other recent/ongoing things and I understand how it's natural to use his pre pub days as the starting point.

Dorange Tue 21-May-13 22:51:12

Things went this way:
We were living together, but sharing with friends.
I worked, was independent. Unplanned pregnancy, student visa, not a real career just a job.
He had a 'career' and full time job but wasn't well paid.
We decided to try and create a family, so I stayed in the country even though I knew deep down we didn't have a lot in common...(but hey, I had loads in common with all of my Exs and it never worked anyway) However, got a bit mad during pregnancy, too worried about everything, worked until 2 weeks before Dc was born. Everything 2nd hand, from my maternity clothes to cot and cot mattress (absolutely love hand me downs but it is sad when you walk past mother care and have to turn your face away with a tear, I was afraid to see the price of baby stuff tbh)
I couldn't go back to work after baby since we wouldn't be able to afford childcare both in low paid jobs and not entitled to benefits.
We shared home until my daughter was 8 months old, than moved to a bedsit, i couldn't afford an ice cream on a hot day, I was very unhappy from the day I found out I was pg tbh. And always blamed him for not being successful enough to provide even the basics(I know, I know). Than he goes and drinks the little money we have away. Bloody Hell.
So I withdrew affection and he who always was very affectionate feels rejected all the time.
Things are better now because I too work hard, save, manage shopping/finances and spent the last 6/7 years worrying.
I wonder where we would be if I wasn't the sort of woman I am now.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 22-May-13 05:49:07

Leaving ideas of alcoholism or alcohol abuse aside, you're worried that the amount of alcohol he drinks and the amount of time he spends at the pub affects the family budget, life together as a family and, to a lesser extent, his physical and mental health. More importantly, you think this behaviour highlights a loss of connection and lack of engagement in general in your relationship, that you are gradually drifting apart, losing respect and affection for each other as you live increasingly separate & rather unhappy lives.

Can you see yourselves having a reasonable conversation about all of the above? Do you want to resolve it? Do you think he wants to resolve it? Could you have a conversation perhaps about where you see yourselves in five or ten years' time? That can be revealing. I don't think there are any easy paths from where you are now but I think you need to communicate with each other very honestly if things aren't just going to run into a brick wall.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 22-May-13 06:33:38

Your child however, should not and actually cannot be the glue that bonds you together. If you are really together now only for the child's sake then this is not ideal either.

Quite apart from his drinking problem there are many other problems in your relationship. What do you get out of this relationship now, what is keeping you within this?. Your relationship sounds like it is dying off.

Dorange Wed 22-May-13 08:23:20

Wow, Cogito. You are spot on. And all the other posters too thank you so much for understanding, I thought I would be told off. I tried having conversations with him but he is really closed when sober and generally won't be honest with his feelings and pretend everything is ok. I think he can't face the issues. I am not keen to chat when he is drunk however this os when he opens up and reveals his true thoughts and feelings....but won't listen properly/pay attention to what I'm saying or even remember the conversation which is frustrating. I also think he is immature. Whenever we have the opportunity to talk about our problems, he gets resentful when I reveal negative feelings and always play the victim card. He points out my mistakes in order to hurt me or 'get one up', to show me I'm not perfect etc, instead of doing a helpful criticism. Me being from other culture is also source of problem apparently, since the straight to the point style of my speech hurt his feeling and I sometimes miss out the subtle english way of telling something straight. He can't be direct and straight (unless we are fighting) and keeping going on and on in circles to the point I loose focus and get distracted.

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