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How would you / did you approach your dhs drinking?

(62 Posts)
clarella Sun 24-Aug-14 01:02:00

I'm currently too unwell and tired to post more; I just would like some pointers please. Tia

clarella Sun 24-Aug-14 06:31:49


VeryLittleGravitasIndeed Sun 24-Aug-14 06:33:22

What's the problem with his drinking?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 24-Aug-14 06:45:53

You want the honest truth? I approached it with all the following
- Pointing out that a lot of his immediate family had an alcohol problem so maybe he should avoid it
- Ignoring the behaviour and saying nothing
- Got angry about it
- Got rid of alcohol from the house (didn't work)
- Pointing out that turning his car on its roof when pissed and losing his licence for a year probably meant he wasn't as in control of how much alcohol he drank as he cracked on hmm
- Supported his frequent 'grand gesture' 'look at me aren't I clever' alcohol-free periods... which always ended up with a binge - usually blamed on me.
- Apologised to friends for his behaviour. All the time.
- Avoided talking about it
- Talked about it

Don't know where you are in that cycle but IMHO there is no 'approach' that works on someone with an alcohol problem.

StillWishihadabs Sun 24-Aug-14 06:49:32

Yes depends where he is with recognising he has a problem/wanting to change. You can't influence this.

clarella Sun 24-Aug-14 08:39:42

Thanks. I really struggle to gauge if it's a problem or not.

He enjoys social drinking; rarely though will polish off a bottle of wine by himself with the TV. This is much less since lo came along. For the last 8 weeks he's been out at the weekend to varying degrees but generally has at least a mild hangover or more.

He's unable to imagine not drinking. It often impacted on our life pre baby as in days were frequently lost to hangovers. But I feel (my perspective I note) that now it impacts on our time as a family due to his tiredness after going out, and also character.

This is an example: We have a 20 month old who he adores. But I've actually seen him get impatient and twitchy if the thought of cancelling plans occurs - eg we were about to meet friends (Nct group so not close friends ) for a toddler meet up at a country pub, for food etc. but also beer. Lo woke from nap very upset and to me seemed to have a temp. DH was trying to hurry him up, said "oh come on, we're going out for a nice time" really struggling to hide his irritation. I commented and he tried harder to be sympathetic. Lo perked up and we went out. DH drank several pints. Later when home lo started fussing and then screaming at bed time. I offered toast as he'd not eaten much (he can often be distracted when out and can be choosy) giving it to DH to give. Lo rejected it screaming for me. DH mocked him saying "oh well don't have it then" . I was shocked. I probably just bf lo then (this was a couple of months ago) who went to sleep. We then had mega vom from 2 am so he was clearly coming down with something.

He also runs his own company with a friend (from uni, they also worked together for several years before setting up on their own). It's apparently really important to go out for drinks regularly to discuss things.

I don't think if mind if he then didn't loose his temper over tiny things the following day or two after a night out. Eg house a mess (I'm working 3 days, teacher , toddler has had a lot of bugs from nursery, many of which I've caught, it's been a fucking nightmare trying to juggle everything.) I get so resentful and grumpy if I know he's going out or if I know he's had a bit too much. But I feel it robs us of him sad

I think he's been going out slightly more as I'm "off" (6 wk break) and this appears to mean he's freer to "have fun".

In retrospect I believe DH had a form of pnd - he was excruciatingly anxious about Los weight and height, and perceived fussy / slow to start eating, but started getting at me about it, seeing it as down to me and the fact I was breast feeding. He'd shout at me for bf lo in the morning or after a nap saying he needed food first etc. at one point he weighed lo weekly or more. Some of the drinking that occurred autumn - spring last year certainly followed the arguments we had over this. Lo was born underweight but within 10 days reached between 25-9 centile and has literally stuck to it since! (We have to weigh him as he's on prophylactic antibiotics weight linked dose)

DH believed 25th c too small. I'm slight and slim, he's average but naturally slim. He's just beginning to ease up about all that. Lo is soooo active and clever there can't be any issues!

I genuinely don't mean to drip feed, please forgive me. There's so much stuff to work out.

I've got a gawd awful strangling cough and stayed at home last night looking after toddler and trying to breathe while DH went to friends. I think I'm enabling him as I ended up cosleeping with lo to manage juggling work and clingy frequently poorly baby a year ago as I was bf and simply got more sleep. I couldn't rely on DH to either not go out drinking due to corporate events or work or with mates at weekends (run up to Xmas was tough as of course all events had to be attended, even if I was at deaths door with a chest infection) I decided I needed to give myself and lo consistency at night time. Plus lo stopped accepting daddy cuddles at night from 8 months.

Feeling pretty shitty right now! So I'm rambling,sorry.

I've written several letters to DH but not sent them outlining how I feel. I've realised he's a bit of a man child. He really should have had a dog as a child! He's struggled to understand lo as a young toddler, loving the tomfoolery when lo is happy, either puzzled or critical over toddler clingy ness and whingyness. Tells him to 'man up' . angry I'm seeing that he's finding more reason to be with lo as lo gets older and more talkative, so I'm hoping some of the last year is a bit of new dad adjusting.

Apologies I know it's better to do a fully bullet pointed list.

I'm thinking relate might need to be an option sad

clarella Sun 24-Aug-14 08:47:26

He's late thirties. And is really really paranoid about ever drink driving.

I've tried

Ignoring it
Talking about it
Pleading not to get carried away prior to an event.
Wailing banshee approach.
Pointing out to his mum and dad (actually this did have a brief effect)

I've started noting when he goes out and when he's hungover (there can be a difference - so he is capable of restraint. It's just so inconsistent and unpredictable)

tribpot Sun 24-Aug-14 08:53:19

Why do you think you can fix this? Relate is not an option for alcohol abuse. That twitchiness about a delay in a trip to the pub - for an NCT event! - tells you what you need to know.

Are you getting to go out in the evening at all? Now you're not bfing there seems to be no reason why you shouldn't resume a 'social life' (if you believe that's what his drinking is) as well. How would he react to that?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 24-Aug-14 08:53:40

PND? Come on... He's doing what a lot of immature, irresponsible people do ie. carry on behaving as though they are young, free and single when they have a family and other responsibilities that should take precedent. It's the old story that you have modified your behaviour to take account for the broken nights and other realities of looking after a baby.... you've grown up.... and he doesn't want to so he hasn't.

He may or may not have a drinking problem. However, alcohol-oriented behaviour is causing your relationship a problem. The only way you stand a chance of changing that is by presenting consequences of the behaviour carrying on that are unpleasant to him personally. And good luck with that because I never managed it.

clarella Sun 24-Aug-14 10:12:11

I'm now feeling a tad guilty as my breathing was so bad in the night he saw me at 1 am (when he got back) and he was worried. He doesn't appear to have drunk much/ I can't smell it this morning. So he's been looking after very happy toddler since 6:30. He's sorted the dishwasher and taking lo out.

I still bf. I can't / have never been able to keep up with the amount of going out / socialising he likes. We do do things together - days out , went out for meal last week (though as I was starting to feel unwell I didn't drink), yesterday was supposed to be seeing friends in the afternoon then back to theirs for food and either sleeping over there or coming back here. I'd never drink if driving back and wouldn't get drunk as cosleeping. Due to my own health issues I tend not to these days unless I feel on top form. We're going away with 6 couples and their kids next wkend (he's really looking forward to it) - we do a lot!!!!

He's wanted a child all his life but I question his motivations about things. He is a man child - moans about lo not sleeping, in the past got cross with me for bfing him when lo whining "because he'll sleep and I want him to sleep in the car" ( on the way somewhere) then wanting him to wake up from a nap so lo can squash the sandcastles he's made for him ("I really want him to wake up!")

Regarding next weekend - I'm a little worried as lo has been so clingy lately and he doesn't know any of the people we're seeing. I'm back at work on the Monday, shitting myself about back to school, I teach sen and it's always hard in sept as we get so much unpredictability. I know DH is desperate to have lo there, with all his uni mates and their kids, laughing about their antics etc. But if lo goes into clingon mode it means disturbed nights (hence I bf him back to sleep) DH ranting about it, going off in a huff to drink etcetc. And then were all knackered for start of term.

But I guess I'm worrying about what hasn't happened yet. Plus it might help him to see several other real life toddlers 24/7 as I think he's often thought this one is faultyhmm.

I think I need to tell him why I worry about next weekend, tell him how it will make me feel if xyz (and drinking too much)

I think DH struggles to get into caring mode , and I've needed that quite a bit over the last few years. But when he does he's great. But the back lash is a regression into teen mode.

I'll get a "I've looked after lo and done xyz all day" later on. But isn't that what mums and dads and husbands and wives do?

tribpot Sun 24-Aug-14 10:19:23

Why are you feeling guilty? Because for once he got up with his child when you are ill?

When are you getting any time for yourself? When not ill, I mean.

clarella Sun 24-Aug-14 10:31:42

Oh and he loves it if I do go out for drinks or whatever by my self, and really wants me to with him. But lately I've wondered if when I've gone out ( went for a couple on last day of term 5-9 as my mum was up looking after lo. He'd gone out after work too but was back by 8:30. As he had a big night planned the following night) he's really pleased as it validities his going out - ie if I question anything he says well you went out, now it's my turn.

That big night out (incidentally the week after the Nct one and we'd all had the vom bug) ^^ - I'd booked a spa day with friends. He was quite hung over but knew he was looking after lo. Don't think he realised for the whole day! He managed it but house was a total tip, hadn't lifted a finger. I tried as best I could on the Monday with clingon child. I apologised when he got home that I'd not managed it all (sort of trying to show an example of what he could have said the day before) he gave a big hug and said no matter.

Later that eve I sat on sofa as he watched TV (I don't bother watching stuff anymore as either too much to do or too tired) just chatting and relaxing. Then he got really agitated about a tea stain on the carpet which had occurred (unbeknown to us) the previous Friday when I spilt my flask into my bag - didn't realise it had gone through and another bag his it all weekend.i explained I was going to tackle it that week (it was dry).

He could not cope with my explanations, wanted it sorted then, I held my ground and patiently said I had to find out best way to deal withit.not now at 8:30 on a Monday night. he wasn't happy at all, kept on and on till we had a row. During which I carefully stuck to the facts - I wasnnt going to do the stain right then but I was going to do it but he couldn't accept that. He tried to go down other routes. (Child in own room is a big un)

I was so upset - furious- as if I hadn't gone out on the Friday I'd have seen the stain earlier and dealt with it sooner. If he'd had a sober weekend he'd have had more patience and understanding.

He thought I was loopy to see it from that pov - that I can't go out.but I can't. I can't afford to be tired as I can't keep on top of everything and my health and when the house gets messy he looses his temper more easily. This is why I feel relate would help.

I think his drinking is a separate thing to his man child bullying behaviour.

I do feel I'm raising 2 children. confused

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 24-Aug-14 10:34:28

"I think DH struggles to get into caring mode"

Selfish people generally do. They struggle to care about anyone other than themselves. It's not regression, 'man-child', PND, clingy any of these other minimising sobriquets you're using, it's selfishness. Please see it for what it is and treat accordingly.

Morethanalittlebitconfused Sun 24-Aug-14 10:35:20

I've done all of what Cogito has said with my DH and am now at the 'fuck you I'm leaving' stage of proceedings and intend to pack my bags this week and move back to my parents

People with drink problems need to help themselves, they need to hit rock bottom to so this, and you can't live in a relationship of codependancy and neither are you his saviour.

clarella Sun 24-Aug-14 10:35:27

Cogito I think you've hit it on the head.thank you.

I know that his love for his son and his dreams to have a child/ children are so strong I think he'll get there. I just need to work out the clever way to do it.

I like the phrasing you've used to describe the situation - that's very helpful as I feel I can repeat it to him. I genuinely think he's so bogged down with work he doesn't have time to reflect on stuff.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 24-Aug-14 10:39:43

Selfishness is also a big factor in bullying. I have no time at all for bullies. Especially not the sort that deliberately pick fights with other people in order to rationalise poor behaviour - including going out drinking incidentally.

Couples counselling is not recommended where there is bullying behaviour present. Someone who is selfish or a bully will not accept there is a problem in the first place, will not engage and will simply use the sessions to air their own grievances. If you're hoping a Relate counsellor will tell him what you're too frightened/anxious/reluctant to say... that's not how it works.

Please be more assertive

clarella Sun 24-Aug-14 10:40:34

Time for myself - not a great deal.

It's apparently "my choice " as I chose to breastfeed and cosleep and not sleep train.

However the above I feel saved me from pnd and had helped my son sttn. He had reflux and still often has bad wind at night esp following a cold etc. I often have to rub his tummy. Lo sttn if he sleeps near me, lately not even wanting a bf, just wants to know I'm there.

Completely normal infant behaviour.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 24-Aug-14 10:43:32

You're making excuses again. However 'bogged down' he may be with work I bet he doesn't throw his weight about there, making life unpleasant and acting like a bear with a sore head. To a selfish person there is nothing to reflect upon beyond 'am I getting what I want and if not, who's to blame?' Selfish people do not look at the world from the angle of 'how do my actions affect others?'.... but in reverse.... 'how are the actions of others spoiling this for me?'

clarella Sun 24-Aug-14 10:44:54

Oops cogito, my reply was to your earlier one!

Treat accordingly - how? Leaving is not really an option.

He's being a star today. But I feel he had to see me being really ill to step in. When I ask for help he only gives what he wants to give.

Possibly unfair, I've seen changes lately in his attitude and when I barked at him on holiday for rolling his eyes and commenting when lo cried "booooo!" When tired and cold, he DID slink off, offer to get me a drink (of tea, though I asked for sherry!!!) and then really, genuinely apologised.

Morethanalittlebitconfused Sun 24-Aug-14 10:45:17

OP I could have written this thread easily and your DH and mine sound identical. I have nothing further to say because cogito is saying it all

He's a selfish arse of a man. He won't change.

clarella Sun 24-Aug-14 10:54:30

Thanks cogito.

{googles how to be assertive amazon book}...!

I think that's what I've resolved to do this 'holiday'. I find it really hard as I hate being bossy. He hates me bossing him too. I told my friend I was going to tell him when he did something that upset or impacted on me and lo rather than stewing and ignoring then blowing when not rational to then be accused of being the angry one.

For me, life is about needs and wants. Modern life confuses needs and wants. I don't doubt there are some needs he is missing, but fuxxxk so am I!

Yoga,my martial arts, my friends, my artwork.

I want to throw the TV out too.

I'd like it if we sat in the back room and listened to music of an evening. I think he's got into the habit of channel surfing while I get lo to sleep and then often pass out myself. Though the nights I don't he's glued to TV out of habit.

I really need some phrases to use.

I need to stop saying sorry. I've already apologised for being ill and him having to have lo. angry

FrontForward Sun 24-Aug-14 11:00:22

You can't change him. All you can change, is your reaction to him.

I'm absolutely not talking about covering for him, enabling him or tolerating crap, here. I'm talking about working out in your own head why you make excuses and blame yourself (because otherwise you have to face it, much better to search elsewhere eh?). Then, set out what you want from your life and make it happen whether he's on board or not.

Don't cover. Let friends and family know the problem.
Don't make excuses unless his behaviour is typical of your best friend, neighbour and therefore reasonable.
Read about alcoholism. It's rarely the cider swilling drunk. It's often someone in a job, in a family and people outside of the family don't know.
Don't think you can help him, make him less stressed, take away the triggers or opportunities. Whatever you do, he will still drink because that's the bottom line, that's what he wants. The rest is all just a smoke screen.

Know that when you're just reaching the end of your tether he will change, he will recognise the result of his actions. You will breathe a sigh of relief because he will change

...once he's calmed you down he will revert to usual behaviour

clarella Sun 24-Aug-14 11:06:22

I want to tell him he's selfish. I really struggle for 2 reasons: I hate labelling. (Ok so I'll tell him the behaviour is selfish)

2 he told me repeatedly I was selfish for bf / cosleeping etc etc. I was disturbing Los sleep, he needed sleep for development etcetc. "We can help him sttn" I worry if I say it, he'll throw that back at me.

Though now, I guess lo is demonstrating he's not affected in the slightest. FFs (bare with me as I teach sen so have no idea what's normal!) this child can tell if there's two of something! Eg two bikes or birds or tractors. And he was lent a tractor yesterday which DH returned last night - first thing he said this morning: tractor, two tractor, where? !!!! grin

The sleep thing is all about his own insomnia, which he had before lo.

I'm sorry if this is a drip feed but I had bad antenatal anxiety and depression. He was v supportive then. But I do wonder if it's affected him since. Hence the daddy pnd. Wanting to control things. Also, his brother had a lo 10 wks younger but ff and an amazing sleeper. So bil is able to take his lo away on his own and sil can go out. She's early 20s though. I'm late 30s! DH recently said about this. I pointed out I am me, DH is DH and lo is lo and we all carve our own paths.

He shut up after that.

clarella Sun 24-Aug-14 11:11:50

Front you were giving me hope there till your last sentence!

I think involving family and friends will help.

His mum said his dad fell to pieces with their first. I might ask more.

I will continue to record things as he has a selective memory.

He's actually suggested relate before - I'm sure he'll air his grievances but I feel I can counter them all now.

Thank you for helping me talk this through ladies

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 24-Aug-14 11:12:16

'Treat accordingly' means recognising the behaviour as selfish and saying as much. Right now your head is full of contradictions, rationalisations, worries about whether you're overreacting, ideas that he has problems and deserves more allowances etc. If you remind yourself that a particular behaviour is selfish (or irresponsible, unsupportive or whatever) you will react differently & probably more assertively than if you scale it down to one of these more vague ideas (man child, job stress, clingy, PND etc)

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