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Husband has announced he has drink problem

(49 Posts)
DoesntKnowWhenToStop Sat 27-Dec-14 13:27:16

So after yet another evening ruined by my 'D' H's inability to know when to stop drinking he announces he has a drink problem.

Over the past few years he has developed a tendency to be verbally abusive when drunk. I have reached breaking point and now he announces that he has a problem with alcohol and will get help.

I honestly don't know if it's alcohol or him that is the problem. I feel at my wits end

1Cheesedoff Sat 27-Dec-14 13:36:10

You poor thing. I am not able to give you much help, but I have noticed that a lot of people drink to much and can be a bit of a pain but there is a difference then being verbally abusive. Does he apologise the next day or does he not except that he has done anything wrong? smile

HanselandGretel Sat 27-Dec-14 13:38:33

Please support him in his decision, he is on the road to recovery in admitting he has a problem.

gatewalker Sat 27-Dec-14 13:43:55

Please don't listen to posters who know next to nothing about the specifics of your circumstances, OP. You do not have to support your DH; you do not have to do anything. It may be that support is going to help; it may be that your DH needs to do this alone while you take your life elsewhere. Only you know this. He may be an alcoholic, but alcoholism is no excuse for abusive behaviour. Never. Never.

AskBasil4StuffingRecipe Sat 27-Dec-14 13:46:31

OK so it's good he understands he has a drink problem. However, don't let him use his drink problem as an excuse for his verbal abuse problem - he is responsible for solving his drink problem and his verbal abuse problem is separate to that.

What's he proposing to actually do about the drink problem? And what's he going to do about the verbal abuse problem?

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Sat 27-Dec-14 13:47:35

Totally agree with Gate. My sister is an alcoholic. Support just gets me more and more abuse and there's no way I'd subject my children to her behaviour.

First and foremost is your safety OP, both physically and emotionally. You do not need to be his emotional punch bag whilst he gets help. If this was me, which it isn't, I'd ask him to move out and once he had resolved his issues, you will welcome reconciliation talks.

AskBasil4StuffingRecipe Sat 27-Dec-14 13:47:57

Also agree with gatewalker, you don't have to support him at all if you don't want. It's his problem, for him to solve. If you do support him that's nice and good for him, but he's not entitled to your support.

Have you called Al-Anon? A talk with them might give you some perspective.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 27-Dec-14 13:49:01

Talk is cheap, what actions has he himself taken today to address his drink problem?. You are living with an alcoholic with the additional problem is that he is likely to be an alcoholic in denial of his problem.

You cannot helps him but you can certainly help your own self by talking to Al-anon as they are helpful to family members of problem drinkers.

Do you have children?. Where is your own tipping point here with regard to him because you have likely heard all this before and it has come to nothing.
Is this really the life you want going forward for yourself because you,re really now looking at many more years of the same unless you yourself leave him.

I would also read up on codependency as you are likely to be codependent as well. You are also playing a role here in all this too.

gatewalker Sat 27-Dec-14 13:50:53

Just to add -- I come from a family where both my parents were alcoholics (both died from drink- and lifestyle-related illnesses), and both my DB and DSis are recovering alcoholics who don't drink. My ex-DH is an alcoholic in recovery. Al-Anon helped me greatly in coming to terms with both my own co-dependency, and the over-assumption of responsibility that comes with that. You can support from a distance. You don't need to support at all. The person who needs your wholehearted support is you.

HanselandGretel Sat 27-Dec-14 13:54:10

Is he verbally abusive when not drunk OP? My reckoning is if it's drink induced then the sooner he gets help the better, it's appalling that you have had to put up with this.
The support ( if you so wish to) would be to make sure he sticks to his word and does actually do something about it, to say to him that you will support his decision to get help, obviously, he has then got to take the help available and make steps to stop drinking. You yourself will need support too OP.

Buttercupsanddaisys Sat 27-Dec-14 14:07:57

I'm with hanselandgretel in asking you to support your dp. Please.

DoesntKnowWhenToStop Sat 27-Dec-14 14:08:27

Thanks for the responses.

He is not verbally abusive when sober but has become increasingly grumpy and snappy in recent months - although I suspect this is simply a reflection of the sorry state of our marriage.

He is also perfectly capable of having a drink and not being an arse, although this tends to be confined to times when it's just the two of us, or the family (we have DC): dinners out or holidays are all (generally) fine. But a party or other social gathering seems to push him over the edge - he thinks he is the life and sole and I see him as rude and obnoxious. If I call him on it then I'm miserable, have no sense of humour etc etc

In terms of what he has done today, mostly moped about feeling sorry for himself (part man flu, part whatever) but he has the details for AA and I am assuming he will go later in the week.

This is all new to me - I have no idea what codependency is or what support AA can offer.

gatewalker Sat 27-Dec-14 14:12:45

AA is different from Al-Anon, Doesnt -- AA is for alcoholics, and Al-Anon is for families and children of alcoholics. They're both 12-step programs -- and those tend to suit some people and not others.

Buttercup -- Would you be suggesting unconditional support if the OP's husband were abusive without alcohol? When does alcohol justify abuse? FFS!

DoesntKnowWhenToStop Sat 27-Dec-14 14:13:44

My gut feeling is too support him but if I'm honest im also really pissed off that I have to...I feel like why am I the one that has to deal with all the crapiness: the shouting and abuse and tip toeing AND then have to make it better for him?

Part of me just wants to scream "what about me?!"

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Sat 27-Dec-14 14:13:55

definitely worth reading up on codependency OP, Pia Mellody has written a good book "facing codependency" that is worth a look.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 27-Dec-14 14:18:42

I would put money on it that he will not contact AA at all tbh with you. he just wants to winge at you and put the onus on you instead or blame you for his problems.

Your children are seeing all this as well, at the very least they are learning from the two of you about relationships here. is this really what you want to teach them?. What about you and they in all this, you matter!!!.

What do you get out of this relationship now, what is keeping you wishing this really?. no obstacle to leave is actually insurmountable.

Al-anon is a completely separate organisation to AA and Al-anon is specifically for family members of problem drinkers.

I think it would help you tremendously if you were to seek legal advice re your own situation along with contacting Al-anon and reading up on codependency. You need to get yourself out of the FOG you find yourself in and fast.

DoesntKnowWhenToStop Sat 27-Dec-14 14:26:54

Thanks for clarification re AA and Al - anon.

atilla I sudpect he'll go this week but I'll be shocked if he continues. You're right re actions and words.

Leaving would actually be quite easy, I can support myself and the DC. I suppose my biggest fear is he would want DC ft - and there would be an argument in favour of that as I have to travel regularly for work. I don't want to lose my DC.

Also we've been together a long time and he hasn't always been like this - it's a fraction of the timescale of our relationship and so I keep telling myself it can change. Maybe I'm kidding myself.

Any recommendations for reading re codependency?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 27-Dec-14 14:35:53

Do you really think that this man would get much access at all to his children particularly if he is a drunkard who has problems with anger to boot?, Such men only really care about their own selves, children are but an unnecessary encumberance to such selfish men.

Do not get trapped in the sunken costs fallacy common to relationships, that causes you to make poor relationship decisions. Yes you have been together a long time. How much of that has been really good?. Such men fundamentally do not change, you are seeing the real him here and it's not a great picture at all. One day as well, your children will leave home and ASAP as well if you remain within this. Your own relationship with them going forward as adults could well be damaged because they could accuse you of putting him before them. They may also wonder of you why you did not leave years earlier if you were so unhappy.

You have a choice re him, your children do not.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 27-Dec-14 14:36:32

Codependent no Mode by Melodie Beattie is a good book to read on the subject of codependency.

AnyFucker Sat 27-Dec-14 14:41:06

How much support you are prepared to give should be dependent on whether you think he really has had a light bulb moment and is totally committed to getting help OR this is an act of manipulation because he senses you are near the end of your rope

only you know that, but Al Anon will certainly help you in gaining that insight

This is the classic text: 'Codependent No More' by Melody Beattie.

She's also done 'The New Codependency: Help and Guidance for Today's Generation' (2010) which is a bit less religious and assumes some understanding of concepts such as boundaries & self-compassion.

Fixing any tendencies in yourself towards co-dependence will free you from any feelings of obligation and guilt around your husband's addiction - simultaneously, this frees him to make his own choices rather than adding enmeshment to his existing problems. It's also a great way to model healthy behaviour for your children.

It's worth looking at the other recommended books, too smile Good luck to all of you.

tribpot Sat 27-Dec-14 14:52:51

There will be AA meetings today. If he's serious he could be at a meeting right now.

In the meantime, this is the book that really helped me when I stopped drinking. You could suggest it to him to see if he bothers downloading it. That might give you a fair indication of whether he is in any way serious.

Is there any booze in the house?

DoesntKnowWhenToStop Sat 27-Dec-14 16:00:16

attila I suspect he would - he works shorter hours with more flexibility and of course he doesn't appear to the outside world as an angry drunk. That is saved for me.

tribpot I've suggested the book so let's see. There is lots of alcohol in the house - do I need to get rid?

sandysbrain Sat 27-Dec-14 16:54:34

You need to get rid all right.

What you do with the alcohol is up to you though.

tribpot Sat 27-Dec-14 17:08:10

You don't need to get rid of the booze, DoesntKnow. This is his problem to manage. He can ask you to dispose of it if he's serious.

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