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What to do about DH?

(20 Posts)
TheFantasticMrsFox Thu 01-Jan-15 18:14:42

I have been with DH for nearly 8 yrs, we have DS (10) who is mine but DH has legally adopted. DH is 20+ years older than me but this has never been an issue. Not something I planned but equally not something I have ever been really too worried about (aside from the "young widow" aspect which I reconciled myself to some years ago)

All of my young life I imagined I would only have one child, a boy. When DS was born I believed that was it for me and was happy as such. Once I met DH though I really wanted another DC with him (not a DC at any cost, just one of our own) I truly believe that if DS was biologically ours then I wouldn't have worried at all.

Anyway we struggled, DH saw our GP and was given a Viagra type drug (he is a bit rubbish at explaining the issue in any case but had grossly underestimated his drinking when the GP asked him) I know he lied at this point, either to me or the GP but I love him, I had DS and I resolved to move on.

Fast forward 5 years, still no DC and now it seems that DH is completely spermless. Not even a low count, completely devoid of any sad I dealt with that eventually (TBH after 5 years I had a strong suspicion that there was an issue somewhere, so it was not a big surprise)

Now two years on from there I have just realised we have spent a whole month, from one period to the next, without having anything even approaching sex. We are getting on really well but seem to be more "mates" rather than partners IYSWIM. DH often struggles with sex, ie we can only do it in the morning. In the evening he often cannot get an erection or maintain it if he has had a drink, which he does every night. Drinking has become a sort of bone of contention for us as I know think we drink too much while he refuses to acknowledge that there is a problem. Any time the issue is mentioned I am "nagging" but I have reached the stage where I am feeling unloved and lost.

To be clear, we both drink everyday. I can take it or leave it most days but DH needs a drink every day. And it can in the week be just a drink (my father was a secret drinker, I know all the tricks WRT sneaking an extra drink. I truly believe that I do know exactly what DH is drinking) I am stopping for Dry January tomorrow and the issue isn't huge for me whereas DH has resisted joining me with some venom. I am starting to worry that he does have a dependency problem but that he will categorically refuse to acknowledge it. After all he gets up early every day, holds down a job, takes part in hobbies etc. so he cannot see he has an issue. For my part I'm so sick of it but cannot realistically force him to stop. I desperately don't want to leave him as DS and I love him completely but the drinking and associated personal problems are becoming too much for me to cope with sad

2015HappyNewYear2015 Thu 01-Jan-15 19:50:21

Someone will be along soon with some good advice.

Does AA have some help for families of alcoholics,which I presume is what your DH is.

Newrule Thu 01-Jan-15 20:04:13

An option might be to focus first on improving your relationship with alcohol and just making yourself generally more healthy. Hopefully your persistence and gains in that area may rub off on him.

You should then continue to encourage him to make changes. Don't pressure him as that might lead to huge resistance. He does need help. Either professionally or from within him.

TheFantasticMrsFox Fri 02-Jan-15 08:34:36

See 2015 I would say that he has a dependency, not necessarily that he is an alcoholic, at least not in the traditional sense. Getting him to admit to having any sort of problem would be nigh on impossible hmm

I just feel that the alcohol impacts on us and our family in small, insidious ways rather than a noticeable one. As time has gone on I feel more like giving up completely but my background (half my life has been spent in the licensed trade) means I have a natural affinity to pubs and going out among people. I'm also worried that if I stop drinking I may lose a strong connection with DH as it's the one thing that we share IYSWIM? Having said that, I'm not happy with our life as it is so as new says, perhaps that will have an effect on him (it didn't last year)

Anyway he has gone to work and he is not speaking to me, so that bodes well for 2015 hmm

jack45132 Fri 02-Jan-15 08:44:44

I had 1, perhaps 2 drinks every night for years. Did it to stop thinking about all the stresses or the day - rubbish because it kept waking me up at 3am. Took ages to simplify my life to reduce stress. The 'minor' drinking caused accumulated problems - it kind of bumps you along on the bottom, numb to the poor quality of your life. It became a social habit, rather than an addiction.

It's scary to stop, so you need plenty of planned distractions in the evening. It's boring but exercise and a good relationship really help....bit of a chicken and egg though...

TheFantasticMrsFox Fri 02-Jan-15 08:58:54

I think that's it with DH jack, he simply cannot see the accumulated build up from moderate daily drinking.

For my part I can see it and would definitely consider giving up permanently, just that it seems quite a lonely road if I have no support. We are trying to save this year so going out will be seriously cut back. This leads us onto only drinking in the house, which doesn't even have the social aspect.

He also grudgingly shouted that he would do Dry January if it would "stop me nagging" This spectacularly misses the point as he feels I have forced him into it. FWIW in a fit of emotion he said he would do it after Christmas. It was me who pointed out that his motives were wrong (at that point) and that he should come to the decision naturally, not on a wave of emotion (and alcohol)

<sigh> I can hardly wait till 5pm hmm

jack45132 Fri 02-Jan-15 09:17:43

My 2 drinks a night was always at home. Cut down on social drinking to make up. If as a couple you both drink (we did) then at some point one person has to show leadership, and stop (without support, and watching the other drink....it's tough)

I would say, even if it's for the wrong reasons, you've got somewhere with him agreeing to stop.

I do think you need distractions in the evening - something good - so in Feb it doesn't seem attractive to slip back into old habits. I wouldn't do this at the same time as trying to diet, for example.

jack45132 Fri 02-Jan-15 09:28:12

If he's 20+ years older than you - then I would guess he's 50?? In the modern world this is YOUNG. Shouldn't need Viagra, etc - (apologies if I have his age wrong)

Sounds to me he needs to change direction health wise in all aspects. Little daily changes are massively underestimated. Walking, and diet...

M00nUnit Fri 02-Jan-15 09:31:59

I'm in a really similar position to you OP. My DP drinks every night, sometimes up to 2 bottles of wine. Sometimes more. He doesn't seem to get drunk though, and he still holds down a job and isn't abusive. So he doesn't see why he should stop.

I like a drink too (in moderation) but I've been cutting down a lot in the last few days in the hope that DH will follow my lead. It's not working so far though.

FunkyBoldRibena Fri 02-Jan-15 09:44:20

https://ncadd.org/learn-about-alcohol/alcohol-abuse-self-test

TheFantasticMrsFox Fri 02-Jan-15 09:50:06

I've just been through our bank account and we have spent nearly £500 last month in the pub. Even if you take the Christmas period, having family down, a meal out and drinks for DS into account, that is an obscene amount blush angry

M00n, it would be so much easier if I could say "you missed work today because of your drinking" but I can't. This makes DH assume his drinking is within acceptable levels hmm

jack he is early sixties but essentially yes, still young by today's standards. Aside from the drinking we eat a good diet and while he may not undertake any actual planned exercise, we have three dogs and he has a reasonably physical job so he's not exactly sedentary all day.

TheFantasticMrsFox Fri 02-Jan-15 10:00:33

Thank you ribena, I came out as an 8 so not as bad as it could have been. A quick scan reveals that DH would come out as at least a 12 hmm

M00nUnit Fri 02-Jan-15 10:01:32

Exactly!

Gfplux Fri 02-Jan-15 10:12:21

So this makes you early 40's or late 30's. Still very,very young.
Try looking into the future, 10 or more years on this road. Will it get better? Will he change? Only you can really know. However old dogs don't learn new tricks. What sort of roll model is he for your DS!
You are at a crossroads with some decisions to make.
If it were me and it's easy to say, well I would tell him you are splitting up unless he changes. I would have to mean it and carry it through if my deadline for change passed without change.

jack45132 Fri 02-Jan-15 13:57:11

Yes, you're right early sixties is still young. I know a lot of men that have physically demanding jobs - it's not the same as exercise. The jobs take your energy away, and can wear you down - as you're often using the same muscles every day without rest periods. Tailored exercise on the other hand, or just walking everywhere can give you a boost. You often get the more enlightened builders playing lots of golf....Without being too blunt, sixty is old enough for a man to start naturally losing interest in sex?, unless he's proactive with his body...Good luck either way

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 02-Jan-15 14:05:17

I do not think he will change but you can certainly change how you react to him. You seem to be both codependent and his enabler here.

Can you really still say that you love him?, Or is this really an unhealthy codependent relationship.

What do you think your DS is learning about relationships here?,

What do you get out of this relationship now, what is keeping you within this?. From what you have posted here this relationship is really on its knees and staggering along because he is really an alcoholic.

TheFantasticMrsFox Fri 02-Jan-15 14:32:07

atilla yes I do love him, completely and totally. He is my soulmate and I annoy even begin to imagine my life without him. Whether I would feel the same if I stopped drinking and he didn't change, I can't say.

I know I sound like a deluded old harpy but genuinely DH is a good man. We have fun, laugh, enjoy time together but as I said, more like friends than a couple which saddens me greatly. I do feel slightly resentful on occasions about the infertility, but that could have been an issue anyway regardless of his drinking. My desire for a second DC was to have his DC, not another at any cost.

As for DS, he is a very forceful personality and at 10 is already determined that he will never drink. Generally we don't have big arguments and he never sees DH passed out in a pool of his own vomit, so I feel that he is relatively unaffected by this.

RandomNPC Fri 02-Jan-15 15:02:28

Why is your 10 Yr old DS so determined that he will never drink if he hasn't been adversely affected by this?

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 02-Jan-15 15:08:43

love is often not enough. Your family life is being affected by his daily drinking.

Your 10 year old is already determined not to drink alcohol, to hold such strong views at a very tender age is not that unusual to you?. He holds such views primarily because his father is alcoholic but I think going forward he will reserve a particularly high level of contempt for you as his mother and may well accuse you of putting this man before him.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 02-Jan-15 15:10:07

And what do you think your son is learning about relationships here?

would you want him to be in such a relationship as yours is as an adult?

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