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DH not quite an alcoholic but going that way...(18 Posts)
I am a first time poster. Desperation has brought me here. My husband has admitted that he has an alcohol problem but I don't know where to start to help him, if I can at all.
We have been married for 8 years. For cultural reasons, we never lived with each other before marrying, which we (more him) both regret. It was hard to become compatible in daily living, but we managed to find middle ground. He has always enjoyed his drink, drinking a couple of cans of larger in his flat after work before we married which I didn't like as I'm not really a drinker. However, he didn't drink every day. That is different now.
We have 2 children, one is 3 and the other is 6 months. Things were blissful during the first year of Dc1, I didn't work (long mat leave) and we lived in a beautiful place. However, the birth of dc2 was extremely stressful. We were living overseas at the time whilst I was pregnant but baby was antenatally diagnosed was a very serious heart defect. This forced our early return to the UK, and we had to live with my parents in a very small house (we our now in our own home). DC2 spent a month in a neo natal unit, but thankfully did not have the heart condition. Instead, has a very rare genetic disorder which could present a range of difficulties, from quite mild to quite severe. But as no one can predict it, it is a wait and see game.
Dc2 is a beautiful, happy, calm baby, amazing considering what he has been through. Dc1 is an extremely bright toddler, who has dealt with the disruption and upheaval very bravely, IMO. However, Dc1 is now a noisy, clingy, argumentative child totally what you would expect. But dc1 is becoming the focus of my husbands anger and drinking, which I feel is unreasonable. He drinks at least 1.5 bottles wine a night, more on weekends.
He was also a serious smoker, but through my nagging and several false starts, he has completely stopped and says that he does not miss it. As his father became seriously ill because of smoking, he did not want to go the same way. But he says he resents me for making him stop a habit he loved (I've never smoked). He also feels the financial pressure of keeping a family - he is very good at saving, I am abysmal, and deeply resents me for 'carrying' me in this respect.
Living with my parents has also destroyed their relations. I understand his point of view here, as they can be very judgemental. He now really hates them, and resents them for not acknowledging the pain he went through in moving us back to the uk single handedly. They also witnessed his drinking which he feels both embarrassed and resentful about.
He accepts he has a problem, and says he is deliberately self destructing. What he hates is the bedtime routine. He DESPISES it. He hates bath time, story time, putting on pyjamas, all of it. He is very resentful that it takes so long and claims that he needs the drink afterwards to decompress. He is also angry that dc1 won't fall asleep before 7.30- he wants dc1 to be asleep by 6.30, but dc1 is not wired that way. He is also very angry that our house is not spotless like other peoples are, and daily berates me for not wiping down surfaces immediately etc.
He is not in a stressful job, and claims work is not putting him under pressure. However, he will not visit a GP, counsellor, or anyone that could help for fear of it being exposed at work. I understand this fear, as he is correct, but i feel that if this is not resolved, he needs to overcome this fear. I think he has a form of PTSD from the last 6 months, which was v stressful. I had my family around me at the time, but he didn't really, apart from his brother, as his parents were emotional absent. This still bothers him.
He plans to go cold turkey soon and wants to avoid doing bed times by himself going to bed before the kids, thus leaving me to do it (which I can). Though I'm not sure it will work; he did 6 months sober last year but I'm not convinced he is in the right frame of mind for it.
He does not want to get divorced but secretly hopes that I will leave him so he is free to drink in peace and with no noise or disruption. I have seriously considered this, but what is stopping me is the effect this will have on my dc1. Plus financial, housing etc, all these things. We agree that he is not cut out for family life, which deeply upsets me. All I wanted was a happy family life. Even with a child with special needs, I thought we could, but this is increasingly becoming a fantasy. I don't know if I can cope with the children and with him too. What can I do?
For him to go and speak with his GP and ask for support will be his first step. It could be dangerous for all of you if he goes cold turkey without professional support.
Your responsibility would be not to make excuses for his drinking and enable it to continue. (Not saying you are)
Ugh. What a burden you're carrying. That must be terribly hard. It certainly sounds like things aren't getting better on their own, and that his behaviour towards you and the DCs is very worrying. Is there no way he'd look to outside help?
Oh candles, he sounds absolutely horrid.
I'm not articulate, but there are people on mumsnet who can really help. I hope they come along soon.
I agree that he would like you to 'disappear so he can drink in peace' and then he'd also have more of a reason to drink- he'd bleat to everyone that his wife and children left him. So it would be win win for him.
I know it must be incredibly painful for you. Some men don't deserve a family. I really hope you can all find a way through this
That sounds like a very difficult situation and I think you might be right about some kind of PSTD or depression (which often goes hand in hand with long periods of anxiety). If he wont go to the doctor then how about AA or a self-help group like Hello Sunday Morning - if you google it you'll find it. It is a free online resource that encourages people to look at their drinking and it has a huge and supportive on-line community. You pledge to not to drink for a certain amount of time and draw on the community for support. If he can knock the booze on the head I think the rest will follow - it is a massive depressant. In the mean time look after yourself too - he's the only one who can fix this so until he does, you need to keep yourself and the dcs safe.
tbh he sounds like a man under a huge amount of pressure. How old and you both?
He is not a good husband or father.
His anger is all wrapped up in DS1 and he DESPISES the bed time routine?
Well don't expose your ds1 to living with such a rotten, miserable father then!
Can you not stay with your parents on your own for a while? Just while you find your feet and gather up the strength to divorce the fucker?
Sorry, but based on what you've said I think he is quite clearly an alcoholic -- a high-functioning one, perhaps, but he's clearly a) very dependent on alcohol to manage his stress and b) is drinking in a way which is endangering his health and putting stress on his family life.
I also think his reaction to the bath and bedtime routine is very dysfunctional. It can be stressful, yes, but its a standard and pretty central part of family life and his apparently wanting you to shoulder all this or risk him drinking himself silly is unworkable and totally selfish.
You seem to be posing the question as to whether your life would be more or less stressful without having to deal with him in it. I think you might find that managing children without having to deal with a man who goes into a drink-fuelled meltdown due to low-level family friction is easier than you think and actually makes your life less stressful.
I'm sorry to sound harsh because its clearly a very difficult situation for you. I've just come out of a marriage with someone who -- among other things -- was a heavy drinker , though not quite in your H's league, and used the excuse of "stress" for getting stuck into the booze all the time. My life is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but its actually a lot less stressful for not having to deal with it and I've been pleasantly surprised by this.
If you can't get him to go to a GP I would recommend going to a few Al Anon sessions. It's a bit cult-ish, but it can really help focus the mind on what you can and can't do about someone who has a drink problem. The bottom line is that it can only come from him and if he won't face it you will have to make some tough choices to protect yourself and your DCs from it.
^ yes- go to Al-Anon. you are not responsible for 'fixing' your H and making life easier for him. Bedtime routines are a normal part of family life and needs to learn not to despise him. Yes you could support him but he needs to see a GP or other professional and make the first move. If not I would give yourself a time frame in which things need to improve or else you will leave. He wants this of course as noted above so he can blame you for his drinking but if he continues to drink he will just drag you down if you continue to live with him and that will be dire for you and your DC's.
I think folks here have already made very fair points, but I just wanted to add that his (and your) conclusion that he is constitutionally not cut out for family life may be inaccurate. It can be very difficult to judge these things when a person is actively misusing alcohol.
Has he ever tried something else to destress like going for a run or walk after the kids go up.to bed?
candles not sure if you have seen my thread that I have just revived? There might be something in there to help you:
Something, I hope OP will read your thread. I haven't seen it before but just reading the first post I'm nodding my head, I'm close to rock bottom with DP's binge drinking. I'll finish the thread later this evening. Thanks for adding your link.
Sorry but him telling me he despises putting his own kids to bed and craves a drink would be enough for me to say, bye, bye. Never mind the rest of it, it's all about poor him, and when you are married you are meant to support each other, not pick holes in you trying to improve his life.
I have seriously considered this, but what is stopping me is the effect this will have on my dc1.
From what you have said, the effects on both your DCs will be positive. Imagine being your DC1 for a minute and think about how much they must dread bedtime with angry, drunk, shouty daddy there. Hardly any wonder that they are resisting being put to bed earlier when it's such a stressful experience.
I actually think it's to his credit that he has recognised he is not cut out for fatherhood. A lot of men aren't, yet they do it anyway and become crap fathers. I honestly think your DCs would be better off if he walked away. As long as you have support from your family, you could do this on your own and it would be better for all three of you.
I would point out that I think the dislike of the bedroom routine of the children & his pushing for that to occur earlier is because it's the final hurdle in the day to getting a drink & he gets frustrated with any delays or obstacles to that end goal.
this section might help
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