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alcohol and marriage - thin end of every wedge

(46 Posts)
stealtheatingtunnocks Sun 19-Jun-16 23:51:27

My husband's drinking has increased as his ability to be affectionate or nurturing towards me or our 3 kids has waned.

He's not abusive, not aggressive, not violent. Certainly has a case of "vino veritas" mind. And, he's short tempered with our children in general, one of our kids is chronically unwell and h e's not really able to be involved with that. So, I've coped alone. He's coped by drinking. That's really a bit shit.

He's a good man, really, he's doing his best - but, sadly, his best appears to be, at best, a bit shit.

He copes with life with wine.

I've just worked out that he's going through 130-150 units a week.

Suspect our marriage is fecked. I've tried not buying wine, I've tried speaking to him, I've tried buying him as much as he wants, I've tried laying all the empties out in the hall ,I've begged, I've cried, I've raged.

He holds down a job with ease. He's never late. He's never missed a day. However, I suspect he's actually dependent.

So, what would you advise?

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sun 19-Jun-16 23:58:37

Join Al-Anon yourself. Get education and support.

stealtheatingtunnocks Mon 20-Jun-16 00:06:27

You think this is alcoholism?

Like, he can give up. He does every January, often for three monhts. But, jeezo, he makes up for it the rest of the year.

Froginapan Mon 20-Jun-16 00:12:50

Being able to give up for a month doesn't rule out alcoholism.

It's how it affects him and his life that's more important.

If it's affecting his relationship with his loved ones and he still chooses to drink then that's more of an indicator.

junebirthdaygirl Mon 20-Jun-16 00:15:50

Aside from addiction it's a lot of household money down the drain. Could you get him to do an online survey to test his own drinking levels to see if that would shock him. Is he doing it to hide the pain of your dc being ill and is there any counselling he could access around that from a support group or through work. Was he always this bad? Most important thing is to mind yourself and don't enable him eg driving him or covering up for him while you decide what to do longterm. Does he have siblings who might confront him or a good friend?

stealtheatingtunnocks Mon 20-Jun-16 00:21:50

Frog, yes, it affects his relationship with me and the kids.

He'd drink from 12pm if I'd not grumble about being a poor example for the kids.

Thinking about it, that's not great.

MaisieDotes Mon 20-Jun-16 00:24:52


What's in this marriage for you stealth?

stealtheatingtunnocks Mon 20-Jun-16 00:25:36

June - yep, but, he earns enough to cover the bills and more. I'm a SAHM to accommodate his long hours, I pick up bits of work which pay for hobbies and holidays, but, it's piece meal.

He won't go to counselling. I've tried to get him to marriage counselling 3 times - total disaster. He just doesn't like talking. I suspect he's aspergers, but, he'll never got to see his GP for an assessment. Never.

I'm of a mind to let him carry on until he reaches rock bottom - though then the kids see him drinking. That's not what I want them learning.


stealtheatingtunnocks Mon 20-Jun-16 00:28:23

Ulitmatum's are not good, though.

He's either unwell and needing a psychiatrist. Or, wired differently and stressed and managing that with alochol. Or, a twat.

What I'm getting are 3 kids who are joyful, with a dad who loves them and financial security.

Balanced with 3 kids who are joyful, who's dad snaps at them and is impatient, and, less cash but I'm not motivated by cash and we live a frugal life so there would be a smaller house, but, no actual loss of a shoe collection/caribbean holidays/wild nights out.

2nds Mon 20-Jun-16 00:33:47

He needs to give up at a time when he's ready to change and not just cos it's new year. I'd think that the whole new years resolution thing would wane easily anyway as it always does with everyone.

Has he ever had a liver test?

2nds Mon 20-Jun-16 00:35:06

What age is he?

2nds Mon 20-Jun-16 00:37:22

Just one more thing if giving up completely always fails should he not try to wean off it instead so just cut his intake down gradually maybe?

stealtheatingtunnocks Mon 20-Jun-16 00:53:05

He's 47, never had LFTs, will cut down - for a few weeks.

It's ridiculous just now. A bit of me thinks "if you're going to widow me through drink then get on with it, do it fast"

Ugh. It's tedious, he's an adult. He has no interest in us, just wine. Preferably by the box.

MaisieDotes Mon 20-Jun-16 01:18:13

Ulitmatum's are not good, though.

Not if they are empty threats, no.

2nds Mon 20-Jun-16 01:35:12

BitOutOfPractice Mon 20-Jun-16 02:10:08

Yes, he's an alcoholic.

groovergirl Mon 20-Jun-16 05:38:09

Doing the maths, 130-150 units is about 20 bottles of wine a week. Is that right?
If that's how much he is drinking out of what he thinks is need, he is alcoholic. Sorry OP, but he is, and you are enabling it by making excuses for him.
You seem to cope, wine-free, with the full-time demands of running a household and looking after DCs. That is, in many cases, a bigger job than working full time. I should know; I have done both.
I appreciate that many women feel obliged to stay with such men, because we feel sorry for them, especially when they claim to have Asperger's, as my XH did. (He didn't have it; it was just his bad manners.)
Alas, OP, these men do not improve with age. They don't deserve our sympathy.

stealtheatingtunnocks Mon 20-Jun-16 06:08:52

Maisie - how would you make an ultimatum work?

I've threatened, cajoled, encouraged and begged. I have no reliable income and three kids who love their dad. If when this marriage collapses then I'll have to move nearer my parents because I simply couldn't afford to live here. I'm not sure he can have unsupervised access to the kids because of his drinking, it's just not safe. I've told him all that. Makes no difference at all.

Groover - not every week. He'd go through a bottle of wine a night when he's not stressed, a box (3 bottles) lasts two days when he is stressed. He'd easily drink 2 bottles a night at weekends.

It's very lonely.

And, whilst I agree he does not deserve sympathy - he is the father of my kids. And, they need him. Pisses me right off.

LadyStarkOfWinterfell Mon 20-Jun-16 06:13:00

Is it better for them to grow up with an emotionally unavailable alcoholic in their house or on the periphery of their lives? What do you think?

claraschu Mon 20-Jun-16 06:20:28

Groovergirl there are 10 units of alcohol in a 750 ml bottle of wine, so 130-150 units= 13- 15 bottles a week. I don't mean to nit-pick, but there's so much confusion about units that I want to clarify this for anyone who is concerned.

OP I am so sorry you are dealing with this. I am sorry for your husband too, because being an alcoholic ruins your life.

Pearlman Mon 20-Jun-16 06:22:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pearlman Mon 20-Jun-16 06:25:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pointythings Mon 20-Jun-16 06:29:43

Are you me? My DH us currently on about 70 units a week, but has been on twice that. In his case it is depression that is eating him. He won't make changes either, descends into self pity because he has physical health problems and 'it's his only pleasure in life' . This has been going on for 5 years. I am staying because I need to see my DDs through school but after that I am leaving. Alcoholics are not fixable except if they want to fix themselves.

Squeegle Mon 20-Jun-16 06:38:59

Al anon for you- it really will help.

There is also a good website called sober recovery which has a section of the boards for friends and family. I found it invaluable as when my children were young I couldn't easily get out.
It's about changing your perspective. If you can stop thinking about him and instead think about how to protect yourself and your DCs that will be a great step on the way. You can tell him of your worries (when he's sober). You can tell him you don't want to live this way. You can give him a chance to realise this is a serious problem.
And then you HAVE to follow through. You have to work out what you can do to look after you plus DCs. But you can't change him; only he can do that.

Sounds like a serious alcohol problem to me. I'm sorry. It's so hard to go through this. Get some RL support. flowers

stealtheatingtunnocks Mon 20-Jun-16 06:54:29

Thanks for the advice. I'll contact al-anon, and, yes, you're right about the emotionally unavailable dad. Father's day was an interesting damp squib, they are wary of him.

There's a little bit of me wants to give him enough rope to hang himself, do you know what I mean? Reasoning has had no effect, he promises change and I wait for that to happen - and, it never does.

I'm sorely tempted to buy him enough wine for him to drown himself in.

I've got a GP appointment this morning, I have developed a fecking tic, entirely related to my marriage. I'll mention his drinking to her.

What a mess. It's so sad, we got married with high hopes and no worries. And, here we are.

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