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What to do about DH's behaviour/drinking(23 Posts)
I think this is one of those situations where I can't trust my own judgment, so I would really appreciate some other opinions on this.
Basically my DH was uncontactable for most of the day today. He was supposed to be meeting me at 6ish to go to a friend's engagement party but didnt show up or let me know where he was. I was getting increasingly worried and called some friends and colleagues of his who hadn't seen him. He finally texted me to say he was in A&E as he'd had a stroke. I felt completely sick and dizzy when I saw this text, had to hold it together as was with a lot of people but I was in shock, so called him and he sounded very slurry and confused, which I initially put down to medication although I did have my suspicions.
I eventually spoke to a doctor in A&E who said he had been found passed out by the police who then brought him to hospital, and he has sustained some other injuries to his arm and ribs, probably due to falling when drunk. I didn't know how to feel - I guess relieved he hadn't had a stroke but other than that it was just utter disappointment and anger.
This has caused not only me to worry, but also for our friends and his colleagues to believe he has been seriously ill when in fact he was drunk. I still don't know the details of how he ended up like that but I know enough to feel absolutely humiliated. I'm at home now with DD waiting for him to come out of hospital. Am glad he's staying the night as I don't want him here.
However I can feel myself rationalising it - a few years ago I had some struggles with alcohol myself and know the feeling of just one drinking turning into a lot more, although never in my life have I been that bad I would pass out in the street and/or be hospitalised. He has done similar before although this is the worst.
Is this indicative of a drink problem and should I be trying to help him get though it or just forget about him and leave? Help
He was so pissed he fell down in the street and was found passed out by the police and you're asking whether it's indicative of a drink problem?
He has done similar before so how long has he been abusing alcohol for?
He told you he had a stroke to cover up that he was drunk. Yes, he has an alcohol problem and no, you can not help him. Hang on to your anger and the humiliation and let it be the catalyst for you to realise that your DH chose to cause you emotional pain, to cover up that he was out with his mistress (alcohol).
He lies to you because he has already lied to himself.
He crossed a line by lying to you about why he was in hospital.
Sorry this is very hard but you need to let him feel the consequences of his behaviour by throwing him out. He won't stop until he hits rock bottom, and if you keep looking after him and picking up the pieces he isn't at rock bottom.
bitter he has done this on and off for our whole relationship really. He will go through phases of sobriety and then normally a social event with his friends kicks off the heavy drinking again. He doesn't drink every day but often when he does it ends badly and I am left at home worrying.
I think I will have to tell him not to come back for a while, maybe to stay with his parents and address this drinking problem. In all other respects he is great, and without alcohol he has such a great future ahead of him so I really hope he can learn to see this!
OP i can only imagine the combination of anger and mortification you must be feeling .
I really think there is nothing to salvage here thought, at least for the time being. That is a diabolical lie to tell - completely unacceptable behaviour.
He obviously has a huge alcohol problem, he does need to live somewhere else at the moment while HE works on himself - it's not your job to try, and to be honest, it's not something you can even do, it all has to come from him
Massive, massive alcohol problem! Who on earth tells their spouse they've had a stroke to cover up the fact they've got so drunk they've ended up in hospital?!
He needs to stop drinking completely otherwise he's going to end up killing himself. He's a complete danger to himself and everyone else yet alone a burden to the NHS.
Unfortunately like all alcoholics (and my family is full of them) you can't make them do anything, they have to wake up from their own selfishness.
The 3cs re alcoholism are again prescient here:-
You did not cause this
You cannot control this
You cannot cure this
He has lied to himself and you yet again. He told you he had a stroke to cover up the fact that he had fallen down drunk and injured himself in the process.
What do you get out of this relationship now?. Do you still try and rationalise his drunkenness and or feel responsible for him?. He has been a drunk likely for the whole of your relationship and preceding that as well. Co-dependency often features in such relationships and I am wondering if you are yourself co-dependent (you keep putting his needs above yours). Do not further cover up for him or make excuses for him; the truth needs to be told. It will do not do your DD any favours either to grow up within such an environment where her dad is a drunkard.
Re your comment:-
"I think I will have to tell him not to come back for a while, maybe to stay with his parents and address this drinking problem. In all other respects he is great, and without alcohol he has such a great future ahead of him so I really hope he can learn to see this!"
The first part of your sentence is sensible although a separation should now be made permanent; you really cannot stay with someone like him now because such will and has affected you as well as your child. Alcoholism is truly a family disease and your own recovery from his alcoholism will only properly begin when you yourself decide to get off the merry go around that is this. His parents won't be able to help him (they've likely tried to help/enable him as well to absolutely no effect) and infact the only person who can help your H is him. Not you his parents or anyone else for that matter. He could go onto lose everything and everyone around him and still continue to drink afterwards. That is his choice.
You cannot help him but you can help your own self. Talking to Al-anon would be an excellent start for you personally. You can walk away from him now, it is ok to do that. Life with an alcoholic is basically people lurching from one crisis to yet another.
Hi OP, I have proceeded Attila's posts before on this subject and can only agree with her completely. She speaks a huge amount of sense and I say that as a recovering alcoholic who is happily a way down the line of recovery but still takes one day at a time. So I won't repeat what she has said.
The idea that to be an alcoholic, you drink every day is largely untrue - or at least it doesn't have to be true. I went for two years without touching a drop, some years back - but I was what it referred to as a dry drunk; I wasn't addressing the problem, which in reality is far more than "just" the alcohol, although it's that which has such a devastating effect on everyone around you.
I'm not proud to say that I would have done similar - regarding "I've had a stroke", simply because the "passed out in the street" is so humiliating to have to say, even though I would have caused it. Ironically when I did have a seizure earlier this year, entirely unrelated to drink, I was really worried that's what people in the hospital might think (even though they didn't know me).
I'm an AA advocate and attend meetings regularly. I have a sponsor and am totally open with her. You don't have to believe in God to be in AA and it has helped a huge number of people. The only person who can help himself is your DH - there's been someone in my AA meeting recently whose husband wanted her to attend meetings, so she did - that doesn't work. You have to reach a point where you want change, body and soul, more than anything else. Until that point you should take steps to distance yourself from your DH because he will only take you down with him. Good luck, OP. I really hope he's at that stage when he can see that there is no a single pro in drinking and enough cons to fill many pages. That's for alcoholics, obviously, not normal drinkers.
Has ever been drunk around DD?
Good on you for telling him not to come home for while. he needs to know how serious this is. Not to mention saying he had a stroke! I think that says it all, really. By saying that he inadvertently admitted deep down he knows he is an alcoholic. If he didn't, he simply would have told you the truth.
Thank you all for the responses.
Attila I suppose what I get out of the relationship is that the rest of the time he is lovely and really caring, even when drunk he is just overly friendly and loud rather than angry or aggressive. I am terrified of being on my own but am trying to prioritise DD now rather than his needs or mine. I will definitely try Al-Anon, thanks for the suggestion.
And SpecialAgent he has been drunk around DD when she was a baby/toddler but now she's six he has started to realise she is a lot more observant and he mainly stays out all day/night drinking so she just sees him hungover.
I have asked him to find somewhere to stay tonight, I'm kind of in shock still to be honest. He seems very upset and sounded like he was crying, and now I'm getting the usual texts 'you're better off without me, just forget about me' etc which he has said before as well.
My aunt was an alcoholic and died of alcoholism, but not before causing her son vast amounts of emotional damage that he still lives with today.. So this is definitely a wake up call as I don't want that for my DD.
"Attila I suppose what I get out of the relationship is that the rest of the time he is lovely and really caring, even when drunk he is just overly friendly and loud rather than angry or aggressive. I am terrified of being on my own but am trying to prioritise DD now rather than his needs or mine. I will definitely try Al-Anon, thanks for the suggestion".
This man only cares about his own self anyway even when and on the rare occasions that he is actually sober. He is not therefore really loving and caring at all and on top of which you are now receiving emotional blackmail rubbish from him. He has and continues to put alcohol first and foremost in his life. That is his priority and has been for many years.
Perhaps you have stayed to date anyway because as you put it you are terrified of being on your own. You need to address that fear properly, where did that come from?. You are really on your own emotionally anyway in a marriage where alcoholism features. Do read about codependency in relation to alcoholism.
Your DD is becoming more observant by the day and is learning about relationships from the two of you. She does not need to have her childhood further blighted by her alcoholic dad; she has already seen and heard too much already in her young life and she cannot understand not process it. What if she tells her teacher that she sees her dad drunk a lot at home?. Its not going to look good is it?.
I did not ask you if there was alcoholism in your family but I have now read what you wrote about your late aunt. That should also be a wake up call to you now. Your own recovery from your H's alcoholism will only properly start when you and he are fully apart and permanently so. He needs to be gone for more than one night or two as well.
You owe it to your daughter not to force her to live with an alcoholic. You owe her far more than you owe him. Currently their support needs are in conflict so you pick her.
You are 100% correct, it's so hard when you know what the right choice is but don't want to make it but I guess that is why I am seeking validation on here as I don't have anyone in RL to talk to. I am terrified of being alone because I have no friends and I lack confidence as a parent so my DD basically walks all over me, although I do try very hard to be a good parent to her. I have been with him since early twenties so haven't really known life as an adult without him.
Is there some kind of counselling I can possibly access to help get throught this and all the practicalities of separating or possibly divorcing? I'm feeling very overwhelmed, so apologies for sounding so needy. You have all been very helpful already and I will spend some time rereading the replies to really get it into my head.
BACP are also good and do not charge the earth. There is a lot here that needs to be unpicked.
You can make a better life for yourself and your child and you do not need it blighted by your drunkard DH.
Thank you, I will look into that as well. A lot to process but at least I have made a start, albeit as a reaction to his behaviour.
If you can accept he is an alcoholic it will spur you into leaving him for your dad's sake.Has your own drinking (in the past) made your boundaries more flexible? Most outsiders would see someone who goes on a bender even if irregular as a problem drinker.
newname99 most of the men I work with go on benders and end up not going home or going home very late completely wasted on a Friday night, and some of my DH's colleagues do the same so I have always thought it is just something that happens, although obviously not normal. I do find it hard to see what constitutes problem drinking and what doesn't but I know I need to accept he is an alcoholic.
Why don't you have any friends in RL?
I don't know really, I've just lost touch with my school friends and never made any others. I can talk to people but am quite shy and struggle to move from an acquaintance to a friend, but that's perhaps another thread. Also when I was first with my DH we spent all of our time together and he became my best friend so felt like I didn't need any others. Now I really regret that and would love to have even one or two close friends.
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