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Feel my husband has let me down(38 Posts)
Obviously he disagrees! But who is right?
We had a terrible year last year and he behaved like a total dick. I was heavily pregnant and my dad was dying. OH has a job where he has lots of " meetings" that are essentially just them all down the pub. Last year I never knew if or when he was coming home. He would stay in the pub all afternoon several times a week and not bother coming home until late.
We spent most of the year rowing or not speaking. This year our baby was born and he vowed to behave better. He stopped staying out into the evening and would always be home on time. However, the "meetings" continued and so he would still come home tipsy once or twice a week.
This was a large contributory factor towards the anxiety and depression I am now suffering ( and trying to seek treatment for). He now has a new job and so the all day in the pub meetings are hopefully a thing of the past. However, I still get really anxious if I suspect he might be in the pub or may have had a drink. He doesn't understand as he has never been on the other side of it.
Last week he agreed to do sober October. It was one small way I said he could help me and show me that he does care and does want to make things better ( for me mentally and our marriage). I'm sure you can guess where this is going! Tonight he is home, and ok he is sober, but he has had a few beers. He tried to pass it off as 1 bottle but that turned into 1.5 pints. Never known him drink halves so doubt that very much.
I'm hurt and angry and sitting in the bedroom because I don't want to be around him. I feel like he has stuck two fingers up at me. He thinks I should be congratulating him on going until now without a drink, since he has had lots of invitations to drink, and for controlling himself and being sober.
That all feels like bullshit to me though. My anxiety stems from never knowing if he would cone home and what state he would be in. So the fact he couldn't even make a month without alcohol doesn't look like a good sign to me.
Perhaps you both can try counseling for your separate issues, with the aim of working together on your relationship issues, perhaps through counseling also? If this was my husband, yes, I'd feel let down. But if there is a level of alcohol dependence that needs treating then perhaps a practical approach would benefit you both. His sobriety means a lot to you, so it's important he understands this and is willing to do something about it. From what you've said, he has tried. That's something!
Sounds like you are not in a great place.
A very lonely place for you.
Your DH is acting like a child not a grown man.
Not sure wether it is the alcohol or the lack of engagement in the relationship that is the main contributing factor for you.
He seriously needs to grow up, man up and play his part in his new family. Because at the moment you would be better off without him. It would save you the worries that his behaviour is causing you. You change or it is the end would be the kind of chat that I would go for at this stage. But then, how many chances does he need ?
His sobriety does mean a lot to me but he doesn't really care. He won't admit that he has an alcohol problem but the fact he couldn't last a week says it all really!
What do you get out of this relationship now, what is keeping you within this?.
Do you think he is an alcoholic?. What is the longest period of time to your knowledge he has gone without alcohol?.
This is really no life for you or your child either.
Well then you need to run.
If you are staying you will only enable him to continue to disfunction.
You will get broken before he can get fixed.
The will has to come from him.
Maybe if you say it is over it might make him want to fight to save your marriage.
The 3cs re alcoholism:-
You did not cause this
You cannot control this
You cannot cure this
I do think he is an alcoholic. I just went down and found him about to drink a can of beer. Not the normal action of someone who has just had a row with their partner over alcohol is it??
He started saying that I think he has an alcohol problem so therefore I should be commending him on going this long without a drink...! So I said ok so you admit you do have a problem, then will you get help? No he says as I am " controlling it". Then suggested he not drink Monday - Friday 9-5!
He is deluded!
So I am to get anti depressants and counselling for my " state of mind" and he is going to carry on as he likes.
I'm with him because we have two kids. Not enough money to split. I've been trying to keep it together for the sake of my kids. In the process I've broken myself.
re your comment:-
"I'm with him because we have two kids. Not enough money to split. I've been trying to keep it together for the sake of my kids. In the process I've broken myself".
It is precisely because of these children that you should separate. You cannot and must not use the children as glue to bind you and this man together. They are not going to say "thanks mum" to you for staying with him, they will wonder of you why you put him before them.
Your children will be profoundly affected by seeing alcoholism within the home and you as their mother will not be able to protect them from the full affects of his alcoholism. They could well grow up to have a whole host of emotional problems pertaining to parental alcoholism and choose alcoholics as partners themselves. It is no legacy to leave them End, you and this man now need to be apart.
He is simply now dragging you and your children down with him. HE is the root cause of your unhappiness and being potentially put on anti depressants. You do not have to choose this life for yourself because it is no life at all, life with an alcoholic is lurching from one crisis to yet another and there is no stability. You have a choice re this man, your children do not.
Talking to Al-anon also could help you; they are very good re family members of problem drinkers.
No obstacle to leaving is insurmountable; how do you know there is not enough money to split?. Have you as yet sought legal advice re your own situation; if you have not then your assertion is only mere supposition and not based on fact. You are not as powerless as you think you are.,
You need to get off the merry go around that is alcoholism, your own recovery from this will only start when you are free of him. You and your children deserve a better future. You are not responsible for him and his drinking.
You are not helping your children by staying with him. The stress you feel as an adult not knowing if or when he will come home, what state he will be in when he does, will be experienced by your children as they grow up.
He will get worse. He may become grumpy, aggressive and verbally abusive or more. Your children should not have to witness that. Please find help to leave him.
Yes he has a drink problem
But you have a DH problem
He doesn't care enough about your distress over this.
Personally I feel you are completely proportional in your upset but even if you werent he should be acknowledging it and seeking to support and reassure you.
You cannot do this for him
And I hate to say this and never normally do on here but I'd be asking him to leave or doing so yourself. You need space from him and the anxiety he causes with his drinking behaviour. He needs to know you are serious and analyse whether he can make some real lasting change.
I'm so sorry OP
OP you are where I was about 13 years ago, though he didnt drink every day, quite, he drank a few times a week and binged regularily.
All this while I was at home with our young family, babies toddler etc the huge anxiety and stress it caused to me has permanently damaged our marriage.
I have huge anxiety now whenever he goes out (even though the binging hardly ever happens now, it's the uncertainty, the knowledge that it can at any time)
It's like a form of PTSD in that my stress reaction is disproportionate to the threat but it stems from years of stress and broken trust.
I should have left years ago, it might have been the push he needed, but I didn't and now I'm in a marriage which is too bad to be in but too good to leave, IYKWIM.
Leave now and he will either wake up and grow up or stay, but I guarantee you he won't change, not if my experience is anything to go by.
I'm glad you posted as perhaps you are starting to see the light.This isn't you and it's manipulative and cruel of your husband to let you think that.
When you needed support last year he was drinking, not sure what you are getting out of this marriage other than financial support.
I know it feels hard to do but why not ask him to leave? The relief you will feel from not being around a drinker will be enormous.I know as I left an alcoholic.Sadly he's now worse.It never gets better.
Why will he change when you continue to tolerate the behaviour?
I'm sorry, you do sound like you're in a very lonely and anxious place.
I mean this kindly, I can't tell from the level of drinking you've described in your post if he actually is an alcoholic or your anxiety is making you lose perspective on his drinking and be blowing it out of proportion.
If he is an alcoholic and won't change then yes you need to assess your relationship and leave. But - if he isn't an alcoholic and is maybe just a regular drinker then you need to face the fact that it isn't healthy to control another person whether your dh or not and make them do something they don't want to do.
I've plenty of friends who drink at the level you've described and are not alcoholics, and I also know many people who've given up dry Jan, stoptober etc part way through who are most definitely not alcoholics.
Regardless of whether or not your husband is I think you need to focus on your own anxiety and treatment.
There are no grades to alcoholism. He is an alcoholic.
And, as with any addict, their chosen substance comes FIRST. Always. They are already married - you get a teeny corner. And even that is crap quality.
Al-anon. Pronto. You won't make a dent in his love affair with drink.
What do you think an alcoholic is, Yellow? Smelly gutter person?
there are hoards of functioning alcoholics. Who can 'give it up' for January, or October, or whatever. They are still alcoholics.
No springy - I don't. Yes I agree - there are plenty of functioning alcoholics who can stop for periods and remain alcoholics but equally there are many people who drink regularly who aren't alcoholics.
I was trying to say that regardless of whether he is or isn't some support for the anxiety would be of benefit (and ultimately help op deal with the relationship issues or end the relationship)
Of course he thinks you are being unreasonable! He clearly has alcohol issues if his drinking has caused you mental health problems, he can't even do 1 week without alcohol, he is lying about how much he has drunk, his drinking is interfering with his relationship, he is happy to drink at work and he thinks being sober is drinking 1.5 pints...
Having alcohol issues/being a problem drinker/being an alcoholic whatever name you give it is nothing to do with how much or how often you drink. It is about your relationship with alcohol and the effect it has on aspects of your life.
This guy is following a script - choosing alcohol over family/work, denying having a problem and then reluctantly saying they can control it when pushed, turning the issue back on the person who complains about the drinking etc - it's all behaviour designed to protect his ability to continue drinking at all costs.
I would say not only is he an alcoholic but he is in a bad stage of his addiction given he is still drinking despite it causing his wife distress significant enough to be medicated for and despite it significantly interfering with his ability to be a father and a partner.
Then suggested he not drink Monday - Friday 9-5!
While he's at work then.
He's sounding like a functioning alcoholic.
Yellow - yes he is definitely an alcoholic. To friends he would appear to be just a " drinker" but it has negatively impacted every aspect of our life for years now. Because he doesn't appear to be an alcoholic to the outside world many people think I'm overreacting or being controlling. But they don't live with it, or the constant excuses and justification for why drinking was reasonable on whatever occasion.
I've asked him to leave many times but he won't. I was pregnant and now on maternity leave so have felt trapped.
Not sure if anyone's mentioned it, but have you contacted Al Anon for advice? It does sound like he has lost control of his drinking and you are entitled to feel the way you do.
But shouting & threatening won't stop him until he's ready to stop. It's more likely to drive him further down the neck of a bottle.
I speak from very bitter experience here and my loved one eventually drank himself to death.
If you want to help him then it needs to be calmly and with proper support/advice.
If you can't cope any more (and who could blame you) then end it & hope he finds it in himself to get help.
Anger and recriminations will not get through to him. Not necessarily because he doesn't want to stop - although he does sound in denial if he thinks offering up 9 - 5 on a weekday as a reasonable amount of time to manage without a drink is normal behaviour. He isn't able to without help.
I'm so sad for your situation because I have been there myself. I think that maybe like you, I took too long to tackle the problem head on, through hoping it was just a phase, feeling it was my fault in some way, through shame, so pretending to the outside world that all was okay. It took me a long time to even admit to myself that DP was an alcoholic. I was in denial. You are now past that and have finally sought help.
In my view the best place you can get that help, quickly, by people who understand exactly what you have been through and can support you through the long term is Al-Anon. Please get in touch NOW -
You said "In the process I've broken myself". Please don't let him destroy you, and your children, as well. You must now take steps to repair the harm.
Someone earlier mentioned the 3c's of alcoholism
You did not cause this
You cannot control this
You cannot cure this
But you can help yourself and your children to tackle and deal with your horrible situation - so please, please contact Al-Anon.
No one will judge you, they will certainly not be crass with phrases like "your anxiety is making you lose perspective on his drinking and be blowing it out of proportion" as someone unbelievably said. Al-Anon will support you through the dreadful, dreadful situation you have found yourself in through absolutely no fault of yours.
Your husband is clearly an alcoholic - you cannot control that and you cannot cure that. Only he can - and whilst he is in denial he cannot do that either. He will do that when he reaches his own 'rock-bottom' or he will die of it. That 'rock-bottom' could be anything - your refusal to enable him by pretending to family/friends/medical services that the problem does not exist - being arrested for drink/drive - losing his job - losing you and your children - killing/injuring someone (maybe one of your children) when drunk - whatever. And please don't be fooled by a false denial - not drinking for so many days or weeks simply to 'prove' all is okay. That is mostly a strategy simply to get you 'off his back'. Then it will be all the usual rubbish 'It's only Christmas' etcetera.
If my experience is anything to go by Christmas will be very difficult to cope with - so please get help now, get in touch with Al-Anon, now, not tomorrow, now
Lots of people in your situation, do get through this, and you can do it whether you stay with your husband or not - only you can decide that road. I wish you every success in that.
Storm. I appreciate you've been there but to offer advice to op re If you want to help him then it needs to be calmly and with proper support/advice. is way off the mark imo.
Alcoholics, addicts, destroy everyone around them. They're ok because they're inured in their bubble. It's everyone around them who pays an exceptionally high price. On so many levels - every level.
Op can't help him. To suggest she, or anyone in her position, can or even should is buying into enabling/codependency. There is absolutely zero she can do to change his addiction. It all has to come from him. Neither should she, imo, be seeking to give 'professional advice/support' - she isn't his mother or his therapist. It's not her role.
Op he is destroying you and destroying your kids - destroying the whole family. Now he's turning it on you, blaming you for this and that. So far, so classic for an addict. If he wants to destroy his life then that's up to him. Don't let him destroy you and the kids. If he refuses to address his addiction that means removing yourselves from him. It's the only way.
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