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He chose alcohol

(23 Posts)
AGapInTheMarket Wed 26-Oct-16 11:43:04

DH had some issues with alcohol when I met him. He concealed these pretty well at first but as we got serious it became apparent that he has always 'self medicated' with alcohol when life gets tough, sometimes to a very extreme degree (think 'passed out behind the bins at the pub' not tipsy at a wedding.)
It very nearly broke us up in the early days as I told him it was a deal breaker for me. I grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father.
He cried, I cried, he promised to quit, we went for counselling, he had hypnotherapy, a year went by and it seemed like he'd conquered it. We got engaged. We got married. We had DD who is now three years old.
Gradually, as he became more senior at work and life threw its usual curve balls at our little family, the cracks began to show. There were isolated incidences of binge drinking, always during periods of stress. DH is involved in the music industry and plays in bands so there were a few occasions when the wine was flowing and he got 'carried away.' He was always remorseful. I was always upset, angry, reproachful, but ultimately forgiving. After all, it's not illegal to have a few drinks when you're stressed out, right?
This afternoon I came home early unexpectedly and had to go searching through the house to find him. He was in the spare bedroom, which I immediately thought was weird, and gave me such a look of abject guilt, which, along with a powerful whiff of beer (I am bloodhound-like in my sense of smell) immediately told me my fears were realised.
You see, the last time this happened and he drank the Christmas brandy, I told myself that it was his last chance. That if he chose alcohol over his family again, I was kicking him out.
This is a man who has shown himself to be incapable of drinking casually. Even this afternoon, he's had 12 beers. Not two or three. Twelve. And while some of you might think my reaction is a bit extreme, this is also a man who has promised me not to touch alcohol. He's promised it lots of times. How many more chances was I supposed to give him?
He's still drunk right now so he's not really processing or believing what I'm saying. He's in no state to drive but I'm packing him a bag tonight and he can be off first thing tomorrow. I don't know what the future holds for him, or for me and DD or for us as a family. I feel very detached from the situation at present but expect I will get upset soon. Mainly I feel deflated and like the caring, thoughtful husband I thought I had was just an illusion.

rainbowstardrops Wed 26-Oct-16 12:02:52

I can understand how upset, disappointed, angry etc you are but it sounds like he needs help and support rather than being kicked out.
Surely he'll just drink more then?
I'm sure you've already tried to help him no end but he needs support.

NotTheFordType Wed 26-Oct-16 12:12:41

I'm so sorry, you must feel so let down. You are absolutely doing the right thing in kicking him out. He has made his choice so now he has to face the consequence.

Have you had any support at all from Al-Anon?

Fishface77 Wed 26-Oct-16 12:14:03

He had and still has his issues with alcohol. You made it clear it was a deal breaker and you have already given him chances. Yes he needs support but not at your expense. 12 beers is a hell of a lot of alcohol and to be honest I couldn't live with someone like that either. Sorry not helpful but flowers

DoinItFine Wed 26-Oct-16 12:16:44

Surely he'll just drink more then?

That is up to him.

Not his wife.

She is right to make him leave.

Another little girl is griwing up with an alcoholic father, just like her mother.

Time to end the cycle.

Peach9876 Wed 26-Oct-16 12:20:08

If you came on here to ask for advice (especially in AIBU) everyone would be telling you to leave him, that he isn't going to get better until he has hit rock bottom and he needs to get better of his own back not because you are threatening him. He needs his own reasons.

So I 100% believe you are doing the right thing. He might not be abusive, he might be the most wonderful loving man in the world, but you have your own feelings and thoughts and have told him time and time again that you cannot and will not live with a drunk. You need to stand by that, otherwise he will keep doing it, it will get worse and more frequent.

I'm so sorry that you are going through this, and I'm sorry for him and your DD too. It must be horrible for all of you. But he's the one who reverts to drinking, he chose the bottle, he knew the consequences.

Please find some support for yourself and encourage him to seek support too, if he will listen. And I'd be making it clear to him that if at any point you think he is drinking whilst caring for your daughter you will be on the phone to SS, she isn't worth the risk. But I think you fully know that. I don't know you, but I'm proud!

PoppyPicklesPenguin Wed 26-Oct-16 12:34:51

It's a very sad situation for you to be in, just awful.

It doesn't matter how much you love someone or want to be with someone - we all have our limits and we all have what we will and tolerate. I think you have reached your limit.

Tough love is sometimes the way to go, without consequence to his actions he will just get worse, those boundaries will be pushed and ignored. Why should you and your daughter be subjected to that.

You need to be really strong now, as remorse is going to kick in and he is going to beg forgiveness, that it won't happen again, that it was just blip. It will happen again if he is not made to leave and get sober.

flowers for you it's going to be very difficult,please make sure you get lots of support

BoneyBackJefferson Wed 26-Oct-16 12:55:09

He won't stop until he hits rock bottom, he has made these decisions not you.

OliviaBenson Wed 26-Oct-16 13:29:07

You say you grew up with an abusive alcoholic father. Please stick to your guns and ensure that you don't subject your daughter to the same.

flowers for you op. Keep strong, you are doing the right thing.

sarahnova69 Wed 26-Oct-16 14:05:15

*I can understand how upset, disappointed, angry etc you are but it sounds like he needs help and support rather than being kicked out.
Surely he'll just drink more then?

That is not in the OP's control, and nor is it hers to fix. Even if she wanted to she couldn't.
The above is a naive and damaging view of addiction. Sticking by an addict isn't helping them.

OP - I am so sorry for what you're going through. I think you're doing the right thing - for you - which is the only thing you can do. Please seek out support from Al-Anon (the group for family and loved ones of alcoholics) if you haven't already. And please ignore misinformed people like the poster I've quoted, who don't understand the dynamics here and pressure you to "help him". You can't.

Cynara Wed 26-Oct-16 14:17:23

Well done. I grew up with an abusive alcoholic father too, and my mother issued ultimatum after ultimatum that each time she failed to see through. It made for a miserable childhood and my mother is now hurt and surprised when none of her children believe her threats or promises (about anything, not just my dad). There's no way I'll ever live with someone who displays addictive behaviour again. No way, and my partner knows that. You can't save your husband; you can't even support him if he's pissing all over your boundaries. You have to save yourself and your daughter, and you're doing that. You're a brave woman and a good mother, you're doing the right thing for your child.

Vagabond Wed 26-Oct-16 15:05:38

You didn't mention if your husband is abusive. The sins of the father are not always repeated.

My feeling is that you should support him - even if you decide to kick him out.

Unfortunately, for someone like your DH, one drink is never enough and too much is never enough. I've been in and out of Al Anon and I feel your pain. My mother is a chronic alkie and my life has been full of pain but, at the same time, full of love too. I have never been able to walk away. When you love someone, you don't.

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Wed 26-Oct-16 15:25:52

When you love someone, you don't.
No, this is your choice , don't tell others they can't choose differently

DoinItFine Wed 26-Oct-16 16:22:44

You might as well argue that if you love someone you stop drinking when they ask you.

You can certainly love someone and not want them to destroy you and your child with their addiction.

AGapInTheMarket Wed 26-Oct-16 22:20:57

Thanks for the words of support, everyone. He's gone.
He was a bit incredulous and belligerent last night under the influence but this morning has been very subdued. He asked when he could come back and I told him it was "the end of the line" for us. So he went.
DD kissed him goodbye like he was going off to work.

chinam Wed 26-Oct-16 23:16:24

flowers Do you have any real life support, AGap?

Sweets101 Wed 26-Oct-16 23:23:15

You'very done the right thing Gap , for all of you.
Keeping on backing down would become enabling, you can't do that to him, DD or yourself.
You can't fix this for him. He has to want to do it and manage to do it himself or it'Lloyd never last.
Stay strong flowers

AGapInTheMarket Sat 29-Oct-16 13:53:35

Thanks again for all your words of support at a time when I've only really told my sister (who lives abroad) and a good friend who I have confided in before but who has two little children and visiting family so not much time for me right now. I think I would feel guilty and gossipy if I told too many people and blackened DH's name unnecessarily.
It's been an odd few days, not least because DD keeps asking for Daddy and can't understand why he's not here.

AGapInTheMarket Sat 29-Oct-16 13:59:23

Sorry, posted too soon!
I haven't spent four full days with DD on my own for ages, ever really! and am finding it knackering but quite a good distraction. Trying to keep things normal for her is stopping me wallowing too much.
DH is coming round tomorrow to see DD and talk. I think I know what he's going to say and I think I know what I need to hear and I don't think they match. I have heard empty promises too many times. Now I need action, or if not actual action, at least a very solid plan. Psychological help, particularly for the anxiety he's been dealing with, badly, for as long as I've known him. A proper treatment plan - attendance at AA or similar.
He sounded extremely contrite on the phone, as he should.

CheddarGorgeous Sat 29-Oct-16 14:01:02

Good luck OP. I think you have done the right thing. I hope your DH gets the help he needs but as most sensible people have pointed out, it's in his hands. Not yours.

Alcoholism is terrible, and you are doing right to protect your DD from it.

tribpot Sat 29-Oct-16 14:08:36

Telling the truth is not blackening his name unnecessarily. Actually the web of lies that supports the alcoholic only helps them to avoid facing up to their problem. Addiction thrives on secrecy.

I think it's probably not surprising that, having grown up in a household ruled by addiction you're repeating the same patterns - did you have to cover for your dad, or watch your mum do it? This kind of behaviour can become co-dependent and is bad news for you and for your dd.

I would get yourself down to Al Anon and start talking to others who have been where you are now. Remember the three Cs:
- you did not cause it
- you cannot cure it
- you cannot control it

You're doing the right thing, but it really is time to take this out of the shadows.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 29-Oct-16 14:11:17

A GapintheMarket

I am glad to read that he is gone. He needs to stay gone as well. I would seriously consider your own future within this marriage and seek legal advice going forward. You've told him its the end of the line; draw that line properly in the sand.

The 3cs re alcoholism again apply here:-
You did not cause it
You cannot control it
You cannot cure it

You probably went into this marriage thinking that marriage and a child would change him. It did not, he basically got better at hiding his inherent alcoholism from you. It never went away.

Alcoholism is a family disease and one that does not just affect the alcoholic. Vagabond's post is a case in point; she is profoundly affected by her mother's alcoholism.

You need to prioritise yourself and your DD now; you also grew up with an alcoholic for a father and it is of no real surprise that you went onto choose an alcoholic for a partner yourself. Do not keep subjecting your DD to the same as you were. No-one in your family protected you properly from your father's alcoholism but history now does not have to repeat itself with your DD. You have to protect you and your DD now.

Your DH could also go onto lose everything and everyone around him and he could still choose to drink even after all that. He may not ever want to stop drinking and only he can do that for his own self anyway. You cannot help him because you are too close to the situation and besides which he does not want your help anyway.

Work also on your own co-dependency issues; marriages where alcoholism features has co-dependency in it also. Look at why you continued to not see and put his needs above yours till now.

Alcoholism as well thrives on secrecy; do start opening up to more people about his alcoholism. Contacting Al-anon could help you as well.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 29-Oct-16 14:19:25


I think he will tell you or try to tell you simply what you want to hear.

If he goes to AA he has to go there of his own accord. He does not seem at all ready or willing to do that. Any request by him to you to help him with his alcoholism should be ignored; he has to do that himself. Any coercion whatsoever on your part will be doomed to failure.

Your own recovery from this will only properly start once you have detached from him. Telling others about his alcoholism is not blackening his name (is that how you felt about your dad?); its telling them the truth.

Alcoholics do self medicate with alcohol; what is forgotten here is that alcohol itself is a depressant.

Hard as it is to read I would urge you to read the 3 act play that is alcoholism:-


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