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Husband drinking at work -AIBU?

(20 Posts)
Lookingforadvice1 Sun 18-Dec-16 21:09:49

Ok so have just joined with a new account to ensure I can't be indentified. So this is the issue.

Husband and I both enjoy a drink. He drinks on average 2 cans of lager per evening at home. Not an excessive amount but it's habitual. I could easily drink a bottle of wine in one sitting but since having children wouldn't drink more than 1/2 bottle and generally only drink on weekends where as was drinking most evenings. I'm now breastfeeding so having the odd glass here and there. But I would like us both to drink a lot less when I'm not breastfeeding and this is an issue that I've raised a few times - which usually gets a pretty lukewarm response. Reasons for wanting to reduced alcohol intake are money, liver health and weight loss (more for me, but husband does have a beer belly).

Husband works in an call centre where there is a culture of drinking you could say. Popping out for a pint or two at lunch time, as well as drinking a few pints whilst working if it's quiet/someone has a birthday/it's been a good week for sales etc. He's always participated in this.

Anyway so we're trying to save money and I don't think it's necessary to drink at work so have spoken to him about. I've been making him packed lunches to save money (he'd previously spend up to £10 per day on hot food) and I assumed that he wasn't visiting the pub as much, but it transpired recently that he was. I went mental
and told him there was no need for it and he agreed to not go anymore. I recently looked up weekly recommended units for men (14 units) to illustrate that he was drinking a little too much and worked out that this equals roughly 8 cans of lager per week. We agreed that I would buy 8 cans of lager on a Saturday and he could drink them how he wanted but they would have to last until the following week. Now obviously those 8 cans - his allowance are at home in the fridge - so it's understood that he's not drinking alcohol anywhere else.

Anyway last week was his Christmas do so he was obviously going to drink more than 14 units. We had friends over for a Christmas do so again more units were drunk than would be in a typical week. That's fine, It's meant to be a general rule for a typical week. But today he comes in from work and I can tell he's been drinking. So I ask and he says he's had 3 cans at work because he hit his target for the year. It's a big deal because he's been worried about and not hitting it would have meant his salary would be reduced by £200 per month next year. But I'm furious. He just doesn't get that it's not normal to drink at work. That he made a commitment not to drink at work. He's now cross with me because I'm not congratulating him on hitting his target (I've gone to bed without cooking for him because I can't even share the same space as him right now).

Wouldn't any normal person (if they wanted to celebrate with a drink) brought a bottle of wine (or champagne that we have in) to celebrate with his wife? After work?! Not cracked open 3 cans on the job?!

I am worried that he has a drink problem. As I said he doesn't drink excessively but he doesn't like the idea of not having those 2 beers in the evening. The drinking in the day at work/going to the pub at lunchtime isn't every day (usually once a week on average).

His dad was an alcoholic who took his life when my husband was a child. Not that it's heritary but it must have informed his behaviour..
He does have an addictive personality.

My husband is happy, we have a good life but I just don't like this habit and he doesn't seem to agree with me that it's problematic.

I know certain industries like advertising for example - this kind of drinking wouldn't be an issue but I just don't think it's necessary. Especially when you have a family and responsibilities. What do you think? I don't think I'm being unreasonable.

BifsWif Sun 18-Dec-16 21:49:37

i don't think your being unreasonable.

Alcohol is causing problems in your marriage, and he is unwilling to change despite knowing how unhappy it makes you. He has a drink problem.

BifsWif Sun 18-Dec-16 21:50:46


Daisyfrumps Sun 18-Dec-16 22:01:08

The thing that struck me from your post is that he doesn't really want to cut down and you're almost dishing it out to him like medicine. I think he has a problem.

Do look into Alanon meetings for yourself OP - they can help you talk through this sort of thing with other friends and families of people who have a drink problem:-

BToperator Sun 18-Dec-16 22:09:28

I'm torn on this one. On the one hand, the drinking at work as a regular thing doesn't sound good. On the other hand, I would hate to be told how much, I was allowed to drink, and have an allowance dished out to me, so I can understand his resistance to it.

Cherrysoup Sun 18-Dec-16 22:16:44

The drinking at work is odd, although I suppose I take cake in if it's a birthday etc, so not so odd. I do think drinking at work should be banned. Surely he's not as sharp going back in the afternoon?

The big issue is that you want him to cut down, he clearly doesn't. He's going to resent you doling out his weekly allowance and you have no way of controlling him whilst he's at work. He needs to want to do this himself. Do you think he has a problem? If so, get him along to AA if he'll go. I see this being a big deal if he refuses.

oldlaundbooth Sun 18-Dec-16 22:17:54

I'm same as BT.

Would hate someone dictating to me how much to drink.

Also, drinking at work can be a networking / social pressure thing, which doesn't excuse it but makes it more acceptable I suppose. DH will go it for lunch and have a pint if the rest of the team are for example. Camaraderie etc.

Lookingforadvice1 Sun 18-Dec-16 22:18:33

It was more of a general shall we both try and stick to not drinking 14 units per week. And as I said if he's going out then I wouldn't expect him to stick to 14 units. I don't see any different to our eating habits. We used to eat loads more desserts/ice cream (basically daily). I asked to support me if we could not have dessert mid week and now it's become a weekend treat. I'm no saying he should drink 14 units and I can drink what I want, I'm saying for both of our health we should drink more than this in a typical week. But I get what you mean too.

Naicehamshop Sun 18-Dec-16 22:18:53

I am astonished that it is considered normal at all to drink at work... not just popping out to the pub at lunchtime but actually drinking in the office "if it's quiet"???

He has a serious problem.

ecuse Sun 18-Dec-16 22:19:52

Tough one. Having a few drinks to celebrate hitting annual target doesn't seem like a big deal, especially before Christmas. We have drinks in the office to celebrate, or as team socials here and there (not literally at deals whilst working but in function rooms after hours though). I don't think it's particularly unusual to do so.

Two cans a night is more than advised but it wouldn't be enough to get me panicking about alcoholism. And I'm afraid I agree that I'd be pissed off and resentful if DH unilaterally decided I was allowed 8 drinks a week, at home only, and doled them out to me like a child.

But because of the family history of alcoholism I do understand why you're nervous and keeping an eye on it.

Lookingforadvice1 Sun 18-Dec-16 22:20:13

Sorry last comment was in response to BToperator. New to posting 😏

MinesAGin Sun 18-Dec-16 22:22:44

Isn't he worried he'd lose his job if he was drunk at work? What if he gave bad advice/laughed at a customer/got angry etc when he was on the phone. I wouldn't want to call a call centre and speak to someone who'd been drinking.

Lookingforadvice1 Sun 18-Dec-16 22:28:02

MinesAGin - No he isn't drunk at work. 2/3 cans of lager wouldn't get him 'drunk' drunk. Just a little tipsy but perfectly able to talk normally.

ExtraPineappleExtraHam Sun 18-Dec-16 22:28:19

I'm in nearly exactly the same boat, right down to the breastfeeding! Partner has always drank too much, but has cut down since we had children. Now drinks 3/4 pints a night. The worst thing is he drinks one on the bus to 'unwind' after work (I can't even imagine what I would think of him if I saw him and didn't know him.) He has no self control so if I tell him to drink one glass of wine and save the rest of a bottle for another day, he won't be able to unless I actually hide it from him.
What gets me is that it affects his ability to help me, he falls asleep on the sofa and won't move up stairs so I have to put the kids to bed, do the washing up and wake up when the children wake up. If my youngest wakes up and needs a feed then I can't come downstairs and sit on the sofa because he's there snoring! There's also him needing a long time to wake up properly at weekends, the expense (£5 for 4 cans, £10 for a bottle of good wine twice a week), his moodiness after a heavy night, him not being on my 'wavelength' after he's had a few and him setting an example to our children. I don't want them to think it's normal to drink cans of lager every night.
As to your situation, I used to work in a call centre with incentives that included winning booze! They did go to the pub at lunch, and went out every Friday night. I came to hate it, partly because I didn't want to see people I saw everyday at work in my spare time too! It's a very competitive and pressured environment so I think social drinking helps you to relax afterwards. As with my partner who works as a butcher and is out the house for 12 hours a day, I think they use booze as a reward.
I think you need to stop drinking anything at all. I do too, even after breastfeeding ends. Our other halves have an addiction and I'm not sure that they can ever drink moderately again. I'm hoping that as he has cut down, he'll keep cutting down (as he will be too tired to drink with two under two!) but who knows.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sun 18-Dec-16 22:28:24

Why would it have been okay for him to bring a bottle of wine home for you to share but not to have drinks at work? Surely he shouldn't be buying any additional alcohol other than his 14 cans?

I suppose the problem is that drinking is like any other behaviour, you can't make him change.

Lookingforadvice1 Sun 18-Dec-16 22:35:38

ExtraPineappleExtraHam - That's sounds tough. I can't see it's that bad with my husband. He's always up first to deal with my son in the mornings and helped me change her in the night when she was smaller when I was exhausted. I really don't want to give up drinking. I enjoy it and I want to enjoy it with him. I just want him to drink less. Arghh it's a tough one.

Lookingforadvice1 Sun 18-Dec-16 22:37:51

AnchorDownDeepBreath - The whole 8 can is just a guide. Maybe it we shared some wine this evening, he'd drink 6 can this week. I'm just trying to get him to thinking about what's he drinking.

Lookingforadvice1 Sun 18-Dec-16 22:38:38

Is there a way to reply to a msg on the thread? I'm clicking on it and typing reply but it's not including initial message..

NotTheFordType Sun 18-Dec-16 22:42:37

Husband works in an call centre where there is a culture of drinking you could say. Popping out for a pint or two at lunch time, as well as drinking a few pints whilst working if it's quiet/someone has a birthday/it's been a good week for sales etc.

I'm sorry OP but he's telling you complete bullshit. I have worked in call centres for over 20 years. Many of them have had a "let's all get bladdered on a Friday oh and don't forget the coke" culture (particularly in sales.) Drinking at lunch might just about fly under the radar if people are discreet, but consuming alcohol at work?! No. Just no. I have witnessed several sackings of employees who were discovered to be drinking at work. He is bullshitting you. Which means he is either drinking heavily at lunchtime so that he's still rat-arsed when he gets home, or he's drinking secretly while at work, or he's tanking it on his commute home. (I hope to god he doesn't drive to work?) Either way, he's risking his job.

Trifleorbust Sun 18-Dec-16 22:59:28

If it wasn't for the context of him drinking nightly and you being concerned about his consumption, I would say YWBU, but actually it sounds like he has a problem and you are right to be worried.

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