Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
What to do when they won't change? (Always drunk)(34 Posts)
First off, aside from this issue, I'm very happy with our relationship, we do lots of nice things together, have lots of quality time (no children), financially we both do very well, we have a great life together etc etc however...... his drinking has been an issue from day one (don't judge, when you first meet someone I think you can be blind to certain things / you aren't living with it on a daily basis).
He is 37, I am 29, (not planning on children) he loves to party. He goes out drinking almost every day. Parts of it that I'm okay with: he's home early, I know where he is, who he is with, I'm always invited to join. What I'm not okay with: he's a prick when he's drunk! Even after a few drinks he slurs his words, he's impossible to have a decent conversation with, he's unreasonable, in a nutshell he repulses me at night! He's a different person. It is to the point that I am so relieved when he passes out because I don't have to put up with him until the morning when he's sober and amazing again.
The fact of the matter is, it's an issue that has been discussed over and over, he isn't ever going to change is he? What now? If other parts of our relationship were bad then I know id leave, but it's literally just this. Is it 'normal' to have one thing that drives you nuts about your other half? Do you tolerate it because the rest is so good?
In time that will be the only thing in the relationship and you will end up hating him. I spent 14 years married to someone who was like that but the drinking got worse and worse, so did his temper, his paranoia, and many other mental issues.
The good life was ruined by his drinking... Holidays, Christmas, we stopped getting invites to social events because he always made an arse of himself.
We had the same age gap too and met at the ages you are now.
It ended up being horrific.
No, and no. Set you bar higher. Is this seriously what you think your worth in relationship terms? Imagine 5, 10 or 20 years time, how do you think things will be then? Better, or worse?
Do you both work? If you do, when is this quality time you have if he goes out every night, drinks and starts being a prick? Surely there's a hangover too?
Yes, it's normal to have one thing that annoys you. My DH has a very annoying sneeze.
Your DH passes out in his drunken stupor every night and you are relieved because it means he stops being a dick (until tomorrow night's drinking starts). I wouldn't call that annoying.
Leave. My mum didn't, I wish she had. They eventually split when my dad was in hospital having had a massive stroke one morning & nearly died, we didn't spot it until nearly too late as he was, as usual, drunk & he seemed normal.
You say he's a prick when he's drunk, repulses you at night, drinks nearly every day. He's unreasonable & you can't talk to him properly. It sounds like you dislike him, quite a lot of the time.
I'd not put up with this. I don't know how anyone could, TBH.
Take it from one who has been there and got the T shirt - he won't change unless he decides he wants to and then, even if he says he wants to, he may not.
My ex never did....
You write that when he:
'drinks he slurs his words, he's impossible to have a decent conversation with, he's unreasonable, in a nutshell he repulses me at night! He's a different person. It is to the point that I am so relieved when he passes out because I don't have to put up with him'
And you do that every night?
Yup - been there too. Tho my ex was verbally, financially and occasionally physically abusive - yours might not be - don't want you to think I'm assuming! Though I refused to see all that for a long while.
When I was finally seeing sense and people started to know (I was sooooooooo good at covering up and hoping he'd change) my friends MIL who I knew quite well sent me a message via my friend. She was in her late 70s at the time stuck in a non relationship with her husband (my friends step dad tho she loathed him and never called him this) who had a major alcohol dependency issue. She said: 'Be brave and do the right thing for you and the kids. I never did and I regret it'.
Took me a few more months but I did.....
With my guy it's dope. He's given up smoking cigarettes as his New Years resolution. Which means he's now doing weed every night. He hasn't got out of bed before midday this week. I was hoping we'd have a baby this year... But I've changed my mind.
"Do you tolerate it because the rest is so good?"
What 'rest' ? He drinks almost every day, and when he does you are happy when he finally passes out because he can't be a prick if he's unconscious. When does your relationship ever get the chance to be 'so good'? Every third Wednesday when there isn't an R in the month?
No, he will not change. What now? Get out now before you find you've wasted your entire life. Well, I suppose it won't be your entire life, you're younger than him and he is going to drink himself into an early grave, so maybe you'd be his grieving widow before you're 50.
Oh, and for the record - what he is doing is not 'partying'. It is alcoholism.
drinking will start to take a toll on his health, his liver, his brain function
alcohol is very toxic to all the tissues in your body
he might pack it in
but if he doesnt he will gradually deteriorate and slowly slowly you will be putting up with more unpleasantness, like the proverbial frog being boiled
It's just this?! When is he so amazing if he drinks every day, parties and comes home drunk and incapable? Presumably he works too?
No he's not going to change.
I know a man of 53 who goes to the pub every single day and wonders why he can't find a girlfriend. He is always broke, he's got a bright red face, constantly stinks of alcohol, tells everyone how popular he is. Quite sad really as he is actually the laughing stock.
You are still young enough to have a good quality relationship. Your DP is not likely to change and it is likely to get worse.
How often do you you see his sober lovely side? How often do you have a good quality evening together? I think you need to take stock and work out where your life is going. When he is out partying and you are left at home what do you have to fill your time? What is your own attitude to drinking?
He's drinking to the point of passing out nearly every night? He's an alcolohic. You cannot change him. All you can do is protect yourself and leave.
I agree with other posters. It won't get better.
It took me 18 years to realise that and I do not regret for a second that my h has moved out.
You will end up resenting him and hating him.
I can now have friends round in the evenings and do 'normal' things as I am no longer living with a man who gets drunk in the evenings. It is liberating.
I no longer dread social occasions and Christmas and new year were transformed as I did not have the worry of his drinking.
I won't see how your marriage can be good if he is a drunken arse every night. He will never change.
My h got better for short periods but always went back to the drinking. He has no friends and no hobbies just work and drinking.
You can't help him.
he's an alcoholic and he needs professional help.
You should leave.
he will never get better until he wants to. that might not happen either.
cut your losses and end it. you have a lifetime of pain ahead if you don't and he will pull you down with him.
When do you have this great relationship if he's drunk every night? It sounds totally awful.
No way would I put up with this. It's grim, disrespectful, depressing and will, can only get worse. Long term alcohol abuse will kill him, and you'll get to watch him slowly dying, with nothing you can do to stop it. Sounds appealing?
Does he agree his behaviour is bad when he drinks? Try filming him and showing him. But mainly, leave. He is vile when he's drunk and he's drunk every night.
It's not just one little thing, it's a huge thing and soon it will be the only thing
You don't have children, you have your own job/money - leave
He won't change, he isn't trying to. If this is how you want the rest of your life to be then stay as you are. If you think that you're worth more than this then time for change
How long have you been with this man?
Someone who is a prick daily, is unacceptable. Add that it's caused by alcohol and that's a huge problem.
So he's drunk every day.
When exactly do you have this happy relationship you mention at the start of your OP?
You may be in a relationship with him.
He is in a relationship with alcohol.
The 3cs re alcoholism:-
You did not cause this
You cannot control this
You cannot cure this
What do you get out of this relationship, what is in this for you?. He is likely meeting your own co-dependent needs on some level and that is what you are getting out of this. Both of you are in denial as to what is really happening here.
You're 29 and truly you are wasting your life on this person who neither wants your help and support. Also you are woefully unqualified to help him, you are certainly not helping him.
His primary relationship is with drink, not you and he had a drink problem pre you meeting him as well. Yet you have persisted in wanting to maintain a relationship with him. But his primary relationship is with alcohol, not you.
I am relieved to read that there are no children involved.
But the rest is not all that good either really is it?. Life with an alcoholic is basically lurching from one crisis to another. Take off the rose tinted glasses properly now and look at your own self here because you are as much a part of this dysfunction as he is.
You are in a relationship with an alcoholic and as such are acting out the usual patterns of behaviour in these; namely enabler and provoker because you never forget. You are in a co-dependent relationship with him, you prop him up and will be making excuses for him if you do not already do this. You probably also have rescuer and or saviour tendencies to boot; these clearly need to be reigned in severely now because now you are being dragged down with him by association.
Did you grow up seeing similar in your parents own relationship; what example did they set you?. Why is your relationship bar this low that you are in a relationship with a drunkard who is and will always put drink above you?. Did you really think that your love could make him better and stay away from drink?. Look at his friends; are they really all heavy drinkers as well?.
What quality time do you really have together; he is spending most of his days in a state of drunkenness. He is likely to be rarely if ever completely sober.
You can only help your own self ultimately by leaving him. He may well go onto lose everything and everyone around him and he could still choose to drink afterwards.
My XP gave up drinking for a while because he is a nasty and violent drunk. That nastiness started coming out in his sober behaviour. Someone who is a nasty drunk is simply a nasty person, no more no less
So basically you have nice breakfasts together?
When exactly is he nice?
What you need to do is to set up a spreadsheet of every hour of the day for a week. Blank out the times you're asleep. Blank out the times you're at work. Then colour in green the good times of the day as far as he's concerned - that's time he's with you, not drinking and happy. Then colour in red the times he's out drinking, at home drinking and horrible as a result of drink, whether that's the same night or hungover the next morning.
You might get a shock at how little time is spent being happy with this man.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.