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.
Alcohol issues(49 Posts)
I need advice as I don't know what to do and how to deal with my situation.
So as not to drip feed I'll bore you with some background. My partner and I have been together for a number of years. When we initially got together he had issues with cocaine, to the extent that it was clear he had an addiction (although at the time he would not have acknowledged this). He was forced to give this up as he lost his job and ended up moving out of his accommodation and moved in with me, which took him away from his dealer and, therefore, his access to the drug. He seemed to replace this with alcohol (in my view) to the extent that he drank to excess, seems to have no sense of having 'too much' and does not seem to regulate how much he drinks. There are many examples of him going out for 'one' after work and then rocking up at ridiculous hours of the night without a wallet, phone etc. I've had phone calls from him because he's drunk and lost, on one occasion taken into hospital after collapsing, on another occasion fallen down some escalators. I've lost count of the social events that have, in my view, been ruined by my husband drinking too much. These incidents have been over a period of ten years or so. As a result i have simply avoided situations that might trigger this excessive drinking and we have, to some extent, reached a happy balance albeit this means having limited social life and a lot of structure around situations involving alcohol.
In terms of other relevant background my partners mother was an alcoholic. She died as a result of her drinking. As far as I can tell her alcoholism was present throughout my partners childhood. My partner has also been recently diagnosed with anxiety and depression, for which he is on medication and having counselling.
So, the alcohol situation is difficult but for the most part in recent years we seem to find a balance between his need to drink and my need for him to moderate. However things have started to escalate again. His depression has worsened and as a result his drinking has a escalated. A few weeks back he had a social event revolving around work which resulted in him passed out, lights on, telly on and half dressed. A week later he spent the afternoon in the pub with a colleague and came in very drunk, ranting at me and swearing because I had asked him to keep away from our children in the state he was in (i.e. Stay downstairs). After these two occasions I told him I was leaving him as I did not want the children to be exposed to this. He spoke to his counsellor and this resulted in him giving up drink for three and a half weeks. However, today he had a client event that meant he had been drinking all afternoon. He managed to moderate it to some extent. However, I had a planned Social event tonight with a few friends and left him in sole charge of our two children (having assessed that he was sober enough to look after the children) however whilst I was out he seems to have drunk at least a further bottle and a half of wine. In my view this makes him too inebriated to look after the children. The telltale signs that he was not in a fit state are that his phone is lying on the kitchen floor where he obviously dropped it and didn't pick it up and he fell asleep with the lights and tv on in our bedroom, not stirring when I came in despite me not making any effort to be quiet.
He has so many positive points but I feel like I can't take any more. When he's not drinking he is such a kind gentle man. I appreciate that he has mental health issues and a horrible upbringing that he is coming to terms with but I don't feel I can keep going around this cycle of excessive drinking that he seems to be unable to control and am so worried that the children will be exposed to this behaviour that they themselves might replicate in later life. Equally I'm conscious of my own teetotal background ( although I drink myself but within the healthy limits) and wonder if my view is skewed by this and whether I'm being completely unreasonable and should just accept this as normal behaviour. I'm tying myself in knots about how to deal with this tomorrow when I have to address his inebriated state tonight whilst he was in charge of the children.
My DH is an ex addict, cannabis not alcohol although it was before I met him I gave him a clear choice.
Honestly? If he relapsed and didn't seek support and get clean I would walk.
Do you think he is an alcoholic?
I don't think he's an alcoholic because he can go for periods without drinking. I do think he has an unhealthy relationship with drink and can't just have one. He'll drink until whatever is a available is gone or he runs out of road because, for example, the pub shuts or he goes to bed. I think he also self medicates because of his anxiety/depression. It has caused a lot of issues in our relationship over the years but the binging still continues. I'm getting to the end of my tether and I'm worried about what the children will hear and see now they are getting older and are more aware of things. On the other hand it feels such a big step to leave him. At the moment the children aren't aware and he will still carry on doing this even if I do leave him and so I can't protect them from it anyway.
Can you arrange to separate and live separately whilst he sorts himself out?
I'm not sure how we could afford it financially but we have talked about in recent weeks as a possibility. It's something we need to discuss in the morning. Yesterday was meant to be a test for him after three and a half weeks of abstinence that he could control his drinking rather than the drink controlling him but it seems to be a fail on that front. If he moves back to abstinence and recognises that the drink still controls him perhaps we can just carry on as before. It's not just the drinking episodes that affect me though, it's an unease whilst I wait for the next episode. It's exhausting and stressful.
From what you've said he sounds like an alcoholic to me. Tough love: he's damaging your relationship and your kids. You are slightly enabling him. You know it's likely to get worse. He needs to stop drinking. Not cut down. Stop. At least until underlying issues are dealt with.
I feel like you could be talking about me, with my husband being you...
Great wife, great mum, but a weird need to just go mental with alcohol and partying every couple weeks, almost to let off steam?
But I sometime go too far and I hate myself when I do
You have my sympathy btw. Didn't mean to sound uncaring!
You need super firm boundaries with people like us. Perhaps an acceptance that now and again we will go out and get effed, but an absolute sense of when, where and how.
whether he is or he isn't an alcoholic now is kind of a moot point to me because I know he will be if he carries on without dealing with the issues. It's just a matter of time. That scares me too. I have swung from trying to control his drinking in various ways to just letting him get on with it and then talking to him when he's sober and rational to making him apologise to people for drunken behaviour post social events to shame him into stopping. All methods have failed to change anything. Next step I guess is abstinance or him leaving. I just can't see him leaving as a way to resolve this as then he has nothing to lose and the drinking will probably just get worse. I'm scared of where that leaves the children.
I think with me it's the fact that I genuinely respect my husband's opinion so when he tells me I am going off the rails, I stop, take stock and listen. I don't know what the situation is with you guys but a mutual respect for the health of your relationship is so important, for you both. If that's falling by wayside, you need to take action.
Yes, tried the super firm boundaries. Told him to book a hotel room if he planned to go out so the children and I didn't see it. That hadn't worked either.
You can't control his drinking. He can't control his drinking. The anxiety that it's causing you just isn't worth it. I've been there. It's a really unhappy existence. Your job and focus now is to protect yourself and your children. He's a grown man who will make his own choices.
If he's sacrificing your relationship and respect and kids' welfare to booze, then he's deep in it. Those are the red lines... it's weird how men are so much more susceptible to this kind of thing than women... most of the time at some point we stop, when we realise what's at stake
I feel weird saying this and it's just my opinion, but I think I would put my foot down, like sorry you can't be here if you're gonna be like this
I speak as someone who likes to drink and party and so I get the impetus... but given an inch i take a mile, and your husband sounds worse
I'm going to have to give him an ultimatum today. Abstinence or leave. It just makes me feel so sad it's come to this. I can't help but feel that the only thing that's changed in recent weeks is that he's now dragged his coulnsellor in to his drinking dramas and he's now enabling the drinking too.
Just because he can stop doesn't mean he's not an alcoholic, it's clear from your post he is.
Check out the 3c's here. al-anonfilter.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/three-cs-i-didnt-cause-it-i-cant.html?m=1
If he won't stop altogether then you should leave for your children's sake, as you said you would.
Sadly I lost respect for him years ago. I still love him and I want to help him but we can't keep going round this circle
Could you do a halfway house, like a month long or three months long break? Full abstinence might be hard to take
I am not an expert but I think he is an alcoholic if he is totally unable to regulate it- so he's all or nothing - he can manage to have zero drinks but if he has one drink he'll have them all. No in between basically! He drinks to get drunk
I actually think I'm a little like this but am also not at the stage where I lose all self awareness and become embarrassing . I hope I never will get there but who knows !
I do think a one off if someone had too much and was a bit of a dick is forgivable- were all human and sometimes overestimate our tolerance! But I'm saying once and you learn your lesson and learn your limits !!! On the other hand it sounds like you are managing it by avoiding most social situations so you're now missing out on fun to try and protect him ! but if you now cannot go anywhere and you can't relax and have fun because you know he'll end up being a fool means he has a problem.
He can't drink moderately so he shouldn't drink at all. And I'm a party animal! But I acknowledge my limit and always have the nouse to know when it's time to go !!!
That's exactly it. We don't socialise and limit how much we have in the house to control how much he drinks. I've also tipped significant amount of wine down the sink when he's not looking.
Have just spoken to him, he's tried to deny the bottle and a half of wine and also make out it was all Ok. Time for a change.
And he definitely drinks to get drunk.
Good luck - it's not easy... people find the most amazing excuses for themselves
Join the discussion
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.