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Husbands drinking levels

(23 Posts)
aln48 Wed 29-Mar-17 22:42:57

Hi. My hubby drinks over 100 units a week, every night he pops in pub on way home, often lying that he is out in london with clients etc and actually is just down the road drinking. He only has 2-4 pints then come home and has half to a bottle of red wine and at weekends always goes to pub for 2-3 hours in afternoon, often all these times he is alone. Point is added up it's over 100 units a week, and he always misses our 6yo bedtime unless I'm going to gym in which case he gets back just as I need to go out but smelling of beer. I've told him he's being unreasonable, he could easily come back in time to see son every night he says it's because he works and brings in main money, and I don't contribute, tonight he even made out that he only went down pub because I texted him asking where he was (!). I don't earn as much as him I work part time but I do all childcare cooking etc and make his life completely easy, I said to him if I worked ft he'd have to pick ds up sometimes from after school club and what would he do he couldn't take him to pub so he sulked off. Really fed up with this my parents divorced because my dad was the same and it worries me. He doesn't want to talk about it and just turns it on me, what do I do?

angelcakerocks Wed 29-Mar-17 22:47:50

Get in touch with al-anon. Get help and support for yourself. 100 units a week is problem territory to say the least, you know that. flowers

purplecoathanger Wed 29-Mar-17 22:48:48

I don't know what you can do, it's very difficult. Your DH is probably an alcoholic and trying to have a sensible conversation will be impossible. I think there's an organisation for support with this, I'd try and get some advice from them. If nothing changes I think you should consider leaving.

aln48 Wed 29-Mar-17 22:56:56

Easier said than done. When we met we both drank lots and sometimes I think that's why we initially bonded. Passion was always amazing and I do love him, we've been together 15 years,married 5 and after many issues had a child 5 and a half years ago. He's a good bloke and adores his son, and I don't particularly want to tear us apart. But am really fed up with situation and worry what effect it will have on our child. i know iwill end up on my own as well serves me right for not addressing it earlier.

bert3400 Wed 29-Mar-17 23:51:11

Does he drink every night ? Maybe ask him to cut one night out so he can spend sometime with your DS , sober ?

aln48 Wed 29-Mar-17 23:59:38

Yes every night for as long as I can remember

Justmuddlingalong Thu 30-Mar-17 00:07:19

It doesn't sound like he plans to change any time soon. But you can change you and your DS's situation, you know.

HarmlessChap Thu 30-Mar-17 00:09:47

He sounds like he's in denial. Only he can tackle his drinking and he won't do that until he recognises he has a problem and wants to change.

memyselfandaye Thu 30-Mar-17 00:28:14

He must spend an absolute fortune every month on drink.

If he does'nt change he will die, but you can't make him stop, you can only control how you want to deal with it.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 30-Mar-17 07:22:25

What do you get out of this relationship now?. What needs of yours is he meeting here?. What do you want going forward?. His primary relationship is after all with drink; its certainly not with his son or you as his wife. You are not at the top of his priority list.

Like many posts of this type its mainly about the alcoholic rather than you. You enable him in his alcoholism as well by making his life easy and destroying your own self in the process. You are just as caught up in his alcoholism as he is and you grew up as well seeing alcoholism too.

He could very easily lose his job and his liberty over his alcoholism and his overall functioning is becoming lesser by the day. Like many alcoholics as well he is in complete denial of his alcoholism.

History has a nasty habit of repeating itself. You have basically repeated the relationship your own parents had with you now in your mother's role; you grew up in a household where alcoholism was ever present and its had marked affects on you that reverberate to this very day. You went on to marry an alcoholic yourself which is not surprising really given what you saw either.

Is this the life you want for your son; for him to grow up just as harmed as you have been by alcoholism?. Its no life for him either nor for you. You are very much an adult child of an alcoholic and those people in particular are co-dependent in relationships and act super responsible. Do not leave him such a legacy; I bet you never thanked your mother for staying and your son won't say that either.

I would think your mother struggled on as she did as well; there were probably times when you thought, "oh I wish they were not together any more because this is miserable". Do not repeat the same old same old; make a new life for yourselves now without this alcoholic in it. Your son and you are now basically being dragged down with him.

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

TowerHamletsTracy Thu 30-Mar-17 07:31:15

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Happyinthehills Thu 30-Mar-17 07:45:22

My DH did all this, right down to the retrospective blaming. He finally decided to stop drinking. It's a different life.
You and your son would be better off without your DH because his primary relationship is with alcohol.

hopsalong Thu 30-Mar-17 08:02:52

My father drank like this. He might have drunk slightly more in terms of units, but pattern was similar: no spirits, beer then wine, so it "sounded" sort of like normal social drinking in the evening and not an alcoholic sneaking swigs of vodka under the table at work.

The fact is that it is still alcoholism. And if he's having closer to a bottle of wine a night and four pints of strong lager then it's more than 100 units a week. The question is how to get him to see the damage it's doing to you, his DS, and his health. My father said (when he was dying of cirrhosis in hospital) that he just hadn't basically realised that drinking at this level could kill him, and as a younger man (30s/40s) felt invincible.

I truly think the only thing that would have got him to stop was seeing the state he would end up in (for many years before he eventually died he was in bad health and in and out of hospital with cellulitis, various blood infections, struggled with walking, vomiting, unable to eat normally etc). I don't know how you achieve this but I think seeing someone with end stage liver disease and having a sensible doctor talk frankly about the risks would be really useful for him. It's a very pernicious disease and sufferers are selfish and sneaky. If he doesn't want to stop for himself he won't.

Does he smoke? My only other advice would be NOT to put pressure on him to give this up at same time or maybe even to cut down. My father was a pretty light smoker but under pressure from GP and others eventually gave up with extreme difficulty. At that point he actually started drinking more because didn't have punctuation breaks of smoking / other thing to do, and was diagnosed with liver disease within a year. (Could be coincidence but I don't think was.)

My other suggestion would be to give him more responsibly so he HAS to change his patterns -- e.g. could you increase your work hours slightly so he has to be responsible for DS one night a week? In a weird way I think it gave my father a lot of confidence when he realised he could get through a single night without alcohol: before he seemed to think he would explode or something.

And are there underlying sleep problems? (There will be sleep problems from all that drinking, but maybe he's scared of insomnia without knocking himself out?)

beekeeper17 Thu 30-Mar-17 08:39:59

I think you do need to get some expert advice from someone like Alcoholics Anonymous about how to deal with this. Hopefully they will be able to give some good advice as telling him he's drinking too much and needs to cut down is just not going to work.

I agree with giving him a bit more responsibility to give him something else to do other than drink. Even just one evening a week could you somehow get him started on a DIY project that needs done, cutting the grass etc. It might help him see that he could get by without drinking for one evening and then work from there. And seeing a job through to completion might give him a bit of satisfaction?

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 30-Mar-17 08:56:51

Al-anon is the organisation that OP should be talking to; they are very helpful to people whose lives are affected by someone else's drinking.
AA is for the alcoholic who has a desire to stop drinking.

I doubt very much that OP could convince him to take on any more responsibility as he probably thinks he does more than enough as it is. It will encroach too much into his drinking time therefore giving him a further reason not to do this.

beekeeper17 Thu 30-Mar-17 09:08:12

Ok Attila there's no need to be rude, I was just giving my thoughts, will keep them to myself next time!!

TanteJeanne Thu 30-Mar-17 09:13:34

In what way does he "adore his son"? He only comes home in time to put him to bed when forced to. Would rather go to the pub every night and weekends rather than spend time with his son.

pudding21 Thu 30-Mar-17 09:53:56

My Ex drinks/ drank like this. He wouldn't drink in the pub, just at home or when we went out for dinner. I calculate he drank upwards of 100 units a week and denys/ denied its a problem. He is a functional alcoholic meaning he can get up the next day and function, so to him it doesn't seem he has a drink problem. When I challenged him about it, he started to hide it.

He says he has cut down since I left and he never smells of alcohol when I see him. I hope so as his dad was an alcoholic (the stereotypical one, frequent long binges, in and out of rehab), so ex doesn't feel he is like his dad as he drinks differently iykwim.

One thing I do know is he suffers with anxiety and he drinks to dull that. Its just burying the issue to be honest. While our relationship didn't break down because of issues when he was actually drunk (he became easier to manage for me after 1-2 drinks), he was frequently grumpy in the morning because he didn't sleep well. His moods were horrendous and it just spiralled.

My advice would be to sit down with him and express how concerned you are. No doubt he will deny it, say he is fine, but if he doesn't change his behaviour it will show you that at this time alcohol is more important to him than you relationship. Then you can decide what to do. I was an enabler in my relationship, look into how you enable his behaviour to continue. Its not your fault, but look at co-dependency.

Having had experience of a sister and father with an alcohol problem and being in his dads life when he was having bad spells, I know how it can only be the person that changes for themselves. No amount of pressure from anyone else will change them. All you can do is support them, and have boundaries. Good luck flowers

ferando81 Thu 30-Mar-17 09:56:12

I know two people who drank at these levels and both ended up with heart pacemakers from the drinking.They both gave up immediately which illustrated they could give up when they wanted.
I realise that not all heavy drinkers can quit the booze but plenty can.

aln48 Thu 30-Mar-17 10:09:35

Thanks for the responses yes I am an enabler I accept that. I have started going to a class once a week which means he has to come back but he always skids in the door just as I am going out, having snuck in a quick one or two in the pub. He is a functioning alcoholic he holds down a decent job and works hard and uses alcohol to relax. But of course it is a depressant and means he is in a vicious cycle. He adores his son he will always spend time with him at weekends it's just I feel our life revolves around enabling him to drink. Yes I've talked to him about it he admits he needs to cut down but never does, he also runs so thinks that makes it all ok. And I guess because I never leave he probably doesn't see why he should change. I'm seriously worried that even if we swapped roles he would just take son to pub with him. Even our son says oh you were in the pub weren't you and then he blames me and says I shouldn't say where he is! From what I'm reading I need to contact al anon. I do accept the comments but can't imagine leaving, I love him, we've achieved some amazing things together and have been through a lot. He would make it very awkward for me if I left and I don't want my relationship with my son damaged because of it.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 30-Mar-17 15:27:32


re your comment:-
"From what I'm reading I need to contact al anon. I do accept the comments but can't imagine leaving, I love him, we've achieved some amazing things together and have been through a lot. He would make it very awkward for me if I left and I don't want my relationship with my son damaged because of it".

Do you love this man or are you (as I suspect) confusing love with codependency?. Why are you putting his needs always above yours. Your mother in particular taught you to how to be co-dependent and you are doing your bit here now to continue to teach your son the same old damaging crap that you were. Do not leave such a legacy to him.

Like many alcoholics your H is in complete denial of his problem and that is par for the course. It may be ever thus; you cannot change another person's mindset. He may also go onto lose everything and everyone around him and he may still drink after all that.

You certainly need Al-anon's support and at the very least read their literature.

Your son is already being emotionally harmed here because he is being exposed to what is happening within your household. He is aware of what is happening around him and you as his mother cannot protect him from the realities of his father's alcoholism. Alcoholism is no respecter of family life as you have clearly seen from your own experiences; you went on to marry a functioning alcoholic yourself.

I tell you now that your relationship with your son going forward into adulthood will be damaged if you continue to do your bit to show him this model of childhood. It will harm him not too dissimilarly to how you've been affected both by your father's alcoholism as well as your Hs now.

Why would your H make it awkward for you if you left; is he a bully towards you as well as a drunkard?. Its no excuse for staying and its a poor excuse at that as well. No man is above the law here and you need to badly take some power and control back. You cannot imagine leaving but what is worse in the long run; your lives being further ruined by his alcoholism?. Who or what is more important to you ultimately?.

Your own recovery from his alcoholism will only properly start when you leave him. Until then it won't happen. You have a choice re this man; your son after all does not.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 30-Mar-17 15:30:25

You need to read this as well aln, hard as it is:-

You really do need to get off the merry go around that is alcoholism because your H will destroy you and your son otherwise. You're both being dragged down with him.

aln48 Thu 30-Mar-17 16:07:22

Wow. You make it sound so straightforward!

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