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Aibu about DH and his drinking(24 Posts)
We have DS2 and DS7 and rarely get to go out together as we have no family in this country.
DH is 40, he doesn't go out that often anymore maybe once every two months but about about 50% of the times he gets quite drunk, misses the train home, loses/breaks his phone, falls asleep on the train and then doesn't arrive home until 8am or so. I will have had no contact.
I have no worries that he's been up to anything else as he's a sleepy, messy drunk and he's a state when he comes home.
Last time he did this was a month ago.
When he doesn't go out out and we go for a drink at the neighbours or friends with the kids he's fine mostly but every now and then will get smashed, drink quickly and be the first to be embarrassingly drunk while no one else has even been affected by booze yet.
Christmas Eve was the last time he was like this, his parents were here, all the neighbours had a drink together around 5, he'd been drinking for a while, was really smashed and talking shit to people. We all came home and he fell asleep on the couch missing putting the kids to bed and doing Santa.
He was mortified the next day and apologised and hasn't drank at all with friends/neighbours since.
If I even mention to him that maybe he's had enough he gets really indignant and drinks more.
Anyway, we've been invited to a neighbour's wedding, his parents will be here and have offered to babysit.
I asked him tonight to take it easy on the booze that day. That I wanted us both to enjoy it and I'd rather say it now and look forward to it rather than being on edge on the day wondering if he'll be the drunkest person there.
He's really annoyed I asked him "why can't you just trust me, you're putting a negative spin on it before we even go" now he's saying he'd rather not go if I'm going to be controlling
My dad drank a lot and I don't know if I'm being controlling, I always have half an eye on DH when we're out - I can usually tell if he's decided to get smashed with the first two drinks and then I'm on eggshells.
To avoid that I thought I'd ask him now, as it's not an unreasonable request given his past behaviour?
There have also been a good few nights that have been lovely but only when I relax after realising he's not planning on getting drunk.
He can get quite nasty when drunk.
Am I being codependent and controlling asking him or do you think it was unreasonable?
YANBU - especially considering he gets nasty.
If has changed a bit since Christmas I supposed it depends on how you phrased it:
"You've been doing well with the not drinking to excess since Christmas and it means we can really enjoy the wedding"
"Dont drink too much because you were bad at Christmas and I dont want a repeat of that"
Did you concentrate on a potential positive or potential negative? Because he heard the negative.
Its not unreasonable at all to want to be able to go out and enjoy yourself. You can say will if you are going to get smashed there is no point going. But I would ask him if he wants to go and drink sensibly like he has been doing.
YANBU- if he is an embarrassment when he is drunk as his wife of course its ok to mention it. You deserve to have a good time at the wedding and you dont want him putting a negative spin on the whole day and embarrassing himself and you.
I would agree with him, I don't think he should go either if he cant handle his drink and cant understand your issue.
*He's really annoyed I asked him "why can't you just trust me*"
Does he really not know why you can't trust him?
He has no right to get annoyed. I think when you have two children and you're 40 it's time to get a handle on your drinking or get help.
My initial observation is that if he is being defensive it's because he knows there's a problem but doesn't want to face it.
So he blames you. He's not taking control for his drinking. My interpretation of what you've described is that he's saying you're going to ruin his evening by you not wanting him to get totally blotto.
You don't sound controlling to me. You sound like you are trying to manage him, and situations, which you can't because ultimately his drinking is setting the tone throughout.
I personally disagree with the negative / positive slant thats been suggested above. It isn't clear if his drinking had improved since Christmas - just that he hasn't done it with friends (so hidden it)?
A better question might be what are you planning to do if he does drink too much? Drinks too much and behaves? Drinks too much and doesn't behave? Stays sober but blames you for a crap night out?
Your H is an alcoholic. Like many posts of this type as well its mainly about the alcoholic and not you. You matter though, where do you really see this going other than down?
What do you get out of this relationship now, what is in this for you?.
You grew up with a heavy drinking parent and have gone onto marry someone very similar to your dad who is more likely than not an alcoholic as well. Like your dad, your Hs primary relationship is with drink and not with you or the kids. Your H's thoughts mainly centre on where the next drink is going to come from.
You are playing out the usual roles associated with such spouses as well; provoker (you never forget) and enabler. Life with an alcoholic is basically living from crisis to crisis and its never stable. You are on edge the whole time and are constantly policing his behaviour and or otherwise fire fighting.
Co-dependency is often seen in such dysfunctional relationships and you are likely to be co-dependent. It is a damaging state for you to be in and staying in this is not doing your children any favours either. They cannot afford to think this is normal from their dad.
Do not make the same mistake your mother made with you; you saw enough of this when growing up to be affected by it yourself. Your children could well go the same way as you have done if you do not act and that is really no legacy to leave them.
Al-anon are well worth contacting for yourself because you need help, you cannot help your H and he does not want your help or support. Like many alcoholics he is in denial of his alcohol problem and blames you for being controlling. Its actually the alcohol controlling him and its a cruel mistress.
The 3cs re alcoholism:-
You did not cause this
You cannot control this
You cannot cure this
Thanks so much for your replies, they are really thought provoking.
His incidences of getting very bad have been a lot more infrequent.
It's hard to know how to deal with because it's not consistent one way or another.
We went out together a few months back, both had a few drinks and it was lovely.
When I asked him, initially he said "ok, I'll take it easy, I get why you're asking that but can we just leave it now"
But then went on ranting about how unfair it was that I asked, and what's the point of going at all if I don't trust him.
He's really offended that I don't trust without acknowledging his behaviour caused the distrust.
I told him I don't think it's unreasonable to make that request of him, it's a shame if he doesn't want to come, that I'd like him to come and both have a good day.
I think his pride is hurt and he's defensive, hopefully he'll have a think and realise that it's ok to have asked that.
In fairness to him, he's been seeing a therapist since Nov for some issues with his family and become a lot more thoughtful
My friend was in this situation. She said drink all you want but l will be leaving after 2 drinks. And she did. In the begining he thought what a bore but eventually looked at his drinking and realised he was an alcoholic. Hasnt drank for years. Same when he comes home drunk. Tell him its the spare room ..up the next morning early..dont make it easy for him.They only understand consequences not words. Dont waste your energy talking or pleading with him. Its good he is doing the counselling and hopefully that will help.
Don't know what you can do about family and friend events. Perhaps, if you know it's going to spoil your night, then you could do as june said. Let him know you will leave and then follow through.
Equally, you can tell him you don't mind him going for nights out, but that you won't put up with waiting for him / him returning drunk and that when he goes out, he has to arrange to stay with whoever he's out drinking with or go to a hotel. At least then you don't have to deal with the fallout.
My husband used to be the same and for years I assumed he couldn't control himself. Then after an unpleasant incident where he ended up in hospital, he finally accepted what I had been saying for years, that he was putting himself at risk of dying. He is now able to drink in moderation, so for all those years it was a choice he was making. From what you say, the pattern is similar and it becomes apparent rapidly when he has decided to get wasted.
I put up with it far too long. I wish I had started to remove myself from the situation right back when it began. He is showing you no respect. You have to respect yourself and show him you will not put yourself in the line of his disrespect any more.
That level of defensiveness suggests a problematic relationship with alcohol
YANBU. It's perfectly ok to warn your husband not to make a complete dick of himself
my dp is like this. is there anythinf he can drink.thats not.quite as bad?
we have a day wedding coming up soon and i have already asked him to drink bottles as he doesnt get as drunk on those.
LostSight that is really similar, he can drink in moderation if he chooses to.
With his going out with friends and not coming home, I used to send him messages about train times, the last train etc and get really frantic waiting all night and ringing him but I stopped all of that a few years ago and don't do anything now.
He pays for it the next day then it gets better for a while and starts again.
The telling him I'm leaving after two drinks thing would be spun as me being controlling.
To be honest, I don't want to be watching his drinking and having it dictate my night.
He's still really angry at me, he thinks because we had a good night last time I should take that as evidence that I can trust him.
He's went on and on "I can't believe you don't trust me" and hasn't spoken to me at all since
What can i do?
He's only had 4 nights in the last year that have been a problem. Other nights he's just had a few and gone home. His friends go out a lot more than him and he often chooses to stay in.
This will be his evidence (and till now mine) that he doesn't have a problem and can drink in moderation if he wants.
He is seeing his therapist two weeks before wedding so hopefully he'll get some perspective there.
He's saying that he's more angry I don't trust him than having to take it easy
He doesn't deserve your trust though, does he ?
Unless he thinks all the times he's made a show of himself through drink are a figment of your imagination ?
I've just thought - with this angry reaction he's making damn sure I hesitate before asking him to take it easy again
Indeed. He is doing and saying all the usual stuff alcoholics do and is likely badly underestimating how much he is putting away here. I would argue that he has not changed at all really. Not all alcoholics drink every day or sit with cans on park benches.
You are still as caught up in this as he is, albeit in different ways. Do you really want the children to see this as well?. You also grew up with a heavy drinking parent and it has affected you.
One action you yourself can now take is to not drink alcohol with him any longer.
His therapist as well is not helping him either because that person is really enabling him as well.
I would suggest you also read this:-
You are definitely not being unreasonable here! Your happiness and enjoyment of life in general are equally as important as his. Why should you be worrying and treading on eggshells around his behaviour?
As for him getting angry with you... ! Don't take that shit from him. This is a problem created by him which he is inflicting on you and your dc. Do not be intimidated into not dealing with it.
If he claims he's worried about the lack of trust, say, no I don't trust you, why the hell would I?
It's more the pressure he now feels about reining in the drinking at an event and an alcoholic would find that hard. So he's acting all defensive.
Yanbu or controlling.
I bet there's some tension in the air when you socialise until that point you sense DH won't have a skinful.
Now he's had a whiff of that tension well in advance of that wedding and he feels got at.
You can't keep DH from drinking.
If he feels compelled he will drink to excess and turn the fun into un-fun in next to no time.
When you advise DH like you did you're doing it out of love. But he thinks you're bossy and being passive, aggressive or both.
Sadly I have come to believe people often only give up doing things that harm them (and everyone in their orbit) when they grow too tired to carry on.
I don't know much about alcoholism, so other MNers have already given v good advice.
There was an interesting article in Red a few months' back about moderate drinking. December or Jan issue I think.
I have never drunk much, but practise a few tricks to keep my own drinking in moderation:
Small measures - my home 'glass' is 100ml of wine. Just enough to give me a taste, not so much that I want more.
Finding a 'dupe' - for me it is Sparkling Elderflower, drunk in a wine glass.
Only drinking on certain days.
One thing I do notice is that even in these very small amounts, I feel a mild addictive effect. If I get into a phase of drinking these small amounts, I feel that I want to continue/drink more.
Maybe your DH needs to identify his own tipping point?
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