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how to talk to DH so that he will listen (drinking related)

(44 Posts)
Where2start Thu 12-Oct-17 10:53:38

My DH is a heavy drinker, i think he has a problem, he doesn't as he only drinks Lager!!!!

He's doesnt get "drunk" as such, just does gets repetitive and boring and i can't stand talking to him when he's had that little bit too much that has sent him over the edge

We've been together 15 yrs and i think it's getting worse - he drinks everyday - approx 8/10 330ml beers after work, then weekends drinking can comence from 7pm ish till midnight.

I've tried talking to him about, i've tried shouting about and even tried ignoring it, not sure what to do anymore.

When i bring it up, usually because him drinking has either left me at home like some sad woman alone AGAIN as he has popped to the pub for a few or becuase i've got so angry with him drinking again and the impact this has on our lives it has pissed me right off, he gets cross and wont discuss and doesn't think he has a problem or he gives me lip service in that he says all the right things of cutting back, sees how selfish it is and will put me first - this doesn't last!!!!!

I don't know how best to get through to him, to see what effect he has on his family. I've even considered relationship councilling so i can get out everything i feel and he has to listen but i don't think that's what its for.

Anone any advise?

MrsHathaway Thu 12-Oct-17 11:18:37

What do you think he would say if you said, "You drink so often I am considering leaving you" ?

Because it sounds like it's the frequency that's bothering you, rather than the amount, although it's worth remarking that he is having almost as many units every night as the recommended maximum per week so by any standards he's drinking a lot.

You don't mention children; do you have any? How tied are you to this drunk? Could you have a relationship break eg staying with a friend/sister for a week?

TimeIhadaNameChange Thu 12-Oct-17 11:24:17

I wish I knew the answer to this, myself, but I fear there isn't one.

I'm in a similar position. I have told DP he is an alcoholic, but he doesn't agree, as he can choose not to drink so isn't addicted. And that is true, as far as I can tell, he can quite easily go for days without a drink (could stop completely if he chose to) but he likes drinking so chooses to do so. He saw the CPN recently and mentioned he drinks too much, plus he told her he's horrible to me (though not exactly abusive). Bizarrely, though, bearing this in mind, he more recently told me his drinking shouldn't have an affect on me.

I have told him he needs to stop, as have others. He has promised me time and time again that he'll cut back, but then his BFF suggests a drink and off he goes. He has broken so many promises to me. Most recently, I asked him if we could have a nice night in last Sat, with a film, bottle of wine (I know, but it was a treat for me) and a nice meal (I'd cook). I had had a horrible week, which he knew, and I needed a nice time. He agreed to the plan more than once. Of course, at 4 o'clock he gets a call and off he trots. He wasn't late home but he was drunk, and fell asleep for a few hours. So dinner was late, and by the time the film went on I was too tired to enjoy it. I was so disappointed, but he didn't care as he'd had a nice time with his mates.

Sorry, that was cathartic. No help to yo, though. Sorry!

Aperolspritzer123 Thu 12-Oct-17 11:25:02

OP he is clearly an alcoholic. I don't have that much experience although my ex had a drink problem even though he wouldn't drink every day but when he did he would never know when to stop and there have been occasions he has got himself into really bad situations and he was a complete arse when drunk - argumentative and inconsiderate at best. He promised to stop around 6 months before we split up - he lasted 3 months (originally he said he would stop for good, then changed it to 6 months then 3) but I realised I was blaming his terrible behaviour on being drunk but in fact he was a twat without it too. In summary my ex lost our marriage and living with his dc because ultimately he cared more for himself than for us. I think that's a common attitude amongst addicts (and abusive people).
I think al-anon is a good place to start for families affected by alcoholics.

Aperolspritzer123 Thu 12-Oct-17 11:27:25

Sorry, so what I was trying to say was (apologies for the gigantic sentence at the beginning of that!) - you can't help him. His actions are his own. If he doesn't change it then you should leave.

tribpot Thu 12-Oct-17 11:32:01

So there's maybe 1.5 units per bottle. Call it 12-15 units a night, 85-105 units per week. And that's probably underestimating it as you don't know how much he's drinking whilst he's out. It must be costing you a packet as well.

Unfortunately there is no way to talk to him so he has to listen - he's hardly going to agree to go to counselling knowing you want to use it to 'harangue him' (in his view) about his drinking.

I think you've got a hard choice to make. He doesn't regard his drinking as a problem, and you do. Personally I'd be looking to get out before his drinking gets even worse.

isthismylifenow Thu 12-Oct-17 11:33:49

Amongst other reasons, this is one of the things that caused the breakdown of my marriage.

He now admits that he was drinking far too much. Wouldn't admit it then though.

tocas Thu 12-Oct-17 11:36:24

OP I reckon you should have a frank conversation with him about how unhappy this is making you and then (if this is how strongly you feel about it) offer him an ultimatum; he either gets help to stop or you leave him. Simple.

M4Dad Thu 12-Oct-17 11:40:51

Bloody hell, your DH sounds like my old man. He probably thinks he's got a handle on it because "he doesn't drink shorts" next he knows he'll be taking beers into work with him to have them on the sly.....

Tell him my old man died, alone after 17 years with no contact from his kids

specialsubject Thu 12-Oct-17 11:41:59

having seen what happens (fortunately not in my partner) sadly there's only one thing you can do - an ultimatum. His marriage and family or the drink.

He IS an alcoholic, that is an enormous amount.

More sadly I fear I know what he will choose. Start making plans to avoid being dragged down with him.

ShatnersWig Thu 12-Oct-17 11:57:18

There's no "think" he has a drink problem. He is an alcoholic. Not question - that much on a daily basis.

I'm afraid there is only one way to TRY to get through to him. And that is leave. Not say you will, but actually go. And say you will only come back once he has admitted the truth and sought the necessary help. And even then, you don't go back to living with him until there has been a significant period of him being sober.

Sorry to say this but the likelihood is your marriage is already over.

Where2start Thu 12-Oct-17 11:58:14

i think that's the thing TimeIhadaNameChange his actions disappoint me and he never use to.

Like you, my DH will go out only for a couple and surely i can't have a nark on about that? So maybe on a Saturday he'll go to watch football - 4.30 while 7.30 pm max - he still thinks he's back to enjoy the rest of the night and he is, but in reality, hes had 4/6 pints he'll come home make our tea and carry on drinking, so by 10pm he's pissed, he's slurry and boring. I don't want my Saturday night (which i have looked forward to spending time with him) to be like that.

MsHathaway we do have children, they're in high school, they do their own things mostly so i suppose i'm noticiing more and more how often i'm left alone (unless i wanted to join him and i would be very welcome)

Leaving him isn't an option, though i have thought about it, but i want to stay, i love him to bits, i love US to bits and i want what we had and am not ready to let go of that dream just yet.

Aperol that's the thing with my DH, once he starts he doesn't want to stop. I'm sorry your EX was a twat and yes he did loose himself his family. My DH isn't a twat, he's a great man, he could just be a GREATER MAN and that's the disappointing thing for him and his family

I'm just looking at how i can talk to him so he will listen, how i can even bring this up in the cold light of day without him going on the defensive.

It's not bad, he doesn't abuse us, we're not scared of him, he's present within family life - but i am so bloody fed up of it and what i see my life becoming

Where2start Thu 12-Oct-17 12:00:52

i think you may be all right, but im just not ready to go there yet

CoyoteCafe Thu 12-Oct-17 12:01:12

I think that you might find Al-Anon helpful. It's a support group for people who have an alcoholic in their family. It would give you a chance to talk to people who've been in the same situation, and could help you come to terms with your options. Even though he won't listen to how you feel, there are people who will, and who will understand.

Sadly, I doubt that there is anything you can say or do that will change him. I suspect that your best option is ending the marriage, but I know how difficult that can be and that it isn't a snap decision. Therefore, Al-Anon.


HarriettandBob Thu 12-Oct-17 12:09:24

Mine was similar although to a lesser extent and always at home with me so I wasn't being left on my own. However he was drinking 4/5 nights a week and 5 large (660ml) bottles of lager each time. He never really even appeared drunk but I was worried about his health long term.

I also like a drink and tend to be the more pissed one on a night out, but on a quiet night in would have a couple of smaller beers.

I put his alcohol intake into one of those online unit calculators which did make him think about it a bit, but nothing changed. I then worked out how much we were spending a week on alcohol and how much we would save by cutting down and this made him think a bit more. We've now both cut down so that we only drink on a Friday and Saturday night (unless it was a special occasion etc but so far in four or five weeks this hasn't happened except I have been out once). We must have saved over £100 already and we really look forward to our Friday night drink. So nice not to be heading to the bottle bank all the time either. The downside (or upside?) is we are eating more cake.

So, would the financial side of things help if you work out what you could save? Is there something he really wants (new iPad or something) that he can't really justify but, after a few months could buy himself as he'd saved so much not buying beer?

tribpot Thu 12-Oct-17 12:11:22

I'm just looking at how i can talk to him so he will listen
And just as he doesn't want to hear it, you don't want to hear us telling you that there isn't a way. You can't fix this.

Al-Anon may help you gain a measure of acceptance that you can't change him, esp as you won't consider the one thing that might have some impact, which is to leave. There's literally no incentive for him (until his health starts failing) if you're going to do nothing but occasionally try to talk to him about it.

At minimum I would start to develop a social life that doesn't involve him. You're waiting around for him and he knows that and isn't interested.

HarriettandBob Thu 12-Oct-17 12:13:35

I took so long to type that which meant I missed a lot of messages and it seems potentially my idea wouldn't be enough to help.

isthismylifenow Thu 12-Oct-17 12:16:42

his actions disappoint me and he never use to

and what i see my life becoming

Where it not an easy situation to be in. It is not an easy conversation to have. But look what you have written. Something has changed somewhere. From these two lines, he doesn't now seem to be the great man you married. And it is influencing your relationship very negatively.

You cant just sweep this under the carpet and live the rest of your days like this. Not that I am saying you are, but you don't have to foresee you future so negatively.

He needs to know how you feel.

Hermonie2016 Thu 12-Oct-17 12:18:40

Could you ask him to go to the GP for tests? At that rate of alcohol he must be impacting his health.
There is nothing you can do to make him listen..its acceptable to him.

Drunk people don't know how boring thery are, it's everyone else that has the problem.
I really doubt your children are unaware of the drinking so suspect you might be in denial about that.

MidLifeCrisis2017 Thu 12-Oct-17 12:21:37

Another one recommending AlAnon. It didn't save my marriage but it saved me.

MrsHathaway Thu 12-Oct-17 12:23:36

I really doubt your children are unaware of the drinking so suspect you might be in denial about that.

I just got a shudder down my spine at the idea of OP's teenagers learning their drinking habits from their father.

M4Dad Thu 12-Oct-17 12:28:02

I just got a shudder down my spine at the idea of OP's teenagers learning their drinking habits from their father

Exactly. I know I did.

user1471449805 Thu 12-Oct-17 12:29:09

DH isn't a great man, he's a functioning alcoholic who will always put alcohol first.

BackInTheRoom Thu 12-Oct-17 12:38:09

Thing is OP, you can't do anything. Only he can address his alcohol abuse but only when HE wants to. What you can do is tell him what you're not going to put up with anymore and mean it. Good luck OP. 💐

fantasmasgoria1 Thu 12-Oct-17 12:38:30

My exh used to “only” drink lager so could not possibly be an alcoholic! Refused to get help, when eventually did he lied to the workers supporting him saying he was managing to cut down etc . He lied to the doctor but it all backfired on him when he was admitted to hospital! He apologised then but after each admission he began drinking again after a week! He was physically abusive eventually and very verbally abusive, gaslighting etc but with the gaslighting most of the time I think could have been memory loss! There was no talking to him most of the time as he was drunk but on the odd sober occasion he would apologise promise to change etc but the crux I think was he really didn’t want to change so I left as I could not cope. His mum blamed me saying I had ruined his life when all I did was support him as much as I could! I was not perfect and we towed a lot but his mum said he only got like it when he met me but his friends said he had been the same for a decade before I met him he just hid it from his mum! I guess what I am trying to say is he really needs to want change otherwise he won’t!

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