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What do I do...?

(23 Posts)
chel86 Thu 19-Jul-07 19:53:30

I'm new to this board, but I really need to get this off my chest. So HI! and sorry if I go on a bit!

My DH is a very big drinker and I now think he has a problem. He can't go a night without a drink, and he can't stop at one. He gets through at least one 2 ltr bottle of cider a night, sometimes 2, and sometimes more. And this is every night. Worse at weekends when we get together with mates.

I worked out that most weeks he drinks an average of 40 units, and some weeks he will drink in excess of 70 units!

I've tried talking to him, the kids have told him flatly they don't like it when he's drunk, my DSD thinks that it's her fault, and his best mate has tried telling him.

I hate it when he's drunk... HATE IT. And although I do my best and work so hard to make him happy, all I can think is that it's me who's the cause of his drinking.

I'm on anti-D's because it's getting me down so much, not that he knows that. And when he's really out of it he confesses that je thinks there is something really wrong with him (an illness) and that he's convinced he's only got a matter of years to live.

I love him more than anything and will stick by him through anything. I married him til death us do part, but I was hoping we would make it to our 10 year anniversary at least.

So am I being paranoid? My dad abused his body with overdoses of painkillers years and years ago and sadly died at 43 because of the damage to his liver. Is my DH going to do the same? Or am I over-reacting?


Tortington Thu 19-Jul-07 19:57:07

yes he is - he has an addiction and he can't see it. there is advice out there - but tbh i wouldnt want to bring my kids up in an evironment where the dad is shitfaced everynight.

i don't even know how this is a grey area - its clearly not.

i suppose there are at least two choices

a) he needs to admit it get help and live happily ever after
b) you leave and this will either
i) make him come to his senses get help and live happily ever after
ii) continue to drink and get depressed.

Tortington Thu 19-Jul-07 19:57:46

there is an alchoholic anonymous family and fried of - group

Howdydoody Thu 19-Jul-07 19:58:10

I would be worried too
Has he ever admitted he is worried about how much and the frequency he drinks?

SpiderBaby Thu 19-Jul-07 19:58:38

no you are not being paranoid or over reacting

have you tried to get him to stop drinking in the week?

I presume its affecting his weight too?

chel86 Thu 19-Jul-07 20:08:45

He's tried not drinking in the week, but then it creeps back in. It's just one down the pub because he's had a stressful day, or the football's on, or his mates over and it would be rude not to. Before we know it he's back to the same old self.

He hasn't really admitted that he's worried about the amount he drinks. He's just admited that he's worried about his health and he does put this down to drinking. But he wont see anyone about it.

I don't think I have the strength to leave him, but then I can't carry on like this. And as you say custardo, it's no environment to bring up kids. My 2 poor kids, it's all they know their dad to be and my DSD has seen a dramatic change.

dinahmoemum Thu 19-Jul-07 20:08:55

Tel: (Helpline) 020 7403 0888
Best time to telephone: 10.00am - 10.00pm daily (confidential helpline)

would recommend you get some advice from Al-anon. they provide support for the families of drinkers.

unless he can acknowledge that he has a problem there isn't much you can do. i am sorry that you are having to live with this, it isn't easy but it can get better.

DirtyGertiefromnumber30 Thu 19-Jul-07 20:31:53

i was brought up with an alcoholic step father and it has affected my life hugely. You must seek some outside help to try and break the self destructive circle you and your children are currently trapped in. There are lots of organisations that can help you learn how to deal with your dh's addiction. Ive attached a link that hopefully will give you some advice. Please dont feel youre alone though. x

chel86 Thu 19-Jul-07 21:05:21

Thank you all. I know he needs help but he's also the only one who can get it. But it's good to kow that in the mean time there is help there for me and that I have you guys to talk to!

You've helped more than you'll know

Mommalove Thu 19-Jul-07 21:33:59

Message withdrawn

chel86 Fri 20-Jul-07 22:28:29

I am so angry! Tonight DH went for a pint or 2 after work (on his own) then went to the shop and bought a bottle of cider and a bottle of wine. after polishing that off by 9:30 he asks me (fresh out the shower) to go down the shop to buy him more. I said no. Why would I go and buy him yet more alcohol?!

So then he goes on about all he does for me, and I ask him to name a few. He couldn't because he does NOTHING for me! Then he goes on about how I would be nothing if I didn't meet him and move down to Milton Keynes with him!!

Erm, excuse me? It was me who made the decision to move, me who got my job down here (going from an £8k data input job at 17 yrs old to the same position at a different company for £10k). It was me who got a job at a solicitors and then worked my way up to a legal executive within 3 years and earned the same as him at £25k, and he's 9 years older then me!!! And it was me who gave up work to be with the kids, registered as a childminder and started my own business, which is now thriving! How dare he!!

Mommalove Sat 21-Jul-07 00:34:12

Message withdrawn

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 21-Jul-07 08:42:25

You have been given some very good advice and I would urge you to take heed.

Alcoholics are by their very nature selfish creatures (hence his comments). I would also say that everyone and everything comes a dim and distance second; his primary relationship is with drink.

I would also have to say that he may well have to lose everything and he may still carry on drinking. He made a conscious choice to start drinking.

Love is often just not enough. You will need to get tough and not enable him any more. If you really want to help him you would all leave him and have no further contact with him until he makes a decision as to whether he is serious about seeking help or not. It has affected you all far more than you realise. You're all walking on eggshells around him, he will not listen to anyone. Doing nothing means you could go on like this for years.

Children learn about relationships first and foremost from their parents - damaging lessons are being imparted here by both of you. Your children certainly won't thank you for staying with a drunk out of some misguided wish on your part to stick by him through anything. Its not a price worth paying.

You may love him certainly but he is not giving you the same consideration is he?. Your children deserve far better and so do you.

Please talk with Al-anon. They can help you.

chel86 Sat 21-Jul-07 10:21:02

I know I have to do something, and I know that the only thing that is going to make him realise how bad his drink problem is and how much it is affecting us all is to walk out. It's just so scary though, the thought of leaving drives me to hysterical tears. But I guess part of that is the fact that it's a big step and change is difficult for some people, like me!

If I walk out everytime he drinks and tell him I'm not going to be around when he does drink, do you think that will work? Or do you think I'll have to walk out completely?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 21-Jul-07 11:05:22

Change is difficult but look at what his alcoholism has done to your family unit. You have children who tell him they don't like him when he's drunk (he does not listen), your DSD thinks its her fault (it is not) and you're on antidepressants.

He is mired in denial. If you really want to help him you would all leave him and have no further contact with him until he makes a decision as to whether he is serious about seeking help or not. If he seeks help he needs to do this without you around him.

However, there are no guarantees here. He may lose everything and yet still carry on drinking. He made a conscious choice to start drinking.

Does your GP know about his alcoholism?.

You cannot rescue or save him but you can certainly save yourself and your children from further emotional misery, misery that could affect their adulthood as well when they form relationships. You have the power to make things better for you and your children. They deserve better and so do you.

"If I walk out everytime he drinks and tell him I'm not going to be around when he does drink, do you think that will work?"

No and besides which why should you be the oe to leave?. Apart from anything else this is disrupting for you, not least of all the children. He'll just plead, say sorry and beg forgiveness saying that he'll change. Then he'll do it again.

Mommalove Sat 21-Jul-07 17:22:42

Message withdrawn

chel86 Sun 22-Jul-07 12:00:05

I think if I asked him to leave because of his drinking, he would cause a blazing row and may leave, but would make things difficult for me. It might be that he would leave, stay with a friend then realise what an idiot he's been and sort himself out. Or he would leave me for good.

The only problem is that we both work from home. All his office stuff, telephone lines etc are in the converted garage and I childmind from home. So even if it was a temporary split it would be difficult.

One thing I think he would be prepared to do is a full health check. But this would only be available privately, and I think he would only do it with me, so we're talking about £800. It's alot of money but if it discovers something wrong with him, which I'm afraid to say that it most likely would, then maybe that would be the shock he needs?

Mommalove Sun 22-Jul-07 21:49:46

Message withdrawn

chel86 Mon 23-Jul-07 15:49:53

This is strange. I woke up this morning feeling lighter, as though a weight had been lifted. TBH I think I felt lighter last night. Like I just don't care any more.

I do of course, care I mean. I've written DH a letter. Whether I'll ever give it to him or if he'll ever read it I don't know, but all my feelings came pouring out. I've come to terms with it. I don't want to leave him - I love him more than anything and vowed through better or worse, til death do us part. I was hoping we would see at least our grandchildren together, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

It's hard to describe, but it's like I've accepted that he's killing himself and that he's going to go at an early age and I'll be alone with my kids... it's killing me inside and I feel like the selfish bastard has ripped my heart out and crushed it, but it's almost as though I've accepted the situation.

Whether this is a good thing or not I don't know. Last nigt he had a few drinks and I didn't say a word. He didn't think I was nagging, there were no arguments and everything felt better.

I know this doesn't help the situation, and maybe I'm still living in denial thinking that he'll do something, but then I don't think he will.

Is this feeling healthy? Probably not.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 23-Jul-07 16:22:26

Alcoholism affects the whole family unit, not just the drinker. Its a family disease. You need help and support as much as he does. There is help for you out there if you're willing to search it out (Al-anon for starters).

He may die of his alcoholism at some indeterminate point but in the meantime you and your children are still suffering because of him. You're all walking on eggshells around him. A split would be difficult but you'd get through it and not having him and his drink in his day to day lives would in all likelihood make you all a lot happier.

Look what's he's done to you all as a family.Read your previous posts again.

A healthcheck (I note he wants you to do this as well, hmmm) may just give him carte blanche to continue; he may not stop drinking just because a GP has told him he has liver damage. There are no guarantees here; he may continue to drink even though he's lost everything dear to him.

By staying you are both condoning and enabling his behaviour.

What are you yourself teaching your children?. That's its somehow okay to hang on in there in a desperate attempt to hang onto marriage vows saying for better or worse, what message is this sending your children?. You respect your vows, that's great but he clearly does not. His primary relationship is with drink. You and absolutely everything and everyone else comes a very distant second.

Your children certainly won't thank you for staying with such a man longer term. How would you feel if they went onto meet and get together with people who are themselves alcoholic?. I admire you for taking such vows seriously but you are paying a high price for doing so (your children are witness to all this) and ultimately is it worth their emotional pain not just to say yours?.

chel86 Thu 26-Jul-07 16:44:49

A change... temporary or permanent, it's too early to tell, but, here's what's happened.

My DSD has a box. When something's troubling her and she doesn't feel she can talk to us about them, she writes it down, puts it in the box then puts the box on our bedside tables.

Sunday night I found the box on my bedside table. When I opened it I found the note was for DH. I didn't read it, just gave it to him. He read it and then read it again outloud. Basically it was a letter to say that she didn't like him when he was drunk, didn't like the arguments he caused when he was drunk and felt uncomfortable around him when he is drunk. Finally, she thought that this was her fault and that she loves him.

First reaction, he accused me of talking to DSD about my hate for his drinking and that I put her up to it. I reassure him that I don't discuss my hate of his drinking with DSD and that DSD does have thougts, feelings and opinions of her own.

So, Monday out of the blue he announces that he will no longer be drinking when DSD is round. He may have a drink when she goes to bed, BUT, IMO, this dramatically cuts his drinking time down. Whereas he will start drinking from 5pm and continue through to bed, or start at 11am on weekends, he will now not be able to start until at least 8pm, and he wont be able to get paraletic between that time and the time he usually falls asleep.

And if he slips... well then I think DSD is at the point where she will speak up. And if she doesn't all he has to do is look at her and remember the letter she has written.

Could this be a turning point, or am I being too optimistic?

When we came back off holiday in June "his body was going to be his temple". If he's not drinking so much, he will inevitably lose a bit of weight, so maybe this will kick start him?

Myla Fri 31-Aug-07 03:35:33

Hello everyone, I wish that we would all be with different and more happier stories to tell, than talking about our alcoholic significant others. The truth about all of these, is that just like you, I need help. The sad part, is that like many of you have posted "yes I knew too that he had a problem" and still married him. I guess that before getting pregnant, I didn't really worry about his "situation". In many occations I thought that with love and patiente he will heal from his illness. Perhaps in your heads, you have heard that old story SO many times, but unexplicably there is many of us who actually believe it. I got married in April, and shortly after became pregnant. We started out ok, but as the months have been passing I've realized that there is a little one on the way, and that I don't want a drunk father for him/her. I've tried talking to him and it doesn't work. He promised never to drink at home, and now he is starting to do it. I really don't want to tell my family (they live abroad), that THEY WERE RIGHT, and that this guy is making my life miserable. I think that above all, I don't care about my life anymore, but the baby's. My husband says he doesn't need help, and everybody knows he needs it. I don't know what to do. I'm going to sound like a monster, but even if I want so badly this baby, I think that it is the only tie between him and I. I think that perhaps, if the situation was different, I would have left him before and I would be looking for someone else, or just enjoying my life. I hope God forgives me for saying this, I want this kid so badly, but I'm terribly scared about the future I have chosen for him.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 31-Aug-07 07:17:31


Its because you are fundamentally a decent person you thought you could help him. This is an admirable quality Unfortunately as you have discovered an alcoholic has to want to help their own self. No one can do it for them.

An alcoholic's primary relaitonship is with drink. Absolutely everything else - including you and your unborn child - come a very distant second.

You need to care about your own life - you do matter. Your child's future does not have to be one in which he has an alcoholic parent around. You and your child can go on to make a new life for yourselves without your husband in it.

Okay so your parents were right but hindsight is indeed a wonderful thing to have and when you're caught up in love for the other person you cannot always see what is blindingly obvious to those on the outside of the relaitonship. Your parents should not blame you for your mistake but instead be supportive. Now the ball is in your court - what are you going to do now?.

You've been dragged down already by your husband's actions and false promises. Your husband also seems to be mired in denial and is selfish; both traits are common to alcoholics. Talking to such people is pointless, you cannot reason with an alcoholic. Your child will be subjected to it as well if you were to stay with him. You can leave.

I would urge you to talk with Al-anon as they are very good at supporting family members of alcoholics. Alcoholism affects the whole family, not just the drinker themselves and you're caught up in the merry go round of alcoholism as well.

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