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Leaving alcoholic husband

(194 Posts)
helloblodyn Fri 29-Nov-19 22:02:45

My husband drinks around 70 units a week, has fallen i to a self loathing with work/life, says he hates life in general and feels that he cannot cope with being a new father. He is receiving professional help for an eating disorder.

Throughout my pregnancy and our babys short life so far we have been in a cycle of arguments which end up in me being blamed for whatever worries he has. The situation is emotionally abusive eg I am told to shut up if I bring up his drinking, called an idiot, he threatens me with his own life, he tells me I need to change, he says i am 50% responsible for this, threatens to sell the house, tells me I need to work longer hours so he can go part time.

I have decided I've had enough but when I have told him we would be better separated for baby's sake before this affects my wellbeing anymore he refuses to accept it, raises an argument then some time later carries on as if nothing has happened. Makes comments about looking forward to future events. He is in complete denial and terrified of what 'the world' will think if his perfect life turns out to be a fraud. He seems to only think about himself.

Has anyone had any experience of this type of situation who can share their experiences?

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Cyberworrier Fri 29-Nov-19 22:17:41

OP, I don’t have experience of this, but I wanted to say I’m sorry you’re in this position. Sounds like gaslighting, blaming you/arguing when he drinks. Sounds incredibly difficult. I think you’re doing the right thing, getting out. I have read that for people with alcohol dependencies , sometimes it’s only when they reach rock bottom that they get help/change. It may not happen and may not solve things simply and neatly, but leaving may actually motivate your partner to get help and try to change. Good luck.

kateshair Fri 29-Nov-19 22:23:06

Been there got the teeshirt. Almost identical story to yours :-(.
Mine used to switch off when I spoke about leaving or would tell me if I leave I go without my son. In the end I had to leave the house and rent a one bedroom flat only option. Had to get my mum to act as a guarantor as had no history of renting. We had to sell our house eventually as neither of us could afford to pay mortgage alone. He really really couldn’t believe it when I did leave - he thought I wouldn’t. I won’t lie it was difficult I used to just take it a day at a time as I knew it would get easier. Five years on and I live a happier life free from his daily heavy drinking which sadly he still does now. Keep calm and try to remain amicable for your child’s sake but think about the long run you will be so so much happier. PM me if you like. Good luck smile

Span1elsRock Fri 29-Nov-19 22:25:29

A very good friend of mine made excuses for her DP for years.... he was stressed, it was his job, he was depressed. He was a nasty drunk too. But she wouldn't leave, clinging onto hope when there was none. Her kids grew up in poverty and neglect as a result of his drinking. Many a time she had to borrow money for food and rent, and drove a death trap car.

Your DH is an addict. Rational thought left the building long ago. All he cares about is his next drink.

Don't inflict that life on your child. They deserve better. As do you.

helloblodyn Sat 30-Nov-19 15:26:36

Thank you all for taking the time to reply. It's such a hopeless situation, I know that I need to see this through, but it feels like such a mountain to climb. For months I have desperately hoped he would change but now my mind has changed to accepting he wont change and it has gone too far for me to stay with him even if it did. He has been overly attentive and nice to me last few days and is absolutely ignoring me bringing up separation, to the point of questioning what I mean when I bring up the point again as if we never spoke about it.

I can't bear the thought of having to put a brave face on for Christmas, or the risk of him ruining baby's first Christmas, and then the inevitable horrendous January I am in for when the festivities are over and he starts moaning about his life again. I am due to start work again on NY eve and not once has he asked how I'm feeling about that. It's all about him having a nice break over Christmas.

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AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 30-Nov-19 15:38:01

Did you yourself grow up seeing a heavily drinking parent and or alcoholism?.

This relationship is well and truly over also because of the abuse he metes out towards you. This man's primary relationship is with alcohol and his thoughts centre around where the next drink is going to come from. Like many alcoholics as well he is in denial. That is what Christmas means to him.

Do not put on a brave face for him or anyone over Christmas.
You do not need his permission to separate from him; firm up plans of your own and asap to make a new life for yourself without him in it. Your child does not need or warrant an alcoholic for a parent in his/her day to day life. What do you want to teach your child about relationships here?. This is a crap role model of a relationship.

helloblodyn Sat 30-Nov-19 16:30:10

No I've had a very stable family upbringing. Thing is he's absolutely fine most of the time but once the evening comes it all depends on what kind of day he's had as to whether we will have a lovely evening or a bad one. He will drink on the way home often then deny it when I suspect him. The eating disorder doesn't help as he doesn't eat exacerbating the alcohol. I feel there is a genuine mental health issue and I don't want any harm to come to him. I wish I could fast forward a couple years and for this to all be sorted. I feel deceived that I didn't know this side to him previously although he says these issues have been lurking for 20 years. He told me that he had considered separating himself but he had too much to lose- again thinking of himself.

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TinMansBrain Sat 30-Nov-19 16:35:16

Stop giving him excuses for his shitty behaviour. Mental health issues or not, your H is an abusive twat.

Loads of people have MH problems and don't use abuse their partners.

pointythings Sat 30-Nov-19 17:07:05

Alcohol addiction often goes hand in hand with mental health conditions. Alcohol is a depressant - if someone is depressed (as my late husband was) it will make them worse. If they are not depressed to begin with, they may well become depressed. Other mental illnesses also go together with addiction. It doesn't really matter which causes which; what matters is the hell the addict puts their family through.

The alcohol will exacerbate the eating disorder too, by the way.

You absolutely didn't cause this. If your husband hates his job (mine did), he should take action to pursue getting another. If he feels he has a mental illness, he should go to his GP and get that addressed. He is an adult.

Ideally he would be the one to leave. My H did, because the police became involved after he threatened to kill me. If that is not possible for you, then you should leave, instigate divorce proceedings and get a good solicitor involved so that you get an equitable breakup that provides well for you and your DC.

If you can, get some help for you. A group like Al-Anon will help you see that it's not you, it's him, and will help you set firm boundaries around what you will and will not put up with.

OliveToboogie Sat 30-Nov-19 18:26:57

As someone in recovery I would say go and don't look back. Your DH is being abusive and his first love is not you or your child but the bottle. Don't let him ruin your life and your baby's life... You both deserve so much better. Maybe if you leave it will be wake ip call he needs to get himself as sober. We alcoholics are extremely selfish your DH is poor me poor me pour me a drink mentality.

helloblodyn Sat 30-Nov-19 23:43:21

I feel sly saying that I feel I am betraying him bu writing on here. I have already been in counselling by myself and been told the situation is emotionally abusive. I have also sought legal advice.

I have been advised not to leave the home if I can, and I don't want to, as i feel i haven't done anything wrong to justify uprooting my life and baby's life.

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changedtempforprivacy Sun 01-Dec-19 00:19:42

You are not betraying him. Posting on here you are taking the first steps you need towards leaving.
If you have been advised to remain in the home and ask him to leave, then take that advice, and the legal advice you have been given.

It is best to leave as soon as possible, while your child is a baby and they don't remember any different.
I grew up with parents in an unhappy relationship - I grew up and recreated it for myself! I am glad my husband I split when I was pregnant with Dd and she will never see our dysfunctional relationship. Children do recreate what they see growing up.
You can split, and still feel compassion for his addiction, eating disorder and other mental health problems. Leaving him doesn't mean you hate him or are abandoning him in his time of need. Leaving just means you are doing what you and your baby need to do to survive and eventually flourish.

Alcoholism is a progressive illness, educate yourself about it. He is already lying to you about his drinking and drinking in secret, he is already saying you need to work full time and support him to work part time. He will keep drinking, you can't stop him. As a result he will lose his job, his wife, his child, his home and his's a progressive illness.
It is hard with a baby but educate yourself about am anon. The group I attended I found unhelpful because I felt the members (all ladies) were enabling their husbands illnesses, but it is not my place to judge their actions. The literature they have me was very helpful though. It is based on AA. All AA resources, book a etc are available free online, I suggest you use them to educate yourself, I found them very helpful.
Good luck, it will get better.

helloblodyn Sun 01-Dec-19 09:16:05

I know you are right, absolutely. Your post about compassion towards him is exactly where I want to be. I want to support him but as the father of my child not as my husband, and from a safe distance. He will always be in my life but it's trying to get the right balance for sake of me and baby.

I will look into my local all anon group thank you. He has already told me that he has failed to stick to the agreed plan with his health professional of 3 days alcohol free a week.

Thank you all so much for the support, it really is another step forward talking about this even if anonymously.

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AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 01-Dec-19 10:49:04

You are not betraying him by writing about him on here; alcoholism after all thrives on secrecy.

There is also NO justification or excuse for his abuses of you. The only acceptable level of abuse in a relationship is NONE.

I am wondering what you learnt about relationships when you were growing up. Do read about codependency in relationships and see how much of this relates to your behaviour around your husband. I mention codependency because this and alcoholism often go hand in hand.

You need to detach completely from him, all this man cares about is where the next lot of alcohol is going to come from. He does not want your help or support and you are too close to the situation as it is. You can only help your own self here and you cannot act as a rescuer or saviour to him. It does not work.

Was not at all surprised either to read that, "he has failed to stick to the agreed plan with his health professional of 3 days alcohol free a week". This person has also done his bit here to rescue and or otherwise enable your husband and this is really all a part of the 3 act play that is alcoholism. It does not work and people like this health professional get sucked into this toxic dynamic as well.

Your baby cannot afford to grow up in such a toxic environment.
You and he should not be together and apart from anything else he is emotionally abusive towards you so its game over.

helloblodyn Wed 11-Dec-19 23:33:34

Evening everyone, my husband is staying with family whilst we all decide how to move forward. Its being suggested to me by his family that he has postnatal depression. True this could explain a lot of his behaviour but the issues were in the background beforehand, gradually got worse during my pregnancy and peaked after baby born. Baby's birth COULD have set something bigger off but is it bad that I don't feel any sympathy?
I'm not sure what to do if this is the case. I sound heartless not being there for him but I feel so hurt by his behaviour, depressed or not.

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Chunkers Thu 12-Dec-19 00:27:37

Don’t feel bad. You have had to live with all his behaviour and he hasn’t suddenly been cured with his family’s ‘diagnosis’. Its good he has moved in with family. They can support him and perhaps after living with him for a while will come to understand how difficult it is. Don’t be guilt tripped into taking him back, nothing has changed. His recovery will take many months or years (if he is even ready to start). Start a new peaceful, loving chapter for you and your baby. Given time, he may well show a willingness to engage in therapy and get help, and get well, but until then, look after yourself. You cant do it for him.

JanesKettle Thu 12-Dec-19 04:03:47

I made a terrible mistake and stayed with an alcoholic (out of fear of what he would do to the kids if I left) for two decades. He used alcohol to cope with the trauma he experienced as a child, but knowing that doesn't make it any better. I feel intense guilt at having stayed.

Please don't be like me.

It's really hard, because of the judgement and shame we often get when we disclose, but please find people in your life to share your situation with, and get the assistance you need in order to leave your husband.

Leaving won't make him worse, and staying won't make him get better.

helloblodyn Thu 12-Dec-19 06:13:19

Thank you so much. I have felt such relief without him here, knowing i can relax. It will get better with time, its all early stages at the moment. There's a tough few months ahead just to get us to that calm point. Appreciate your comments!

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EKGEMS Sat 14-Dec-19 00:52:50

So if he has "post natal depression" how in the world does his family explain his alcohol addiction and eating disorder? He sounds like he needs serious inpatient psychiatric treatment and continuous outpatient therapy

helloblodyn Fri 20-Dec-19 20:13:09

I am feeling very unsure and low today. He came to see the baby today and was very good, couldn't do enough for me etc. Generally feeling that it was a relief to get some help in the house and even making me doubt myself- though I knew that's what was happening. It's so hard to keep the strength especially this time of year. He asked if he could come back to the house because he had proven his good behaviour- as if one day makes up for everything... I am feeling annoyed with myself for feeling sorry for him. Just needed to confess that somewhere l!

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Gutterton Fri 20-Dec-19 21:54:57

You said in your OP that to leave the alcoholic felt like climbing a mountain.

You scaled those heights - why slide back down again - you know you will only have to climb it again after a few months of sheer hell.

It’s OK to feel unsettled - to do some wishful thinking and to also grieve the life you should have had. Allow yourself to feel and the process that.

But it’s not OK to take him back. Just Kee re-reading this thread. His behaviour is shocking.

You need to put your baby first. The emotional abuse and stress that you endured whilst your baby was in the womb will have already had a negative impact due to the raised cortisol and adrenaline levels.

This has continued in your babies early days.

Your baby is directly experiencing child abuse. NSPCC and NHS say that exposing a child to domestic abuse is child abuse.

Your baby will have internalised all of the abuse that saw, heard or sensed. This is terrifying for them as they do not understand and will develop anxiety and behavioural issues.

When you are living in an abusive situation you are preoccupied with walking on eggshells - you are therefore distracted and drained - so it is not possible to fully attune to your baby and give them the safe secure emotional environment that they need.

Your baby needs a calm and peaceful home. Do not let this dreadful man destroy your child’s life.

Keep him away. He has so many issues. Even if it was just the alcohol AA would say that he should not be in a RS until he had been fully sober for a year. He hasn’t even been out of your house for a fortnight and you haven’t said if he has stopped drinking.

How has it been in your home since he left?
Do you have to make longer term changes to your accommodation if he stayed away?

helloblodyn Fri 20-Dec-19 22:23:55

Wow making me feel like an awful Mother was a bit intense in response to me showing some vulnerability. I haven't come onto a support forum to hear advice on how I'm abusing my child. Believe me they are my priority- but I make no apologies for feeling a little bewildered and confused at my whole life falling apart just before their first Christmas and being fearful of how I will move forward and do right for them.

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Gutterton Fri 20-Dec-19 22:32:27

You are not abusing your baby your OH was.

Your life isn’t falling apart because you took action to address it.

If you take OH back and his behaviour is the same - then yes you are facilitating and exposing your baby to child abuse and both your lives will fall apart.

shadesofgrey24 Fri 20-Dec-19 22:40:24

My heart hurts for you! I've got a similar thing going on! My DH binge drinks more than regular alcohol abuse! Often leads to the most vile verbal abuse! A lot of this "gas-lighting" I've only just realised it has a name. But it breaks you down and makes you feel like you're the worst person for causing the marriage problems! Then the emotional rollercoaster of them being all attentive and lovely again!!
I'm trying to be strong.. my children are teenagers so hard because they are aware of atmospheres in the house! It's all very upsetting with Christmas! Knowing there are other women trying to be strong and make the break does help!
Thinking of you.

helloblodyn Fri 20-Dec-19 22:50:57

I'm sorry you're going through this as well and apparently for a long time? At least my baby is young (and so I thought) relatively oblivious to goings on and I can try to produce a better environment. Yes gasslighting is a wicked thing. I think of myself as pretty savvy and a professional person but these games really mess with you.

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