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Husband Drinking Heavily!(9 Posts)
Hi, I have been with my husband for 14 years. Over the past few years he has become a heavy drinker, he drinks most days, the amount he drinks varies but he drinks round 4-5 tins of alcohol a day, sometimes more, last night he drank nearly half a large bottle of gin and 3 cans of lager, so he was very drunk, he called him friend at 12am and went into the back garden, where I told him to come indoors, as he was talking loud and I didn’t want him to wake up our children and neighbours, he didn’t like the fact I said this but I didn’t back down until he came indoors. He finally fell asleep on the sofa at 1am and is currently in bed nursing his hang over. This doesn’t happen all the time but it’s happening more often than I am willing to put up with. He often smells of alcohol in bed and when he’s reading our son a story in bed, which I raised concerns about. I don’t like the fact he’s drinking as often as he is around the children and also I don’t want to be married to a drunk and also it can’t be any good for his health. I’ve told him previously in the past that I’m finding it a concern and he’s cut back, only to go back to his original habits a week or two later. What is my next step, is it a case of saying give up, or I’m leaving? I am not prepared to spend the rest of my life with him, if he continues this lifestyle and although I have nothing (financially) and no longer have a job, I am not prepared to carry on putting up with ‘his ways’. We have three children and a lovely house but that is not enough to keep me in this situation.
Any advice from those who have gone through similar experiences?
Thanks for reading!
My husband started drinking heavily last year.
He said it was me telling him I would leave and him realising I meant it that turned him around.
If you tell him he has to stop or you'll leave, you have to mean it. So make sure that when you reach that point, you're ready. Know where you stand financially, get a job if at all possible so you have some independence, activate your real life support networks and get support from a group like Al-Anon (for the relatives of alcoholics/problem drinkers) so that you can set and keep boundaries.
It isn't easy. And the realisation that they will lose everything doesn't stop most of them. My late husband did lose everything - wife, children, house, job, life.
From your post it's not possible to tell how badly dependent on alcohol your husband is - only you and he can know. But whatever you do, make sure you are prepared for it, and when you have taken a decision, stick with it.
Yes I understand, I have not told him before that I will leave him if he continues, I’ve talked to him and tried I get my point across, he’s taken it in, only to return a week or two later. I am fully prepared to leave if he continues this down hill spiral of alcohol but I do not have anywhere to go if I was to leave, I currently don’t have a job, my three children are all off school due to the current situation, so getting a job at the moment is not possible because they need me at home (husband works full time long hours) and only when they are back at school can I find a job. I also have no support network, parents are old, I only have a few friends (who happen to be parents of my children’s friends), not people I would discuss personal matters with. So I would be completely on my own. We do have a lovely house, which we renovated and made our own and it would break my heart to leave here. I am going to think things through and maybe contact some charities who specialise in alcohol addiction and go from there, as I need someone I can talk to, who can relate to my situation.
Thank you for all replies!
What do you get out of this relationship now?.
Did you yourself grow up seeing a parent drink too much?.
His primary relationship is with drink, its not with you or your children.
You did not cause this, you cannot control this and you cannot cure this.
You can only help your own self ultimately and trying to talk to an alcoholic about his drinking or asking him to cut down is about as effective an action as peeing in the ocean. The only one who can help your H is his own self and he is showing no signs whatsoever of wanting to address the root causes of his alcoholism. There are also no guarantees here when it comes to alcoholism; he could go onto lose everything and everyone around him and he could still choose to drink afterwards.
Alcoholism is not known as the family disease for nothing and you and your kids are all being affected by his drinking. Look at the characteristics of adult children of alcoholics if you do not believe me; they make for sobering reading indeed.
Would you want your kids as adults to be in such a marriage; I would think not. Help your own self and your kids instead; I would urge you to contact Al-anon www.al-anonuk.org.uk/as they are very helpful to people affected by other people's drinking. I would also start firming up and otherwise making plans to leave your H; you are married to this man and thus have rights in law. Exercise those fully and extricate yourselves from this dysfunctional relationship. It may be that you will get to keep the marital home and if it did have to be sold you can start afresh. This house probably also holds a lot of bad memories in it to do with his drinking too.
Your own recovery from his alcoholism will only properly start when you are out of this altogether. You are as caught up in his alcoholism in many ways; you are playing out the usual roles associated with such spouses (enabler, provoker and codependent partner). Codependency and alcoholism go hand in hand and you are likely also to be codependent. Its a state that does you no favours at all.
Your house is patently not the sanctuary it should be for your kids; they won't so much remember or even care for their home being nicely decorated as much as their dad being drunk most of the time and their mother wringing her hands and otherwise wondering what to do. That is likely how they see you currently and you're the only one too who can help them, they are relying on your good judgment going forward.
Re yrouc omment:-
"Yes I understand, I have not told him before that I will leave him if he continues, I’ve talked to him and tried I get my point across, he’s taken it in, only to return a week or two later."
I guess sadly you never really meant it when you told him previously you would leave him, as you did not follow through at the time he still sees no reason at all to take you at all seriously. Talking to an alcoholic about his drinking is really about as effective as peeing in the ocean. As it is too you cannot fully protect your children from the effects of his alcoholism, they also all too clearly pick up on the vibes both spoken and unspoken here.
Hard as this could be for you to read I would also urge you to read this article:-
OP I'm really sorry to hear this. I really advise you to contact Al anon and have a think about what is best for you and your family.
Don't give any ultimatums you aren't prepared to stick by. It just teaches the other person that you don't mean what you say.
Yes I understand, I have not told him before that I will leave him if he continues, I’ve talked to him and tried I get my point across, he’s taken it in, only to return a week or two later."
I guess sadly you never really meant it when you told him previously you would leave him, as you did not follow through at the time he still sees no reason at all to take you at all seriously.
Please re-read my post, I stated that I have not told him that I would leave at present, I discussed this matter with him.
Anyway, as it stands it’s been 12 days since I’ve posted and he’s actually taken onboard what I’ve said, his drinking has been very minimal and not everyday, like previously. At the moment I am going to see how things progress and go from there.
Also someone asked if I’d grown up with a parent who drank a lot, yes I did, my Dad was a drinker. I don’t drink myself and if I happen to, it’s not very much at all.
Thanks for all your comments!
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