Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Should I leave him once and for all?(15 Posts)
DH and I have DS 8 months. Been together 12 years, married for four. Always had different views on alcohol. I don’t drink much, odd glass of wine or drink socially when out. DH drinks every night mostly. Is a functioning alcoholic and three months ago I’d had enough when I found car boot full of empty bottles and cans. He has always stashed them round the house.
I used to get on great with his family until they turned on me about a year ago. Since I threw DH out he has been staying with parents. His mum fired back at me saying she had told me before he needed help and we should find a way to resolve our issues (his btw, not mine...). He always seems to side with them. For the sake of our DS I wanted things to be civil. When he has come to see DS I have offered DH to stay for dinner and he has refused every time. He hasn’t explained why when I asked him. What do you think? Once he told me he was doing jobs for his parents so it didn’t suit him to come that night but perhaps he could come another night. He hasn’t once shown any remorse for his actions but says he wants to be back here with us. What would you expect from someone like this? I often feel he makes me feel like I expect too much but I don’t think I expect enough sometimes and am too soft.
Short answer, yes.
You aren't his priority and likely won't ever be. His actions for all the examples you give show this very clearly.
Don't be in a relationship where you aren't their priority, be in a relationship where your life is better because of it, or don't bother...being single is better than being with someone like that.
I would expect him to address his alcoholism. If he is serious about wanting to come back then he needs to get clean and stay clean. Your expectations are spot on OP.
From what you say, he isn't prepared to sdmit to himself that he has a problem and he won't therefore get the help he needs. Stay with him if you are prepared to accept he will never change. Don't stay out of guilt, pity, fear of the unknown or because you think he will have some kind of revelation. You also need to think of your kids. How will growing up with an alcoholic in their home impact them?
The only person who can help his own self here is him; there is nothing you can yourself do to influence that. He continues to lie to himself and to you; alcoholics are also mired in denial. Be someone's priority as well rather than an option.
His parents have and continue to enable him and have loyalty to their son, you will not get anywhere with them. I would not stay married to him either; that will further impact you and in particular your son.
He told me he has started some counselling to tackle the issue. However he has never told me what that involves, how it’s making a difference (if any), what he is going to do next etc. I often wonder if he thinks he is just ticking a box and can then come back to my house. He says he wants nothing more than to be with us. It’s destroying me as I want to believe him but actions speak louder than words. Why are men so awful?
He's definitely box ticking with the counselling. If he wanted to let go of the alcohol completely he'd be checking into rehab asap and letting you know that was his intention.
Stop being nice to him. He's currently getting the best of both worlds so why would he do anything to change? If he realises he's actually losing you if might be the kick up the backside he needs to sort himself out. It also might be exactly what you need to realise you don't have to settle for being second best to a substance
He is merely box ticking and really does think you are that stupid; he will need many months, if not years, of therapy here if he did really want to address the causes of his alcoholism which he does not.
Not all men are awful so you cannot tar them all with the same brush. You simply chose the wrong man to marry and have a child by
What did you learn about relationships when you were growing up. Did you happen to see a heavily drinking parent too?.
Walk away from him altogether and start putting plans in place to end your marriage.
His primary relationship is with drink; its not with you and its likely never been with you either.
There are no guarantees with alcoholism. He could well go onto lose everything and everyone around him (his mother though would likely prop him up) and he could still choose to drink afterwards.
I only have one piece of advice for anyone married to an alcoholic. GET OUT. Alcoholics ruin lives. Not just their own, but those of their families.
You are not responsible for his choices.
In your shoes I would tell him that he must be completely open with you about the steps he is taking to get clean of alcohol. He needs to become teetotal, it can be done. Tell him that in 6/12 months time you will review his progress, until then he stays at his parents, but there is no guarantee you’ll take him back. Or cut your losses now and file for divorce. Think with your head, not your heart OP.
Thank you all for your advice. I’m so destroyed but I know deep down I need to get rid of him. The resentment is too deep to be fixed now, I don’t think I could ever trust him again when he continued to lie to me so much and still can’t show any sort of remorse. I just wonder every day what I did to deserve this and why someone would not want to be with their wife and lovely baby. I am not perfect but I know I am a good person and a great wife and mum. I guess for some people that is just not enough.
OP don’t let him back. I lived, and tried to raise a child with an alcoholic, it was awful. The drinking won’t stop unless he really wants it to, and by the sounds of it he doesn’t want it to. Your life will be consumed by compensating for his drinking, you and your child’s lives’ wil revolve around it, his money will go on drink, and he won’t be a husband or father when his primary love is drink.
Living with an alcoholic is a terrible life, and it’s an awful environment in which to raise a child. I have had to work so hard to undo the damage my child’s father’s drinking has done to him, and the only way has been to completely cut him out.
It’s not just the drinking, it’s the lying, the secrets, the fact that your priority will be your child and his will be getting his next drink. Please do not expose your child to this, or yourself. If your husband wants to change he will, but there will be no thanks and no reward for you putting up with him and enabling his drinking.
If you let him back you’ll only get more of the same. While he’s on the bottle it’ll be all he thinks about. There really is no such thing as a functioning alcoholic, because they‘re really only focused on getting through the day untill they can have a drink, and until your H decides for himself that he really wants to stop it’ll continue, and probably get worse. Alcoholism is a progressive disease, and it only ever has the possibility of getting worse until the alcoholic has made up their mind once and for all to stop, and even then it’s a bloody hard mountain to climb.
Please don’t put yourself or your child through this, you will only regret it and your child will be damaged by it in ways that you might not even realise till they’re much older. You have the choice whether to continue with this alcoholic in your life, but your child does not, and the choice you make will be what they are stuck with, and if you have him back it’ll be growing up with an alcoholic father and all the trauma that comes with it, so think very carefully.
It's not men, it's alcoholics OP. You won't necessarily find the same problem with another man but you would with another alcoholic. Deception and selfishness is very common as is refusing to accept fault.
Alcohol will always come first then his parents because they indulge and enable. They also handily place blame away from him and his issues too. Pushing it on you.
OP he is an addict, he doesn’t have a choice about what matters most to him. Addiction is like being possessed by a demon that takes over your mind and bends your thoughts to it. when he’s not drinking he’ll be thinking about his next drink, and when he is drinking he’ll be thinking about the next, how many he can have, how can have another and another and how he can cover his tracks if he needs to. getting clean is like exorcising a demon, and he is the only one who can do that, but he can’t until he decides he wants to take his mind back, and with alcoholics it’s not even as easy as that, because when a body is used to having a steady stream of alcohol it needs it otherwise it has a meltdown. Alcohol screws with brain chemistry, so the brain needs it to stimulate its reward centres, and that’s not even mentioning the physical symptoms or the life long damage to his health. It takes a lot of dedication, self control and hard work to get dry and stay dry, and if he’s just box ticking there’s no chance. Alcoholism doesn’t just go away when you go to one counselling session, it doesn’t work like that.
You know what you have to do here. Maybe losing his wife and child will be the kick up the arse he needs, or maybe it won’t and he’ll get worse, but allowing him to stay in your life while he continues to drink will only ruin yours, and your child’s, because while there are no consequences for his drinking there’ll be no need for him to stop.
He can still turn his life around if he wants to, and you can still have a happy future and raise your child in a calm and loving environment, you just can’t do that together.
Even in the best case scenario he gets himself dry, but you’ll always be worried that he’ll have another drink and relapse, and it’ll start all over again. That is a lot of worry to live with, and you’re a million miles away from even reaching that point while he continues to drink.
OP there can only be a happy ending if he seriously starts to try and make it, it’s not in your hands, and at the moment he’s not even looking seriously to start. Don’t let your life be a story you can’t control. It’s true we can’t always control what happens to us, but living with an alcoholic is relinquishing all control to a drug.
Please login first.