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Coming home at 4.00 in the morning - is this acceptable?

(14 Posts)
dorito Fri 21-Sep-07 11:13:38

I have been married to my dh for 14 years and we have two ds, aged 3 and 10. My dh has always 'liked a drink' and I have posted about this in the past. His main night out with his mates is a Thursday when he goes out about 7 and used to come in about 1.00am. However our local now stays open really late, and he now gets in nearer 4.00am. Obviously I am not happy with this, he is in a state when he comes in but always gets up for work ok the next day even though he is bleary eyed! We have had many rows about it, but his answer is there are loads of them drink there till that late (although I must add many are separated from their wives). This is causing me a real problem and I have told him that I am losing all respect for him. He runs his own successful business and is a good dad to the kids, although admits he does find it hard being a dad to the 3yr old as he is 46 and all his other mates now have grown up children. Obviously this is something that will not go away. He says Thursday nights are the night where he unwinds and does not stay out late to purposely hurt me, but just really enjoys the pub atmosphere. He does drink on a couple of other occasions during the week, but is normally up the pub for a couple of hours only. He has denied the fact that he is an alcoholic as he doesn't drink everyday, but I know this is not necessarily correct. I just dont know what to do now, he has offered to leave as he says he is unwilling to change his ways. We did have a huge row a couple of weeks ago and last week he came in a 12 although last night it was back to 4.00am. I am sick of the rows and the not speaking. We have discussed splitting, but with two children I would rather try and work it out but do not know if this is possible. I look at him this morning with disgust and cant bear to be in the house with him, although I have not said anything as it is just like playing the same record over again. He is acting really nice, just live everything is normal. Apart from this is he a good dh, kind, generous and pretty easy going. Do I give him an ultimatum or try and accept it and concentrate on his good properties? Pleae help!

warthog Fri 21-Sep-07 11:20:39

only you can decide what you can live with. but what about a compromise?

- he goes to the pub on thursdays only but can stay out as long as he likes, comes back quietly and sleeps on the sofa not bothering anyone. he doesn't get extra lie-ins because of his late night.
- he goes to the pub more often but has a curfew

or no compromise: you tell him to leave because you won't put up with it anymore.

he's already stated he's not prepared to give it up, so tbh i think you have to decide what you can put up with.

chocchipcookie Fri 21-Sep-07 11:40:44

If he is an alcoholic and he doesn't want to stop then there's not much point trying to negotiate with him - he's going to drink. I would be worried that he says he will leave rather than 'change his ways' - that sounds as though he is v. attached to his pub nights!

I would go to the AA website online (can't remember the URL, sorry) and do the online questionnaire or better still try to get him to do it. Not drinking some days doesn't mean anything much, you're right.

Have you tried al-anon? You would get support there from people who have been in the same position. Or at least read some books about alcoholism. It would give you some strategies for dealing with him. You could also go and see an addictions counsellor yourself - alcoholism affects the whole family and they could offer you support and help you with 'boundaries'.

mmelody Fri 21-Sep-07 12:10:26

personally I cant see what the problem is. What is the difference between coming in at 1am or 4am? It souns as if he is still able to fulfll his responsibilities the following day and you say that he is good,kind,generous and easy going. Give the guy a break I say. Or get a sitter and go with him.

batters Fri 21-Sep-07 12:50:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 21-Sep-07 13:03:46

This problem does not just affect you as a couple; its your children as well who are being affected.

He'll doubtless act nice till the next time these issues flare up as they surely will.

I'm sorry to say this but he's not being a good Dad to his children. Your children are long asleep after he gets home and its not doing them any favours to see the endless sulks and rows re the same issues. They may not directly hear it but they know something is going on and perhaps wonder what they've done.

It does sound like he has a long term problem with drink; the comment re not being an alcoholic because he does not drink everyday is often uttered. Also being the pub (perhaps some of them have issues with alcohol as well) around others just reinforces his view. Does he have any other social life apart from the pub?. If not that would also ring alarm bells.

You cannot reason with such people; they are only happy to listen to their own selves.
You cannot change him but you can change how you yourself react to him.

I would talk with Al-anon as they can help families of problem drinkers.

barbamama Fri 21-Sep-07 13:12:38

I have to say I don't really see why this is such an issue for you if he doesn't drink much during the rest of the week (I think he would if he was an alcoholic). Why does it matter to you and the kids if he gets in at 1 or 4 as long as he doesn't disturb anyone? My dp goes out one night a week and often gets in later than 4 (usually because falls asleep on train and ends up in Brighton ....). He sleeps downstairs so doesn't annoy me or keep me awake snoring. He still gets up for work (or just goes straight in on some occasions ....) and does his fair share of housework and childcare at all other times. I really don't have a problem with this - it keeps him sane and I think he is a better partner and father the rest of the week as a result of getting a break with his mates and talking rubbish in the pub. I think men need this more/longer than women do. I still like to go out when I can but it's more of a recreational pastime for them I think? I have to say that I have no trust issues with him and know he is just talking rubbish with his old mates or asleep on the train. Is there maybe some worry in your mind about what he might be getting up to which makes this harder for you to accept?

dorito Fri 21-Sep-07 13:48:54

Thanks for all your replies. I do appreciate that he needs 'time out' with his mates and really have no problem with this. He also plays golf a couple of times a week but this is mostly with the same pub crowd and again centres around alcohol as much as golf. I can say that I totally trust him - he is very honest and would just come straight out if there was anyone else, I have no problem there. It is mainly the alcohol, I suppose, staying out the extra 3 hours just confirms his addiction to alcohol, maybe I try to convince myself his drinking is normal but really I know the truth. He openly admits he often spends well over 100 pounds on a night out which is a lot for just going down the local! Its not just at the pub though, its when we are out together or have friends round. I feel a bit like someone who's husband is having an affair, trying to work out he much he's drunk etc. maybe I'm starting to get obsessed with it! He also drinks probably 6 pints or more the other days he goes down the pub even though he's not there long. My eldest dh is picking up on the rows, that is why I purposely try and say nothing in front of him, but they are more clever than you think. I have looked at the al-anon website and am going to have a good browse and maybe contact them.
I guess it all boils down to what I am prepared to accept as I cant see it really changing. As theys say the grass is always greener on the other side - I really dont know!

motherinferior Fri 21-Sep-07 13:53:22

It's not just one night in the pub, is it. It's several times a week, by your OP: normally 'for a couple of hours only' and then one night for pretty well the whole night. Plus the golf.

If my partner was out that much, leaving me to do the childcare, I'd be well pissed off.

chocchipcookie Fri 21-Sep-07 14:03:00

Many, many recovering alcoholics will confirm to you that they didn't drink on a daily basis and often had periods where they 'pulled it together'. The issue is not whether he can stop for a few days or weeks -it's whether he always starts again and impacts his relationships. As for work, lots of doctors and airline pilots are in recovery!
I would strongly suggest al-anon, dorito, this is incredibly hard to deal with alone.

chocchipcookie Fri 21-Sep-07 14:09:52

There is also a book you might like, it's fiction, called Husbands and other lovers by Jane Varley. It's about a woman whose husband is a successful solicitor and an alcoholic, it deals with some of the family stuff too. the library should have it.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 21-Sep-07 14:47:31

Hi Dorito

An alcoholic's primary relationship is with drink - everything, absolutely everything else - family, children, job comes a dim and distant second. Yes absolutely everything and everyone else.

I think you do know the truth re his drinking problem deep down; its up to you whether you want to accept it or not. He seems to have made his position quite clear. His denial of any problem and the fact that he is showing no inclination to change his ways (he has told you as much) should tell you a lot.

You may ultimately have to break away from him for good to save your own self as well as your two children. He may well drag you all down with him otherwise.

You cannot rescue and or save him but you can help your own self.

You can choose to "ignore" his behaviour but your children cannot. They pick up all the bad vibes, particularly your eldest.

I wondered if he had any sort of social life outside of the pub - the fact that he is playing golf with the same pub crowd is another red flag.

Don't write that you'll maybe contact Al-anon - just put on your Nike expression and "just do it!!". You need support for your own self

barbamama Fri 21-Sep-07 19:10:17

Hmm that does sound like more than normal drinking, sorry didn't realise it was that much. Hope you manage to sort it out.

dorito Fri 21-Sep-07 21:19:23

Thanks again for your replies, it certainly confirmed my thoughts and not that I am being paranoid. Had a look at the AA website and done the quiz for him - the results were rather scary. Am definetly going to contact them, didn't realise it was for family as well. Have ordered the book Husbands and Lovers off ebay, its looks great and will make an interesting read! Still undecided what to do but hopefully things will make more sense once I have spoken to AA. I suppose the ball is in my court, it is just being brave enough to make the decision - I know if we didn't have children it would be a heck of a lot easier! Thanks again for all your advice, it really does help.

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