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(30 Posts)
maria1966 Wed 12-Jan-05 21:45:43

Hi,really need some advice from someone on my situation.Will try and keep it short and straight to the point.
I have 2 children 3 and 1 and a half and my DH holds down a job.I have been on anti depressants til recently and am going through therapy also seeing a health visitor.My DH drinking has always been a issue in our13 year relationship but never violent just embarassing and mental touture when he has had a few drinks he can be really nasty and hurtful.Since having the childdren although he is a great dad and helps around the house he is a social drinker and goes to the pub straight from work most evenings and on weekends off sometimes finds an excuse to go to the shop and then sometimes returns 3-4 hours later drunk.
I am having a hard time at the moment with stress with the children,suffering from agrophobia which i am having therapy for and passed issues of bereavement of my parents years ago and my brother last year which have all been brought out since i had children of my own.
I feel trapped and don't know who to turn to.
I have sisters and a niece i confide in but they don't know the whole story about DH drinking as i don't want them to see him in a different light.
His family live away and although since having their first grandchildren i am a bit closer to my MIL i feel i should'nt involve her.
Just before christmas though things came to a head and he came home really drunk puting me down as a mother and making fun of my agrophobia and taking anti depressants he threatened to take the children from me and put me in a mental hospital.
I panicked and rang his mothrers number and was really distressed which worried her.He saw what i was doing and put the phone down she rang back result he had an agruement with herand they did'nt speak for a few days.
I felt really awful about this and phoned to apoligise to her only to get my FIL who put the phone down on me and said nothing.
Anyway DH rang back apoligised and spook to them both all was well.Except i asked him why his dad put the phone down on me,but he said they did'nt discuss it.
Sorry for ranting but DH came in this evening 9pm hgis phone was turned off kids are in bed and he could'nt stand just flaked out on the sofa,no explaination nothing.Me i just burst into tears and thought what do i do this can't go on.
I know he will be all apoligetic tomorrow and will expect me to forget it but this happens weekly and i can't do it anymore.
What do i do?
I have hined to the health visitor about this but notthe full story as i am scared because of the children.I knoew that i and my children are not on danager and he ever shouts at them but i am worried what they will think.
His parents my last hope as they know he likes a drink as he comes from a socialable background of drinking dinner parties etc and to them is probably normal.i thought talkingto his mum they would help me but it turned againest me and i suspose i was seen as a mad woman over reacting.
Helpplease what do i do.
am scared for my childrens future i don't want them growing up with this and there mother being a nervous wreck,i feel so alone.

beansprout Wed 12-Jan-05 22:12:43

Can you get a babysitter and go to an Al-Anon meeting? It is a support group for friends/relatives of people with drink problems. You will find people there who know exactly how you feel and can give you the support you want, need and deserve. Directory enquiries will have their number, or, please feel free to CAT me and I will find your nearest meeting. If that isn't possible, you could ring them. Anyway, this is a v difficult situation for you and I hope you can get some support. We are always here too. Take care.

dolally Wed 12-Jan-05 22:24:29

I think Beansprout's is the perfect suggestion. You will get loads of support there and hopefully get some answers to your prob. Would it be any good to try to sit down with your MIL and explain that you are worried about your DH. (It's difficult because I know my MIL cannot handle anything remotely like a criticsm of her beloved son... you have to tread carefully) Perhaps your PILs have already said something you dh about his drinking but he wouldn't necessarily admit this to you would he? Go to Al-anon.

Caligula Wed 12-Jan-05 23:11:38

Yes, go to al Anon. You'll find out what you need to know to cope with the situation. Your last hope isn't his parents, it's him. His parents can't do anything about his drinking, neither can you. Only he can.

Al anon will give you the support you need to cope with this. It really will - please go.

Some of the meetings are in the daytime, so he doesn't need to know about it. Their number is:
020 7403 0888

You can talk to someone in confidence, who will let you know where and when your nearest meeting is.

maria1966 Wed 12-Jan-05 23:12:00

Hi again thanks so much for your response.
Sorry to sound negative but i have rung al anon previosly and they suggested the meetings but my agrophobia is a real problem at the moment i have'nt been out in the past 5 weeks ,i think its a confidence issue as well linked to the problems i am having with DH.
As for talking to MIL or FIL may have said something to him i doubt it very much as they like to drink sociallaly as well and they probably feel i am insulting them as well to mention it as i think my DH made the reference to this when he had the agruement saying were did i get it from?
I just feel they all made up and apoligised and i am the one left feeling guilty that i caused the arguement between them and i am the bad one.
My DH says they probably have'nt even given it a second thought.I have i was so upset i called the samartians.
thanks for your kind words
got to go DH has just stumbled up off the sofa groaning and is crashing around in the bathroom
thanks again have calmed down a bit down just hope he goes straight back to sleep xx

Caligula Wed 12-Jan-05 23:20:36

Maria, explain on the helpline about your agaraphobia, they may be able to sort someone out to come and see you. They give you a number of the group leader, you could phone them, and they might be able to organise someone to come and see you and have a chat. I know that AA certainly do that (depending on the individual fellowship groups) so I'd imagine AlAnon would have something similar. Might be worth a try?

maria1966 Wed 12-Jan-05 23:45:37

Hi thanks so much for the info and telephone number i will give it a go.
I suspose i thought his parents would help for the sake of their grand children and at least come over and visit to maybe support me.But i have always felt they thought me not good enough for their son and as my husband said when he was drunk i am probably just a womb to them that gave them their precious first and second grandchildren.
I think because i lost my parents a few years ago and they never got to see my children i am looking for surrogate parents in them ,which i know just won't happen.
They are quite snobish and have time and plenty of money but hardly come over to see us we always have to go to them.
I made the plane journey last august for his dad's birthday ,over 100 people at their house
and did that at a time when my stress and agrophobia was at it's worst. That was my first time out of the house in 8 months and i got no acknowlement of this only stress about how to bring up the children and keeping the children busy and away from all the peparation for this grand garden party i felt so useless.My son who was then just 3 shouted at every time he went near the fridge or picked something up or how he was eating, it was really difficult to hold my tounge.I just feel a made a big effort that week and it was torture for me from begin ning to end but i obviously my feelings don't matter to them
sorry i am ranting again,
thanks again for all your support xx

chimpie Thu 13-Jan-05 00:47:46

I thought it was only me. I don't have agoraphopia and I can't imagine how horrendous that must be but my dh is an alcoholic who holds down a job but comes home from work every night either drunk or proceeds to get drunk. He also drinks on the weekends usually starting at about 5 and by 7 ish is passed out. I hide his vodka on the weekends otherwise he would drink it as soon as he wakes up. None of my family know how bad it is or our friends so I feel like I am living a lie. Our new dd is only 5 months and I worry about the future for her. When he is sober he is the kindest loving person in the world but when he is drunk he either rants at the news on tv, or tries to get into an argument with me. If I can be any support talk to me. I really felt like I was the only one going through this.

maria1966 Thu 13-Jan-05 01:06:43

Hi Chimpie thanks for your reply.I know what you mean about the ranting the unfortunate thing is mY DH says a ll these hurtful things but forgets what he as said the next day but i am still dealing with it.The thing about having the young children is he still things it's ok to carry them up to bed and when i say it's not safe he gets annoyed excusing me of saying he is a bad father.
I feel i have another child to watch when he is drunk.Then the next day when you try to discuss it he says not in front of the kids then when they are asllep i am ethier to tired or depressed to think about it or he says i am trying to start an agruement which more often than not it turns into.It's a vicious circle.
Have you contacted al anon?
Do you get any support from parents or like me do you put on a facade that everything is fine when family are around.I do and it's exhausting to hold it all together and pretend your fine keep smiling when inside you want to scream.
I don't know what the answer is i try to talk to him and he promises after each episode it will get better but it never does.
I think my DH has to give up all together as just drinking a couple of drinks is'nt an option sometimes and he takes it to far and yet again leaves the car in town and gets a taxi home.
It is a small town were we live and i used to work their before the children came along and so know quite a few people and i hate to think what people must be thinking about him/us .
He is'nt bothered what people think but i am,for our childrens sake and thats probably why my agrophobia is becoming worse as i don'nt want to go into town shopping at the weekend feeling everyone is looking at me.
Does your DH know he has a problem?
Mine does but does'nt take the steps to do something about it.
Please feel free to talk to me anytime ,it helps to have someone outside the circle of friends and family to talk to.You can share things i would'nt tell family and get them off your chest instead of having them going round and round in your head.
I think i am going mad sometimes my mind is full of so many things.
Thanks for your response x

Caligula Thu 13-Jan-05 10:52:24

Maria, I really think you need to get help to deal with his alcoholism, because if you knew how to deal with that, it might also help you deal with your agaraphobia. It almost sounds as if your agaraphobia is a way of dealing with his alcoholism (although of course that might be far too pat and simplistic).

Have you thought about perhaps seeing your GP about this? S/he might be able to refer you for counselling, which would sort out both. Sometimes, solving one big problem enables you to tackle all the others.

noddyholder Thu 13-Jan-05 10:56:09

does he think he has a problem with alcohol?

maria1966 Thu 13-Jan-05 11:38:22

Hi again,feeling really low this morning.DH went to work early this morning before i was up and normally says goodbye but just left and have had no phone call ore mail as yet .
Normally he would say something.
My doctor was'nt too plesased with me when i came off the anti depressants but they were making ne feel numb and tired all the time and i needed to function properly to look after my 2 children.
My CBT therapist has cancelled 2 appointments already this week to help with the agrophobia.
Which is unsettling.
As for councilling i was told by my gp i would have to go private and orgainise a counciller for myself as the therapist only dealt with the going out issue.
My Dh did see the doctor awhile back with stress due to his job and mentioned the drinking but the doctor did'nt seem overally concerned and said a couple of glasses of wine in the evening was acceptable.But i don't know what DH told him.
My DH thinks these people who try to help are interferring and i don't need medication,he say's i am a strong person and can get through this.
But i have come to the end of the road and can't put on a front anymore.
I know i need to sort out my problem myself and concentrate on that for me and the kids sake.But it is really difficult to ignore his problem when it affects my mood and how i feel,it's difficult to stay focused and positive.
I can have a good day and try and get out with the kids then he comes home and puts me back again by his behaviour.
He knows he has a problem and drinks in the week then trys to make up for it weekends and promises to stop then back to monday evening again we start the week with him going to the pub again.
It's awful not knowing when will he be home?how much drink will he have had?
I can't live like this for much longer.
I wrote him a letter awhile back telling him how i felt and for a couple of days i thought we had turned a corner then when i had problems with going out again he used that againest me and said if i am not making an effort why should he.
It helps to write these things down and discuss them with you all.
Thanks for your advice x

maria1966 Thu 13-Jan-05 13:09:43

Hi again,DH just rang to say sorry and said he would be home early tonight.Says he dos'nt know why he stayed out so long and knows things have to change.So let's hope we can talk tonight and come to some agreement.We have been here before though i just hope he sees this can't go on.

jojo38 Thu 13-Jan-05 22:35:03

I am in a similar situ. Not as intense it seems as your own.

Go to al anon.

There isn't a book or person who can tell you how you feel. We all appreciate how you feel and coming here is a huge step towards helping yourself to help dh.

It isn't a quick fix by anymeans but please, if you do nothing else, go to al anon. The support and relief you will feel will be enormous.

If your children are in danger at all then you have to act as you see fit and make sure they are taken away from that danger. It doesn't matter how 'silly' others may view that danger... your instincts count for everything. Don't delay - ring and just speak to someone.

It will get better, but not over night. Take a day at a time.


jojo38 Thu 13-Jan-05 22:37:09

Forgot to say,

It is good that dh wants to talk. Don't make promises he can't keep.
Take one day at a time, if he truly wants to change then he must find help too. IF he does, this means that you must as well, to understand and to help him one day at a time.

(((Keep talking)))

Listmaker Fri 14-Jan-05 13:19:57

Just read all this Maria1966. I'm afraid I don't have any experience of what you are going through and can't really help. But I just wanted to say I really feel for you and hope you can find a way through - it's horrible to see someone so sad and desperate.

This might bump this up the list and someone might have some good advice.

I'd say concentrate on yourself, get yourself well and strong and then you can deal better with your dh?

Good luck and big hugs.

maria1966 Fri 14-Jan-05 17:29:34

Hi again.Thanks for your support.DH did come home last night on time and we had a quite evening and he knows things have to change.
As far as the children are concerned they are in no danger at all,i am sure of that.
I will try and get DH to sit down at the weekend and have a serious talk about how we can overcome this.
I will keep visiting this thread and thanks to all for listening.

shrub Fri 14-Jan-05 19:41:33

dear maria1966 - my heart goes out to you and your family. as an only child i have been dealing with my mums alcoholism for nearly 30 years and all i can do is offer the following advice:
try and remember that none of this is your fault, you cannot fix him - only he can fix himself.
in the meantime know that you and your children are the most important thing in your world
try and find the strength to find a way you can distance yourselves from him while he comes face to face with his alcoholism.
have you anywhere you can go - a holiday/friends/brothers/sisters/a retreat?
this will give you the time to have some breathing space and not have to constantly think about his drinking- the physical distance can take away the power the problem has over you and your children. it could give you some really important time just to let your mind and body rest and not have to constantly react to his behaviour and worry about what his family thinks etc.
the advice may seem cold or selfish and every situation is different. i love my mum very much but i don't love her behaviour when she is drinking. i spent most of my childhood alone (with my father working abroad most of the time)and early adulthood trying to constantly rescue my mother which involved doctors, hospitals, then as she got worse - drying out clinics, mental institutions and the police and at the same time trying to keep the secret, her family in denial etc.
she is sober at present but during these times i wonder when will be the next. i cannot confide in her any of my problems as she will use it as ammunition for the next binge. all i can say that when i moved away it gave a much heatlhier distance between us and it meant it was no longer my problem. i no longer was treading on eggshells or worrying about what the neighbours were thinking, i was no longer dragged down in her misery when she was.i no longer had to constantly be reacting to her drinking and behaviour. her drinking no longer dicated my life and i realised i was a seperate person and she wasn't my responsibility. it has taken a long time to get my sanity back and have my own life. i can't give you any advice on how to live with someone who is an alchoholic - if you can't see a way of changing your life you could try and find a way of changing your reactions to it?
please be kind to yourself. ti don't know if this sounds silly but i read somewhere a while ago is that the chinese symbol for 'crisis' is the same symbol for 'opportunity'!

maria1966 Fri 14-Jan-05 22:54:33

Hi Shrub,thanks for the advice.
Dh came home on time again this evening and althoiugh a bit moody which he sometimes is when he has'nt been to the pub had a quiet night.
The situation you were in must have been so difficult for you and i hope you won't mind me saying i don't want to deal with this situation for much longer as my children are growing up.
I think coming off the tablets has made me stronger as the anti depressants made me rather laid back and I did'nt care about things as much.
So if i have to i will support him as much as i can but my priority will be my kids and myself.
If his parents want to turn a blind eye to it then that's up to them i will do oi on my own.
Thanks for your helpful words xx

Caligula Fri 14-Jan-05 23:00:47

Maria, you're sounding much more in the right frame of mind to be able to cope with it. Good on you. Make sure you get the support from Al-Anon as well, which will keep you feeling positive about how you respond to his behaviour. You can't change him, but you can change how you respond to it.

dillysue Fri 14-Jan-05 23:50:52

hi Marina.

My father is an AH. He had a great career no problems that we could link is alchol abuse to. My mother only devorced him 2 years ago despite 15 years off hell. He was not really violent but verbally abusive and manipulative, my mother distanced herself from friends and family and cut off her life to cover up for him. He has been in rehab, hospital, arrested numerous times, load of driving convictions and we would cover up for him and basically live a lie. At the moment he is currently in hospital with liver related problems he is extremely ill and will not live much longer. All I can say is put yourself and your family first ( easier said than done) its a very rocky and emtional road living with and AH. My mother regrets not leaving him sooner after all she predicted the outcome ( ironically my mother works with AH).I try to remember a fun loving dad he once was all the happy times.

shrub Fri 14-Jan-05 23:53:33

hi maria1966 - just thought i would add that i didn't receive any counselling or go to alanon - i was too embarrassed to seek help though i wish i had. re-reading my post it may not be the most healthiest advice or supportive of the drinker as i have never learnt or believed that alcoholism is an illness. i feel my dm makes the choice while she is sober to have/buy that first drink. all i can say is looking back it was so isolating as a child to be the alcoholics daughter. though whenever i did end up staying at relatives or neighbours i would crave home as i began to normalise her behaviour - you don't know any different as a child, you are so relieved and grateful when they do dry out , they are so sorry until the next time.maybe thats why i'm writing this to appeal to your dh to wake up and realise what he is doing to you and your children. but they have to find their own wake up call which is so frustrating for you in the meantime! it is so heartbreaking watching someone seeking oblivion and there is such a big drink culture in our country - xmas and new year are such a ordeal as the expectations are so high to 'celebrate' that if you don't use alcohol in the process you are depriving them.
what do you want to do? you are such a star for getting this far! i hope you have a peaceful weekend for you and your children. is there anyway you can find somewhere quiet so you can get your head together about this?its so exhausting emotionally dealing with an alcoholic and physically demanding looking after 2 toddlers. though in their own way my children have taught me to live in the moment. i have found buddhism and meditation (when i get the time!) have helped me deal with things when they get too much - instead of allowing situations or feelings to overwhelm me it requires a shift in attitude but has helped me enormously find to find the peace that i was looking for. i think my dm was looking for the same thing but went on to deaden/numb feelings with the drink.
you can get through this
take care xxx

shrub Sat 15-Jan-05 00:00:53

dillysue - so sad to hear what you have gone through.and another cover-upper! i am relatively open about it now but it was so strong the need to keep it secret when i was are you coping?

chimpie Sat 15-Jan-05 01:42:12

My God reading your post about your mum shrub, was like reading my life story, also had an alcoholic mum with my father abroad while horrendous stuff went on ......and my dh is an alcoholic too, I spoke for the first time about it a few days ago here.... textbook case or what! have been to alanon in the past but now I have a dd don't know how I would get to one. I don't even know how things can change without me leaving him and I don't want to break up our new little family, he adores our dd and oh I don't know, it seems like it gets really bad then everything is ok the next day, we forget about the bad episodes and get on, I know it is a pattern I am just repeating from my childhood, my mum would be devastated to know my dh is an alcoholic and blame herself for me ending up with one (she is now sober)It is comforting to know I am speaking to people who can relate especially when this is my big bad secret even my best friend doesn't know how bad it is but that way I suppose i can kid myself it isnt happening

secretsquirrel1 Sat 15-Jan-05 04:48:40

I have a DH who had started to hide his alcohol in water bottles then hide the water bottles in very obscure places!! He only drinks at home or at his parents' though because he hides the alcohol at home I do wonder if he drinks before he gets home....Whenever I confronted him about it, it was the same old thing...he would always say 'what is it to do with you'? And then proceed to get really nasty, dragging up all sorts of crap from my past that I have fought hard to overcome/deal with (dysfunctional parents/debt etc.). The only way I could deal with it was to try and stay calm, not scream and shout back at him (very easy to do at the start), and to have some answers ready such as:
I'm sorry that you choose to feel and behave this way
Let's discuss this when you're not upset

I would repeat these like a mantra and lo and behold, he has started to take notice and realise that he has abnormal behaviour when it comes to alcohol...well this week he has stopped hiding it and believe me I'd rather see a bottle of vodka in the fridge than suspect that all the water bottles have alcohol in them!
His mother admitted to me that she used to hide the sherry bottles from him and his brother when she was cooking. His parents still drink an awful lot between them.
I also made the mistake of talking to my MIL about it, and whilst she would talk to him about it when I wasn't there (I've walked in on 2-3 conversations), she got incredibly angry with me one night during hols together last Oct. (after a few drinks, of course!)and said some dreadful things about my parenting skills (eg. that I was cruel with one game I played with our DD - hiding cheesy wotsits in an upturned saucepan of all things!!, not letting DD get dirty, putting DD on a pedestal, oh I could go on but won't here!!). My DH was there when this happened and didn't even defend me. Also, it transpires that all the time MIL was incredibly angry with me for talking to her about his alcohol problems!! I always thought that in the 3 years I have known her, we got along really well and that I could talk to her about anything but not any more - she has killed that stone dead and I can never forgive or forget what she said. Of course, my FIL & BIL are the innocent parties and why should they miss out on our DD?? My DH, I feel, is starting to take some responsibility for being the cause of all this grief which vindicates me but I shall wait and see....and maybe go to AA myself!
Sorry I've whittered on - it feels good to be able to offload, even though my situation is manageable at the moment...

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