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Will he change, his drinking has got worse and I'm pregnant

(16 Posts)
LoveActually Fri 25-Jul-08 13:25:39

The addict thread is so long I didn't know where to start. I put some posts up but can't find them now. I'm 16 weeks pg and my partner's drinking has got worse. He hasn't got a job at the moment, I have and it supports both of us.
He drinks late into the night and I can't sleep properly. I go to work everyday thinking I'll come back and find him collapsed or worse. I actually spend most of my time feeling sick to my stomacn. I want to think he will change. He used to have a great job, loads of friends and was the life and soul of the party.
Has anyone got a partner who has changes

ThatBigGermanPrison Fri 25-Jul-08 13:28:25

No he won't. While he is drinking, he's not facing the fact that he is being supported utterly by his pregnant girlfriend. While you are supporting him, he isn't facing the fact that he is drinking too much. Stop supporting him, and he might stop drinking - in his current situation, he has no reason to.

electricluluarella Fri 25-Jul-08 13:30:30

if he is an alcoholic, then no, he won't. not until he accepts he is, and is ready for help

IMO, the no job would be a deal breaker anyway.

did something trigger this massive change in him , if he used to work, have friends etc

EffiePerine Fri 25-Jul-08 13:31:07

You need to look after yourself and your baby right now, that takes precedence over an adult. Do you have family or friends nearby who can help? I'd get support networks sorted out right now, e.g.

- birth partner
- living arrangements
- help for after the birth

Bluebutterfly Fri 25-Jul-08 13:37:58

Do you have other children or is this pgy your first?

I don't want to be the voice of doom, but as the daughter of an alcoholic, with a mother who has really lived out her life as the "enabler" of an alcoholic, I can honestly say that your partner will only stop if he wants to. Full stop. And chances are, he doesn't want to. Because he is an addict. And that is more powerful in his life than anything else. Including you and your unborn child.

Alcoholics (and other addicts) have a tendency to spiral downwards and, a bit like a tornado, drag anyone hanging around nearby, with them.

I would not tell you what to do, but if I was in a relationship with a person I knew was an addict and they showed no sign of helping themselves dry up (AA for instance) I would leave.

You have a job, you are financially independent and he will not be a good father if he is a drunk. (I know this from experience) If he decides at some point to deal with his problem then perhaps you can admit him back into your life... with caution. I would leave, you ABOLUTELY MUST LOOK AFTER YOURSELF IF YOU ARE PREGNANT! Sorry to yell, but if you can not put yourself first in the relationship, when it matters most, you will never be able to.

I feel so, so bad for you as it is a very difficult situation: alcoholism is so destructive to relationships. Take care of yourself.

LoveActually Fri 25-Jul-08 13:47:22

Thank you. I guess I know the answer. I made him go to AA, and he did go a few times. He just seems to have given up entirely.
Dear EffiePerine, my mum and sister (who has split from her partner and has two young girls, 6 and 4) both live up the road. I know I'd get support and they offer it all the time. I love him so much, we have a lovely house (which yes I do pay for) and an adopted cat, this baby is my/our first. My main concern at the moment is that I can't have him physically around me because it is upsetting me. Thing is Bluebutterfly how would I throw him out if he doesn't want to leave?
electricluluarella - he used to have a work hard play hard lifestyle, very long hours spent weekend clubbing and everything that goes with it. He gave up all that when he got made redundant but kept drinking as a subsitute for all the other 'substances'. Until I got pregnant he was more of a binge drinker and he did see a counsellor for a while. But that came to no good obviously.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Fri 25-Jul-08 14:16:49

You tell him you want him to leave. Give him a reasonable amount of time and if he doesn't you change the locks.

You stop supporting him. How does he pay for his drinking sessions? Do you give him pocket money?

Tell him you will not be in a relationship with someone who is an active alcoholic. He must leave and make the decision to change or he cannot be with you. No point making him go to AA - means shit if he doesn't decide it on his own.

Good luck xxx

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 25-Jul-08 14:24:20

Loveactually,

You are acting as his enabler and you cannot enable him any longer. Its for his sake as much as yours - you are protecting him from the consequences of his actions.

Who buys the alcohol?. Please tell me you're not buying it for him. I only ask this as he is not working and you are.

"I want to think he will change" - well you can think it but that very thought will cost you dearly. Making him go to AA was actually a mistake on your part. He has to want to solve his alcohol dependency problem for his own self; you cannot make him go to AA for you. Only going because someone else has told you to is doomed to failure. That is also likely why he stopped going. Denial also plays a part here; he likely underestimates the amount he drinks and the effects its having on him and also you as a couple.

He does not want to leave because he has it made with you bankrolling him and his alcoholism. You're enabling him currently so he has no real incentive to leave.

Seeking legal advice from a Solicitor or contacting the CAB is one option; if you own the property and he is only your partner his right to stay in your house is in question anyway.

His primary relationship at present is with drink. You and his unborn child are well down his list of priorities. He will drag you both down with him ultimately; you have to act now to save you and your unborn from any further misery.

You need to primarily concentrate on your own self and that of your unborn child now and plan accordingly.

I think that things will particularly get a lot worse for you when your child is here. It sounds also like he has an addictive personality and has swapped one addictive type behaviour for yet another - alcoholism.

Love is not enough in these circumstances and love can also turn swiftly to hate.

I would suggest you contact AL-ANON as they can help family members of problem drinkers. You need to lovingly detach yourself; enabling him is not an option.

I will put up Al-anon's details for you. I would urge you to call them asap.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 25-Jul-08 14:26:08

Al-Anon Family Groups UK & Eire
61 Great Dover Street
London
SE1 4YF
Tel: 020 7403 0888 (Helpline 10am - 10pm, 365 days a year)
Fax: 020 7378 9910

www.alanonuk.org.uk

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 25-Jul-08 14:27:30

This is the actual website:-

www.al-anonuk.org.uk

LoveActually Fri 25-Jul-08 15:00:45

Thank you AttilaTheMeerkat. I have a friend whose mother deed from alcoholism and antoerh friend whose father died, they've both recommended Al Anon.
He can go for weeks without drinking so I guess he can justify his drinking when he does binge. I'm just going to have to be strong.
He does do a bit of work which is where he gets the drinking money. It makes me angry when I come home after a hard day and find him passed out and I don't want the love I have for him to turn to hate. This feels so tough. I know tomorrow morning I will feel so bad for putting this post up, he'll promise me he'll stop and sort himself out, but it's happened too often now.
I wish I could do this without hurting.

cestlavie Fri 25-Jul-08 15:13:26

Attila clearly has more knowledge/ experience than most and her advice sounds very sensible - I'd certainly recommend contacting AA as they'll be able to give you straightforward, honest and non-judgemental advice.

The only thing I'd say is that if you think this is a problem (which it clearly sounds like you do) you need to take decisions sooner rather than later, be they as simple as a call to AA or as difficult as contemplating life without him. Whatever you do, don't just let the weeks drift by hoping that things will magically disappear or get better if left to their own devices. They almost certainly won't, and with each passing week you'll find yourself getting bigger, more tired, more emotional, more achy and less and less able to deal with the situation... and in less than 6 months time you'll have a new baby being brought into this situation.

Really really tough to take the decisions I'm sure, but for your sake and your child's sake, try to.

Ready4anotherCoffee Fri 25-Jul-08 15:19:11

Listen to Atilla, she really does talk sense. you are not alone, come and join us on the support thread, esp if you need to talk. For them to change it requires them to accept there is a problem. wish I could say more to help. be strong.

LoveActually Fri 25-Jul-08 15:59:09

Thank you Ready4anotherCoffee and cestlavie
I know I have to do something. Have been hoping he would change. Probably because a few years ago I myself managed to turn my life around (I didn't have drink probs but I did have some issues)I was in debt/a job that made me unhappy and not so great relationships with friends and family. Now everything is completely different, I love my job (which keeps me sane at the moment), I love my family and appreciate my friends and I don't spend money I don't have. I keep thinking my boyfriend will have the same revelations I did. Maybe I've been a fool. I was in a really bad place and managed to get out of it.

Bluebutterfly Fri 25-Jul-08 16:29:20

LoveA, the thing is that addiction is different from non-substance related personal problems. Someone who craves alcohol (or the oblivion that it provides) does not "change" unless they have made the decision, completely on their own, that it is not a way of life that appeals to them anymore. You can not force the change, but you can leave the situation. Sometimes you have to love yourself more than than the person with the addiction - and if that seems too hard think about your baby and love him/her enough to give it the best possible start in life - which is usually not playing second fiddle to the messed up psyche of an alcoholic father.

Furthermore, guilt is probably the most destructive element of alcoholism because it becomes cyclical with "guilty" feelings abounding in everyone closely associated with the alcoholic (including the alcoholic themselves in sober/more lucid moments). Guilt because you feel you ought to be more "supportive", guilt because you sometimes feel ashamed of the person and then feel bad because you love them... guilt is a very destructive emotion because it keeps you entrenched in the relationship.

I wish I could be more hopeful about your partner, but I am hopeful for you and your baby - you are not the alcoholic and so you do not have to live with the problems it causes. Your partner may have a disease, but as with all diseases he has a choice of how to treat it. If he does not accept he has a problem then he will not try to treat it. The repercussions of that choice may be harsh (he loses his chance to make things work with you and your baby) but it is still his choice!

Please seek the help that Attila and others have advised - do it for yourself and do it for your child.

LoveActually Wed 30-Jul-08 18:00:41

I'm finding it very tough. Over the weekend he didn't drink but today - having called him from work - he's been drinking.
I'm going to an AlAnon meeting as Attila suggested. There's one tomorrow night. xxxx

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