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Help me work out if I'm at fault over blazing row with dh

(36 Posts)
RaspberryBlower Sun 11-Jan-09 09:34:01

I had a terrible row with dh last night to the point where I suggested he should leave. I can't work out if I'm being totally out of order, as he says I am. DH is a good man in most ways, and he is lovely with dd.

It was over how much dh drinks. Before we had dd (8 months), dh used to regularly to out drinking and not come back until lunchtime the next day. He has improved a lot since then but still goes out every weekend and sometimes during the week and will usually return about 3 or 4 in the morning. This weekend he told me we would have a quiet, family weekend so we shared a bottle of wine last night and I went to bed. He had already moved on to the spirits and at some point I heard him go out. Then at 3.30am he came back in. I got up and he was pissed out of his head. He said he'd just been for cigarettes which I don't really believe, I think he went to the pub.

So we had a blazing row about it. Probably the worst we've ever had. (Not the best time for discussion when he is pissed and I'm grumpy tired, I know). He maintains that it does not affect me or the baby and it is a normal, reasonable amount of drinking/socialising for him to be doing. The way it affects me is that I don't sleep very well as I am waiting for him to come to bed, and also he then sleeps late (although he says he'll get up he usually doesn't) so I have to look after the baby and it's too late to go anywhere as a family. We can't really afford it either, but I've said this to him until I'm blue in the face. My social life is non existent. It also sort of worries me that he can't seem to go a weekend without drinking. He asked me when did I turn into a horrible nag, and I called him a selfish bastard and suggested if he wants to go out drinking all the time he should go and live somewhere else. I don't want this to happen, but how do I make myself not mind? I told him I thought once every 3 weeks would be fair enough but he said I was trying to ruin his social life. Didn't want to post in AIBU as I'm scared of that section. But am I being out of order and overreacting? And if so, what can i do about it?

pooka Sun 11-Jan-09 09:38:31

Ruin his social life? But last night was supposed to be staying in with you and he chose to stay up, drink spirits and then go out?

I think that you are not being unreasonable since his behaviour and drinking has an impact on your life.

Does he consistently drink too much? So last night he had at least half a bottle of wine, some spirits, and then possibly off to the pub? Is that a frequent occurance?

TotalChaos Sun 11-Jan-09 09:40:10

It's not so much the frequency that's the problem as him getting so hammered it screws up the next day. You also need to start going out yourself - even if it's just to the gym/cinema on your own - so you feel you have some time for you.

sandcastles Sun 11-Jan-09 09:41:28

You are not out of order or over reacting at all.

It seems excessive & the fact that he lied about going out [when he said he went for smokes] is worrying. Why is he hiding it like that?

I think I would ask him if he likes the fact that his daughter will grow up watching him stumble about drunk/having to be quiet while he sleeps off yet another session/with him reaking of booze!

Sounds like he is hardly spending any quality time with her at all & she will start to notice, not soon, but eventually!

Monkeyblue Sun 11-Jan-09 09:42:17

He needs to grow up BIG time

You have every reason to be upset/annoyed he is being a selfish bastard

Whats he playing at ?

You know hes not right in his actions and need to take control back over your life and dd.
Waiting for him to come back in
Waiting for him to get up etc

Tell him its got to stop or else.....

shootfromthehip Sun 11-Jan-09 09:43:42

You know the answer to this already- you are not being in anyway unreasonable. If his alcohol intake is causing these problems in your relationship then it is a problem and needs to be sorted out. He has a problem seeing your reasoned point of view if not just a problem with alcohol.

You are rght to tackle it now as it will only get worse as he has a strong sense of entitlement. More arguing will lead to more drinking and you HAVE to get him to sort out how he socialises/ drinks at home so that it's more moderate. You are not the one who needs to change their expectations in ths situation.

I'm not going to do the whole 'he's an alcoholic' bit here but he does have a problem and you shouldn't back off- my Mum did and we had years of misery with my Dad's spiralling drinking: we buried him last year age 59. It does happen and you are gettng clear warning signs. You are right to confront this and not ignore it.

Good luck and keep postng- hopefully you can reason with him.

shootfromthehip Sun 11-Jan-09 09:45:57

Sorry- just noticed that I seem to have a sticky 'i' key- oops on the typos!! blush

AbricotsSecs Sun 11-Jan-09 09:47:29

Message withdrawn

FiveGoMadInDorset Sun 11-Jan-09 09:49:15

It is not normal, it is escessive, it is excessive for a single person with no ties, let alone a man with a family.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 11-Jan-09 09:49:53

Do you think he is alcoholic?.

He sounds like he is putting drink before everything and everyone else. The way he is rationalising his drinking behaviour to you is also concerning; it is affecting you badly. There is also denial present amongst his rationalisation as well.

He may be "lovely" with DD but he certainly is not lovely with you is he?. You cannot also make yourself "not mind".

I would not drink any alcohol with him either.

You may also want to contact Al-anon as they can help family members. You need to protect you and your daughter ultimately.

Monkeyblue Sun 11-Jan-09 09:51:10

FIl was like this and it caused upset and misery for mil and dc for years
MIL is never in now and has girlie weekends away and is busy most days she leaves FIL sat at home alone when he comments on it she throws what happened years ago when the kids were little back and she was home alone with 4 small kids back in his face

Dh has forgiven him as FIL is going out of his way to try and make up for all that lost time

But BIL and SIl can`t bear him and only puts up with him for her mums sake or when they want something

Don`t make the same mistake for yourself or dd

He needs to decide what he wants and so do yousad

BonsoirAnna Sun 11-Jan-09 10:01:27

It just isn't OK to go out drinking at night and not come home until the following lunch time. How did you put up with this pre-DD?

Your DH has a serious alcohol problem. But I suspect you know this really. Both of you need professional help.

HOLLY2310 Sun 11-Jan-09 10:03:18

Hi, my exH is a alcoholic, I tried to talk to him about it and he never listened, my DCs now aged 11 and 5 also noticed how he always drank. The drinking made him so unreasonable and nothing I said would work. I tried the whole "being reasonable" approach and it got me nowhere. We have now split up so my advice to you is nip this in the bud now because the longer you leave it the worse it will get and he will take you for granted even more then he does now. Anyway I hope you and your DH manage to sort things out.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sun 11-Jan-09 10:04:56

DH could well have done this regularly in his single days. now he is allowed out (yes i'm serious) once a week and given license to come home drunk as long as he sleeps on the sofa. we have a baby and can't afford any more - nor will i put up with it. over xmas he came back at 3am disgusting drunk, but as we were at my parents' i had nowhere to make him sleep so was awake from 3-7 listening to him snore on the floor. he got soooo much shit from me for that.

he does think i'm unreasonable when i object to how pissed he gets but i don't care as long as he limits it. it's not been easy to get to this point but i feel totally justified in insisting. so should you. set out your terms and make it clear that they are not up for discussion. his social life is not the same, he has kid/s. sooner he grows up and realises that the better.

RaspberryBlower Sun 11-Jan-09 10:17:23

Thank you for the replies. I will read through them all properly later. He kept repeating last night that it did not cause a problem, beyond what was in my head, so it's interesting to see how strong some of your responses are. He does love dd very much and spends time playing with her in the morning before he goes to work. It's not really his fault about my social life, just the way things have been with the baby, but I intend to remedy that. Looks like it is ultimatum time, though, as you are right. I really don't want dd growing up thinking excessive drinking is normal, or for him to prioritise drink in any way over his family.

Lulumama Sun 11-Jan-09 10:21:49

but it is causing a real problem? if he is out until 3 or 4 am, he is hardly going to be able to get up at 8 am to have breakfast with the family and then have a nice day out

being too hungover every weekend to get up with DD or do something nice together is totally unacceptable, when do you get down time?

i don;t think it is as simple as you going out with your girlfriends etc and having some social time, if he is out until the wee small hours, you are still going to be dealing with DD 24/7.

if he drinks that much every weekend and sometimes in the week, he has a problem.

llareggub Sun 11-Jan-09 10:32:06

His drinking is excessive, and it is a problem. The fact that he is in denial does not mean it isn't a problem. He just hasn't admitted it yet.

My DH is an alcoholic, and next week we will celebrate 2 years of him being sober. I tell you this so you know alcoholism can be beaten. Lots of people will tell you that it won't.

DH tried once to beat it, but failed because he didn't really think he had a problem. He thought the rest of us were making it out to be bigger that it was. Finally, he realised it was a major problem, joined AA and never drunk again. I'm really proud of him, but he knows I won't stick around if he drinks again.

A word of warning. If your DH is alcohol dependent then it can be fatal for him to just stop. He needs to cut down under medical supervision, and to this he needs to be honest about his intake.

I hope this works out for you. Far more people are alcohol dependent than you realise.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 11-Jan-09 10:37:54

I feel he is prioritising drink over his family now. Drink first, family and everyone else a dim and distant second.

He is now not the only one caught up in this. Were you actually deep down hoping that a family life would change his drinking habits - and/or make him seek help?.

And that's the problem with seeking help; he probably does not think he has a problem. Until he himself realises he has a problem then nothing you do or say to him will make any difference whatsoever!. He is likely underestimating how much he is actually drinking. There are no guarantees here; he may lose everything and still carry on drinking. You are ultimately not responsible for him - only your own self and your child.

Many women in these situations end up becoming their partner's enabler. You cannot enable him (no more drinking wine with him; that can be seen to be enabling in these particular circumstances).

How many people in your real life know about his excessive drinking?.

Hmmm, denial is certainly apparant with him isn't it and I note he is blaming you for all this. Those are all responses of people with alcohol dependency issues.

I'm sure he does love his daughter but it won't do her any good at all to grow up in a household where he is coming in drunk at all hours of the morning. She will pick up on all of this and notice even if you try and shield her from it. You cannot leave her that legacy.

If you issue an ultimatum you need to stick to it to the letter. If you go back on it, you cannot use that again.

You need support for your own self; please talk to Al-anon.

You need to remember the 3c's
you did not cause it
you cannot control it
you cannot cure it

skidoodle Sun 11-Jan-09 10:38:55

a nag is a woman married to an unreasonable man

LoveBeingAMummy Sun 11-Jan-09 11:33:18

ROTFL @ skidoodle


Your right last night wasn't the time to talk about it, can you get someone to have DD for a few hours and have a proper chat? He does need to realise that things to change when you have a baby, its not about spoliing his fun but about being a dad.

BTW why ahven't you been out, you don't have to get trashed but a few hours away will help you see things more clearly too.

RaspberryBlower Mon 12-Jan-09 07:35:56

Well, I told him when he got up I think he has a problem with alcohol. He doesn't think he has, no surprise there. He did agree that he will try to curb it, but this was more because it is making me unhappy than he thinks he needs to. Although one or two things he said made me think he does realise deep down. I told him I don't want to be married to a drunk and I will not stay married to a drunk. I also told him I don't want our daughter growing up with it. We're going to try a rota. He goes out one week, I go out the next (and even if I choose not to, he still does not get to drink as he is to be responsible for baby), and the next week we'll have time together (no drinking). No going out during the week. I also told him that this is not a license for getting totally trashed when he does go out. Thank you llareggub for the health warning. Glad that your dh has managed to kick it, that's brilliant. Don't think he's physically dependent on it though because he usually goes a week without drinking. It is binge drinking that is the problem. I'm not sure what else to do at this stage, although I will think about calling al-anon. Attila , think you're right, I better save the ultimatum until I really, really mean it. sad Thank you again for replies.

mumoverseas Mon 12-Jan-09 07:39:51

I think your 8 month old DD is probably more mature than him. Of course you are not being unreasonable, he has to grow up and realise that his priorities have now changed. Good luck to you x

HecateQueenOfGhosts Mon 12-Jan-09 08:09:16

How can he say it's not causing a problem - it is making you very unhappy and causing problems in your relationship...that IS a problem!

It's not a problem to him because HE doesn't see it as one, because he doesn't want to. He shouldn't be the only person who matters to him.

HecateQueenOfGhosts Mon 12-Jan-09 08:11:15

oh, one thing I meant to say - people think a drink problem means you have a can when you get up in the morning, get the shakes, can't function....not always. If you can't stop when you start - you have a problem, even if you go a week between drinks. If, when you have a drink, all other considerations go out the window - you have a drink problem.

llareggub Mon 12-Jan-09 13:08:14

I agree Hecate, completely.

I've read quite a bit of AA literature and if binge drinking causes problems, then it's a drink problem.

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