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Mum at school - drink problem? Marriage problems?

(8 Posts)
niteoutniteowl Wed 08-Jul-09 10:13:33

I've namechanged just in case. One of the mums at school is going through a very tough marriage issue. I don't know her well at all, just to say hi to and a quick chat. She's mentioned the marriage a couple of times, clearly very upset about it.

We had a night out a week ago and she got staggeringly drunk, I mean almost falling over. I was very worried as I'd heard she'd driven to the pub. She said she was getting a taxi and would pick the car up the next day. I offered her a bed and she said she couldn't take it because her DH was making allegations she is a bad mother and she didn't dare stay out all night.

I found out the next day she'd driven home after I left.

She is very very highly-strung (sorry not a great expression but can't think of better) - tends to get very emotional about little stuff, obviously very stressed with the marriage.

What can I do? I've said I'm there if she wants to talk. Should I raise the drink issue? I'm worried this is not a oneoff.

prettyfly1 Wed 08-Jul-09 10:46:37

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. The car thing is a VERY serious issue - she has a child at home and by behaving like that she isnt exactly refuting the bad mother claims tbh so I can see why your concerned. Are her and her dh still together? Are there any other mothers she is close to.

niteoutniteowl Wed 08-Jul-09 10:54:55

Not really, she tends to be a bit snappy with people, that may be because she's under a lot of stress. I don't know much about her DH, I thought he'd left but the other night I think he was at home?

I feel like the drink stuff has to be tackled but I don't want to make things worse for her (she says her DH is controlling and will use anything against her).

prettyfly1 Wed 08-Jul-09 10:57:55

Yeah but to be fair she drove home completely inebriated so she bought that on herself knowing what the situation was - she is responsible for her actions and their consequences not you and she could have killed someone or herself - my advice at the moment is to keep an eye - dont get involved too much - but if the situation where you are out together again arises take her keys.

niteoutniteowl Wed 08-Jul-09 11:02:54

Thanks prettyfly1, I wish I'd done that the other night - looking at the state of her I'm surprised she even managed to drive at all, I did believe her when she said she wouldn't drive.

MIFLAW Wed 08-Jul-09 14:46:30

If she DOES have a drink problem she is likely to be an expert at blaming others.

It is more than possible that her husband has left BECAUSE of the drinking.

There isn't a lot you can do but, if you are going to support her, try not to take sides while doing it or you could end up with egg on your face.

You could always ask her straight out - politely and calmly - if it's true she drove when drunk. If you get a heated, angry, evasive or blaming response it could in itself be a sign of a drink problem as few problem drinkers enjoy being quizzed about their drinking, even if done in a very neutral and calm way.

niteoutniteowl Wed 08-Jul-09 20:33:48

Thanks MIFLAW, she's definitely been evasive as I asked how she got home and she avoided the question - it was someone else who said they saw her driving off (and I believe them). I just keep thinking of her dcs, who are really lovely, and who don't deserve this in their lives.

MIFLAW Thu 09-Jul-09 09:51:33

They call alcoholism the family illness - not just because it tends to run in families but because it destroys the family around the sufferer. (And, yes, it is an illness, btw - the BMA and the WHO both say so. Definitely not something one can just "snap out of" - if that's what's wrong with her, then this woman needs help.)

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