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DHs social ife - would this bother you?(38 Posts)
DH goes out twice a week with friends who are on the most part single and childless. He gets very drunk, often culminating in waking me up. He has even got himself in some bad situations as a result, such as being mugged twice. We have been together for getting on for 20 years and have 2 pre school age DCs. He has always gone out alot and thinks he is doing me a great favour by reducing down to twice a week since the DCs were born . He says its stress relief for him. From my point of view, my primary concern is his health and the affect on our family. I think he is a very poor role model for the DCs (DS already asks if daddy is in the pub!). I also resent staying in alone twice a week including every single bloody friday night. I have tried talking to him about his health and suggesting taking up a sport for stress relief instead but its like talking to a brick wall. We fell out about all this recently after he got very badly drunk and I found him in a pool of vomit. He was very regretful and made all the right noises about change. But still it remains the same. Other than this we have a good relationship. I dont think he is disloyal and we are happy. I notice when I mention his habits to my SAHM friends I get lots of looks as if to say "my husband woudl never do such a thing". Would this bother you or do you think I am making too much out of it? Anyone been through similar and got any great words of comfort?
Really? Out and blind drunk wice a week, gets mugged, lies in pools of vomit, even has his children asking if he is in the pub? Needs to grow up imo.
He sounds like he has a drink problem not a social life. From the little you've posted I've spotted several classic behaviours of the alcoholic.
While I don't think going out twice a week is that unreasonable in itself (as long as you get to go out when you want to as well), this does sound more likea drink problem than an active social life.
Crikey, that was quick. Thank you. I wouldnt say he gets blind drunk twice a week but he is normally drunk to the point of being very annoying. I agree about him having a drink problem. My father was an alcoholic so I am very sensitive to drinking and find drunk people unbearable. If we are away he happily doesnt touch drink and as I am not a drinker he doesnt drink much at home. Its only when one of his 'friends' invites him to the pub after work which as he works F/T is pretty much most of the time. He has a stressful job so its a habit for him to go the pub after work. I can't stand outside his office and force him to stop so what do I do?
llaregguBOO- "From the little you've posted I've spotted several classic behaviours of the alcoholic."
Can you elaborate? I agree he has a drink problem but not sure I would go as far as to say he is an alcoholic due to him being happy not to drink when he is at home or on holiday. Perhaps I am being naive so would liek to know more.
Yes I can also go out. But tend to only go out occassionally as most parents do!
Nothing you can do at all. Sorry to be blunt but I know from experience that an alcoholic needs to make that decision to stop. My DH is an alcoholic and has been sober for nearly 3 years and he would agree that you can't force him to stop. An organisation like Al-anon might be helpful to you.
It sounds like you have done all the right things in bringing it to his attention. But he is the one who must change his ways.
I agree with everyone who thinks he has a drink problem. Getting that drunk every time you go out is not normal. I think two or three times a year is reasonable once you have kids, but not much more than that.
I go out two times in a week quite often - I have a gym class once a week and then might meet a friend or have a book club meeting. And if dh objected to that I would be annoyed. But if I just met up with the same friends every time I went out I think he would be unhappy about it. It just seems like an excuse for your dh to get drunk.
I'd not be bothered about the going out twice a week as long as you get the equal opportunity to do so.
It's the getting regularly blitzed that would bother me. Being sober and dealing with a drunk and puking person is not exactly endearing or attractive. It's unfair on you and it's unfair on the children.
The ones I spotted are:
* Drinking causing a problem within a relationship.
* Regret, promising to change but not
* Drinking to excess, binge drinking
* Drinking taking precedence over family
Ultimately this isn't normal drinking. Normal drinkers don't get themselves in situations where they are in danger or cause their family problems. We can split hairs over whether he is an alcoholic but he is certainly a problem drinker.
You might have a stereotypical image of an alcoholic but they come in all shapes and sizes.
IIaregguBOO - My father was a classic alcoholic. As in he had to drink every day and couldnt stop and it pretty much ruined him. DH can go for days without drinking so does that mean he can still be an alcoholic? I always inagine an alcoholic is someone who goes around hiding bottles round the house and can't get through breakfast without a drink.
Feel most now. I know he has a problem I guess thats why I am here. I would never have asked for help with this before. I just wanted to know if anyone elses DH does this to gauge how 'normal' it is. Unfortunatley its very normal amongst his peer group. He always goes out with the same group. Except most of them are living the same lives they once did. IE. No DCs/wife/partner. Looks like somethign big is going to have to happen to change him.
Thanks IIaregguBOO - Cross posted again. Thats very helpful. I might go and look up definitions of problem drinking on line so I cna try and get him to face it.
SCC (like the name ) - You've hit the nail on the head. Its not the going out that bothers me it's the excessive drinking. He simply cannot be the first to leave the pub/party. I have lost count of the number of times that he has come home ridiculously late and had to spend £50 on a cab because he missed the last train. He always tries to make me feel like a party pooper and nag. Its now 23.23 and there is still no sign of him. He will roll in drunk any time soon and then have to go to work tomorrow. He hasn'#t seen the DCs as he chose the pub over them. I have tried saying this to him but he just ignores him. Its so difficult because I think the majority of his friends have the same problem.
My DH isn't your classic alcoholic. I think he realised what was happening to him fairly early on in the cycle. It is a progressive illness so if he had carried on drinking like he did then he would have become very ill indeed.
He gave up drinking quite easily so decided he didn't have a problem at all so started again. He very quickly got very bad and started hiding his drinking and doing it all day.
I really don't know if your DH is the same. He sounds like he has a real problem and since my DH started going to AA I've come to recognise that lots of people I know have issues with alcohol. My brother and his friends, for example, drink like your DH but they don't think they have a problem; they think their drinking is normal because they all do it. It is only when you stop drinking and move out of that sort of culture do you realise quite how abnormal that way of life is.
I'm sorry that you feel sad and I hope that I am wrong. Do have a look at the AA site, it might help to read a bit more about it.
He will need to understand that the fact that he drinks like his mates do doesn't mean he doesn't have a problem - it means they probably have a problem too.
He is choosing the pub over his kids - if you weren't "nagging" him he would probably be doing it a lot more often...
my dh drinks one a week and gets totally shitfaced - there is no social drinking without being shitfaced for him. its every week - he thinks it's an entitlement. he doesn't see it as a problem becuase he used to be drunk sat night too when the kids were little so i think he sees it as a change for 'me'. he wouldn;t countenance not drinking on a friday night.
Greatfun, my ex sounds like your dh. He drank for stress relief, escape, because he liked it, because he was bored - all those reasons and probably lots more too. I wouldn't have called him an alcoholic but it meant me and our 2 small children were always second place and I became resentful and couldn't trust him. We had lots of discussions along the lines of "this can't go on/must improve things" etc, and he did agree to going out only twice a week, but it never worked out and in the end we split after many years of unhappiness. Not suggesting this is what might happen to you, just that I know what a damaging effect it has. Like others have said, change has to come from him, or unfortunately you just learn to put up with it and have low expectations. Good luck
He doesn't sound alcoholic to me. But rather than "nagging" him into taking up sport to unwind, can't you ask him to take you out on a Friday night, so you are unwinding together? Try having some fun together so he gets to see his family as an enriching thing rather than something to take refuge from?
I have an alcoholic DH (now sober) as well, and I would say your DH would certainly seem to be a problem drinker, for the reasons llaregg highlighted above.
Even if he isn't (and I don't think it is necessary to issue labels at this stage), his going out and getting drunk is clearly affecting the family.
When you're in together, what kind of things do you do? Do you slump on the sofa and watch TV silently and then go to bed?
I agree with BiteofCock re making family life and evenings enjoyable. How about going out for a walk in the evening, or getting out a DVD, reading, listening to music, exercise, board games, box set of a shared tv series you enjoy - whatever things you like doing really.
If you can sit with him calmly and say that of course you don't mind him going out, but you worry about him when he gets so drunk that he puts himself in danger, and can he really try his hardest not to drink to that level.
Of course, if he is an alcoholic, he will agree with you, change for a couple of weeks and then go right back to it, as he will be unable to stop.
But let's hope he isn't, and actually has just got into a habit that he can change.
Good luck - and if he is an alcoholic, don't panic! DH and I are now both drink free and have never had such a full and interesting life.
one of the most common misconceptions about alcoholism is that alcoholics need to drink every day and hide bottles around the house etc. That's not true.
Anyone who needs to go out twice a week and get so drunk that he gets into trouble has a drink problem. The problem being that he cannot moderate his drinking and thus he is an alcoholic IMO.
He doesn't stop because he doesn't see that he has a problem. But in reality he doesn't stop because he can't.
Could he go out and drink just coke? Or not go out at all?
Therein lies the key - if he cannot not drink then he has a dependency on alcohol.
He binge drinks at least twice a week. To me he does have an alcohol problem.
Try to keep talking to him. I got my DH to see a doctor and he admitted later that he was glad because he knew there was a problem. However he has to realise this for himself ~ you will have a tough time if he cannot see/denies the problem.
Thanks for the comments. Re: going out together. We do go out but only occassionally as we have to pay for a baby sitter. I don't think he sees his family life as something to take refuge from (not sure how you came to that conclusion!) as he's only out twice a week. Like someone else says he sees it as his entitlement to go out and get wasted twice a week. Although to be fair last night he wasn't too bad at all. He said he had wanted to leave at 9.30 but felt he couldnt due to one of his friends wanting him to stay - what is he 12?
I didn't mean to imply there was something wrong with your family! But if his idea of relaxation is to get wasted away from you with his mates, I do thing he needs to look at reframing his idea of what is fun. If he wasn't out getting trashed, I'm sure there would be some money for a sitter so the two of you could have have a nice evening together regularly.
You'd surely have a bit more to spend on babysitters if he didn't splash out quite so much on booze and cabs home.
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