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DH hiding alcohol.

(90 Posts)
MrsPennyapple Wed 28-Aug-13 10:38:46

I am not overly happy with the amount the DH drinks, but he never drinks before 9-10pm, doesn't get drunk, it's not causing financial problems, doesn't normally cause him to avoid his responsibilities in any other areas, and doesn't really impact anything other than his waistline, so I've been of the opinion that he's a grown up and can do what he likes.

However, I've suspected for a while that he has been hiding booze, and have had this confirmed today, and that is what makes this an issue. His booze is normally tucked out of the way, but I wasn't sure if it was deliberately hidden - suspected it was, but couldn't be sure. I don't monitor it in detail, but I do tend to check what's there a couple of times a week, to get a rough idea of how much he's getting through. Today I decided to check, and there was nothing, meaning that the whisky that was there at the weekend has been finished.

So when I saw that the "hiding place" was empty, I wondered where the bottle was. I checked the glass recycling, and it wasn't there, he has put it in the main rubbish and taken the bag out. This is what confirmed to me that he is deliberately hiding it - normally he is terrible at putting rubbish in the bin, and even worse at putting glass in the recycling. Normally it would stay on the worktop for weeks until I put it with the recycling myself. I don't think it's a coincidence that the only time he can remember to clear up after himself is when it's booze bottles. I did wonder why he'd suddenly become capable of taking the rubbish out to the bin, I thought he was just being extra helpful because DC2 has just been born - which is what he will tell me when I ask, I'm sure.

Another important factor is that this has happened before. DC2 is 3 weeks old. When I was pg with DC1, 2 weeks before due date, I suggested that it would be best if he didn't drink, so that he'd be ok to take me to hospital if I went into labour. He agreed, but I found hidden booze, and when I asked him he admitted he'd been drinking it after I went to bed, despite having agreed to stay sober.

I told him in no uncertain terms that his drinking, whilst more than I'd like, wasn't a problem in itself, but when someone starts hiding booze, that is a big problem and needs to be addressed. He apologised, admitted he'd been stupid, and said it wouldn't happen again.

Fast forward to a week or so before DC2's due date. I didn't seriously think we needed to have the same conversation again, but on one particular evening, consumed enough to put him over the limit (although not hiding it). I was upset, and told him I wanted him to stay sober - completely, no booze at all, if he was potentially going to be driving me at speed, at night, to the hospital. (Rural, so not main roads and not well lit, and often very localised weather conditions.)

To reiterate, I don't have a problem with him drinking, just with him hiding it. Our relationship is otherwise good, but the problems in the past have led to a certain amount of distrust when it comes to alcohol. The only reason I have gone looking for evidence, rather than talk to him straight away, was to establish whether or not it was deliberately hidden, and now that I know it is, I will talk to him. I just don't want to approach it in the wrong way, and get his defenses up, or make this into a bigger problem than it needs to be. Anyone been in this position?

Boomba Wed 28-Aug-13 10:49:35

Stop checking for hidden bottles. Go to AlAnon and concentrate oon looking after you and your dc. Wishing you strength and peace x

Doinmummy Wed 28-Aug-13 11:01:41

Hiding alcohol is a big problem. You poor thing. If by talking to your DH it makes the situation worse then his problem is more serious than you thought. The fact that he could not remain sober to take you to the hospital is not good at all.

Until he accepts he has a problem with alcohol he will never get better.

I agree that you need to help yourself because you will not be able to help your DH

toomanyfionas Wed 28-Aug-13 11:11:11

Sorry. I agree that you would be wise to go to a support group for families of drinkers. His behaviour around drinking ie hiding the bottles, is all part of it.

MrsPennyapple Wed 28-Aug-13 11:13:32

He did stay off the booze once I spelled it out to him that if he had had ANY alcohol, he would not be driving me to hospital. But the day after DS was born, he bought a litre of bacardi. That lasted about a week. I'm not sure if that's a lot by other people's standards, but it's a lot by mine.

Don't get me wrong, I drink, probably 3-4 nights a week, but obviously haven't been recently as was pg and am now bf.

I don't feel I can say much, as it isn't causing problems day to day, he doesn't EVER miss work, is never drunk when he comes to bed, doesn't have hangovers, etc. I just don't think it's good for his health, but aside from being a little bit overweight it's not really affecting anything else. I just don't want it to become an even worse problem.

toomanyfionas Wed 28-Aug-13 11:14:29

Oh and yes I have been in that situation. My dh denied, minimised etc. in the end I asked him to move out because I felt worried all the time about what he might do while drinking. For example he'd pass out unconscious on the floor leaving doors and windows unlocked when dc and I were upstairs asleep. And I am pretty sure he must have driven while over the limit lots of times including when he had the children with him.

toomanyfionas Wed 28-Aug-13 11:16:18

Cross posted.
To me that seems like a lot of alcohol but the point really is how you feel about it. If you are uncomfortable then it's a problem.

burberryqueen Wed 28-Aug-13 11:17:07

he doesnt sound too 'bad' an alcoholic from what you say but if he has started hiding bottles it is downhill all the way.

MrsPennyapple Wed 28-Aug-13 11:21:00

The quantity does worry me a bit, but I could deal with it if he was honest about it. Which, if he honestly didn't think it was a problem, he would be, wouldn't he?

He doesn't hide it all over the place, just this one spot. It's the sort of place where he could argue that it wasn't specifically "hidden", which is why I have given him the benefit of the doubt until now.

Going out with DCs now but will check back later. Thanks everyone.

mummytime Wed 28-Aug-13 11:26:26

a litre of Bacardi in a week is a lot of alcohol for one person.

Do go to Alanon - get some advice/support or just listen to others with partners with a "drink problem".

This sounds really really bad to me I am afraid.

cozietoesie Wed 28-Aug-13 11:32:11

Hes a maintaining alcoholic, OP. Go to a support group.

nocarsgo Wed 28-Aug-13 11:43:53

Drinking alone, secretly and hiding the evidence? He has a major problem.

You can't make him acknowledge that, but you do need to acknowledge it for yourself OP.

Wellwobbly Wed 28-Aug-13 11:45:40

Al-anon is so helpful, I can't tell you. It helps you take the focus off what he is doing, and back on to you, so that you can live your life with serenity dignity and happines whatever he is doing.

Nothing you can do or say, not do or not say, can make any difference to him. Please go, you will find yourself amongst people who really know where you are.

Bowlersarm Wed 28-Aug-13 11:57:13

Can I just point out that when my DH thought I was drinking too much, and more than ever, he discussed it with me and I cut back.

I'm not why people are assuming the OP can't talk to her DH about her concerns.

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 28-Aug-13 12:05:02

You seem very keen to reassure us that you don't have a problem with him drinking and that you're just pissed off that he hides it.

Is he trying to make you feel unreasonable and controlling for not being OK with living with an alcoholic?

You are being way too relaxed about this, IMO.

Optimist1 Wed 28-Aug-13 12:11:20

A couple of years ago a friend's DH was behaving exactly as yours is now. She raised the subject with him on a few occasions but took the line that he's an intelligent adult, he must make his own decisions. Now he's frequently drinking vodka as soon as he gets up in the morning. The remainder of the day is a topping-up exercise. Do what you need to do to avoid being in my friend's situation - you, unlike her, have children to consider.

Isetan Wed 28-Aug-13 12:36:14

There are 37.5 units of alcohol in a 1 litre bottle of Bacardi, the recommended daily alcohol intake for men is 3-4 units. Some people have a higher tolerance to alcohol but the recommended daily alcohol intake remains the same. He is hiding alcohol because he doesn't want to acknowledge how much he's drinking and he doesn't want you to know.

It sounds like he abuses alcohol and both of you have been in denial.

bestsonever Wed 28-Aug-13 14:06:09

"I don't have a problem with it" this is what you said to him (being a bit PC sensitive perhaps?). This is what he will have taken on board, it's the get out for him to not do anything. Refrain from uttering those words to him in future. In fact, say the opposite - "I do have a problem with your drinking, and so do you".
Your sign was lit up before your first DC. An apology in response for hiding booze, then left at that, has not changed anything. This is a tough situation to get out of so you will need all the support you can get from Al anon etc. It's impossible to know without knowing your DH whether he is capable of changing his ways, I hope so. It has to come from him ultimately, you can point out what he will lose if he carries on, then it's up to him to decide what is worth more in life - the people around him or fulfilling his need for alcohol. Sadly, lots chose the latter.

MrsPennyapple Wed 28-Aug-13 14:14:18

I don't think I am in denial, I'm trying to keep things in proportion, I recognise it is a problem, but it could be a hell of a lot worse. My aim is to get this sorted out before it gets to that stage, as Bowlersarm did.

I know he drinks too much, and I'm well aware of where it could lead. From past conversations, he knows it too, and has at times voluntarily reduced his intake. I agree he is trying to avoid acknowledging it right now though, which is why we'll be having a very frank conversation tonight, where I will be spelling out the consequences if he doesn't buck his ideas up.

Rest assured, I will not remain in a relationship with him if he can not / will not moderate his drinking. I've been through enough shitty relationships and subsequent break-ups to know that I can do it if I need to. I hope I won't need to.

Isetan Wed 28-Aug-13 16:13:52

The red flags about his alcohol misuse have been flapping for some time, he passed your alcohol misuse test confused of not having hangovers, not missing work etc and you turned a blind eye.

You have already had the frank conversation with him and that led to him hiding bottles. What magical combinations of words do you think is going to change his reliance on alcohol this time. You will end up monitoring and checking up on him because you already know he will tell you what you want to hear rather than deal with his problem.

This is serious, I doubt that all his drinking is confined to your home which means he has probably driven while over the limit. Would a driving ban effect his job or ability to get to work? Can you trust him not to drive your children while under the influence, bearing in mind that you had to tell him not to drink when you were in the later stages of pregnancy?

What are your expectations regarding this impending frank conversation and how will you verify his inevitable promises?

HopeClearwater Wed 28-Aug-13 16:16:29

You are married to an alcoholic. He cannot control his drinking. You cannot control it either. Do not fall into the trap of being responsible for his drinking. Don't allow him to give you the responsibility for it either. Don't bother checking up on his hiding places. You will drive yourself mad. Please consider going to Al-Anon. At the very least you will find out more about alcoholism. Good luck.

HopeClearwater Wed 28-Aug-13 16:18:36

Oh and keep reading Isetan's post, because she has hit the nail right on the head throughout.

Lweji Wed 28-Aug-13 16:54:12

He seems to be a functional alcoholic, but if he's hiding how much he drinks it can well lead to much worse.

My exH was similar, he didn't hide bottles as such, but certainly how much he drank.

The fact that he's lying to you would lead me not to trust him.

VoiceOfRaisin Wed 28-Aug-13 17:03:26

Disclaimer: I know nothing about alcoholism whereas some previous posters clearly have experience


I would try this approach: AFD's are fashionable at the moment (Alcohol Free Days) and you could suggest that you both tot them up and ensure that you have 200 of them a year. If he agrees to that then this may limit your worry, and there is surely no reason why he wouldn't agree if he has no issues. If he carries on drinking on AFD's and hides the evidence THEN I would def conclude his drinking is out of control.

I dunno but this may head his drinking off at the pass as he doesn't sound TOO bad (sorry to other posters if I am talking from a position of ignorance).

calmingtea Wed 28-Aug-13 17:32:05

If you regularly check the bottles to see how much is going through, and look through the bins, then I am sorry his drinking is a problem. At the least he is showing zero respect for you by lying, more likely - yes - he has a dependence on alcohol and you have no way of knowing how bad it actually is if he is hiding it. Listen to that gut feeling that is making you check up on him. Go along to Al Anon and you will hear people describing that same need to try and control their partners drinking, that is codependency.

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