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How can I help my husband?(12 Posts)
He's a functional alcoholic.
After an unpleasant incident last night where he compromised the care of one of our DC (due to being passed out drunk) he has said he wants to stop drinking. He's said it before though. So many times. I really need it to happen this time or I think I may have to call it a day. I don't think I can keep doing this.
He's said he needs some slack in everyday life while he gets it out of his system and puts new coping mechanisms in place. Basically I need to pick up as much as possible while he works this out. The timing isn't ideal as we have a preschooler who is seriously testing us, and I am currently dealing with an insane level of sleep deprivation due to a sleep dodging velcro baby... BUT I need it to work this time so I'm going to have to try and suck it up and be as supportive as I can on a practical level. I don't know what else I can do though (obviously no drinking in front of him, not that I'm remotely inclined at the moment and I'm bedsharing with baby so...) but is there anything else? I'm guessing not because the change needs to come from him. I know I need to develop a thick skin, as he isn't very nice to be around when he stops drinking and goes through withdrawal, but it'll be worthwhile if we can genuinely get to the other side.
If anyone has any words of wisdom then I'm all ears.
I think he needs to be prepared to be the one doing the graft.
Is he going to AA?
How much has he been drinking daily that he needs a detox? Doesn't sound very 'functional' to me. Does he manage to hold down a job?
He needs an ultimatum perhaps - he stops drinking or he goes? Would you follow this through?
Basically, your husband is wanting YOU to take responsibility for his alcoholism. Personally, after passing out while being responsible for your child's welfare, which is completely inexcusable, I would tell him he needs to go live somewhere else while he figures out his "coping mechanisms." So long as he has no consequences for his drunkenness, nothing will ever change. I would refuse to deal with his behaviour while he is detoxing.
He's said he needs some slack in everyday life while he gets it out of his system and puts new coping mechanisms in place.
Does he want to go to his GP and sort out inpatient rehab?
Or does he just want you to do all the work whilst he pretends to 'work on his issues' for a bit, whilst in denial to the outside world that the problem exists?
BUT I need it to work this time so I'm going to have to try and suck it up and be as supportive as I can on a practical level.
That's not on you. There is literally nothing you can do that will make him not have a drink if he wants to drink. The fact you feel this way makes me think he has set you up to take the fall when it doesn't work. If only you had been supportive, he wouldn't have needed to drink.
Getting through withdrawal is not 'being out the other side'. That's just the first step. He will have to work at his recovery forever. This isn't a bout of the flu. Does he at all sound like that's what he wants? It starts with a trip to see his GP.
I'm going to have to try and suck it up and be as supportive as I can on a practical level. I don't know what else I can do though (obviously no drinking in front of him, not that I'm remotely inclined at the moment and I'm bedsharing with baby so...) but is there anything else? I'm guessing not because the change needs to come from him. I know I need to develop a thick skin, as he isn't very nice to be around when he stops drinking and goes through withdrawal,
Making him leave now - and he can come back when he's been dry for however long it needs to be for you to feel you can trust him - might boost his motivation a bit.
Your children shouldn't have to put up with him being 'not very nice' and neither should you.
Right now, he cares more about alcohol than he does about your children's safety.
What has he actually done so far, to change things?
He seems to want you to take on a lot of the responsibility for whether or not this will finally work out.
I really hope it does..
He's said he needs some slack in everyday life while he gets it out of his system and puts new coping mechanisms in place. Basically I need to pick up as much as possible while he works this out
OP please do not fall for this. Please! Take it from us who have been there.
If he could have put 'coping mechanisms ' in he would have already done so. Trying to get you to take responsibility for his drinking and his recovery?
He needs to get to AA with people who can really help him.
And if you can possibly manage it, please go to an Alanon meeting, where you will get support to help you and help you see you are enabling him
I’m with all the other posters OP. I have been here too, with two small children like you. It’s not your job to take responsibility for his alcohol issues. It’s your job to look after you and your DCs. It’s his job to look after himself. Please read as much as you can - I was too soft for too long, trying to be supportive, not drinking etc etc. None of it works, if has to come from the person themselves. Make sure you have strong boundaries. Say what you will or will not accept. Stick to the boundaries. Start thinking about what you and the DCs need, not what he needs. He needs to take responsibility. This is the core of the issue; alcoholics always blame everyone else. Until they can get out of this denial things won’t change.
Al anon is very good at helping here. Also AA for your DH
My ex seemed to use AA meetings an as an opt out of family life. He would go to meetings getting there an hour hour and a half before they started so he could 'chat' therefore leaving me to all the bath and bed times. We could never even sit as a family and eat dinner on a Saturday as he would be rushing out. He would also disappear up to bed at every opportunity and leave everything to me.
Everything revolved around those bloody meetings. I could not do stuff because he was going to a meeting. I had to leave work on the dot because he wanted to go to a meeting.
It's not an overnight fix - I had 7 years of relapses as he just could not sort it and again it got to the point where it was going to be visible to the children.
I nearly ended it so many times but kept not following through - until he was visibly (to me) drunk cooking the kids tea.
It turned out that was my line that he had crossed.
Maybe ask him to move out while he sorts himself out (if you can manage on your own)
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