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Alcohol support

Is my husband an alcoholic?

34 replies

Alwaysrosey · 27/11/2022 13:11

Hi, I’ve recently posted on both the relationships forum and the divorce one to try and get advice around my situation with my husband and from all the posts, a few people have mentioned they think my husband is an alcoholic and it was suggested that I post here.

So… here’s the story… married 15 years, been together for 19. We married young after getting together at 19 & 20 years old. We have two children 13 & 11.

Throughout our entire relationship his drinking has been a problem on a regular occurrence - not often enough that it’s a massive red flag where I should run in the opposite direction, but often enough that I dread him drinking too much. He only ever drinks at the weekend so I never really considered that he was an ‘alcoholic’ as it’s not like he ‘needs’ alcohol to function (these are words he’s said to me before funnily enough) but maybe this is my naivety that I thought this was true? He mostly drinks at home so again he thinks this is fine because ‘ X, Y & Z go the pub all the time and he doesn’t’

When he drinks too much he loses all control, he never knows his limits and will continue to drink as long as there are beers in the fridge or the bar is still open. This isn’t ‘all’ the time - we have compromised in ways over the years in the way that he used to buy in bulk for the weekend to make use of money savings offers and now I say just buy what you need for one night at a time to stop the over indulging. But the problem then comes when we go out, he drinks too much too quickly, embarrasses himself (and me) is irresponsible, reckless… just the most recent example, he went out with a work client (so lots of work colleagues there) on Friday night. He missed his train back by over an hour… so called me to pick him up at midnight but couldn’t tell me where he was, couldn’t give me names of bars or buildings or even an approximate area (he was in Manchester so not easy to find which area he was in!) I eventually managed to track him down on the find my iPhone app after driving around for an hour looking for him. This is what has sent me over the edge this weekend but it’s a long list of occurrences like this that happen a handful of times a year but he thinks that it’s okay because it’s not ‘all the time’. He apologises and says he’ll never do it again but he always does and I can’t cope with it anymore I am literally at breaking point.

When he’s had a drink he can never find the bathroom and tries to pee in corners of the room / the wardrobe / the sink etc - I learned this early in our relationship so I basically just don’t sleep when he’s drunk so that I can direct him to the loo because that’s easier than waking up to the mess and I don’t ever want the children to see anything like this either.

He chooses to drink over anything else when it comes to a Friday night. A couple of weeks ago we went to my son’s rugby presentation and he drove (I had been to the the Christmas markets in the afternoon so had already had a couple of drinks so was unable to drive myself - and this was pre-planned and he knew this was going to be the situation) he was miserable and anti-social the whole time we were there then as soon as the do was over he stopped at the shops on the way home (just before 11pm) and bought himself 4 large bottles of beer. The rest of us got in and went to bed and he drank them alone until he fell asleep after 2.5 bottles. He then drank the other half when he woke up in the morning and took my son to football. Then had the remaining bottle when he got back home around 11am then went back to the shops for another 4 large bottles around 4pm for the night.

I don’t really know what I expect anyone to say or what advice can be given, but as my children are growing up, I can see it is affecting them negatively and I can’t sit back and watch any longer. I also can’t keep wasting my life being anxious about the next time he drinks too much, being anxious about the next family wedding or do or basically going out anywhere where there is alcohol served. I am really unhappy and just feel like it’s not fair to live the way I am and it’s not fair on our children. I want to go out and do things together but he makes it impossible.
I love the man I know he ‘can’ be, but ultimately that is overshadowed by the person he becomes when alcohol is involved.

Thanks for reading my ramblings if you got this far!

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Wolfiefan · 27/11/2022 13:14

You’re unhappy.
He has a really unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
He doesn’t want to change.
All you can do is decide how to respond. I would make plans to end it. Sorry OP.

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Alwaysrosey · 27/11/2022 14:37

Wolfiefan · 27/11/2022 13:14

You’re unhappy.
He has a really unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
He doesn’t want to change.
All you can do is decide how to respond. I would make plans to end it. Sorry OP.

This is my gut feeling too, I have to end it.

Thank you for taking the time to reply to me

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Childcare101 · 27/11/2022 14:39

Not sure it's alcoholism, sounds more an unhealthy relationship with alcohol or unable to stop drinking past the point he becomes unbearable.

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Andante57 · 27/11/2022 14:41

Op I am sorry to hear you are going through this.
I strongly recommend you go to Al Anon where you will find help and support from people who have been/are going through the same thing.

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PollyAmour · 27/11/2022 14:42

He doesn't think he has a problem with alcohol when it's obvious he has. If he's overdrinking on a regular basis, peeing in various places around the house, getting lost on a night out and still thinks he's okay, then you have to protect yourself and your family. Maybe separation will be the trigger for him to get some help with his drinking, but he may simply see it as freedom to drink all day, every day.

You can't help a problem drinker, only they can. You have my sympathies.

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MyDogStoodOnABee · 27/11/2022 14:43

Stop enabling him!

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loobylou10 · 27/11/2022 14:54

@MyDogStoodOnABee I don't understand. How is OP enabling him please?

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Alwaysrosey · 27/11/2022 15:04

MyDogStoodOnABee · 27/11/2022 14:43

Stop enabling him!

I’ve tried to stop him / reduce his alcohol intake since we met, I definitely don’t enable

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Alwaysrosey · 27/11/2022 15:06

Andante57 · 27/11/2022 14:41

Op I am sorry to hear you are going through this.
I strongly recommend you go to Al Anon where you will find help and support from people who have been/are going through the same thing.

Thank you for taking the time to reply, I have sent them an email and have been reading some articles on their website for the last hour or so

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ErinAndTonic · 27/11/2022 15:07

My partner is similar to this. Doesn't do it regularly ie. Every weekend but usually at social events. Same thing in that he just keeps drinking, can't control his behaviour, gets lost, can be sick etc, and is a total bastard to me. No peeing in corners though. Once he even passed out under an ATM machine and had to be brought home by ambulance, during the pandemic. Needless to say I was fuming.

When he doesn't drink he's lovely. Is that the same for your partner? The only saving grace I have is that it might be once a month or so. Also torn what to do. Not sure banning him is the right approach - following the thread for advice.

Hope you are OK, I totally understand how it feels.

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Alwaysrosey · 27/11/2022 15:09

PollyAmour · 27/11/2022 14:42

He doesn't think he has a problem with alcohol when it's obvious he has. If he's overdrinking on a regular basis, peeing in various places around the house, getting lost on a night out and still thinks he's okay, then you have to protect yourself and your family. Maybe separation will be the trigger for him to get some help with his drinking, but he may simply see it as freedom to drink all day, every day.

You can't help a problem drinker, only they can. You have my sympathies.

Thank you for the reply, I do worry he would just drink more if we separated but I can’t keep worrying about things like this, I need to put my children and myself first and you and quite a few others are really helping me to realise my thoughts and feelings are justified and I am right to be thinking this way, so again, thank you!

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Wolfiefan · 27/11/2022 15:11

You can’t be responsible for how much he drinks or his behaviour when he does.
My mum stayed. For nearly 25 years. It was bloody awful for us kids.
I am so very sorry you’re in this situation though.

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PinkSyCo · 27/11/2022 15:15

I’m pretty sure your DH would be classed as an alcoholic. Even if not, he definitely has a problem which is having a negative effect on you and, no doubt, your children too. I would give him an ultimatum to either quit drinking altogether or leave.

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Sarahcoggles · 27/11/2022 15:20

He drank beer for breakfast then took your son to football?? Presumably driving?

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Lovetotravel123 · 27/11/2022 15:30

It is clear he has a problem. You might find it helpful to follow and listen to Sober Dave and his podcast ‘One for the Road’. He talks about grey area drinking/ alcoholism. You might find that joining an Al Anon meeting online helpful if you decide to stay with him.

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Moonlitwalk · 27/11/2022 15:36

The word alcoholic is outdated now and it’s described as “alcohol misuse disorder”. Yes, your husband has that. Once he starts he can’t stop, he is blanking out getting lost and putting himself in potentially dangerous situations. He is urinating regularly in inappropriate areas of the house, your kids are noticing it and it’s affecting you to the point of breaking down. Do you really think all that indicates a “normal” or healthy relationship with alcohol? Read alcohol explained by William porter and get him to read it too, sober Dave is also brilliant.

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MyDogStoodOnABee · 27/11/2022 15:48

loobylou10 · 27/11/2022 14:54

@MyDogStoodOnABee I don't understand. How is OP enabling him please?

By driving around for hours trying to locate him when he’s drunk, by staying awake and covering up his drunken toileting from his kids etc

make him responsible for any consequences as a result of his drinking and he may change.

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SunnyShiner · 27/11/2022 16:12

Yes, he sounds like it to me.

DH is an alcoholic, he's been in recovery for 20 years now and is the best dad and husband.

When he was drinking, not so much

I think you should have a talk with him about how much his drinking is affecting you.

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ErinAndTonic · 28/11/2022 09:56

I found this and I think category 2 kind of explains that area between normal relationship with alcohol and full blown alcoholic. I think it's a spectrum and my partner is on the milder side of 2, but still there nonetheless:

www.thecabinchiangmai.com/blog/social-drinker-alcohol-abuser-or-alcoholic/

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Janieread · 28/11/2022 09:58

He definitely has an alcohol problem and there's a lot of evidence to suggest that risk taking when drunk is a marker for future liver disease.

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SuspiciousHedgehog · 29/11/2022 06:32

Is this the only major problem in your marriage?
I know an alcoholic who gave up, and definitely lived longer, because his partner left him until he dried out, but they were older, and he was drinking daily.

He isn't at the place where he sees a problem. You do quite a lot to cover for his binges, which is something that's allowing him to remain in denial.

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Alwaysrosey · 29/11/2022 11:12

MyDogStoodOnABee · 27/11/2022 15:48

By driving around for hours trying to locate him when he’s drunk, by staying awake and covering up his drunken toileting from his kids etc

make him responsible for any consequences as a result of his drinking and he may change.

Ah okay, I see what you’re saying and I do understand…
But I just can’t expose my kids to certain things, they know about it, and they see enough of his behaviour themselves, which is bad enough!
I definitely can’t watch him pee in the wardrobe or on the carpet - I have to stop that surely! I’m not having him ruin my clothes and shoes or the carpet or furniture - or if he went into the kids rooms he could pee anywhere…. I don’t know anyone who could watch / let someone do that!! If he falls asleep on the bathroom floor yes I’m leaving him there and he can explain himself but there’s some things I can’t allow to happen.
And I couldn’t just leave someone stranded at midnight in the city an hour away from home either, especially if I have to explain to the kids the day after where he is and why he hasn’t come home.
He also runs my Son’s football team so it’s not even just my children he would have been letting down, it would be 10 other kids and the parents, not to mention the opposition teams kids and their coaches and parents!

He reckons he’s going to seek help and stop drinking altogether so we’ll see

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Alwaysrosey · 29/11/2022 11:15

Sarahcoggles · 27/11/2022 15:20

He drank beer for breakfast then took your son to football?? Presumably driving?

Yes… and sees nothing wrong with this either. Granted it wasn’t enough for him to be over the limit as it was finishing an open bottle, but I still think it’s disgusting and surely a normal person wouldn’t even think about doing that would they?
He has had a full bottle before though (and then I’ve drove) and again, it’s not normal behaviour is it…

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Alwaysrosey · 29/11/2022 11:18

Lovetotravel123 · 27/11/2022 15:30

It is clear he has a problem. You might find it helpful to follow and listen to Sober Dave and his podcast ‘One for the Road’. He talks about grey area drinking/ alcoholism. You might find that joining an Al Anon meeting online helpful if you decide to stay with him.

Thank you, I will give it a listen and will recommend he does too.
I have emailed al anon and have had the conversation with him to say I’ve been seeking advice and the help is there for him if he wants it. He says he does, obviously he’s full of regret and remorse at the moment but it’s if he sees it through now. This time it will be make or break as I can’t keep repeating this pattern with him.
Thanks for the advice

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Alwaysrosey · 29/11/2022 11:21

Moonlitwalk · 27/11/2022 15:36

The word alcoholic is outdated now and it’s described as “alcohol misuse disorder”. Yes, your husband has that. Once he starts he can’t stop, he is blanking out getting lost and putting himself in potentially dangerous situations. He is urinating regularly in inappropriate areas of the house, your kids are noticing it and it’s affecting you to the point of breaking down. Do you really think all that indicates a “normal” or healthy relationship with alcohol? Read alcohol explained by William porter and get him to read it too, sober Dave is also brilliant.

Thank you for the recommendations, very helpful and yes ‘alcohol misuse’ is a much better way of describing it - as someone else has mentioned too, it being like a spectrum. I’ve explained all this to him yesterday and I think this makes him realise it’s not just the imagine he has in his head of what an ‘alcoholic’ should be - so thanks again, hopefully getting through to him.

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