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Alcohol support

Sober but husband still drinking

10 replies

mediumsize · 19/02/2023 15:42

Sorry this is a bit long. The basic issue is that I have stopped drinking but my husband has not.

I was drinking far too much and have been for years, no bones about it. I stopped on 1 January and have remained dry since, and intend to continue. I never asked him to stop and I manage fine with there being booze in the house, with him drinking in front of me etc. That is not the issue.

The issue is that I am now finding him so boring to spend time with, and I am feeling so annoyed and irritated with him every evening (he only drinks in the evening, as did I, and he drinks every evening, also as did I). By 9pm he is repeating himself over and over, he starts to slur so I can’t always understand him, he goes on and on about unbelievably boring stuff, including constantly referencing alcohol eg if he calls a friend and they don’t answer “he must be drinking and partying” or “I bet he’s busy getting drunk as a lord” (this being on a Tuesday night, so not very likely). I feel so irritated by this now. Not everything in life is about getting drunk ffs, I think.

But, but, but…I am acutely aware that just a couple of months ago that was me too. In fact I was worse. He never falls over, injures himself, passes out in front of people or has to be carried to bed, all of which I have done many times. And I am sure I was also boring, repetitive etc etc. So it seems very unfair of me, even sanctimonious, to feel like this. I am also several years older than him, so I have had that many more years of drinking (and being most likely highly annoying) “under my belt”.

He has also now started to go out to the pub some evenings because, I think, he can see I am not happy with sitting and listening to his drunken meanderings, although I do try to hide my irritation (he never went to the pub without me before, unless we had had a once-in a-a decade type argument).

Anyone have any ideas about coping with this situation?

OP posts:
HellonHeels · 19/02/2023 15:48

I would ask myself, was there anything more to your marriage than the union of two drunks whose shared interest was getting drunk?

If you no longer get drunk/drink is there anything left to sustain your marriage - shared values? Shared interests other than drink? Did you do anything at all together other than drink together?

What are you doing now in your free time if you're not drinking?

mediumsize · 19/02/2023 16:07

Yes, we have children (two adult, one a child at home), we are both very involved with all of them (he has been a SAHF for many years). We have a lot of shared interests and completely aligned political values etc. We are in the process of rebuilding an old house, which we are both very invested in (me financially, as I am the breadwinner, he physically, as he is actually doing the work). But yes, drinking together, whether at home or out, has always been a big part of our relationship (except when I have been pregnant obviously, but that's not for many years). It was much less consistently heavy in the earlier days, though.

I don't have much free time, but the time in the mid to late evenings that I used to spend drinking with him is now spent sitting listening to him getting drunk, which (I now newly realise) is not really much fun. I feel really guilty for being so irritated though. I put everyone else in my life, including my adult children, through this for years, so cannot really be all holier than thou now...

OP posts:
HuntingoftheSnark · 19/02/2023 16:11

Hi OP, I know you haven't mentioned AA so apologies for drawing on experience from there but this is really common in many relationships where one person decides to stop drinking and the other doesn't. It's obviously your husband's choice to continue drinking and he may resent the fact that, in his mind, your change of habits has created this distance between you.

Acceptance that he still wants to drink, detaching from him once he starts to slur, engaging in a book, film, hobby that will distract you, I guess. I was in a relationship (not married) when I got sober. I had to bite my tongue every evening and in fact originally joined Mumsnet to ask if I was being unreasonable about it. The relationship didn't last but that was only one of many reasons. One of my closest friends has been sober for 15 years and her husband still drinks, has alcohol in the house and she's been able to come to terms with it and accept that he is a heavy drinker whereas she believes that she drank alcoholically.

TimeForChanges123 · 19/02/2023 16:11

If you don't mind me asking, how much were you drinking?

Annasgirl · 19/02/2023 16:16

Congratulations OP on becoming alcohol free.

You are beginning to reap the rewards of this new lifestyle. Your DH has not joined you in this. That is his decision, but you are free to decide you want a different life.

I would personally find it difficult to stay with him unless some changes happened.

Is there a reason he drinks so heavily? Why is he still a SAHP if you only have 1 child in school? Could this depress him? I only ask as I have had some friends experience depression as a result of being underemployed.

The only changes you can make are in you and your life. I think you should start some new hobby in the evening to get you out - whether it is going for a walk, joining a club, volunteering, going to a gym - and perhaps your DH would join in? It would also reduce his drinking. If he is not interested, start with someone who is and make the most of your new free time.

mediumsize · 19/02/2023 18:27

Amswers: I was drinking a bottle of wine a night, more on weekend nights. Husband drinks about that, sometimes more.

Stay at home parent was needed for combination of having a special needs child, partly educated at home for several years, plus the nature of my job which is 100 hours a week at times and can be inflexible (ie if I am needed I am needed, no flexibility possible, and sometimes not in the same country). So one parent always needed to be available. In the last few years however his full time job has been building our house, which he is doing extremely well, and remaining available for DC as I cannot always be. I think he might be somewhat depressed but he denies it and says he drinks because he enjoys it. He always calls it "partying" rather than drinking.

I have already started making changes, more exercise etc. I feel very much better physically. But the situation with him is upsetting me.

OP posts:
TheOtherHotstepper · 19/02/2023 18:36

My DH is uncomfortable with my sobriety, which he does not seem to understand and I am uncomfortable with his drinking.

However, it's early days, so we will have to see how, or indeed if, it shakes down.

userxx · 19/02/2023 18:38

Pissed people are boring when you're sober. I've spent many nights horrified at what twats my friends become when drunk.

Iamblossom · 19/02/2023 18:39

I have just read your OP out to my husband.

I admire you hugely.

My husband drinks alot more than me, but we are both habitual regular drinkers.

He is trying to not drink during the week. I drink one glass with my piano practice away from him.

I hugely recognise your description of sitting with a drunk person every evening when you are basically sober.

Since my husband has been sober during the week there are now two people who can collect a child from somewhere in the car if necessary after 6pm. I can share arrangements for the next day or the coming weekend with him and know he will remember them. I don't have to hear the same story 4 times.

It's a game changer.

Sorry I know that isn't advice for you, but your story resonated.

mediumsize · 19/02/2023 18:59

I have the hope that my sobriety will result in his cutting down, maybe at least during the week. He, like me, is no spring chicken. He shows no sign of slowing down yet though in fact some nights I feel he is purposely drinking more to see if I say anything. I am determined not to do so. It is, as a PP said, early days, I guess.

OP posts:
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