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To expect my husband to be tee total for life?
176

JamSandwich0 · 19/01/2022 11:25

Background my husband likes a drink and he has ruined multiple events over the years (we have been together since school) because he drinks so much & won't come home, has to be the loudest and drink the most its embarrassing. He will drink for up to 12hrs when on a night out. At home he was drinking 6/8 cans twice a week. Some times more sometimes less. I do not drink. Ever.

We both work full time & have young kids so he doesn't go out with his mates often anymore. Although he did just before Christmas, he arranged to stay over at his mates house as they were going out in his town and it's about 40minutes drive from our home.

So he goes out at 12 mid day and they drink heavily until 11pm when they go back to his mates. As soon as he's friend went to bed my husband got into the car and drove 40 minutes home. He arrived home thankfully in one piece very drunk, by some miracle he hadn't killed anyone or damaged the car. The next morning he was in pieces with guilt and shame, anxiety and depression thinking of the devastation he could of caused to not only our family but others also. He was honestly devastated and embarrassed - rightly so.

I told him that's it I'm done, if you want a drink we are divorcing this is a step to far for me. My girls could of been burying their daddy or seeing you go to prison. 8 weeks later... he hasn't drank since, didn't touch a drop over Christmas & managed fine.

Now seemingly all is forgotten and he wants to go out with his mates again at the end of the month. I try so hard not to be a nagging wife but I did say you won't drink though? He answered - I might do.

I want to stick to my guns! I don't think he can go out and drink responsibly and I don't want to be married if he is going back to 12 cans a week.
How do I approach this with out causing a big arguments or friction or is there no way to do that? We are otherwise a very happy family so just LTB responses are not going to be very helpful.

PS. If you are wondering why I didn't call the police on the drink driving it's because he drives for a living so would of had serious consequences on all of us including our kids- like losing our business.

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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SeeminglyOblivious · 19/01/2022 11:29

Honestly op. I would print your post out and give it to him.

Maybe it will make him see sense seeing it written down in black and white.

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TheHopefulMum · 19/01/2022 11:30

I have been in a similar situation with my DH in recent years. DH would drink throughout the week at home, excessive drinking when out, wouldn't come home when he said he would, wouldn't take my calls etc etc.

A few months back he was given an ultimatem, drink or his family. Thankfully he choose his family and much like your DH has stuck to his word since. Personally I wouldn't feel comfortable with him going out with friends at the stage in his 'recovery' as the urge may still be there with very little control to limit his drink or not drink at all.

I think the only thing you can do is be honest and say you aren't comfortable, perhaps he can go out and not drink, although he'd need to be confident and comfortable with this as it's a lot of pressure.

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waterwaterwine · 19/01/2022 11:36

I have experience of this cycle. My ex partner always did this. Would drink to excess, cause fights, do stupid things, message other women. Next morning so remorseful, never drinking again blah blah blah. A couple of weeks later it starts again, I'm just going out for a couple, starting fights, doing stupid things. In the end I left as I was so anxious every time he went out wondering what state he would come home in I had to put myself and my DS first as it clearly wasn't a priority for him. Your DP obviously shocked himself with his stupidity but now it's a month down the line and it's all forgotten. He needs a wake up call.

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skgnome · 19/01/2022 11:36

You gave him and ultimatum, and for a good reason
Stick to it, not saying divorce, but remind him what happened last time and if he insists on going out, leave him - until he seeks professional help
He needs professional help, just saying I won’t drink and stopping, it’s all very well for 2,3 weeks, but unless he gets to the bottom of the problem and gets help it’s going to be almost impossible
I know it’s harsh, but you need to stay strong, for everyone

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CuriousaboutSamphire · 19/01/2022 11:37

OK. So he has made you complicit, you should have reported him, you know you really wanted to. I completely understand why you didn't - as does he!

That he is planning to do it all over again so soon also shows he doesn't care. His want/need for a binge drunk is greater than any other thought or feeling he currently has.

That he drinks so much at home is your greatest signal though. He is an alcoholic. And no, thre is no way to get through this without an almighty argument - unless you just pack up and walk out of the door.

You have choices - and they cannot include anything you want him to do, because he has to make his choices alone.

If you choose to leave him because of his drinking then tell him so very plainly. Try to remove the emotion from your reasoning. Just say "You are a drunk. You drink to excess at home every night. You go out and cannot control how much you drink and you drive when you are absolutely bladdered. I don't want to live with that and I don't want the kids to live with that. You need to want to change your life, I suggest you get some proper help to do that."

Do not even hint that you will change your mind if he gets that help. He needs to get it because he wants it and you don't need to become even more entwined in his drinking.

I know that sounds impossible. But believe me, you will do it, now or in 30 years. he won't change unless he finds a bloody good reason to want to. At the moment neither you nor the kids are good enough. That's the very blunt truth of the predicament you are in.

It is fucking awful. Like many others here, I speak from experience and am fully aware that you may not listen, this time. But at some point, my words, the words of someone else, will strike a cord at just the right time and you will be able to act to protect you and your kids.

Best of luck working out how you will navigate this Flowers

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JamSandwich0 · 19/01/2022 11:39

@waterwaterwine

I have experience of this cycle. My ex partner always did this. Would drink to excess, cause fights, do stupid things, message other women. Next morning so remorseful, never drinking again blah blah blah. A couple of weeks later it starts again, I'm just going out for a couple, starting fights, doing stupid things. In the end I left as I was so anxious every time he went out wondering what state he would come home in I had to put myself and my DS first as it clearly wasn't a priority for him. Your DP obviously shocked himself with his stupidity but now it's a month down the line and it's all forgotten. He needs a wake up call.

This is exactly what is going on here especially with the anxiety. As soon as he gets a taste for beer he forgets about anything else any promises made go out the window.
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RogerDodger · 19/01/2022 11:40

I would just remind him that the marriage is over as soon as he drinks.

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WhatNoRaisins · 19/01/2022 11:41

I don't think all people are capable of using alcohol in a way that isn't destructive and he sounds like one of those people. Stick to your guns on this one.

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CloseYourEyesAndSee · 19/01/2022 11:42

He probably won't, so you'll have to divorce him sadly

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BuanoKubiamVej · 19/01/2022 11:42

YANBU.

Of course he can choose to have a drink but just make it clear to him that he is choosing either the drink or you. You have said this before and you need to repeat it now. The next time he gets drunk you will be instructing a divorce lawyer.

You can't fix people. You can't make him change. You can choose whether or not to be vulnerable to him by staying married to him, and you need to protect yourself and your children by distancing yournselves from him if he can't be responsible about alcohol.

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Nanny0gg · 19/01/2022 11:43

So stick to your guns. And tell him if he does it again (the driving) you WILL phone the police as you can't have that danger on your conscience.

He's clearly got a drinking problem (there's a similar thread on here somewhere) and the consensus was that he was an alcoholic as he can't control his drinking.

He either gets help or you're gone.

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Viviennemary · 19/01/2022 11:44

Drives for a living and still feels it's ok to drink heavily then drive.

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FriendshipsAreHardForMe · 19/01/2022 11:45

YANBU.

Drinking alcohol isn't a necessity. It's unhealthy and people have fun without it all the time.

I only have a few glasses a year and haven't been drunk in years. I'm more than happy with that.

If he can't control himself or his drinking then he absolutely must stop and YANBU to expect him to. If he can't, it's an addiction and even more reason for him to be sober.

I couldn't be with someone with a drinking problem, it's repulsive to me if I'm completely honest.

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Getbehindme · 19/01/2022 11:47

If you feel he sits in the 'grey' area of problem drinking rather than alcoholism, then you could point him towards the organisations like One Year No Beer and Club Soda. For what it's worth, I was in the 'problem drinker' category and basically gave up and haven't drunk for years. Don't miss it.

If he is an alcoholic but not ready to face it, these 'stepping stones' can help - yes all part of the denial but if it starts him addressing it maybe it'll help.

I'm sorry though, it's awful what he did and could have done.

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GertrudePerkinsPaperyThing · 19/01/2022 11:52

You gave him an ultimatum. You have to stick to it or it holds no weight ever again.

The minute he drinks, you leave. Make sure he knows this. He clearly can’t have “a couple” or drink responsibly

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GertrudePerkinsPaperyThing · 19/01/2022 11:53

As soon as he gets a taste for beer he forgets about anything else any promises made go out the window.

^^
As I understand it that’s the definition of an alcoholic

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FriendshipsAreHardForMe · 19/01/2022 11:53

I had a friend who was in a similar situation. Her husband hid his drinking but she knew it was problematic. He used to drink drive too and ended up losing his licence.

In the end, his drinking became such a problem that it compounded in an incidence of domestic violence. He ripped her hair out Infront of the kids. Social services got involved and forced her hand, telling her she'd lose the kids if she stayed in the relationship.

I think it was a relief to her as she wasn't happy for a long time.

As far as I know, he's still an alcoholic and his life has literally gone down the pan. He can't maintain jobs, has a similar partner and nothing to his name.

She's done well, kept her house and job. She doesn't have to worry about him or his drinking anymore and can finally just concentrate on her kids

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JamSandwich0 · 19/01/2022 11:54

@Nanny0gg

So stick to your guns. And tell him if he does it again (the driving) you WILL phone the police as you can't have that danger on your conscience.

He's clearly got a drinking problem (there's a similar thread on here somewhere) and the consensus was that he was an alcoholic as he can't control his drinking.

He either gets help or you're gone.

If he ever does drink again I will be making sure he has no access to the car or keys, the plan was he would sober up with his friend the day after before driving home to save me driving 40 minutes each way with the kids.

My issue with him wanting to go out again is that I know at the point he drinks again it will be swept under the rug and slowly old habits will restart and in that cycle every 12 months or so he will cause mayhem one way or another as has been the case for the last 12 years.

Hes whole social life is built on drink so he will feel like I am being controlling or that I have no right to expect him never ever to drink again because it's not every time that he does this but from my perspective each time he does drink it is just leading us closer to the next big "mistake"
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Greydogs123 · 19/01/2022 11:58

Tell him plainly that you meant what you said. He can go out, but if he drinks he might as well not bother coming home. He forced you to abandon your morals in not reporting his drink driving and he thinks that because he’s been “good” for a couple of months you will have forgotten. You really must stick to your word otherwise this cycle will just continue and it’s you and the children who suffer.

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ditalini · 19/01/2022 12:00

YANBU, but you can't make him do what you expect, you can only make it clear to him what the consequences will be and then it's on you to follow through.

So (and I'm not going to say it's what I would do because hypothetical bravery is no use and this needs you to be brave - only you know what you can manage):

Write it down. His actions are not your responsibility. He can go out with his mates, he can choose to drink or not drink. If he chooses to drink:

  • You will report him to the police without hesitation if you discover he has driven drunk, because his and others' lives are more important than his job and, quite frankly, your financial security hard as it might be in the short to medium term.

  • You and the children will leave him. There will be no second chance.

    It's up to you whether you want to limit the above to him coming home smashed and would accept moderate drinking (although that's setting him up to fail - he's not going to drink moderately).

    I mean, you could ask him what his strategy is for it not ending up like last time, given that he had no control before and it's not reasonable to expect him to suddenly be able to have control over his drinking, but again it's all words and ultimately he will decide whether his family is more important than the feeling he gets from that first, second, twentieth drink.

    It fucking sucks. So sorry.
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Alonelonelyloner · 19/01/2022 12:02

You gave him an ultimatum. I suggest you stick to it.
He can go out. He gets drunk. You leave. I know you said it isn't very helpful to say that, but those are the bare bones of it.
If he does it this once, he will do it again and you will give another ultimatum and so the cycle continues until he kills someone else or himself.

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Alonelonelyloner · 19/01/2022 12:03

Plus, he is an adult, so sure he can decide to go out. It is ok, but he can also know that he should control himself.

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JamSandwich0 · 19/01/2022 12:05

@ditalini

YANBU, but you can't make him do what you expect, you can only make it clear to him what the consequences will be and then it's on you to follow through.

So (and I'm not going to say it's what I would do because hypothetical bravery is no use and this needs you to be brave - only you know what you can manage):

Write it down. His actions are not your responsibility. He can go out with his mates, he can choose to drink or not drink. If he chooses to drink:

- You will report him to the police without hesitation if you discover he has driven drunk, because his and others' lives are more important than his job and, quite frankly, your financial security hard as it might be in the short to medium term.

- You and the children will leave him. There will be no second chance.

It's up to you whether you want to limit the above to him coming home smashed and would accept moderate drinking (although that's setting him up to fail - he's not going to drink moderately).

I mean, you could ask him what his strategy is for it not ending up like last time, given that he had no control before and it's not reasonable to expect him to suddenly be able to have control over his drinking, but again it's all words and ultimately he will decide whether his family is more important than the feeling he gets from that first, second, twentieth drink.

It fucking sucks. So sorry.

This is really helpful thank you.

I would not hesitate to report him if there was ever a next time that I am sure of.

I think I will use the asking him what he's strategy is to start the discussion and then proceed to remind him of all the previous strategies that didn't work and conclude that actually I am uncomfortable with it and the ultimatum still stands.
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JamSandwich0 · 19/01/2022 12:07

@Greydogs123

Tell him plainly that you meant what you said. He can go out, but if he drinks he might as well not bother coming home. He forced you to abandon your morals in not reporting his drink driving and he thinks that because he’s been “good” for a couple of months you will have forgotten. You really must stick to your word otherwise this cycle will just continue and it’s you and the children who suffer.

I think you have really hit the nail on the head here.
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Dashel · 19/01/2022 12:12

Every time he goes out you are going to be wondering whether he is either going to be killed or kill someone else, either in a fight or in the car.

I couldn’t live like that, I know you don’t want to hear it, but for me it would be an ultimatum it’s me or the drink and he seeks help. Otherwise he would be out of the door and I would be telling everybody why.

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