Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

DP didn't come home - its 7.10am

(67 Posts)
siucra Sun 30-Dec-12 07:17:46

he has a problem with drink. Once he starts he can't stop. It has been so awful living with that - the stress and strain on me has been incredible. He is trying to cut down by promising to stop the all-nighters, ie passing out on sofa. But he has never not come home before. I hate all this drinking.
How do I 'punish' him? By that I mean, how do I let him know this is totally unacceptable?
He is not - I think - with another woman as he really loves me. We have a Dd aged 4.7.
Any advice? Thank you!

siucra Wed 02-Jan-13 11:10:29

Thanks tripbot. Will follow it.

tribpot Wed 02-Jan-13 07:51:07

Best of luck siucra. I think the Brave Babes thread may offer support to the partners of problem drinkers but I'll let others confirm that and send you a link if appropriate.

siucra Wed 02-Jan-13 07:46:07

Point taken, someOne. You are right. That's an excuse. And unfair.
I have ordered that book, tribpot. Thank you.

Some0ne Tue 01-Jan-13 20:00:57

And yes, we are Irish and it is totally cultural. You can't not drink, it's rude and unsociable and it's how men spend time together.

BOLLOCKS.

I'm Irish too, as is my DH. Neither of us drinks and it's not a problem.

Snorbs Tue 01-Jan-13 19:32:34

So when he hits the bottle again next weekend he can say that it's only fair as you have been moody. He might even trigger an argument to make sure you're in a mood.

You cannot negotiate an addiction away.

tribpot Tue 01-Jan-13 19:30:36

buildingmycorestrength is right, plus the primary responsibility for these deals will become yours. It is literally impossible to manage another person's addiction. The fact he is not willing to accept that his decision to drink was entirely his own and unrelated to anything you did or didn't do is not a good sign.

I think there is still plenty of good advice for you from this thread. I would speak to Al-Anon, I would read the book I recommended to you. You can seek help for you outside this relationship. And I would confide in those around you as well. This is not a secret you should keep.

Glad you're feeling better. I truly hope for you that he does adhere to all he's said.

Like the OP says, be careful. I've lived through it and sadly my ex DP behaviour only progressed. X

buildingmycorestrength Tue 01-Jan-13 19:02:27

I'm quite an shocked that he wanted you to agree to be less moody!

I sometimes find it helpful to substitute the word 'heroin' for 'drink'...just because they are both horriblely destructive addictions.

'I wouldn't be moody if he wouldn't shoot up.' Hm.

He will always want you to renegotiate the deals. Please be careful.

siucra Tue 01-Jan-13 18:54:56

I am fine, thank you so much. Dp has promised to try harder. We have a written agreement that he is trying to stick to - cut out dysfunctional drinking and I agree to be less moody! If he didn't drink so much I maybe wouldn't be so moody!
What gives me optimism is that Dp has been in therapy for the last 18 months and has found it really helpful. His drinking has improved a lot - that's how bad it had been. I would love him to get to a stage where he can drink moderately. To choose to stop after two pints.
And yes, we are Irish and it is totally cultural. You can't not drink, it's rude and unsociable and it's how men spend time together.
I have become very intolerant of drink. I know how impossible it is for him to imagine an alcohol free life.
I feel we lurch from the drama surrounding weekends to a peace mid-week and then crisis again. We began this written agreement a month ago and we are going to re-negotiate it next week.
We don't go away for weekends because drink is the focus and I have forgotten how nice that would be.
I need a functional home and hopefully we will be able to do it!
Thank you everyone!

How are you today OP?

irishchic Mon 31-Dec-12 10:28:44

FergusSings yes i agree with you, i lived in both france and spain in my twenties, and spent a lot of time in Belgium as a teenager, where they are famous for their beer. Yet in all these countries, people, including young men and women enjoyed drinking, but I never met anyone who binge drank the way people do here, in fact, and when some of these nationalities visited me here in Ireland they were amazed and shocked at the level of drunkeness in pubs and clubs etc.

I also knew a lots of germans in university and they were more like us in their attitude to drinking, loved to get drunk with the irish. And there is little or no difference between the scots and the irish in their attitude to drink.

Dont want to distract from the OPs problem though, just to let her know that unfortunately, this problem is all too common in this part of the world but dont tolerate it, and act now to curb it.

FergusSingsTheBlues Mon 31-Dec-12 10:01:46

I disagree. I lived in spain for years and there is a totally different attitude to drink over there. Yes, you will see some old men taking a wine at 11 am, and thats it. Alcohol is part of the diet....you wouldnt go out drinking on an empty stomach, but you would order a glass of wine and a tapa. In the states...not much drinking and its viewed with suspicion, or it aas where i lived. Lived in germany too...big drinkers. Live in scotland now...big drinkers. Its a northern european problem.

Doha Mon 31-Dec-12 09:14:03

ohcluttergotme l am not sure what nationality has got to do with alcohol. To say it is ingrained in your culture is a myth.
I am Scottish as Scottish can be-- from the hebrides--the whisky islands and l think l can say alcohol is not a great part of my life or that of my family. It is no worse than coming from Devon and being addicted to clotted cream.

Alcohol is a lifestyle choice no matter what your heritage may be or where you currently live

Well done siucra sounds like you made a really good decision. I totally get what it's like to have alcohol ingrained into your culture, I'm Scottish & my dh is half scottish, half Irish. All my family drink. My Granda was an alcoholic and my dm is going that way. I have to make really conscious choices & decisions not to let alcohol become a big part of my life. But it is everywhere & so normalised in my culture/society. Wishing you & your dd all the best OP smile

irishchic Sun 30-Dec-12 22:12:55

Siucra I am guessing you are irish, from your name. I also have a dh who doesnt know when to stop, (not quite as bad as yours, but is not unlike him to roll in at 4am on occasion.) He has not jeopardised his job over it, but that is because he is the boss of his company and can come in late from time to time if he wants.

I know alcohol abuse is everywhere but there is something about Irish males and drinking, its so bloody acceptable in our culture and make up, part of male bonding, part of everything, our main sporting organisation GAA is heavily reliant on the drinks industry for its sponsorship, its totally f***ed!

Sorry to rant. There is some good advice on here, and also on the Brave Babes thread in relationships which is also supportive of alcohol abusers partners, do check it out, best of luck. xx

Well done you. I wish I'd had the courage to do that in the situation. I wish you a good night

Writehand Sun 30-Dec-12 20:22:55

Brace yourself for a serious conversation, or a series of them. If he'll agree, rehab is brilliant and some GPs will arrange it. Perhaps your DP could check it out?

I don't think I could have done it without rehab - 6 weeks away from everything and everyone, focussing on nothing but my addiction. But then I've meet loads of sober alcoholics who've succeeded just by going to AA meetings. 90 meetings in 90 days is what's recommended.

Rehab gets you started, but you need meetings afterwards. I don't go to meetings any more but I did 5 a week for a couple of years, and didn't stop going regularly until I'd been sober about 5 years. I'd go back like a shot if I thought I might want a drink.

This is where the support comes in. It'll be tough for you and your DD if your DP has to go to an AA meeting every day rather than coming home. But you smile and say "Go". AA meetings, lots of AA phone calls. It's a lot.

No one has mentioned Al-Anon - for the families of alcoholics. This I'm not so sure about - I went to some meetings myself and found them very patchy - but some people swear by it. You'll find it at www.al-anonuk.org.uk/

Alcoholism is a family disease - it's genetic but it's also learnt. You may find he has relatives with a drink problem, or maybe you do. People brought up by alcoholics often live with alcoholics. And it is also a real illness. You can see it close up in brain scans, and at long distance in epidemiological studies. Your DD needs protecting from learning alcoholic behaviour. You can't do anything about her genetic inheritance but you can watch out for her as she gets older. One of my sons seems to have the tendency, the other not but they both know that me and their grandad are alkies. Sober, but still alkies.

izzyizin Sun 30-Dec-12 20:10:21

He may 'really love' you, honey, but he loves the bottle more.

Give him a choice. He can enjoy a moderate drink at home now and again, or be free to drown his sorrows visit all the hostelries his little heart desires after you've split up due to his preference for booze over you.

Writehand Sun 30-Dec-12 20:05:22

Fortyplus, you wrote: "Alcoholism is an illness. If he's an alcoholic rather that just some twunt who goes out and gets rat-arsed once a week then he needs love and support to deal with it.

I've had several alcoholic friends and inevitably it takes time to face the problem. If you love him then you can't just heap blame at his door and expect him to change overnight."

I am an alcoholic and I couldn't disagree with you more. Sure, alcoholism is an illness, but it is not helped by families loving and supporting the drinker while he or she continues drinking, The support comes in when the alcoholic stops drinking and starts going to meetings. You support them to make that decision, to reach that realisation. Until/unless that happens, what you're doing is called "enabling" and it kills a lot of alcoholics. I know a bit about getting & staying sober. I've been sober since before my first child was born. He's 20.

Fortyplus, I'm sure you mean well, but you seem to have got the AA philosophy rather muddled. If siucra wants things to improve she needs to lay it on the line: tell him "You will lose your family if you don't stop drinking." Then she needs to act as if she means it. She doesn't have to break the family up immediately, but she needs to do enough that he's shocked into taking it seriously.

tribpot Sun 30-Dec-12 19:57:47

You've certainly made the right decision, going to a hotel to have some peace and quiet.

siucra Sun 30-Dec-12 19:49:33

Hi all, I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to answer my message. It's really kind of you.
I took Dd out for morning and got home at 2.30. He was up - just - and was angry with me for being cool. He said that his friends went for breakfast and he felt disloyal that he didn't go with them!
I know, I know. It's mad.
Anyway, I have taken myself to a hotel for the night as I just couldn't face the whole drama. It's exhausting.
I have read all your advice and will re read it all.
It's ultimatum time. And knowing that I have to leave.
Thank you.

ilovewoody Sun 30-Dec-12 17:38:57

Sounds just like my exH. No matter how upset I got it would never change him. After every episode I would get the silent treatment for days as if I had done something wrong. Despite almost losing his job twice through his drinking he still didn't stop.
I too felt shame that I had married a man like that. Never told a soul until I had left him and that hurt my family that I couldn't confide in them. So tell someone. If it was your sister or best friend going through that you would want to know.
My father is also an alcoholic so I agree with the poster who warned against bringing up children in a home with an alcoholic. That's what happened to me and I ended up married to one too. So break the cycle now if you can.
Good luck x

Erik has indeed written the 3cs of alcoholism.

There is nothing you can do or say to help him. Apart from anything else you are too close to the situation to be of any real use to him, you are both using each other as a crutch and you are now codepedent on him to boot.

Would certainly recommend you read "Codependent No More" written by Melodie Davies and contact Al-anon.

This is no relationship model you want to be imparting to your child; she could well now end up with a complely dysfunctional childhood if you were to remain within this relationship with your alcoholic partner. She is already learning a lot of crap from both of you re relationships and how they are conducted.

What do you want to teach her about relationships?. She won't also thank you for staying with her alcoholic dad if you were to choose to because she will see you as weak for doing so and could well hate you as a result. You really do not want her as an adult for her to ask you why you put her drunkard father before her as a child.

You have a choice re him - your child does not. You and she both deserve far better than what you have now.

You may well love him but he loves alcohol more. Alcohol is truly a cruel mistress.

ErikNorseman Sun 30-Dec-12 13:53:14

You did not cause it
You cannot control it
You cannot cure it
Are they the three Cs of alcoholism?
Bottom line is that you can't punish or teach him to change his behaviour. Only he can.

Snorbs Sun 30-Dec-12 13:04:29

Oh, and fortyplus, I'm not sure I agree with alcoholics needing "love and support" while drinking.

At least, the open AA meetings I've attended are notable by the lack of people saying "I stopped drinking because my family supported me so much" and the volume of people saying things along the lines of "It was only after my third marriage had failed, my children were no longer speaking to me and I'd lost my job that I realised I needed to change."

Al-Anon's message to those in a relationship with an alcoholic is strong on the "leave their drinking, and the effects of their drinking, to them" theme as well.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now