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Problem drinking in the family

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14 years 5 months ago #47725 by Popcorn

Originally posted by Gene Queen:
I'm very grateful for your advice... it's difficult to advise someone when you don't know the whole story. Popcorn - have you considered leaving your husband? What stopped you? Would you have not married him if you knew then what you know now?

Have I thought about it? Hell yes. Have I come darn close? Yes. Not actually done it, though. Why? Not as easy to answer.

We were high school sweethearts - which was a time when he didn't drink, and wasn't suffering from the anxiety and depression he has now. So I've seen the proverbial "other side" - and (stop me if I go all Star-Wars on you) have seen the good in him. Heck, I've got mushy love letters that he wrote to me in college. So I know that there's this guy - the one I fell in love with and married - under this mess.

Another reason is that it has taken so long for him to even accept that he needs help with his mental state. His anxiety was so severe that he was nauseated every morning for almost 18 months just thinking about going to work. But he did. He's been terribly undermanaged and undermedicated since, partly because of our stupid insurance, and partly because it took me a long time to realize how severe it was. It didn't help that he had little-to-no continuity of care, and his "therapist" didn't do therapy. The only reason we're still together is because of our awesome marriage counselor.

I do still think about leaving. But now I've uprooted him, and moved him halfway across the country. He's so excited to be here, and he's even accepting more responsibility around the house. (He's been annointed the Laundry Master now.) I think things are pretty tenuous at the moment (stress of moving and all), but going the right direction. Once our insurance kicks in again, we're getting him in with a doc who will aggressively manage his meds, as well as a therapist who can help with the alcoholism and anxiety.

And if none of that works.... well, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. It ain't easy, I'll say that much.

Would I have married him knowing then what I know how? Good question. Probably not. Sad to say, but true. But I do hold those vows sacred, and will do everything in my power to make this work. Unfortunately, he has to make it work too. He's working on it, but moves at the pace of molasses. Maybe it's a good thing that I have a career to devote so much energy towards...

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14 years 4 months ago #47726 by Gene Queen
Thought I'd post an update on my situation. Around the time I was posting, I was also having serious discussions with him about the whole thing. He agreed that he might have a problem,and promised to try and curb his drinking. Well, he actually has! He still drinks, but not as often and not as excessively when he does. We went to a cottage together for a week, and he didn't get stupidly drunk once, even though there was lots of beer in the fridge and we had nowhere to go.

I'm happy about this - I don't expect that he will ever stop drinking altogether. Now, we just have to work on the smoking...

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14 years 3 months ago #47727 by DGray
Love is not enough. A happy life together depends on respect, trust and understanding.
My husband and I both came to our marriage with alot of baggage, His was drinking.
Ive been married for 12 years, The first 5 were very very difficult.(he had such a high tolerance he could drink a 24 pack by himself, years of drinking!) You cant trust a person who is a drunk. They may have great intentions and love you very much but addiction is a nasty nasty thing. When I was carrying my fourth baby he went out to get diapers and didnt come back until the next day because he was on a binger. He checked into the salvation army rehab and has been sober since then. There will never be booze in our house, ever! He knows without a doubt that being a drunk is not gonna happen if he wants to keep his family. We deserve better. So does he. So do you. Its a tough tough ugly life. Good luck.
On a happier note, he started maturing after he quite drinking and he never ceases to amaze me, I love and adore him. He just was carrying on a bad family tradition.
I hope that things stay better for you and that this isnt just a temporary fix. :crossfingers:

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14 years 3 months ago #47728 by Lisscoe
I don't have a lot to add, as this isn't an issue I have a lot of experience with. But I just read an article about a similar situation (in the "Can this marriage be saved" articles) entitled "My Husband's Drinking Is Ruining Our Marriage" (link below).

The big take away from the article is that some men are "problem drinkers" because their drinking caused family problems, but are NOT actually addicted, so are in fact able to become moderate drinkers without stopping drinking all together. So I thought it was an appropriate article for this thread.

http://www.lhj.com/lhj/story.jhtml?storyid=/templatedata/lhj/story/data/CTMBS_dr inking_01192005.xml&catref=lcat32

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14 years 2 months ago #47729 by Gene Queen
A great article, thanks for posting it!

I can really relate to the wife in that article. My fiance is not physically or psychologically dependent on alcohol. He too is a binger. He too has a circle of friends that have not grown out of their high school habits of getting stupidly drunk on weekends.

A few months ago I posted that my fiance had admitted that he drank too much (in a sitting) and promised to try and curb it. He did for awhile. But one night after a "Jack and Jill" party about a month ago, he invited a bunch of friends back to our house to continue to drink the bottles of alcohol he had won in a draw. The police ended up coming to the house TWO separate times that night for noise, and I was infuriated. It was bad enough that the cops came (and threatened to give us a fine), but the worst part was that my fiance was so oblivious to the whole thing. I had to deal with the cops, even though they weren't my friends and really I didn't want them there in the first place.

I was so mad that the next day I told him that I needed a break from our relationship. I live in another city so I was able to get away from him. A week later he called to tell me that whether I stay with him or leave, he was going to get serious about the whole drinking thing once and for all. He had done a lot of reading about it, and really didn't want to be labelled an alcoholic and stop drinking altogether. He had found a website called "Moderation Management" which gave guidelines for drinking socially without getting drunk. He now had a plan and some support from the forum on this website. I think that is a major step.

So far, so good. I was amazed the next weekend when we went to a wedding and he only had 3 drinks in a 6 hour span. His usual would be about 12 beers. He drove us home that night. He wasn't the least bit hungover the next day. I was so proud, and amazed! He talked to some of his friends about it too, and they were totally supportive, even the heavy drinkers.

Do I think he'll stick to it? I'm not sure yet. Sometimes he goes out with friends while I'm away and I have to just trust him when he tells me how much he had to drink. One thing men HATE is someone monitoring their behaviour, and mine is no exception! So I'm trying not to ask too many questions at this point. But if he strays off the path, I'm fully prepared to leave again. One thing I decided on our week "break" was that I can't tolerate this behaviour in a husband. I was relieved to hear him say how serious he was about changing because I didn't really want to leave, but I knew that I had to.

I'll keep you posted.

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14 years 2 months ago #47730 by Gene Queen
A great article, thanks for posting it!

I can really relate to the wife in that article. My fiance is not physically or psychologically dependent on alcohol. He too is a binger. He too has a circle of friends that have not grown out of their high school habits of getting stupidly drunk on weekends.

A few months ago I posted that my fiance had admitted that he drank too much (in a sitting) and promised to try and curb it. He did for awhile. But one night after a "Jack and Jill" party about a month ago, he invited a bunch of friends back to our house to continue to drink the bottles of alcohol he had won in a draw. The police ended up coming to the house TWO separate times that night for noise, and I was infuriated. It was bad enough that the cops came (and threatened to give us a fine), but the worst part was that my fiance was so oblivious to the whole thing. I had to deal with the cops, even though they weren't my friends and really I didn't want them there in the first place.

I was so mad that the next day I told him that I needed a break from our relationship. I live in another city so I was able to get away from him. A week later he called to tell me that whether I stay with him or leave, he was going to get serious about the whole drinking thing once and for all. He had done a lot of reading about it, and really didn't want to be labelled an alcoholic and stop drinking altogether. He had found a website called "Moderation Management" which gave guidelines for drinking socially without getting drunk. He now had a plan and some support from the forum on this website. I think that is a major step.

So far, so good. I was amazed the next weekend when we went to a wedding and he only had 3 drinks in a 6 hour span. His usual would be about 12 beers. He drove us home that night. He wasn't the least bit hungover the next day. I was so proud, and amazed! He talked to some of his friends about it too, and they were totally supportive, even the heavy drinkers.

Do I think he'll stick to it? I'm not sure yet. Sometimes he goes out with friends while I'm away and I have to just trust him when he tells me how much he had to drink. One thing men HATE is someone monitoring their behaviour, and mine is no exception! So I'm trying not to ask too many questions at this point. But if he strays off the path, I'm fully prepared to leave again. One thing I decided on our week "break" was that I can't tolerate this behaviour in a husband. I was relieved to hear him say how serious he was about changing because I didn't really want to leave, but I knew that I had to.

I'll keep you posted.

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