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Am I being unreasonable? DH and alcohol...

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 

Help me put this is perspective...

 

My dh went out Fri night with his brother who is in town from CA. I had to work early Saturday, and he even said he "knew that he had to watch kids the next day" (we have 2 ds - one is 3  yo and the other 4 mo) so he wasn't going to go overboard. Well sure enough, at 2am he comes stumbling in (I'm a light sleeper) and then I hear him run to the bathroom and throw up. Before I leave for work the next morning I have to poke and prod him to get up because the kids were up and he looks like he's about to fall back asleep any minute. I was so worried at work. I called several times, to his cell and home and he never returned my call. Finally at about 1pm, his brother calls me to tell me that my dh is sleeping while the baby naps and that he (the brother) took the baby all morning while my dh watched the 3 yo, which I'm sure means the tv was on all morning...

 

I just don't have tolerance for my dh being hung over and in charge of my kids! This is not the first time...I know he has gone out before, gotten trashed and thrown up a handful of times before. I don't care if he goes out, but do you have to get wasted?? So much so that you throw up? When you know you have to watch kids the next day??

 

I brought this up to him yesterday...pretty much said that he can go out and party and get wasted but don't come back here and that he was being a crappy role model of how a father should behave. He tried to make excuses, like he didn't know how strong the drinks were, he was just buzzed. Then I told him I knew he threw up. He was speechless. He seemed really shocked/embarrassed that I knew he threw up. He doesn't know that I have heard him throw up before.

 

We had issues in the past with him drinking and treating me bad. He just gets really disrespectful towards me when he's had a couple, more in the tone of his voice, nothing violent. It seems to have gotten better, but now I am dealing with this. Part of me wonders if he has a problem, but part of me knows this is what guys do sometimes...not that it makes it any better.

 

Am I overreacting to this situation?

 

His dad is an alcoholic too...

post #2 of 82
No, you are not overreacting, I would not be OK with that at all. hug.gif
post #3 of 82

Of course you are not over-reacting.  Horrible things could have happened.  Children have to be supervised, and supervised well.  That's just a basic.

 

I would advise you to get in touch with a counselor and Al-Anon.  You have a serious and dangerous problem in your family.  I have BDTD in a couple aspects and am wishing you much luck and love.

post #4 of 82

yes, it is a problem. it's a problem because you need a partner who you can rely on, who can reasonably understand the consequences of his actions, and who treats you with respect and kindness. an adult understands that the consequences of going out late and drinking means that he will be hung-over and sick the next day, and that heavy drinking the night before will impede his ability to take care of important responsibilities. this is not "what guys do"... this is what teenagers and alcoholics do. 

 

i don't think that parents and partners shouldn't be able to go out and cut loose every once in a while. i've come home a little tipsy from girls night out, while my husband was home with the baby. but i do have in the back of my mind that i'm still a parent, and i'd never want to be so drunk that if my husband called and said they had to go the ER, i wouldn't be able to function. and never in a million years would either of us think it was okay to come home drunk when we had childcare responsibilities the next day. 

 

to me, this situation (not to mention the verbal abuse) means that he lacks some serious judgement, and i personally would not want to be partnered to someone like that. if you can convince him that his drinking is a real problem and he seeks help, then fine, maybe things will work out. but unless he realizes that in general alcohol is a problem (i.e not just a mistake in this particular circumstance, but a larger issue), i'm not sure there's much you can do besides finding alternative childcare and deciding what you want to do about the relationship in the longterm. 

 

 

 

post #5 of 82

First of all--sending some big hugs your way. I know how rough it can be dealing with these issues. You're not overreacting at all. Parenting is a joint responsibility and you deserve to have a partner you can rely on. I agree with the recommendation that you seek counseling and also attend an al-anon meeting. In my experience, it takes serious work to change unhealthy patterns, especially when it comes to alcohol and other substances and most people need professional help (counseling, AA, etc.) to stop. Hopefully your dh will realize that he's putting his children at risk and setting an unhealthy example, and will seek treatment of some sort. Best of luck and lots of supportive thoughts headed your way!

post #6 of 82
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all your support. I just don't quite know how to proceed from here...there is so much going on. We are suppose to go to his family reunion this weekend, which I feel means more booze...I'm suppose to have knee surgery next month and will need lots of help, plus I am EXHAUSTED with the new baby. I can't imagine doing this alone. But I also know not to take a sh!t from anyone, including my dh. Do I tell him to move out unless he gets help? I highly doubt that he will seek it...much like his father would not go to treatment when he was confronted about his drinking problem.

 

I can probably count the number of times on one hand this has happened...all since we had kids. Can't remember if it happened pre-kids, I probably just didn't care that much. I like to go out and have a good time too and have had my share of drunk episodes (not purposely getting trashed, just not paying attention to how much I was drinking), but none since kids.

 

I'm afraid if I give him one more chance, he'll just hide it better. I know there is some sort of problem if this is the way he handles alcohol (not very responsibly!) and want to help him. Crap. This sucks. 99% of the time he is great - a great hubby that makes me laugh when I am sad/angry and helps around the house, deals with my shortcomings.

 

It would almost be easier if there were physical abuse. That's something I would in no way put up with - cut and dry - I'm out the door with the kids. Does that make sense? This issue just has so many layers...

post #7 of 82

yes, i definitely know what you mean. i think you should be willing to give him another chance if you haven't been clear before on how unacceptable you find this. again, if it were me, i'd tell him that i was still very upset and angry about the situation this week and i would like him to not drink at all this weekend and not go out drinking with his friends for a certain amount of time (not ever again, but 3 months or something?). i don't like ultimatums, i think adults shouldn't be treated like children by their spouses, but this will give you a little insight into what exactly his problem is. if he is willing to agree and can easily follow through, then i'd say this was a bad judgment call. if he's willing to agree but can't follow through or isn't even willing to agree at all, you have a better idea of how serious the problem is. 

 

have you read "too bad to stay, too good to leave"? a good friend of mine used it while working through the break-up of her marriage and found it very helpful. i've read excerpts of it and think it can be a good tool for complicated situations like yours. 

post #8 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post

Of course you are not over-reacting.  Horrible things could have happened.  Children have to be supervised, and supervised well.  That's just a basic.

 

I would advise you to get in touch with a counselor and Al-Anon.  You have a serious and dangerous problem in your family.  I have BDTD in a couple aspects and am wishing you much luck and love.


I completely agree here. This is not responsible parenting. Your children deserve better.
post #9 of 82

I completely agree.  I don't know your financial situation or specifics of your job, but you might need to let him know that if he's wasted going into watching your kids you'll have to either a) pay for daycare elsewhere (maybe there is a quality drop in place there or a friend you can pay to watch your kids) or b) call in sick because your kids are a priority even if financially that is not the best idea.  Looking at it monetarily might make your dh rethink his actions.

post #10 of 82

Just a thought.  No, guys DON'T do this sometimes, not partnered parents.  That is, unless they have a substance abuse problem. 

post #11 of 82

If it only happened once or twice a year (bachelor party/out of town friend visit/etc) I'd say you're overreacting.  But this sounds like more than that so yeah I'd be plenty mad. 

 

I've had a few nights since I became a mom where I had too much to drink and was hungover.  I didn't mean too, but damn those margaritas are tasty and stronger than I thought.  Yes, I woke up hungover and DD1 watched cartoons for 3 hours while I napped.  Do I think it makes me a bad mom?  No, I think it makes me a human who does dumb things occasionally.

post #12 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey693 View Post

I've had a few nights since I became a mom where I had too much to drink and was hungover.  I didn't mean too, but damn those margaritas are tasty and stronger than I thought.  Yes, I woke up hungover and DD1 watched cartoons for 3 hours while I napped.  Do I think it makes me a bad mom?  No, I think it makes me a human who does dumb things occasionally.

I think you've been very lucky. I have one that could have burnt the house down or made total mayhem if left unsupervised that long. Please don't make a habit of that. Your kid deserves better. If you need to let your hair down maybe you could trade sleepovers with one of the daughter's playdate families.
post #13 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



I think you've been very lucky. I have one that could have burnt the house down or made total mayhem if left unsupervised that long. Please don't make a habit of that. Your kid deserves better. If you need to let your hair down maybe you could trade sleepovers with one of the daughter's playdate families.

 

How could house have burnt the house down while I napped in the same room with her laying next to me?  I don't see that as any different from cosleeping.  There's no way she could have gotten out of the room without me waking up.
 

 

post #14 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey693 View Post



 

How could house have burnt the house down while I napped in the same room with her laying next to me?  I don't see that as any different from cosleeping.  There's no way she could have gotten out of the room without me waking up.
 

 


Ah, but your post didn't say that. You can sleep through the tv running? I never can.
post #15 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



Ah, but your post didn't say that. You can sleep through the tv running? I never can.


It didn't occur to me to post specific details.  And I can half doze, that annoying awake/asleep thing.  It's better than nothing. 

post #16 of 82

OP, how often is this happening?

post #17 of 82

Document, document, document, document.  Something tells me you'll need the documentation once you get sick and tired of his BS.

post #18 of 82

Ditto.  BTDT once.  Have I dont it since?  NO!  Would I do it again?  Not on purpose.  Im not a bad parent either.  I consider myself a pretty great mother actually.  HOWEVER, if this has happened a few times a year since your first was born, it may be escalating.  Because IMO, he should have learned the first time this was a bad habbit to get into. 
 

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey693 View Post

If it only happened once or twice a year (bachelor party/out of town friend visit/etc) I'd say you're overreacting.  But this sounds like more than that so yeah I'd be plenty mad. 

 

I've had a few nights since I became a mom where I had too much to drink and was hungover.  I didn't mean too, but damn those margaritas are tasty and stronger than I thought.  Yes, I woke up hungover and DD1 watched cartoons for 3 hours while I napped.  Do I think it makes me a bad mom?  No, I think it makes me a human who does dumb things occasionally.



 Just so you know, physical abuse is rarely this cut and dry.  many women still find it very hard to walk away, because the beating usually go hand in hand with emotional abuse and gaslighting.  And it MAY have started with something as innocent as a great hubby who got wasted occassionally and was to hungover to watch the kids by himself.  These situations have cycles and patterns.  Just sayin. 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumada View Post

It would almost be easier if there were physical abuse. That's something I would in no way put up with - cut and dry - I'm out the door with the kids. Does that make sense? This issue just has so many layers...



 

post #19 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Charlie's~Angel~ View Post

 Just so you know, physical abuse is rarely this cut and dry.  many women still find it very hard to walk away, because the beating usually go hand in hand with emotional abuse and gaslighting.  And it MAY have started with something as innocent as a great hubby who got wasted occassionally and was to hungover to watch the kids by himself.  These situations have cycles and patterns.  Just sayin. 


Ditto, physical abuse is often far from 'cut & dry'... and feels very different when you're actually the one in that situation.

Just to give you a bit of a comparison point, my DH is from an alcoholic family as well. Since we got married, there was one time he got way too drunk (fortunately it was before we had kids). The next day, he knew he'd gone too far (though at least he's a 'nice' drunk!), and he knew it was completely unacceptable. Several years later, he has never once gotten drunk again. We have a discussion before every event at which there will be alcohol, and he agrees to have only one drink if he'll be driving, and no more than 2-3 (beers) otherwise. I know it is hard for him to turn down the 4th beer but he is doing it because he knows he has responsibilities to others beyond himself. Healthy people learn from their mistakes. I know some people are OK with getting drunk (to me, it's morally wrong), but even then you need to do it in a controlled environment -- i.e. no kids to watch, no driving involved, etc. It concerns me that your DH has made this 'mistake' multiple times, even after planning to not go overboard. It concerns me that he's allowing himself to drink so much when he knows he has alcoholism in his genes. It especially concerns me that he tries to hide it all. Lots of red flags there. hug.gif
post #20 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverFish View Post

to me, this situation (not to mention the verbal abuse) means that he lacks some serious judgement, and i personally would not want to be partnered to someone like that. if you can convince him that his drinking is a real problem and he seeks help, then fine, maybe things will work out. but unless he realizes that in general alcohol is a problem (i.e not just a mistake in this particular circumstance, but a larger issue), i'm not sure there's much you can do besides finding alternative childcare and deciding what you want to do about the relationship in the longterm. 

 

 

 


I don't know if I should have called the situation we had been through before "verbal abuse." It was more like snapping at me, saying things like "don't worry, gosh/you worry too much" and speaking about the situation we were in at the moment. He has never put me down.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverFish View Post

yes, i definitely know what you mean. i think you should be willing to give him another chance if you haven't been clear before on how unacceptable you find this. again, if it were me, i'd tell him that i was still very upset and angry about the situation this week and i would like him to not drink at all this weekend and not go out drinking with his friends for a certain amount of time (not ever again, but 3 months or something?).

 

have you read "too bad to stay, too good to leave"? a good friend of mine used it while working through the break-up of her marriage and found it very helpful. i've read excerpts of it and think it can be a good tool for complicated situations like yours. 

It's so crazy saying this, but we live in WI and it's like EVERYONE drinks. Social gatherings, whatever, there are always drinks. It's hard to get away from. I grew up totally different then him, Lutheran family, in MN. I never saw my parents drink alcohol. At family gathering we never had alcohol until I was 21, now there is only wine, never hard liquor or beer. When I met my dh, I thought at first it was very odd that everyone always had beer. I kind of think that's the culture around here. Originally where he is from is northern WI and after visiting there and seeing some of his friends (or not, because they are at the bar and we have kids, so we don't really go out to bars there anymore) he will make some comment about how bad so and so's drinking has become. So weird, but I think it's engrained in these people. Anyway, I will tell you right now that I know that NOT drinking this weekend is just not an option this weekend. I mean, I guess I'll mull it over, but I just don't see how that would work for him. I think asking him to drink responsibly is a better option.
 

Then I meet people like his brother's new girlfriend who carries a 12 pack of beer in the trunk of her car always and I think that his problem is not all that bad...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey693 View Post

If it only happened once or twice a year (bachelor party/out of town friend visit/etc) I'd say you're overreacting.  But this sounds like more than that so yeah I'd be plenty mad. 

 

I've had a few nights since I became a mom where I had too much to drink and was hungover.  I didn't mean too, but damn those margaritas are tasty and stronger than I thought.  Yes, I woke up hungover and DD1 watched cartoons for 3 hours while I napped.  Do I think it makes me a bad mom?  No, I think it makes me a human who does dumb things occasionally.



And it probably only happens this often. He is a really social guy and likes to go out with friends. As do I, but my sleep is more important to me right now, so I choose not to go out with friends. But if my brother was in town, I'd probably go out too. I would also make sure that I drink glasses and glasses of water after every drink. Dh told me that his brother was buying the drinks and did not realize how strong they were. Do I believe that? Sure. But I just don't know why you wouldn't stop once you felt buzzed or drink more water.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey693 View Post

OP, how often is this happening?


Right around when ds 1 was the age of ds 2 (4 mo) I remember the issues with him being a jerk to me when he drank started. I was only a couple of times. He apologized and it stopped. I can think of 2 times this year and maybe 1 time last year where I heard him puking when he got home from going out with friends. Those times he didn't have to watch the kids, he was either going to work the next day or it was a weekend I had off.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

Document, document, document, document.  Something tells me you'll need the documentation once you get sick and tired of his BS.


Thanks for this. I will do so. Hate to do it, but I need to.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Charlie's~Angel~ View Post

Ditto.  BTDT once.  Have I dont it since?  NO!  Would I do it again?  Not on purpose.  Im not a bad parent either.  I consider myself a pretty great mother actually.  HOWEVER, if this has happened a few times a year since your first was born, it may be escalating.  Because IMO, he should have learned the first time this was a bad habbit to get into. 
 



 Just so you know, physical abuse is rarely this cut and dry.  many women still find it very hard to walk away, because the beating usually go hand in hand with emotional abuse and gaslighting.  And it MAY have started with something as innocent as a great hubby who got wasted occassionally and was to hungover to watch the kids by himself.  These situations have cycles and patterns.  Just sayin. 





 


Yeah, after I wrote that line about physical abuse, I was thinking more about it. I can see how it's brings up the same things I'm going through right now - "he's a good guy 99% of the time..." Shouldn't have written that.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post



Ditto, physical abuse is often far from 'cut & dry'... and feels very different when you're actually the one in that situation.

Just to give you a bit of a comparison point, my DH is from an alcoholic family as well. Since we got married, there was one time he got way too drunk (fortunately it was before we had kids). The next day, he knew he'd gone too far (though at least he's a 'nice' drunk!), and he knew it was completely unacceptable. Several years later, he has never once gotten drunk again. We have a discussion before every event at which there will be alcohol, and he agrees to have only one drink if he'll be driving, and no more than 2-3 (beers) otherwise. I know it is hard for him to turn down the 4th beer but he is doing it because he knows he has responsibilities to others beyond himself. Healthy people learn from their mistakes. I know some people are OK with getting drunk (to me, it's morally wrong), but even then you need to do it in a controlled environment -- i.e. no kids to watch, no driving involved, etc. It concerns me that your DH has made this 'mistake' multiple times, even after planning to not go overboard. It concerns me that he's allowing himself to drink so much when he knows he has alcoholism in his genes. It especially concerns me that he tries to hide it all. Lots of red flags there. hug.gif


Technically the person he calls his father is not his biological father. I'm just so used to saying it's his "dad." Dh does not know his real father. He met his step dad when he was around 7 yo. His step dad has major problems with drugs and alcohol. It's the reason his step dad and mom got divorced 10 years ago. I see that his dad drinks Windsor and cheap vodka and will finish off a huge bottle of those during the coarse of the day. I'm talking the huge bottles with the handles. Now that is when he has been up with family so maybe he's just having a good time, but I'm sure he drinks a lot when he is alone too. I know dh seems to think so. Huge red flags go off when I see those kinds of liquor at our house. I don't know how else to make a point to dh other than gently bringing up his dad's drinking problem. Do I go down the road of "do you want to end up like your dad?" I know dh sees his dad's drinking problem and knows how much he drinks and is concerned. It just seems like dh is not making the connection while he himself is drinking and having a good time.

 

 

 

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