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Am I being unreasonable? DH and alcohol... - Page 2

post #21 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumada View Post
 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...



Guys do not all do this. If my husband came home that drunk even once without prior approval (and it being a really special occasion or something) then we would have a serious issue. My Dad was an alcoholic and I'm not willing to  live with any sort of alcohol issue. I think with a family history of alcoholism he ought to be being even more careful than an average person.

post #22 of 82


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumada View Post

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.

 


I definitely understand different cultural norms and expectations when it comes to drinking. My husband is from Peru and it's totally accepted (even expected) for men there to drink a TON at any social gathering. I think you're right that it is engrained in many ways--our cultural backgrounds play a huge role in our behavior and beliefs. What it comes down to for me is what behavior I'm willing to accept and what expectations I have of my partner. It's good to recognize that you grew up with very different cultural standards, but in any relationship, both partners have to compromise a certain amount. You have every right to set and hold certain boundaries, especially when it comes to the safety of your kiddos. Hopefully your hubby will understand that drinking to the point of vomiting is unacceptable to you and will do what needs to be done to change that behavior. It sounds like you're pretty understanding and lenient already when it comes to letting your husband go out and have fun, and you have every right to draw the line when it comes to getting TOO drunk. Just my take on it........

 

post #23 of 82

My take on the "it's the culture, it's what guys do" thing is tempered by the fact that my DH is from Ireland and moved here as an adult. They drink. It's what they are known for.

 

When Dh was in his 20's, he still sometimes got drunk. He never once said a harsh word to me when he was drunk, he never once drove over the limit, and he never once was unable to meet his responsibilities because of drinking. Getting drunk was a very planned activity that never caused a problem of any sort.

 

His drinking gradually decreased until now (he's 43) he has a beer or two when we are out with friends, but that's it. He never drinks at home, and never has more than 2, and really doesn't care what other guys are doing. He never goes out to bars without me.

 

One of my friends who was in AA said the the definition of an alcoholic doesn't include how much a person drinks, but rather, the impact that their drinking has. It doesn't matter if someone only drinks once a year, if when they do, they are out of control and cause problems, then they have a drinking problem.

 

When your husband drinks, it's a problem. If he cannot see that and change his behavior, it will most likely get worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumada View Post

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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sumada View Post
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.....


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.



 

post #24 of 82

we have a couple rules around DF drinking (I don't drink because of just not liking the taste/smell of alcohol). drinking is always planned in advance, he never drives drunk, he never cosleeps if he's had more than one beer (and then it has to be a couple hours before bedtime), he never gets drunk if there are things he has to do the next day, he's never drunk or hungover if he's going to need to be in charge of the kids, he's never drunk around me or the kids. we set those rules down when our first was about a week old, and he hasn't had trouble sticking to them. 

post #25 of 82

5-6 times in over 3 years wouldn't bother me.  In fact I'd say it serves him right to have to care for kids that young instead of getting to sleep all day like he would have if you were home.  If I was mad I'd probably feed the older one some sugar before I left & tell him to go wake daddy.

 

Would he have cared for both kids if he hadn't had help?

 

Being hungover & caring for kids isn't fun.  Physically it is no different than if you had a stomach virus & were caring for the kids.  At 3 there is no reason why he'd have to know dad was sick because he was drinking the night before.

post #26 of 82

I want to give you another perspective, maybe it'll help you see things in a different light.  My Hubby has Type I diabetes.  If his blood sugar gets high he has a hard time being responsible.  His doctors have told him its akin to being drunk (we don't drink, never have, so I don't know). 

 

If its his responsibility to have the kids and he allows his blood sugars to get high (eat the wrong foods, not dosing with insulin in a timely manner) I get pretty irate.  We've had a lot of discussions about it and he's doing much better.  He has a hard time sometimes when I tell him to take care of himself because his mom 'policed' him about his diabetes.  In a backwards way he tries to prove he's an adult by acting childish.  shrug.gif

 

Anyways, I'm sorry if this doesn't help, it connected in my mind and I felt like it would be a good thing to share.  Basically I see your DH reaction more about shunning responsibility and not facing a problem he has rather than having it be all about the drinking.

 

hug2.gif

 

Edited for typos.  They like to breed.


Edited by Lazurii - 8/16/11 at 4:18pm
post #27 of 82
It's kind of hard to tell from your posts exactly what's going on. In your first post, he sounded kind of like a mean, possibly abusive, definitely irresponsible alcoholic. In your second one, it sounded more like he just drank a little too much a few times -- which I wouldn't (personally) be OK with but doesn't sound like he gets abusive or anything, and at least he called someone to watch the baby. So maybe you are rationalizing for him in the second post, or maybe I read too much into your first post. I'm sure it's hard for even you to figure things out. I hope you can gain some clarity in this, it sounds tough!!
post #28 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
At 3 there is no reason why he'd have to know dad was sick because he was drinking the night before.


I wonder how old kids need to be to figure out that when Dad goes out with certain people, mom is stressed out ahead of time because she knows that dad will come home drunk, be mean, and then vomit. And then be worthless the next day.

 

I wonder how old kids are before they learn "that's just what guys do."

 

 

 

post #29 of 82
Once or twice a year drinking to that extent wouldn't bother me. And I've watched my kids while suffering from severe migraine headaches, and I don't think I was any more "with it" than someone hung over. However, there is a choice involved in being hung over, and none in having a headache, and watching kids while any kind of sick is not ideal. I think the issue is more complicated than either "this isn't as big a deal as it sounds" or "this is entirely unacceptable." It's somewhere between those two but I think only you can probablly figure out just where it is.
post #30 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

It's kind of hard to tell from your posts exactly what's going on. In your first post, he sounded kind of like a mean, possibly abusive, definitely irresponsible alcoholic. In your second one, it sounded more like he just drank a little too much a few times -- which I wouldn't (personally) be OK with but doesn't sound like he gets abusive or anything, and at least he called someone to watch the baby. So maybe you are rationalizing for him in the second post, or maybe I read too much into your first post. I'm sure it's hard for even you to figure things out. I hope you can gain some clarity in this, it sounds tough!!

Well, in my first post I was PISSED! I am not trying to rationalize for him, if you are referring to the other comment by me about how everyone around here drinks. It's just tough for me b/c it's so a part of the culture he grew up in and we are around and I totally didn't grow up seeing people drink hardly at all. It's difficult for me b/c I am afraid I will not know when there is a real problem. For a while I thought it was really crazy that dh would come home and have a beer after work some days of the week. But then I saw lots of others around us do it. And shoot, I have a glass of wine most days with dinner.  

 

And he didn't call anyone to watch the baby. His brother was staying here while he was in town. I know his brother usually sleeps in really late...like until 11am, so I wonder what really went down that morning. My ds 1, who is 3 probably went into the room where dh's brother was and woke him up. Maybe he offered to watch ds 2 b/c he could see dh was really hungover?
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post




I wonder how old kids need to be to figure out that when Dad goes out with certain people, mom is stressed out ahead of time because she knows that dad will come home drunk, be mean, and then vomit. And then be worthless the next day.

 

I wonder how old kids are before they learn "that's just what guys do."

 

 

 


I know. I'm really worried about the impact on my children. Even though they are young, they start to pick up a lot. I guess I need to decide if this continues. But is this something I leave for?

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

Once or twice a year drinking to that extent wouldn't bother me. And I've watched my kids while suffering from severe migraine headaches, and I don't think I was any more "with it" than someone hung over. However, there is a choice involved in being hung over, and none in having a headache, and watching kids while any kind of sick is not ideal. I think the issue is more complicated than either "this isn't as big a deal as it sounds" or "this is entirely unacceptable." It's somewhere between those two but I think only you can probablly figure out just where it is.


I guess I'm just mad too because I know I would never, EVER go out and get so drunk that I threw up and knew that I had to watch my kids the next day. Not to say I wouldn't go out - I've totally done that, even stayed out until bar time, but I drank just a little and drank a TON of water.

 

This has at least given me the chance to think more about his drinking. I think it may be a problem of he doesn't know when to stop. When I think about it now, he never takes a break to drink some water, or soda or anything else, especially if it's a situation where we are going to be around alcohol all afternoon and evening, like a family gathering. I mean, this is only what I am remembering. I plan to take a closer look from now on.

 

BTW, we still really haven't talked much since the weekend. I'm still waiting for an apology. It's so hard to talk about our problems when we have kids. By the time the older one is in bed, I am nursing the baby down to sleep and then I am so tired, I usually fall asleep.

 

post #31 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

No, you are not overreacting, I would not be OK with that at all. hug.gif

I agree.
post #32 of 82

OP, you need to talk to your husband.  He might not have apologized b/c he doesn't think it's a big deal, he's completely embarrassed, he's hoping that you won't bring it up and he can pretend it never happened, etc.  There's a million reasons.  I understand you can't talk with the kids around.  Put the oldest in front of a cartoon, the baby in a playpen or swing or something and talk in another room.  You'll never know why he drank so much, why he didn't answer the phone, his thought son any of this or hear his side unless you do this.  He is the person you need to talk this through with, not us.  Especially since our answers are all the over the place.

post #33 of 82
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumada View Post


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.

 

 

Why not?  It was accurate, right?  But it's startling, too.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazurii View Post

I want to give you another perspective, maybe it'll help you see things in a different light.  My Hubby has Type I diabetes.  If his blood sugar gets high he has a hard time being responsible.  His doctors have told him its akin to being drunk (we don't drink, never have, so I don't know). 

 

If its his responsibility to have the kids and he allows his blood sugars to get high (eat the wrong foods, not dosing with insulin in a timely manner) I get pretty irate.  We've had a lot of discussions about it and he's doing much better.  He has a hard time sometimes when I tell him to take care of himself because his mom 'policed' him about his diabetes.  In a backwards way he tries to prove he's an adult by acting childish.  shrug.gif

 

Anyways, I'm sorry if this doesn't help, it connected in my mind and I felt like it would be a good thing to share.  Basically I see your DH reaction more about shunning responsibility and not facing a problem he has rather than having it be all about the drinking.

 

hug2.gif

 

Edited for typos.  They like to breed.


Excellent post, great point.  

post #34 of 82


Unless you make yourself heard on how unacceptable this behavior is to you, your going to be waiting for a LOOOOONG time. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumada View Post

 

BTW, we still really haven't talked much since the weekend. I'm still waiting for an apology. It's so hard to talk about our problems when we have kids. By the time the older one is in bed, I am nursing the baby down to sleep and then I am so tired, I usually fall asleep.

 


I understand the toll a routine of two very small children takes on a marriage.  BELIEVE ME.  However, if its important to you (and him) to make it work for the long haul, you find a way to communicate.  Try to discuss it in a mature, adult-like manner while the older one is sleeping and your nursing the baby.  Tell him not to get defensive, and you are fullly aware of your own faults that could use attention.  That way he wont feel attacked and that its allllll about his faults, and he may stay calm, receptive, and open to discussion. 
 

 

post #35 of 82

I understand how hard it is to find time to talk while taking care of a small child and a baby. hug2.gif

 

I was thinking about how you posted this thread in Family Safety instead of one of the other forums, such as Parents as Partners. When you posted this, you were seeing your DH's drinking as a SAFETY concern. That, right there, says a great deal.  I don' think you were just pissed, I think you are also a little scared for your child's safety.

 

I was also thinking about how the responses have been all over the board, and while I'm sure each of our experiences effect that, I wonder if that part of the reason is that the situation is *most likely* to change. Either he'll figure out that drinking to the point of vomiting, being extremely ill, fighting with his soul mate, and being unable to meet his responsibilities to his children is pretty stupid so he cuts back, or he'll increase how often he does this.

 

The amount that he is going over the line is something that is fairly common for younger people when they drink -- something that a lot of people who aren't alcoholics do when they are figuring out how their bodies process alcohol.  I think that part of  the difference between an alcoholic and a person who drinks but isn't an alcoholic is their ability to LEARN from the experience and modify their future behavior.

 

When you talk to him, I think you could focus on how his behavior effected you and how it effected the kids. Hopefully, for your entire family, he'll be able to learn from this experience and grow. 

post #36 of 82

OP, I completely get it about the culture.  Around here it's beer, beer, beer, beer, and more beer.  I am just as much a beer drinker as my dh.  Over the years, though, we've had to learn our limits, and esp. after having children.  We've been together a LONG time.  I remember when my dh would scare me a bit because he would not drink water between his beers.  I got to where I would take him a glass and stand there 'til he drank it.  And I would do this often if we were having a bbq or something (if we go out we have our adult dd be designated driver).  Over time he started realizing it made him feel much better and he started doing it on his own. Now he's really good about it, and it is esp. important here where we live, considering it's been hotter than heck this year, and we are always working outside.  Now, I don't care to act like my dh's mother, but sometimes when someone we care about has trouble finding their own limits/taking care of themselves, it's ok to step in and help.

post #37 of 82

OP, you didn't mention anything about your DH's evening transportation -- was he driving that night?  IMO, the most significant safety concern here is him getting behind the wheel while that drunk, or getting a car with someone else who had been drinking (i.e., his brother?).  We have a pretty big alcohol-centered social culture here, too, and I notice that people who drink often in a social context do not have much concern about getting behind the wheel when they have been drinking.  "I'm fine!  Don't worry!"  Etc. 

 

Most people in our social circles consider it the height of rudeness to question someone else's self-assessment on this point.  Here's an example:

DH: "He's a responsible adult.  If he says he's ok to drive, I'm sure he's fine."

me: "But he had at least 6 beers tonight.  I don't think we should let him drive."

DH: "He can't afford a cab.  I'm sure he'll be ok, it's only a few miles away." 

me: "Can't we drive him?"

DH: "No, he'll be insulted if we tell him he's too drunk to drive."

Et cetera.

 

To me, this is a safety issue -- not just for driver and passengers, but for everyone else on the road!  To DH, it's a 'politeness' issue.  In his world, it's impolite to imply that you think someone has gone over her/his limit with alcohol.  I worry about this with my DH, because it makes him far more likely to either a) get behind the wheel when he's had too much (because to do otherwise is to suggest that he hasn't been a 'responsible adult' with alcohol, or that he can't hold his beer) or b) get in a car with someone who's been drinking (because to bow out would suggest that he doesn't trust the other person's assessment of his own abilities/limits/drunkenness.  We have had numerous conversations about this and he knows I won't tolerate it.  My best friend in college was nearly killed by a drunk driver.  I take this very, very seriously. 

 

The reason I bring this up is because it sounds to me, OP, like your DH might be in a similar kind of social situation.  I would worry about this more than the hangover.  Having a hangover while watching kids is not, IMO, a safety concern -- it's just like watching kids with a bad headache, or a flu bug.  It sucks, and the kids probably get more TV time than is healthy for them, but it's not inherently dangerous.  If he were getting drunk while caring for kids, that would be an entirely different situation. 

 

The fact that you seem to be contemplating leaving your marriage over this point raises a big red flag for me, OP.  Do you seriously think your DH has a drinking problem?  Are you so concerned about it that you think you need to get out?  If so, then there must be more going on than what you describe, because what you describe sounds more like a few lapses in judgment to me.  If you want an apology from him for his behavior, as an OP said, you're going to be waiting a long time. He probably doesn't feel that he's done anything wrong, and that the only one who suffered from his excesses was him.  If you have another point of view on this point, you need to be prepared to present that to him, and be prepared as well for him to be absolutely surprised and bewildered by your point of view.  IME, in a heavy-drinking culture, what he's doing is not excessive.  If it seems excessive to you, and you want him to be more responsible (i.e., NOT drinking to the point of throwing up), you need to make it really clear what acceptable limits look like to you.  If he can't or won't agree to stay within those limits for YOUR sake, then I would start being concerned that the problem is bigger than just "social drinking." 

post #38 of 82
Quote:

Originally Posted by Comtessa View Post

 

I would worry about this more than the hangover.  Having a hangover while watching kids is not, IMO, a safety concern -- it's just like watching kids with a bad headache, or a flu bug.  It sucks, and the kids probably get more TV time than is healthy for them, but it's not inherently dangerous.  If he were getting drunk while caring for kids, that would be an entirely different situation. 


Depending on what time he stopped drinking, and what time the OPer left for work, he was most likely well over the line while in charge of the kids. A grown man who drank enough to vomit in the middle of the night has most likely not had enough time for his body to process all that alcohol.

 

He may also have been closer to being "passed out" than "sleeping." 

 

I would not be OK leaving my children with someone who was legally drunk and half passed out. It isn't comparable to parenting with a headache. Not even close.

 

 

post #39 of 82

DH drank so much he was unable to care for his children, even though he had made that commitment in advance. That is grossly unacceptable.

 

It is especially bad that he did so when he had a young infant at the home. A three year old is a lot more self sufficient but a four month old. I would be livid, and I really pretty tolerant of the doing dumb things on occasion when your friends are in town. If he didn't need to take care of the kids the next day I will be annoyed because IMHO that level of hangover is a bit pathetic in a grown bad. I think any behavior that has an adult incapicitate/passed out the next day is not okay. But, totally, totally not acceptable behavior in someone who is committed to carrying for kids, especially an infant.

 

What kind of transportation was involved? If he drove himself and his brother my level of anger would multiple by a factor of 10. (Luckily DH is a fan of stupid behavior + public transportation.)

post #40 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post




Depending on what time he stopped drinking, and what time the OPer left for work, he was most likely well over the line while in charge of the kids. A grown man who drank enough to vomit in the middle of the night has most likely not had enough time for his body to process all that alcohol.




I completely disagree with this.  I know people who can have 2 or 3 drinks and puke b/c of a bad reaction, nasty mixer, the combo of alcohol in the drink or some other reason.  8 hours later they're fine BAC wise, but still hungover.  Does anyone even know if OP's DH really did have a shit ton to drink or if he only had a few, but had a bad reaction?

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