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When loved ones drink and you don't

Partners, families, children and friends - they all get affected by your drinking.
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DoingBetter
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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by DoingBetter » 24 Jul 2012 09:21

Thanks guys/gals/whoever we are!

My dangerous days are coming in the next couple days. OH will want to go to the pub and I either have to say no (and miss out on a chat) or go and drink softie. So tomorrow I need to decide which it will be.

In August I will be taking an overseas holiday to go back home and visit my family and friends. I think I'll tell him that I want to look good for the trip, so that will give me a couple of weeks to get under my belt first. None of my friends at home drink, so no worries there.

Its not that he pushes me to drink, its that he can't imagine anyone that wouldn't want to drink.

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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by Hereagain » 29 Jul 2012 17:12

Having a serious wobble this afternoon which is ridiculous considering recent events with my partner. He has been 'cutting down' after I basically gave him an ultimatum over his drinking a couple of weekends ago. Anyhow last night we went to the cinema and during the course of the day he had drunk 5 pints and tells me how much better he feels for cutting down! Half way through the film he went into a diabetic hypo and I had to alert staff who called an ambulance - they stabilised him and he came back to my house (I hardly slept as I was scared it would happen again). When I finally got to sleep I was awoken during the night with a drunken text from my ex-husband telling me how much he misses life with me and my 2 boys - wtf?! :roll:

Today my other half had his first pint at 11 30 :(

I know now I can t stay with him but we are going on holiday next week and my 2 sons are so looking forward to it. So I am now looking at a fortnight away with him knowing that I want to end things :|

So why do I want to get drunk when I know the untold grief that alcohol has played in my life?

:?:
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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by Hereagain » 31 Jul 2012 22:25

Thank you Paula - yes I was pretty angry tbh (when the paramedics turned up I gave them some background medical information and also told them he had eaten only a burger all day but consumed 5 pints of lager.) The guy shook his head and said no wonder he had a hypo then!! I feel angry that we had to call over-worked paramedics out through something he could have avoided. Then I feel guilty for feeling that way.

Re the holiday - I am not letting my son s down so am going with an open mind and like you am thinking of what I want to get out of the break for me and my sons and will see what happens. Sunday I felt sure I wanted to end things but have calmed down since (although I still haven't been able to see him yet! I know he s stewing and I think he deserves to!)

Ps You are doing so amazingly well with your not drinking I reckon your holidy will be a walk in the park :D
Pps I had my wobble but not a drop passed my lips ;)?
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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by you're worth it » 05 Aug 2012 14:09

Hi, all. My sobriety has been going well and I have been feeling better and better all the time. It was certainly worth all the difficulties in the early stages.

I am, however, struggling inside at the moment. My dad, is I believe, an alcoholic. ("functioning" for many years but with the disease progressing). He is 78 now and a couple of years ago was diagnosed with leaukaemia. He remains fairly "healthy" provided he has his regular treatments. His drinking has, however, got worse recently. Due to my drinking and a family fall out I didn't speak to him for three years, until last Christmas and reasonably normal family relations have been resumed since then. I can quite understand why he is drinking - he obviously knows he is nearing the end of his life and he must have a hell of a lot of regrets over some of the ways in which he has acted.

I have just had my mum on the phone in tears about his drinking and the abuse he is giving her. (She has got shingles at the moment and can't get out to meet so that we can talk without him being present). He got through at least a bottle of whisky yesterday (probably more), can't remember anything of the Olympics and is giving her constant abuse. He drinks daily and always takes his bottle of whisky to bed with him. The only time he doesn't drink is when he is asleep.

Being an alcoholic myself I can recognise all the signs in him. I am however, struggling at the moment. I don't know what to do. My sobriety has to come first. I can only cope with so much moaning from my mum. (I have long standing issues about the fact she had a relationship with my first husband and although we are civil now, I still have all sorts of nasty thoughts at the back of my mind - like she has got what she deserves - which I know is really, really nasty of me). I have resentments running around left, right and centre. I can't see any point in talking to my dad about his drinking (it didn't work for me, until I asked for help myself). I can only listen to my mum whilst she moans. I don't want to be selfish o r feel sorry for myself and really I feel quite messed up inside at the moment. I have just been for a long walk which helped a bit. The last thing I want to do is drink myself to make all this mess go away and at the moment I'm not tempted, but I know that I have to be really careful. Thank you for letting me sound off. Any advice welcome!! <:)>

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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by DannyD » 05 Aug 2012 15:08

parents huh - who'd have them.

There's an awful lot going on here, and I'm not really very good at seperating the issues.

There's your relationship with your mum which has been muddied by her confusing affection for someone when you wanted her to take your side.
There's your relationship with your dad.
There's your mum's relatonship with your dad
And then alcohol has been thrown into the mix.

However, she's distressed and coming to you for comfort, so I'd say try and be a listening board for her. She may not want you to do anything except listen. Can you do this and still protect yourself? I would say look after yourself. You'll be no good to anyone if you start drinking.

<:)>
be selfish in your sobriety.

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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by Topcat » 05 Aug 2012 15:45

YWI, parents really should not moan/put down their partners to the children. It is not right as the child is "piggy in the middle and torn between the two". Could you mention that to your Mother if it gets a bit much? Say that you would prefer her not to keep using you as a sounding board.

You're right in that your Father is the only one who can do anything about his drinking. You, on the other hand, are in control of yours and that it the most important aspect in all this. DD is right, you must protect yourself and, if that means telling your Mother not to keep telling you all about her problems with your Father, then so be it. <:)>
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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by silvergirl » 05 Aug 2012 19:05

hi you're worth it, i'm not sure i have any advice for you, i just wanted to say that i think you're in a very difficult situation and you're doing brilliantly well thinking it through and trying to look after yourself. you say "My sobriety has to come first" and i think this is what you have to hold on to.

i recently spent three weeks out of a month with my mother who drinks every day and i found it hard work indeed. she is also in her 70s and i have come to see the same thing as you, that unless she wants to do something about her drinking there's very little anyone else can do about it. she changes into a not particularly nice person when she is drinking and it is wearing. i tried to distance myself from it/her soon after she started drinking and to some extent that worked, although it is difficult when she starts at 11am some mornings. anyway.

it's alright to be resentful i think, there is clearly history here, as there is in every family. i agree that there's no point in talking to your father about his drinking, and i agree with dd that if you can be a sounding board for your mum without it damaging yourself then do that, but if it starts impinging on you in a negative way, then ease off. don't feel that being selfish is a bad thing, if the alternative is something that will do you harm. everything you're feeling is understandable, and also allowed. sorry i don't have any answers, but i truly feel for you and hope you can find a way forward. vent here if it helps. <:)>

best wishes,
sgx
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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by MsTique » 05 Aug 2012 20:18

you're worth it wrote:I am however, struggling at the moment. I don't know what to do. My sobriety has to come first. I can only cope with so much moaning from my mum.
You're so right, YWI..... your sobriety is the most important thing. You need to stand back a bit from all this emotional turmoil, however difficult it might be. I can understand your dad drinking, given his health condition, and I expect your mum's previous behaviour must play on his mind too. It must be difficult, though, for your mum to suffer all the emotional and verbal abuse. But, as you say, being a sounding board for someone gets very wearing, and to be honest YWI, I would feel the same as you had my mum done that to me. I think your mum needs someone else to talk to..... you are too emotionally involved. What about having a word with your doctor or health visitor and see what kind of professional help is on offer for your mum and dad? That way, it will take some of the burden off you and, hopefully, they will get the help they need. It would be good if you could have someone to talk to as well because, after all you've been through, I can understand how you think the things you do. I think you need someone to offload this to. It's obvious that you love your parents, YWI, and that you feel responsible towards them but you must put yourself first more often. <:)>

Lee x
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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by you're worth it » 05 Aug 2012 23:34

Wow, thank you so much everyone for your honest opinions. I really do feel in a much better place. Everyone has said more or less what I was thinking, but I truly was worried about being selfish. During my time drinking I acted very badly at times and am feeling a lot of remorse. I realise that I need to forgive myself over my past behaviour. However, I AM NOT responsible for all the difficulties in my family - ABSOLUTELY not. There are lots of issues in my family going back to when I was a child/teenager and it is/has been a very disfunctional unit. I have done all that I can to apologise to people for my past behaviour.

I am happy to be a sounding board at present for my mum. But if it becomes too much for me I will be able to tell her so. I feel strong enough for that now. The comment about recommending my parents talk to professions is an excellent idea and I will use that if it all gets too much. I know already that my Dad would never agree to talk to anybody - but again that is his problem. My mum has always used me as a sounding board (my Dad had several affairs when I was a teenager; and I was a listening ear for my mum all those times - I realise now that she was wrong to use me like this but that she has her own difficulties). I don't, however, have to put myself in that situation again, if I think it is going to damage me.

I am a different person now in sobriety. My sobriety must stay with me. That, I think, is the one area in which I am "allowed" (!) to be selfish. Thank you so much again, everyone for taking the time to give your comments. I am going to bed with a much clearer head tonight. :D

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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by MsTique » 06 Aug 2012 09:55

you're worth it wrote:I am a different person now in sobriety. My sobriety must stay with me. That, I think, is the one area in which I am "allowed" (!) to be selfish.
Yay! \:)/ We're all behind you! (didn't mean it to sound like a pantomine :oops: , but you know what I mean :D ) <:)>

Lee x
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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by DoingBetter » 06 Aug 2012 13:52

I think it's like the instructions when you fly, put the mask on you first and get the oxygen flowing, then you can help someone else. I've learned that drowning myself is not going to help someone else swim.

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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by you're worth it » 06 Aug 2012 19:37

DoingBetter wrote:I think it's like the instructions when you fly, put the mask on you first and get the oxygen flowing, then you can help someone else. I've learned that drowning myself is not going to help someone else swim.

Good one. DB.

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Am I doing the right thing?

Post by Lab71 » 18 Jun 2013 13:22

My partner who is an alcohalic decided to quit and do out patient therapy. I don't have a drinking problem so I stopped drinking to be supportive. She went about a month and is now dealing with PAWS. Last Friday we went out to see a friend. I was drinking a non- alcohalic beer. She sat there talking with us for a while . i asked if she wanted a juice or an NA beer. said she wanted a beer. i said you probally should not do that. she sat there a bit longer then went to the bathroom and came back with a beer. She had 4 and on the way home got a 6 pack. Now she has not drank again since. I don't know if I should bring it up in conversation or let it go. I know I can't make her drink and I can't make her stop. But I feel like my hands are tied.

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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by Topcat » 18 Jun 2013 13:56

If it was me Lab, I would want the subject left alone. If she brings it up - then fine - go ahead and discuss it. As you rightly say, it has to be her decision whether to drink or not.

If it helps, if someone told me I shouldn't really drink alcohol, it was like a red rag to a bull. I had to decide whether to drink or not. Even though I knew one drink was one too many, it still had to be a choice that I made and not something someone else decided for me.

I think it's great that you are so supportive of your wife in her struggle and I'm sure she appreciates it.
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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by zarajenkin » 17 Jul 2013 22:48

Hi, not sure how often people look at this thread but wanted somewhere to write. I am 4 mths af and my relationship with my oh is falling apart. Drinking was our bonding time when kids in bed and our secret bit if fun. Now I don't drink we have lost that sad though it sounds that that was what kept us feeling connected. Been a beautiful day here and was later home than expected as took 6 yr old to pool and park with friends. He went mad as said wanted to eat with me to bond. I said not only way, we could talk. Big arg and he has gone to pub. V sad that our love for each other seems to be evaporating. Thanks for reading this. Helps to write it down. Zara

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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by MissCheese » 18 Jul 2013 06:38

Oh ZaraJ I really feel for you <:)> You are absolutely right of course. You need to have a good long chat with your OH, maybe discuss some other things you can do to bond, you can still go out for food but you aren't ever going to be that silly giggly drunk bird again.

It has happened to many on here so hopefully you'll get some good responses. My relationship fell apart before I found the strength to finally quit ans stay quit.

Good luck!
MissCheese

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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by Topcat » 18 Jul 2013 06:55

Zara <:)> It is so very difficult this one. I thought giving up drink was just that - you stop right? Wrong!. I stopped for nearly a year when I was with my late partner. He still wanted his drinking buddy, but not the alcoholic. He couldn't grasp that they were inseparable. It is just as difficult for our partners to come to grips with the changes that we undergo as it is for us Zara. Our whole lives change together with our drinking habits. I didn't understand that at the time and my partner and I did break up (there were other reasons too). We had no children though and we remained the closest of friends.

I do agree with MC that a good long talk is needed. He is probably confused and maybe a little afraid at the changes you are going through (stopping drinking is the start of a long road).

I do hope you can talk things through Zara. Good luck <:)> <:)>
Last edited by Topcat on 18 Jul 2013 06:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by Sandy » 18 Jul 2013 06:56

Zara
Sorry I am using an iPad at the mo and not very good with it and keep losing posts so will keep this brief but I imagine you will get many responses here. Lots of experience and advice on how to get through this very tricky time.
I would say be patient , give it time. If you both drunk together every evening then this is a massive change to both your lifestyles . Most impotrtantly keep all channels of communication open, do not shut down and sulk or brood nor allow your partner to do this either. This can happen very easily so I beg you to nip it in the bud and deal with it outright( I talk the talk but never walked the walk :? )
Sheila gave me very good advice when I was in a similar situation to you. She told me to remember that it was ME who had changed not HIM. And I always try to remember that.
Sobriety in a relationship causes massive dynamic changes, sit with it, talk it through, try very hard to incorporate new hobbies :o into your relationship new things to try as a couple and a family.
Putting in the effort now ( both of you) will make a huge difference.
Lastly never forget how far you have come Zara 4 months AF is amazing. This is your life and your lifestyle you have chosen it and worked hard to achieve it. If your relationship is strong it will survive this change , it may just need a few wee tweaks.
Don't give up on either
Stay strong my lovely, all that is happening here is you now seeing life as a non drinker and experiencing the impact the change is you is bringing to your life.
Bet your kids adored having their happy sober mummy taking them to the park and enjoying and living life?
Stay strong my lovely.
With a bit if work it will all come good in the end
Sandy

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CJ
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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by CJ » 18 Jul 2013 15:07

Zara listen to Sandy she is talking a lot of sense.
Like you I have found the change in my relationship with my drinking husband the only negative thing about becoming sober. We both miss that drinking time together, the silly giggling, the bonding. Me giving up has had a huge impact on our relationship, both mentally and physically. I find I don't actually like my drunken oh anymore, he slurs, smells, shuffles or staggers, and gets downright embarrassing. Thank goodness he doesn't do it everyday - in fact he has cut down a lot since I have given up. I have to remind myself I was just as bad, actually worse than he gets! Even 2 years on this is still a problem for me, but I am managing it. When I was 4 months sober gosh I too thought my marriage was coming to an end. So did he. I was miserable, moody and snappy with him. My irritation with him showed constantly. I couldn't get past the fact that I was angry with him for drinking and yet envious too, I felt so hypocritical. Time helps. I now feel ok to say things, like I have earned the right ( I have!) - last night I told him yes I do love you but I hate you when you are drunk. He took it ok.
Sandy is right, it is so important to talk, just little chats here and there can help, but try not to let things fester and build up till you see no way out. I got like that for a while as I say at your stage AF and it was very hard. Part of it is opening up about your feelings- something we traditionally have used alcohol to help us do. Suddenly there is no alcohol for us, and yet our OH s still need it. And Don't forget PAWS at four months can back an extra strain on the relationship. Good luck zara this feels awful right now I know, but it will improve, just try not to feel too angry, and like Sandy says talk talk talk but make it on both your terms.
My marriage has changed certainly, and things have been a challenge, but over the last year or two we have communicated well enough to realise that we are still good together. Takes quite a bit of soul searching. And compromise. For now though remember it is still early days for you both in a huge change. Don't make any big decisions, just take the rough with the smooth for a while. I went through so many ups and downs with this, still don't know all the answers, but keeping the lines of communication open is paramount.
Cj
Xx
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Re: When loved ones drink and you don't

Post by zarajenkin » 19 Jul 2013 08:00

Dear everyone,

Thank you SO much all for writing - a wealth of advice! I have not had a chance to be on the computer yesterday and am doing the school run in ten mins! so will come back later and look through all your replies properly.

love Zara x

PS - yesterday a couple of friends sent me a case of a selection of non-alcoholic wine for my birthday ( I was sobbing in the kitchen when they were down a couple of weeks ago cos I had just found out i got a merit in my masters of law and wanted to drink cava and couldn't). i am so touched that they were so thoughtful and supportive of my non-drinking by sending this gift.

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