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DIL thinks my husband has a alcohol problem

(118 Posts)
DillytheGardener Tue 21-May-19 00:01:18

My Dil let slip she thinks my husband has an alcohol problem.

I was catching up with her the other day and asked how things were going, she said she was exhausted as along with a big commission she is working on, my son was keeping her up late coming home drunk.
She mentioned she was worried as she has had this issue with him in the past, and as his dad has a problem she was worried it was genetic. I looked rather cross, and she said 'oh goodness sorry, must be a culture thing then". She is from the other side of the world from a country that drinks like the Irish, so I think she was fibbing to save face.
She is normally very diplomatic and quiet so it's rather out of character to say something this harsh.
I don't think there is a problem though. My husband worked in the city (now retired) and it has a culture of boozy lunches and late nights. He goes out 3-4 times a week now with old colleagues and does come back rather drunk, but he never drinks at dinner like others do. When we go out together he normally just has a soda water or a coke. So I don't think he has an issue, but feeling quite cross at Dil.
I haven't been a perfect Mil, so not sure if I should leave it or not as I've already been told off by son for speaking my mind to her.

JustStoppingBy Mon 24-Jun-19 20:59:53

Just because you think she was born in a country that drinks a lot, doesn't mean she was raised around drinking. There's plenty of binge drinking in America, but I was raised in a home with zero alcohol, and none of my friends' parents had alcohol in the house either. If my parents ever drank it was like one glass of wine a month after the kids had gone to bed. If she comes from a home that's anything like mine then, "3-4 times a week now with old colleagues and does come back rather drunk" 100% sounds like a drinking problem. If that was how my husband behaved I would be pushing him into rehab.

All that being said, if your husband's drinking has never negatively impacted your marriage, then it might not be a problem. But your son's drinking is clearly an alcohol problem as it's negatively impacting his marriage. And seeing as how he's behaving the same as the example your husband set, your husband's drinking is now her problem.

BlueBelle Sun 02-Jun-19 10:32:07

DoraMarr no drunken behaviour is far from a joke but it could be a wake up call to see what a prat he is when he’s drunk

BlueBelle Sun 02-Jun-19 10:29:46

I totally take my hat off to you Dilly for coming on here getting so many comments that you weren’t expecting but you took it all on board looked at it through new eyes and had the grace to change your opinion That’s a big thing to do Many people ask for advice don’t get the answers they are expecting get annoyed or upset accuse people of bullying etc but you took it all in and have accepted it
Good luck to you and I truly hope you and the (sounds lovely) daughter in law can get some help for your men ( not so sure about the older one) but at least the son so you can get the much wanted baby on board what a sensible daughter in law to wait too

Iam64 Sun 02-Jun-19 08:58:29

Catching up with this Dilly and impressed by the way you spoke with your daughter in law.

So far as I know, there's a genetic as well as social/behavioural link to drink problems. We've had a recent relationship breakdown in our extended family, caused by the kind of behaviour your son is showing, that is going out, staying out, behaving badly under the influence of drink. It's devastating to everyone, especially to the children caught up in the middle of it.
Dilly, please don't expend all your energy trying to look after everyone else, to find solutions and encourage others to do the right thing. I know you'll want to, all mothers do, but make time for yourself. Look after yourself and don't neglect your emotional needs - living in this kind of pressure house can do for us.

DoraMarr Sun 02-Jun-19 07:59:53

Dilly this must be very painful for you, you have my sympathy. I think you are doing the right thing in contacting Alanon. It sounds as though you have a good relationship with your daughter in law and can be a support for each other.
Your sons should stop filming your husband when he is drunk. Drunkenness is not a joke.

Jackie1980 Sat 01-Jun-19 22:31:26

I would definitely recommend Alanon. I went there when my ex's heavy drinking got out of hand. They were so friendly and supportive. I spent most of my first session with them in tears but continued going. I did have to end the relationship as he couldn't give up the alcohol and was dragging me down with him. Good luck xx

Starlady Sun 26-May-19 04:49:03

Kudos, Dilly! IMO, there's going to be some rough weather ahead, but I'm confident you can handle it. I agree w/ PPs that you should seek advice from AlAnon. In fact, you may need their expertise and support for quite a while. IMO, DIL could use their help, too, but that's her choice.

Also, I hope, in time, DS will join AA or a similar program to help him beat his addiction. And I hope DH sees the light, eventually, too. But I agree w/ PPs that DS is the priority now, as he stands to lose/gain a lot and has his whole future ahead of him.

Best of luck, moving forward!

Ginny42 Sun 26-May-19 00:41:03

Well done, that took a lot of courage. It's going to be hard to convince your S, and eventually your OH, that there is a serious problem. Perhaps get some advice from Al-Anon on how to approach each of them. They have a lot of experience and will support you whilst you negotiate this family problem. Get your mind in the right place before setting off on this route by chatting with them. Good luck. Be strong. xx

NotSpaghetti Sun 26-May-19 00:27:52

Thinking of you Dilly. It must be really tough.
I would definitely speak to someone at AlAnon.
Good luck.

notanan2 Sat 25-May-19 23:30:23

I dont mean to dismiss the problems with your DH but right now I would focus on the DS. He is on his last chance, he has an oportunity now that he wont have forever. I would put the husbands issues on the back burner and take son aside for some tough love. It might not work, but worth a try. If he is only hearing concerns from his DW and his friends and family seem to think otherwise, he is less likely to listen to her. Less easy for him to dismiss her concerns if they arent just coming from her.

I wouldnt tell him she went to you. I would just express your own concerns as his mum.

But not tonight. You've done enough for today, and Im sure your DIL really appreciates knowing shes not alone with her concerns x

janeainsworth Sat 25-May-19 23:20:32

Well done Dilly.
Remember -
"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

Wobbles Sat 25-May-19 22:56:11

Well done, I'm sure she really appreciate your honesty and support.
Perhaps a Mother/Son chat is now needed, tell him he's going to lose his wife if he doesn't control his drinking.
And you've realised your DH's drinking isn't the norm and doesn't need to be emulated.
Hope things work out for you all.

DillytheGardener Sat 25-May-19 22:46:36

Thank you not a nan for your kind words.

Yes it’s very sad, and I’m so cross at my husband for setting such a poor example. DIL said they were planning for a baby but she won’t bring another baby into a family with a father with a drinking problem. She said her childhood was marred by her father’s drinking. She’s older so she wants to start soon and if son doesn’t pull finger she’ll find someone who is ready. I don’t doubt she will either, it sounds like my boy has been a nightmare,
I would love grandchildren obviously so I’m very upset.
Right now I’d like to pack my bags and stay with my sister. I’m going to call some of the places everyone suggested after the bank holiday to see what they suggest to broach this with my son.
I always say the wrong thing so want to make sure I don’t screw up the conversation.
Thank you ladies, everyone has been very helpful, though not the response I was expecting at least I’ve started making baby steps, confusedsad
I’m now watching 9 months and with a glass of wine and having a bit of a blub. ( Don’t worry I don’t have problem too. I drink under the recommended units)

notanan2 Sat 25-May-19 22:22:43

Well done Dilly

So sad that your son is putting drinking above his marraige in his priorities 😔

As for your DH I dont have an answer. It was a big step for you to see it for what it is, It would be an even bigger step for him IYKWIM

DillytheGardener Sat 25-May-19 22:13:45

Hi all. I spoke with DIL, explained that it was a surprise to me that she thought there was an issue with DH (Damn husband at the moment). She apologised for being too direct and I apologised for not supporting her when she was upset and needed advice.
I spoke with her about my son. Apparently he’s started drinking a lot again, not coming home from work and staying with his friends and not letting her know where he is so she is worried and scared something happened to him. He promises he will change and does and then it starts all over again. It’s now at the point that’s impacting her work. She said she’s had enough, one more time and she will leave him.
I feel terrible, both boys have grown up since they were small with him coming home drunk. Younger son filming him is nothing new, they do it to shame him on the group chat, photos of him asleep on the floor with the dogs etc. Not very funny anymore.
I bought it up with DH and he blew me off. Said he didn’t drink that much as he’s not hungover.
Argh, I want to tear my hair out.

bingo12 Sat 25-May-19 15:58:46

Dilly - unfortunately your husband could have a stroke at any time as a result of his drinking. My sister who was very intelligent and gifted, died from a stroke aged 58 - presumably from her drinking. She started with 1 drink or 2 in her twenties every day and it seemed she just could not stop. I don't think she got ''drunk'' though - but she was partly Irish!

notanan2 Sat 25-May-19 15:31:30

How about "thank you for reaching out to me about the alcohol issue, Im not ready to talk indepth about it yet but I am realising that I cant ignore it forever" and leave it at that for now?

BlueBelle Sat 25-May-19 15:19:45

Oh dear I too think it’s out now, and you need to act, the son at home is obviously feeling your change of heart and gather courage as he’s gone from tut tutting to actually filming his Dad and putting it out there perhaps if your husband sees this video he’ll realise what a waxxer he is being
You need to make peace with your daughter in law and tell her she is right you will be the winning team and might save his life or at least her marriage

Buffybee Sat 25-May-19 15:19:00

Dilly, you don't need to cause a big upheaval or anything, just quietly tell your Dil that you have been thinking about what she said and you think she could be right but you're not quite sure what to do about it at the moment, if at all.
At least then you will have an ally and so will she. You could include your youngest son as well, broach him and see if he thinks your Dh drinking has "crossed a line".
If you feel like it, you could also "dip your toe in the water" re your Dh's performance last night and tell him that it wasn't funny and he's gone too far.
Good luck! Be brave!

notanan2 Sat 25-May-19 15:18:37

Use the video as an opener if you cant find the words.

Ask her if she saw it and tell her you are sorry for reacting defensively before, its just that you brushed it off for so long..

Wobbles Sat 25-May-19 15:13:13

flowers You'll regret it if you don't say something.

notanan2 Sat 25-May-19 15:00:15

I mean this kindly OP, the worms havent been in the can for a LONG time, they are all over the floor, you've just been chosing not to look at them until now but everyone else can see them plain as day..

... so talk to your DIL. She may be a great support to you now x

DillytheGardener Sat 25-May-19 13:41:33

DH came home last night, plastered. Younger son filmed him talking gibberish when he came home and shared to our family group. I used to just tut a bit and laugh. But now doesn’t seem funny at all.
DIL is over now but haven’t mustered courage to broach it yet. Once the can of worms is opened etc I won’t be able to put them back.
I’ve had wonderful advice thank you. I keep coming back and re-reading.

Starlady Fri 24-May-19 10:59:07

Dilly, I think you've received a lot of good advice here. I just want to echo the suggestion to join AlAnon and encourage DIL to do the same. Who knows? They may even boe able to tel you that DH is not a "lost cause, " abd that there are ways to help him!

agnurse Thu 23-May-19 19:21:23

Anyone who is affected by a loved one's drinking may like to consider Al-Anon. This is a program modelled on AA but it is for people impact by someone else's drinking. There is also Alateen which is similar but for young people affected by someone's drinking.