i've refrained from mentioning this in the past, but — The Bump
Parenting after 35

i've refrained from mentioning this in the past, but

mr.hawtie pants is an admitted functional alcoholic. he does not drink during the day, but every single night he gets tipsy to wasted. since i stopped biitching about it, he rarely gets wasted anymore, which i am happy about. i never thought i would ever be in another relationship with an addict of any type. it is a bitter pill to swallow. he is for the most part a happy drunk, but every once in awhile he gets moody and pissy for no reason and i get blamed. it's very difficult to not get mad about it. he does not ever drink and drive - i told him i would turn him in myself if he did so i hope i never have to do that. the older kids tease him about his drinking and no one seems to have a problem with it except me and i don't know how to be okay with it. am i just being a biitch? wwyt/d?

Re: i've refrained from mentioning this in the past, but

  • I'm so sorry you have to deal with this.  You are NOT being a ***.  Lord knows it's hard enough to be in a relationship without adding drugs or alcohol into the mix. 

    Have you ever considered going to an Al-Anon meeting (this is for family members of addicts)  A friend of mine said that it really helped her deal with things when her son became addicted to drugs.

    Sorry I don't have more to offer, but hugs to you.

  • Hm. 

    I'm sorry, Kandie.   That's a hard one.  I've been in too many relationships with addicts, and I swore "never again" as well, so I understand that much.

    My grandfather on my mom's side drank a LOT, and every night.  He wasn't a sloppy drunk, or abusive or anything, but kind of a genteel alcoholic.  Even so, he loved my grandmother desperately and died shortly after she did.  They were mostly happy.

    On the other hand, I have an uncle on my dad's side who was a bad, sloppy drunk, and until he started AA and cleaned up he was a danger.  He got progressively worse until he seriously injured someone in a drunk driving accident.

    Does his drinking interfere with his life?  Does he use it to excuse any of his behavior?

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  • You are totally not being a biitch. You probably notice it more because everyone else is more tolerant of him because, as you say, he's generally a happy drunk.

    Since he doesn't drink and doesn't get nasty/violent, the main thing I'd be concerned about is the fact that your older kids are aware of his behavior. They may make fun of him now, but I'd just make sure they aren't silently thinking getting drunk on a nightly basis is actually super cool.

    Not much of a help. Sorry.

  • I divorced a moderately functional alcoholic.  I wish you absolutely nothing but the best.  If it isn't addressed before it hits the breaking/disaster point, it will be harder, and it will never get better by itself.

    Wishing you strength. 

  • No you are definitely not being a biitch, on the contrary, you are concerned for you and your family, it's perfectly normal..  I am concerned about the children and hope that they realize that this is not acceptable behavior.  My aunt was a severe & very mean alcoholic and physically and verbally abused her daughters, who are both now alcoholics themselves at 27 & 30 years old.  I am very sorry you are going through this and I wish you strength to deal with this in whatever manner you choose for you and your family.  It's a personal decision that only you can make.... ((big hugs))
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  • My Dad is a sober alcoholic (was sober 12 years, had a binge when he found out he had cancer, and has now been sober for almost 5 years).  One thing I know is that Mr. Hawtie won't make that change - if he ever does - until he's ready. 

    You said he never drives when he's been drinking - which is good.  My concern would be that what if you weren't home or something happened to you while he was drinking - would he be able to do whatever needed to take care of you or the kids? 


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  • Thanks ladies. The older kids tease him about how he has no self control and knows nothing of moderation in addition to their jokes about what jis liver must look like and how stupid his behavior is when he is drunk- so I feel pretty confident that they understand that drinking every night is not in anyone's best interest. Kaleb will be 19 tomorrow and has seen me drunk once (on New Year's Eve). I have allowed my children to have a small glass of wine on shabbat eve and high holidays, but they for the most part they only have a sip from the kiddush cup. I speak openly about alcoholism as a disease (that runs deeply in my family). When James gets very drunk I banish him to the garage and though I don't discuss it, it's clear what I think of that behavior. James really is 99% of the time a happy drunk. I think my biggest problems with his drinking are these: I know I cannot ever leave Orchid with him at night because of his drinking; I worry that his disease will worsen over time; I worry that Orchid will grow up knowing her father is an alcoholic and reliable only to a certain point; He has trouble getting up before 11a;  I just abhor any type of addiction. The last one is honestly the one that drives me the craziest. I know that I am not perfect, but I am not addicted to anything - not even caffeine or tv or any of the other "usual". I am not codependent either...to a fault..that is why I have had no problem leaving relationships. I do not want to leave James. When he is sober or even just tipsy, he is a great partner and father. I have been feeling like maybe I am blowing this thing out of proportion in my head since I am the only one with the problem with his drinking, it seems. I know that I am hyper sensitive about addictions because i seriously hate them so much. I have seen so many lives destroyed by drug and alcohol addictions...i have helped raise several people's children because they were incapable of parenting consistently...my mother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents are all addicts or recovering addicts. The older children's father has a drug and alcohol addiction. I am uncertain what i hoped to gain by sharing all of this...perhaps I just needed to "say it out loud" to better deal with it all? I also think maybe I just needed some type of validation that it is not my history that is making me feel like his drinking is a problem, but that it is a problem all on its own. Does that make sense?
  • Kandie, if it bothers you, then it is a problem.  Your feeling are valid.  Don't doubt yourself.  Maybe I am being naive here, but if he loves you and wants to build a life with you, shouldn't he at least try to stop drinking?  You should have a frank conversation about it when he is sober.  Good luck!
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  • I feel the same about addictions as well. I would have a problem with this. I don't know how to tell you to be OK with it, since I am not sure you are supposed to be OK with it, KWIM? You will always have to be "on alert" for this behavor.

    I would say that you feel like "you are the only one with a problem with it" because you are the one in a romantic relationship with him, so it cuts you the deepest. I would also venture that the kids have more of a problem with it than they let on or they wouldn't tease him. I think it is possibly their way to deal with/address it.

    There is no right or wrong answer as to whether a person should stay in a relationship with an alcoholic.  It isn't wrong to stay and it isn't wrong to go. However, if it bothers you it is a problem, period. That being said, I know leaving someone you love is not a simple decision, even if it seems like it is to others in your life.

    Have you asked him what he would think if there was something going on with you that made him unable to leave Orchid with you for a particuliar time everyday? Would he want you to at least look at that behavor? It sounds like you are a simgle parent from evenings to noon everyday. That hardly seems fair or even kind, just very selfish.

    That being said, you can only control your own behavor and Al-Anon is a great place to get a handle on living with an alcoholic if that is what you choose to do.


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  • He actually sounds a little like my dad, who does get tipsy on rum and cokes every single night, but has always had a high responsibility career, and doesn't ever drink before work or on the job, or drink and drive.  I don't have any advice, except to agree with the other ladies that your feelings are valid, and you shouldn't ignore them, especially if you feel that he couldn't refrain from drinking if you needed to leave Orchid with him at night for some reason.  I have also heard good things about Al-Anon.  
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