Pregnant and hopeless

Old 09-09-2010, 07:45 AM
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Pregnant and hopeless

I don't really even know why I am writing this here. It seems so silly to open up to a website or group of strangers.

I believe my husband is an alcoholic. He drinks beer every single night and most nights he drinks until he is drunk. When he is drunk he usually wets his pants and gets up in the middle of the night either not knowing where he is or stumbles about the house making himself food. He purposely delays eating dinner after he gets home from work because it increases the affects of the beers he'll drink. He usually does not have dinner until he's had at least 3 beers and by then he's already pretty drunk (he's a small man). He has been drinking like this for about 4 years.

I went to see a counselor at my workplace to talk about whether or not this really is a problem (duh) and what I can do about it. She confirmed that he is an alcoholic and she suggested that I give him an ultimatum. She wanted me to tell him that he either needs to stop drinking and/or get professional help or he needs to leave our home. Well, I tried this and it backfired. He just simply dug his heels into the ground and said - NO. He didn't want to get help, didn't think he had a problem and would not leave. Since I didn't know what else to do at that point, when he promised me that he would be better and would stop over-drinking I had to believe him. Obviously since I am writing here, this did not work out so well.

Whenever we discuss this problem he always promises to be better, but it only lasts for a week or two (pretty typical for an alcoholic, I am guessing). He refuses to see or believe he has a problem.

We have a 5 year old son and I am pregnant with our second child. My due date is only 15 days away. I would have thought that by now he'd have shaped up his act because 1) we have a new baby on the way who he is very excited for and 2) eventually someone is going to have to drive me to the hospital and help me through labor (HIM) and if he isn't sober he can't do that. These things don't seem to change anything and I can't understand why.

When things are good with us (in other words, when he is sober) things are REALLY good. When he drinks, they're awful. I don't want to divorce him or leave him permanently, but I do want him to seek help and to see that this IS a problem - a problem that we can fix.

I am done trying to control his drinking and I am done with sleeping on the couch at 9 months pregnant, making sure he doesn't wake our son or wander into a room where a guest is sleeping, cleaning up the mess in the kitchen in the morning, losing sleep and just generally feeling resentful toward our situation.

But - what do I do? Here is where my own problem lies.

We have no family that lives near us and no friends who I would feel comfortable staying with. I need to be close to home because I am going to be giving birth soon, but I don't know what to do.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:56 AM
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Hi 22red: Welcome to SR. I'm sorry that you need to be here, but i hope you will stay because there are people here who have been where you are at now, and they can have good wisdom for you.

I'm answering because I see you just posted. Others will be along as they see this.

Being only 15 days away from a new baby, your focus needs to be on that. Do you have any family you can call to come help just before delivery and for a spit of time after?

The usual advice we give people like you is to get yourself to Alanon meetings and come here often. But I realize that with your new baby coming and with a 5 YO in the house, and with your limited outside support system, getting to an Alanon meeting is going to be on the back burner for now. But you can come here.

Hopefully your husband will back off the drinking as your delivery date approaches so he can be of help. When I was married, my then cocaine-addicted husband would sober up for about a month after a baby was born. But he really was not much help at the hospital. Your situation may be different, but now is the time to start making arrangements for a back-up plan in case your husband cannot stay away from the drinking during that time.

Again, welcome to SR !
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:49 AM
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hi 22red and to SR. I know it feel silly to open up to an online forum, but TRUST ME, SR isn't just any other forum. There is a lot of support and love to be had here. In the days where things were falling apart for me, SR and Al-anon saved my butt.

Since baby is on the way very soon, and your AH (alcoholic husband) isn't reliable, have you considered hiring a doula to help support you through the birth? I had a doula for my daughter's birth and she was WAY more help than my XAH (ex alcoholic husband) ever was. If you need help finding one, PM me.

Alternately, have you considered going to where your family is soon after the birth? You're going to need support, especially in the days following the birth (especially with a 5 yo in the house!).

Have you considered asking your counsellor (or a social worker) to put you in touch with resources that could help you? Where I live, a nurse came by twice after my birth to check on my latch (I had trouble getting breastfeeding started), and I had my social worker call me several times, and come by to chat. She knew I was at risk for PPD and was very worried. Would similar resources be available to you?

Sadly, there's NOTHINg you can do, or say, or not do, or not say, that will make your AH realize that he's got a problem, or make him change his ways. Only he can do that. The 3 C's of addiction tell us that:
You didn't CAUSE the drinking
You can't CONTROL the drinking
You can CURE the drinking

The only thing left to do is to focus on yourself and your soon to be there baby. If your husband is constantly blotto, then you're going to have to take measures to protect your son and the baby. It sucks to say that, but you simply cannot rely on an alcoholic deep in his addiction.

I do hope you come back to SR and keep posting!
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:40 AM
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I'm short on time but wanted to post something for you that someone wrote to me when I was pregnant with my son.. It made a lot of sense to me then and may help process some things...


I'll share a little more here. Guy's perspective I guess, and a former drunk's too.

We have a 3 year old son, and we have been trying to have another. Before our first little guy came along, and before I was sober, I seriously didn't want a child for a few reasons.

1. Cuts into my drinking time (from the brain of an active drunk, married, no kids)
I have a schedule to keep. I wake up, still a little drunk from the night before. I calculate how drunk I am, how long before I'll be able to drink again, and gague how bad the shakes will get. I hit the bottle first thing in the AM if needed. Go to work. Come home, and hit it hard 'til zero-pass out-thirty. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

If there's a baby in the house, you might actually expect me to help you with stuff. And I'm usually too drunk to do that. So that means I will need to drink less. That's a scary thought to me being an active alcoholic.

2. Being an active alcoholic, I know darn well I'm not equipped to be a dad. So now am I not only worried about having to drink less, I'm ashamed as well because I'm about to be a drunk dad.

Factor one child in the picture already with a new one on the way. The above is exactly the same for me. Now that I'm sober, the prospect of a second child seems like no big deal. I'm a veteran dad now so I know what to expect and I'm actually looking forward to another little rugrat scurrying about the house. But, like the above, when I'm drinking, more kids are not good for me.

1. Second baby cuts into my drinking time.
I have a schedule to keep. Sure, we already have one. But I'm used to one child. Adding another to the mix would further reduce my drinking time and that we cannot have.

2. Being an active alcoholic, I know darn well I'm not equipped to be a dad. I know I'm already messing up one kid's life by being a drunk, and now I'm going to mess with two kid's lives. Now I'm going to be doubly ashamed about being a drunk dad.

When I was a drunk, change was bad. I was in a drinking rut and I liked it. Don't change my pattern.

If your A is anything like me, this is exactly what is going on inside his head.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:51 AM
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I'm so sorry you're going through this.

I know you're grieving the loss of the guy you used to know, but at the moment, I think it would help you to keep a narrow focus on your immediate welfare and that of the kids. He needs to not be in that house if he's posing a threat to you and children. (You haven't mentioned violence but while he's that out-of-control he's not fit to parent.)

If he's refusing to leave voluntarily, it might be possible to get a court order to have him removed from the house temporarily--a family solicitor can arrange this for you, or child protective services. I'd recommend giving them a call to talk with someone about options.
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:32 PM
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Welcome! I am so sorry that you have found yourself in this place but know that you are not alone. For years I felt that no one else understood or ever felt like I did because I didn't reach out and connect. I have 4 children from age 10 to 2 months. The last one was a bit of a surprise since my AH was deep into his addiction. He is sober at the moment but only because he nearly lost his arm recently from a severe cut that got infected. You have received some great comments from others and I agree that you must focus on yourself and your two precious babies. They deserve a strong and healthy mother. I have been reading "Codependent No More" and it has been such a great help to me. I would recommend, if possible, to go stay with family after the birth of your baby. It will give you some help and some time to sort out your feelings. I am blessed with my parents right here with me and I couldn't have made it without them. It has taken me years to be able to truly let go of my AH's disease and focus on what I need to do differently to be healthy. You or a new baby will never be able to get him to stop drinking. It is a decision that he must make for himself whether he has you or not in his life. Try the best you can to focus on the blessing of this new baby and most of all take care of yourself.
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:04 PM
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Hi Red

This internet thing is quite different but very useful.
Think of it as an online interactive library of great information (and friends)

Your situation breaks my heart, I can't imagine how scared and alone you must feel.

I feel you should definitely get to an Al-Anon meeting for some face to face support and hugs from people who will understand.

What you need now is to see the situation for what it is.

Your husband is an alcoholic and his life is unmanagable.

Baby, begging, pleading, ultimatums, screaming none of it will not change what he is.

You have to be strong for yourself and your child(ren).

Keep reading and learning. We are here for you!!
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:00 PM
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I can very much relate to your situatuion. I have a 1 1/2 years old daughter and a 4 month old son w/ my AH. I have children from my first marriage as well. We have only been married almost 3years. His drinking was SO out of control. We have been seperated for some time now. You said one thing that really made me think about how I use to be. You said you didn't want to divorce or leave him permanently, but you want HIM to get help. It is great that you want him to get help, but I can tell you from experience there is nothing you can say or do to make HIM want to do that, only he can. I had to decide if I could live with him as he was, or I need to make changes because the only person I can make decisions for is me. I am still working on my life....and the future, but I can assure that I have tried in the past to make himr ealize he needed to stop....and he still drinks....the difference now is that I don't have to live with it and I won't! I know this is a difficult time for you..I've been there....take care of yourself and focus on your baby now.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:31 PM
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Hi 22Red and Welcome to SR

What a terrible thing to be going through, I cant imagine quite how you must be feeling. I have only recently too woken up to the fact that my marital problems were largely due the my husbands alcoholism and I know how devastated I felt and I wasnt pregnant.

I like you, have a good marriage when my AH is sober and this is what has kept me from leaving when times have been difficult, so I have stuck it out for over 22 years, bringing up children etc. I too have spent so much time sleeping on the sofa its not funny and a few years ago we bought a pull out sofa bed and it has been a blessing.

Thats by the by for now, but I just wanted to say that to be honest, I think that you have enough to deal with right now. Your husbands problems can wait and will still be there once the baby comes and you should really have a clear head when you start to deal with those issues but when you are ready, mentally and emotionally. In the meantime, just try to concentrate on yourself and your baby and mother nature will give you a helping hand with that one.

Once life kicks in and the euphoria of having another newborn baby to look after has subsided, then please pick up where you left off, start to read what you can about the disease of alcoholism, come back and visit us when you can.

Good luck with your birth x
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:44 PM
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Hi 22Red,
I'm joined SR last year but didn't participate and have only just started to. I don't feel I can offer any words of wisdom yet. What I can say is, I've been where you are, pregnant and alone and it doesn't matter how much you plead, beg or pray, your alcoholic husband will only get help if he wants to. Which brings me back to you. You are due to bring a beautiful baby into the world and it's all about you right now. I understand the isolation you're feeling too...Maybe you think there's no-one who would understand where you're at. That can be part of the shame and maybe an attempt to cover up the alcoholic's drinking. If there is any friend who lives close to you that you feel you can confide in, who won't judge you and who will support you through this time, maybe consider asking. Also, please keep coming back here. It took me a while after I joined but I'm so glad I'm here now. Please find a way to look after yourself...blessings to you and your little ones....
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:54 PM
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Floss, plenty of wisdom in those words!
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:46 PM
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Hey 22red! Welcome!

Glad you're here. Stick around and keep posting. Collectively we've seen it all on SR, so please know you are not alone, and there is hope for you and your children!

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Old 10-15-2010, 07:58 PM
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I am back.

I am back and now the proud Mom of my second child, a beautiful baby girl. Unfortunately, I am also still the wife of an alcoholic husband. I gave birth two weeks ago (was 6 days past my due date, ick) and although the entire labor and birth process went flawlessly...WITH my husband...we are now back to square one and his drinking has taken over again.

He repeatedly consumes too much beer on a regular basis no matter how much I try to remind him of how hurtful it is to me and how irresponsible it is to our children.

I am planning on attending my first Al-Anon meeting next week and am obviously nervous about my first trip into this world of healing. I feel as though I am finally beginning to understand that I need to take care of ME instead of trying to control him and his drinking. My children, especially my newborn baby, need a Mommy who is healthy and happy. I am now prepared to focus solely on that.

Thank you to everyone who commented on my original post. I very much appreciated everyone's words of wisdom and advice. It all meant a lot to me. :-)
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:04 PM
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Welcome back and Congratulations on the birth of a baby girl!

good on you for taking steps to ensure your children have a healthy mom!

Here is a link to a sticky (permanent) post that contains steps that have helped some of us:

Keep reading and posting. We are here to support you
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:40 PM
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Congratulations! A baby girl!

also grats on taking care of yourself!

I think you will find al-anon to be a huge help and relief!
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:42 PM
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I am so glad to hear that you and baby are healthy.

I am planning on attending my first Al-Anon meeting next week and am obviously nervous about my first trip into this world of healing. I feel as though I am finally beginning to understand that I need to take care of ME instead of trying to control him and his drinking. My children, especially my newborn baby, need a Mommy who is healthy and happy. I am now prepared to focus solely on that.
Al-Anon saved, and changed, both me and my life. I hope it is as positive an experience for you. (((hugs)))
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:52 AM
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Congrats on your baby!!!
It is great you're decided to join Al Anon. Aslo, I recomend you read here as much as you can, especially the threads in stickies section of the forum, there is so much wisdom there.
Road of recovery is hard, it takes a lot of opening up, and a lot of abandoning of your old beliefs and paradigms, facing your fears, reaxamining your hopes, but it is a well worth it.
When I gave birth to my second child, my son, I was a mess because of my husband's alcoholism. i stayed a mess for years. I know now that this has affected my son more than his dad's drinking. That is the very thing I fing the hardest to forgive myself for. Your kids and your own well being are your priority, the only things you can control.
As for your AH, he'll start his recovery only when and if he is ready. Nothing you can do about that, (or maybe there is: if you stop enabling you can maybe push him a bit closer to it). Enjoy your precious kids and your own life, as it is too short to be lived in constant pain because of someone else's choices.
Take care
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