Hopefully this is the right place to get another perspective and hopefully some advice.
My wife and I have been together for nine years, married for two. She has a sixteen-year-old from a previous relationship, and after a long period of trying and failing, we now have a six-month-old son who is healthy and well.
She has always been partial to a drink which I have always seen as something she would need bring under control for the sake of her health as well as those around her. There was always a regular cycle of work, childcare, cooking and drinking on weekdays as well as drinking more heavily on weekends, with the troubling discovery that she would have a stash of booze hidden away as well as the stuff that is obviously on show. She has a family history of alcoholism (mother) and the verbal and emotional abuse that goes with it, and she certainly uses it as a coping mechanism in the form of self-medication.
Leading up to the pregnancy last year (it was IVF) she was dreading giving up booze, but did a good job of cutting it right back to a negligible amount. I was really hopeful that this would be a catalyst for taking control and learning that she doesn’t have to rely on it to be happy. Unfortunately, with the baby now here she has fallen back to her old ways and has started drinking regularly, and more worryingly hiding booze to either consume secretly or to supplement what she is drinking in the open.
In terms of quantity and frequency, she drinks wine most evenings depending on how stressed she is (from 4 to 7 days a week). A couple of glasses up to a couple of bottles in an evening. She hides booze continually, which is usually wine of some variety (a couple of small bottles up to a couple of full size) although I have occasionally discovered vodka and brandy hidden as well.
She really doesn’t react well to being challenged on it, and instead gets extremely upset and abusive citing my unreasonable interference and “trying to change her” as unreasonable. I do however get the odd hungover morning or two where she was particularly abusive or badly behaved, and she admits to having a problem that needs addressing.
From my perspective, I am worried sick about my son and what danger he is in during her inebriated state, but also her health and whether she’ll even see him to grow up past twenty.
My approach for the last couple of years has been to avoid conflict and tolerate the situation as much as I can whilst trying to offer my support in having her address the root causes that underpin this self-medication. When she has her “moments of clarity” put an arm round her and offer a shoulder to cry on and discuss how to get professional help.
I am starting to reach my wits end with this approach but I can’t see any positive outcome from leaving, or being more direct and addressing head-on. I am increasingly worried about the baby, and want to make sure that whatever actions I take are 100% designed to protect him and the family/home stability he needs.
I’ve loads of questions, but the main ones are:
1. Am I misreading the situation when I say it is unreasonable and unacceptable?
2. What is a constructive way to approach a solution?
Any advice/opinion appreciated.