Has my childhood effected my adult life




I’m 27 and have 3 children and a fiancé.
I really struggle anytime my partner goes out and alcohol is involved. I almost want need a running schedule of what’s to happen. How much is he planning on drinking what times he back. Who’s he with.
Growing up my dad was an alcoholic and abused me and my mum. I would always always worry what time he’s home or what state he was going to be in. It’s also the fear of not knowing the mood they will be in.
This has now carried on into adult life. It isn’t just with my partner but anyone obviously it’s worse with my partner as we live together.
Is it normal to act this way? How do I approach my partner about it without seeming controlling or weird.
I really don’t want to feel this way. Even if we go and meet a couple who I know have been drinking instantly close of and feel weird.
Surely this should stop at some point?

  • psychmentor

    Hi Robin2015,

    I can relate a bit to this, my mum was an alcoholic and I had a hard time trusting partners when they went out and drank. It didn't help that my trust was breached due to them cheating on me, but it all stemmed from my trust issues. I'm 34 and also a parent and fiance, my fiance was much more of a party go-er/ drinker before we had our baby, but his mum was also an alcoholic growing up, so he rarely goes out now and when he does I have to talk to him beforehand about managing my expectations. I tell him not to tell me he'll be home at a certain time because if he's late I can't deal with it. However, I also found that getting therapy for myself really helped. It helped me to realise that my problem wasn't just that alcohol was involved, but that I would be abandoned or abused because of it.
    It may be a different reason for you which is why, if you can, I would definitely seek one on one therapy, there are various charities that offer one on one if you can't go privately, also Betterhelp offer an intro offer which is heavily discounted and I know people that have used that really successfully over zoom.

    The fact you have the awareness about this is a huge thing. I said to my therapist that I was worried I'd go the same way as my mum so was scared of becoming a parent, he told me that the fact I even thought about that means I would'nt go the same way. That gave me a lot of comfort and I have almost 'retrained' my way of thinking so that I don't replicate the same behaviours to project onto my children. It's the same for my partner. So as long as your partner has never shown signs of abuse, I would have an honest conversation about your concerns, if he's an understanding partner then he'll reassure you, but at the same time you need to get to a place where you don't even need to be reassured because you'll trust him and not worry about things that probably won't happen.

    I hope that helps!

    • abzi2021

      Sorry to hear this.
      I stay with my 77 year old father who is an alcoholic. It is always terrible and nerve wracking as I am constantly on the edge of my seat to see him wobbly next. I have my wife and child with me. I can’t leave as he is my father after all. I try to spend lots of time with my wife and daughter and try to give them a good life.

  • boop89


    I completely relate, but I don't think it necessarily is purely because our parents are alcoholic. My Mum would drink at home so I never had the fear of what she'd be like when she got in after being out drinking.
    I think with me it's more about knowing the negative effect alcohol can have on people, saying and doing things they wouldn't when sober, and the influence of unpleasant immature people he may be out with when drinking. Also when he's out with these people who drink excessively I worry that they'll influence him to do the same.
    I think trust comes into it as it's hard to trust drinkers, especially when they say they wont drink or will only have a couple then come home or phone you and have clearly had more than they promised.
    My Mum being alcoholic if anything has made me concerns with him less valid as he's 'used' it before for me not being happy with him drinking too much saying he's 'not my mum' or blames that as being the only reason I have an issue with him drinking, not the lack of truth when he's assured me he wont have much and does... so it can be to our detriment when people seem to blame have an alcoholic parent as the reason we may not be happy with a partners drinking even when there's more to it...

    I think there's plenty of people out there in relationships who don't really like their partner going out drinking who don't have alcoholism in the family.
    My partners Dad was alcoholic too but sober now. He grew up with that tho and I'm sure he's aware that he wouldn't want to end up like his Dad. I've said if we ever had a kid I wouldn't want them to be around either of us drunk ever.

    Reassurance is a key word for sure. Does your partner go out drinking a lot? Is he aware of what you went through with your Dad's drinking?

  • yellowdog

    I can relate to this on some level, my mum is an alcoholic who only ever drank at home and when i got my own home I found it very difficult to drink in my own house alone or when my partner suggested it i got annoyed. It can be hard to retrain yourself from a certain behaviour when its all youve known/seen but it can be done.

    I think its important to remember that your fiancé is not your dad, i know that seems obvious but we sometimes place expectations on others they don't even know about it. Does he know about your dad? I would open up as much as you feel comfortable and explain why you feel the way you do and that's its not him directly its just something that you have been through, and for him to be more conscious and understanding if you do come across as anxious.

  • coald

    I can relate to this post and still struggle with my husband going out and drinking, even after 20+ years of being together.
    Whilst I do trust him, I do not trust alcohol or the unpredictability of what can happen when somebody is drinking.
    I have found explaining why I get so anxious very helpful.
    But I also have to tell myself that it is completely normal that he wants to go out and see his friends, and my past experience makes me respond as I do. Therefore to some extent I have to sit with the discomfort and the anxiety when it happens as it is unfair (imo) to let me being a COA affect his life.
    I do think this is something that many COAs struggle with, so please be kind to yourself too when these feelings occur.

Leave a Reply

Recent topics

  • Parenthood and impostor syndrome
    I look around me and see women I really know and respect have amazing relationships with their children (real relationships, not social media ones), despite…
  • A letter to you I will never send
    You ask the question what have you done You genuinely can’t think of none But are you now ready to hear the truth For it…
  • Anticipating and trying to make sense of change
    I've always known my mum had alcohol issues since I was a child. There have been numerous incidents which didn't feel normal even though it…
  • Still healing
    I’ve been through talking therapy so many times and I do think it helps. I have fibromyalgia so I live with chronic pain and fatigue,…
  • Darkest Days
    You will be unaware of my darkest days I spent years pretending everything was ok You didn’t marry Mum, you married the bottle Beers, Wine…

Recent replies

  • Hi Pearl, Thank you so much for sharing these brave words. I’m sure that many others will relate to pieces of your story. How was…
    listener on A letter to you I will never send
  • Hello, Yes, I do think the trauma has affected me physically or on some boundary between physical and mental health. After some of the latest…
    onthemerrygoroundagain on Still healing
  • Hi, I just wanted to add to the two other voices in letting you know you aren't alone in experiencing grief and anger. I never…
    onthemerrygoroundagain on Anticipating and trying to make sense of change
  • Hi Stacylf95, I’m so sorry for the grief you’re feeling as well as the anticipatory grief you’re having to navigate as well. Thank you for…
    listener on Anticipating and trying to make sense of change
  • Hi, Thanks so much for reaching out, so sorry for all you have been through and still going through. It’s a really good question regarding…
    pearl on Anticipating and trying to make sense of change

Keep in touch

To find out more about our events and activities, subscribe to our mailing list

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices.