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# Concerns about Partner’s Drinking Habits

I (25f) live with my (30m) fianc├® in the UK. We are expecting a baby in September. Since we met 3 years ago he has always seen Saturday night as an opportunity to get really drunk with his friends. Because I work shifts as a nurse I am quite often working at the weekend so buried my head and told myself it didn’t impact me. I was only disappointed that when I had Sunday off he would be so hungover, always, that he would spend the day between the bed and the couch with the room in darkness and ordering takeaway. (My idea of a Sunday off involves getting out in nature for a hike or meeting up with friends or going for a nice lunch).

## Identifying the Problem and Addressing Maturity

In the last year or so since buying a house I have pointed out that maybe it’s time to start being more mature and responsible and that not every Saturday needs to be a drinking session. He says I’m not going to tell him what to do and that if I wanted a “boring” boyfriend who likes going for walks, I should have chosen one. He has no interest in meeting the new friends I have made since starting my job in the UK.

## Worries about the Future and Parenthood

Since becoming pregnant I am increasingly anxious about the future. He says “once the baby is here” he will cut back to once a month. He has no interest in staying in with me at the weekend and has even accused me of trying to “drag him down” just because I can’t drink at the moment. I feel really alone because I have no family here, and my friends are either ones I’ve met through him since moving to the UK or work friends who I haven’t yet developed deep relationships with. His family is very nice but has no idea how I feel about the drinking or how alone I feel. He says we have enough time together on weekday evenings and that ‘culturally’ I should understand that Saturday night is for drinking with friends, but he doesn’t seem to have a particular friend or friends he drinks with. It is any one or two or more who happen to be available. He is the only constant.

## Fears About the Future and Legal Considerations

I feel really worried that this will continue. He is adamant that he is not dependent on alcohol or weed but just likes to have fun at the weekend. With the baby coming, I am looking ahead to the future and feel sick worry that if this continues I will have to leave him. If I do, where will I stand regarding the baby? Would the court prevent me from taking him home to my parents? How is access likely to work if we are in two different countries? This should be the happiest time of my life, and I have never felt sadder or more anxious.

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42 Comments

  • DoubleXFemale

    Go back to Ireland while you’re still pregnant and give birth there, he won’t be able to do sweet FA.

  • Bambrilliant

    I can’t see how he could prevent you going home and having the child in Ireland.

    There are other legal amd financial issues to resolve e.g. the house (you seem to suggest you bought) and whether to name him as father or not. You will need to understand both British and Irish law for this.

  • AdrenalineAnxiety

    If you leave after the child is born, the father has parental responsibility, and does not give permission, you are permitting parental abduction, and since Ireland is part of the Hague convention, this means your child will be removed from you and returned to the UK. If you refuse to go with the child, it would be given into the father’s custody. You will also have a tougher time with a custody battle after parental abduction.

    As other people are saying you absolutely need to move before the baby is born if you want to avoid a long drawn out court battle. If he has parental responsibility and does not agree after the baby is born, it is likely to take years and a fair amount of money to get permission to move to a different country if he is requesting access or custody.

    If you stay in the UK do not choose to put his name on the birth certificate if you are thinking about potentially leaving. Since you are not married you can leave the father’s name blank which does not give him parental responsibility meaning you do not have to get his permission. However, he can make an application for declaration of parentage himself or apply for parental responsibility. If he suspects you are going to move or there are going to be custody disputes, ie. if you split up before the birth, he will most likely do this immediately.

    If you marry before the baby is born then he will automatically have parental responsibility which will negate the above paragraph.

  • SchoolForSedition

    Some people are well changed by becoming parents. Some are not.

    He cannot prevent you from relocating before th├® baby is born.

    In theory he could prevent it afterwards but in practice it would be difficult.

  • nuttz0r

    If you want to be in Ireland permanently with the baby then moving and giving birth there is the best option. Once the baby is born and you choose to move against his will he can force you back using the Hague convention.

  • lanurk

    Leave once your maternity leave begins so you get the full benefit of your maternity pay from the NHS. If he decides to change and make the effort it needs to happen before baby comes otherwise he won’t bother or he’ll pay lip service and backslide. There’s nothing preventing you from going back before baby is born but if you put him on the birth certificate then he can prevent you taking the child abroad as he’ll have parental responsibility.

  • zukerblerg

    He can’t prevent you moving country while pregnant. After the baby is born, the consent of everyone with parental responsibility is needed to move the child from one country to another country. Though it is possible to make an application to the court to remove a child from the country.

    This means if you move to Ireland while pregnant, there are no legal barriers. After the child is born there would be legal barriers making it harder remove the child from the UK. And presumably Irish law would be similar, so there wound be barriers to removing the child from Ireland.

  • cjeam

    As well as all the other suggestions, if his family are nice and may be on your side you could consider telling them of your concerns and they may help stage an intervention of sorts. This is a step with other possible consequences too though, they might not be on your side, it might push him further away from compromise, he might be clued in that you’re considering leaving if it does not improve.

  • frenziedmonkey

    You need to have a frank conversation with him on a sober day. Explain the changes you’re needing to make (diet, drinking, work, body etc.) and ask what changes he’s introducing now so that you have a solid base when the baby comes.

    It’s no good him saying he’ll change then, he’ll become the absent dad who missed the birth because your waters broke on a Saturday night.

    Prepare yourself for every outcome. And remember that being a single mum isn’t necessarily harder than having a deadbeat partner, it just brings different challenges. And at least you’ll only have the one child to clean up after.

  • throwthisDBaway33

    Well done for thinking ahead and being independent

  • TuMek3

    Sounds like youÔÇÖre not very well suited tbh. Do the proÔÇÖs heavily outweigh the cons in this relationship?

  • gdrlee

    Wow. Some typical redditor judgment going on here.

    He’s got 6 months to change. Tell him that. Cut down to once to fortnight now, once a month in the summer. Sensible drinking from August. And if he doesn’t, then consider options. Of which moving is one.

  • thebigchil73

    In other posts youÔÇÖve got a 25yr old alcoholic daughter (the youngest of 4) but now all of a sudden youÔÇÖre 25 yourself and pregnant. LetÔÇÖs face it, youÔÇÖre a fucking bullshitter looking for attention

  • LouieAvalonMac

    IÔÇÖm sorry about the situation you are in

    I think you believe that he is not going to change

    You need to make a decision about your future and act as quickly as possible

    He cannot prevent you from moving back to Ireland. If youÔÇÖre intending to leave go now. As soon as you possibly can.

    It will be much harder to do that when you have a baby

    Of course he has rights as the father

    Let everyone who needs to know that you need to relocate as it is a safeguarding issue – the father is abusing alcohol

    It isnÔÇÖt going to get better – it is going to get worse with the stress of a newborn baby

    Get support from your family and go home

  • Kingdomg690

    A friend of mine lives the same kind of lifestyle drinking every weekend, he said heÔÇÖd slow it down when he had a babyÔǪ..he did not, just became more excuses to drink such as ÔÇÿhead wettingÔÇÖ or ÔÇÿdads nightÔÇÖ

  • dpb79

    The baby IS here. It’s in your tummy. If he doesn’t have any respect and appreciation for that, he’s unlikely to have any later. Do what is best for you.

  • Full_Traffic_3148

    Legally, moving before baby is born is the easiest and best way forward. Once baby is here, he could get a prohibition order so that you cannot relocate his child.

    My suggestion would be to continue working, I’m assuming you don’t mean NorthIrleand so won’t be able to transfer and keep your nhs perks, so would suggest, you keep working but book annual leave for July and August until birth or indeed take sickleave and relocate at that point back to Ireland so you get to keep your maternity pay etc and resign when on mat leave ahead of the 39 weeks or when required to get a new role.

    Good luck.

  • ResponsibleLeave6653

    While your partner sounds like a cunt, he is right in one aspect:

    If you wanted someone who didn’t binge drink every Saturday, you probably shouldn’t have agreed to marry him and have a baby with him.

  • MutedPerception9512

    You could leave now he can’t stop you. It might also make him realise what he’s set to lose and reform his ways. Or not, be more prepared for the latter.

    The divorce will take care of any property etc. Best of luck.

  • IStealCheesecake

    INAL may be worth working until you can claim maternity leave at your current org, before leaving.. or finding a temp role elsewhere until after baby. Also consider not sharing your new address/numbers with him.

  • shrewdlogarithm

    He’s told you what he’s going to do, if he thinks you wanting to spend time with him on a sunday is “dragging him down” he’s WAY not ready to be a parent.

    I think you know what to do here…

  • rizzledizzlesizzke

    Hi, just piping in with an Irish viewpoint. If you do decide to go home and have the baby in Ireland. Naming the father on the birth certificate gives him no legal entitlement over the child. He has to go to court to request guardianship.

  • No-Strawberry2634

    This sounds like a relationship question too really.

    Look, if nothing were to change with your partner, how long would you be prepared to put up with this? A year? Two? Five?

    You donÔÇÖt seem to have anything in common. You want to go hiking in nature, he thinks thatÔÇÖs boring and wants to go out on the piss with his mates.

    Maybe when your baby is born he will change but maybe not. Because youÔÇÖll be even more ÔÇ£boringÔÇØ when youÔÇÖre knackered from looking after a newborn all the time and you will be together at home with him a whole lot more. Is this what you want for your future?

  • Gleneral

    NAL but why are you having a child with this man? Also you realise it’s his baby too? You’re just opening yourself up to all sorts of issues and ensuring a rough future for the potential kid, this movie very rarely ends well.

  • WobblyThunders

    Children’s social worker here. Thought I’d add my thoughts.

    From what you have described he doesn’t really sound interested in you and is clearly prioritising his need to go out with his mates over you. I can completely understand where you are coming from on this point.

    I think you need to consider if this going to continue once the baby arrives? When you are exhausted, vulnerable, tired etc. When you need support from him etc.

    I think you need to have some honest conversations with him about how you feel and to his family also. And ultimately decide what you want to do sooner rather than later. If you want to move back to Ireland. Do it before the baby is born, once he has parental responsibility for the baby he could seek legal advice to prevent you from taking the child back to Ireland.

    What you have described does not sound like a healthy and supportive relationship either. I’d suggest you speak with some of your own friends and family.

    I’m not a legal expert but deal with issues about alcohol use on a near daily basis. And also with parental disputes over contact with separated parents multiple times a week.

  • TheNorthC

    I think you are possibly overreacting a bit (only a bit), as are those telling you to dump him.

    What is he like the rest of the time or when you are on holiday together?

    He will most likely grow out of this, but not completely. His friends will all settle down and that will limit him.

    There are some warning flags however – he dismisses your concerns too easily from the sounds of it.

  • vesselposting

    People don’t magically change overnight, so it’s unlikely he will suddenly become a different person because you got pregnant.

  • tothecatmobile

    I’m confused.

    Are you a 25 year old from Ireland, living in the UK with a partner who drinks on Saturdays.

    Or are you currently living in Ireland, with a 25 year old alcoholic daughter?

  • Rough-Sprinkles2343

    This seems like a safeguarding issue to me. I would definitely raise it with your midwife/GP and they may be able to help with options.

    He is definitely dependent on alcohol

  • Jessica13693

    Might be worth speaking to a solicitor about the house/mortgage now so you have some ideas. Or speaking to Citizens Advice see if they have any recommendations.

  • Lavender-Lou

    I know this is a legal advice sub, but my extra advice would be to get yourself along to Al Anon. It is a programme for people affected by other peopleÔÇÖs drinking, and it will help you learn to think clearly, make good decisions and look after yourself and your child.

  • Striking-Quarter293

    You need to get the house sold, get a temporary apartment with a 6 month lease. Once you go on leave pickup and move to Ireland. Hopefully you can break even on the house.

  • Open-Manufacturer-32

    “He’s the only constant” is pretty ominous. Come home and see if he follows you. Then you’ll know. Also, on a purely selfish note, we really need nurses…

  • bunnybunny690

    Best bet would be to leave to Ireland once maternity leave starts, give birth there, apply for jobs there in your field / to transfer.

    He can then move to Ireland with you and prove his no longer the type of man you was worried about or he can do visitation. But if you ever want to be allowed to live in Ireland with your baby carefree you need to have and live with baby there rather than him being able to stop you going.

  • -MassiveDynamic-

    On the one hand you (and 99% of this thread) are overreacting; people calling him a cunt and an alcoholic who I can guarantee drink more often lmao

    On the other hand, Ireland is probably an infinitely better place to raise a family than the UK ­ƒñÀ­ƒÅ╝ÔÇìÔÖÇ´©Å

  • NotMyFirstChoice675

    As an expectant parent, the both of you have an obligation to be sober enough so that if the baby decides to come early, or thereÔÇÖs a medical emergency you can help each other and get to the hospital sober and timely.

    I would suggest you have a conversation with him and say he needs to stop drinking now and actually start being a parent now because you need him to be a father now. If he canÔÇÖt do that then move on back to Ireland, where you are safe and loved.

    Also, one bender a month which essentially takes him out of action for 2 days is shocking.

    WhatÔÇÖs he going to be like when on a Sunday morning you and baby have been up all night and baby is screaming their head off on Sunday mid morning? Is he going to help? Be able to help? Is he going to become a hindrance?

    This is not the behaviour of a father.

  • melnificent

    Firstly some advice, he isn’t changing for anyone, he’s told you that through words and actions. If he’s not even stopping drinking while you are pregnant then he has no intention of stopping. He will stop for a couple of weeks until he “wets the babies head” then he will be back to his ways, again he has said and shown he doesn’t intend to change.

    You can move to any country to give birth. As others have said there are no restrictions and provided you intend to remain in the country after giving birth no issues.

    Move back to your support network of family and friends in Ireland and prepare for the arrival of your child. Figure out the medical and midwifery system first as they are the most important at the moment.

    Oh and before you leave, take photos and videos of the house as you own it (I’m not sure if joint or not). I assume you will want to sell. You will most likely have a hard time convincing him to leave, and also covering yourself if he decides to trash the place to stop it being sold. For this get a real estate solicitor involved.

    When you move to Ireland get a family solicitor, go through everything you want with them. They will help you immensely.

  • JFCJFCJFC

    Go home and get away from him!! Please as soon as you can. You need to be in safe calm place when that baby comes.

  • JFCJFCJFC

    And leave while he is gone ! Do it while he is out drinking.