This post is personal to me. I appreciate your empathy and encouragement for me to be more accepting. Negative comments against my husband or myself will be deleted.
At a young age, I assigned a strong, negative connotation to alcohol. I married Chris. He didn’t drink. It was a wonderful rarity. We were sober and happy at parties. I felt our sobriety was something that helped us become a compatible couple.
One day, my husband went to the Renaissance Festival with his buddies without me. When he returned, I learned that he went to a pub crawl and sampled several meads.
I was distraught and irrationally angry. My husband who never had a drop of alcohol had several samples of heavy drinks that day. Clearly, he forgot who his audience was. Chris proudly showed me his badges and souvenirs from the crawl.
That same night, I wrote a list of rules and statements to remember when he drinks. It was biased toward me and riddled with my hasty assumptions. I tried to find the list to include in this post. I think I threw it out. I’m ashamed of how I used to think and my perceived judgments. I’m not 100% or even 90% over it.
I still cling to those negative claims when I feel the need to protect my ideology. Now, it lasts for a shorter time and I am more careful with my words.
Here’s a less than fond memory from 2017.
I texted profanities and partially wished sickness and harm to my husband. In my mind, he needed to feel the consequences of his actions. Ironically, it was a misunderstanding. I was the one who needed to feel the pain of my sharp, disgusting words. This is what happened several months ago.
A mutual friend and my husband and I visited some friends out of state. Chris opened a Leinenkugel Summer Shandy and started drinking it in the kitchen. I asked him what he was doing. He said, “I’m having a beer”. Until that moment, Chris had not had any alcohol in front of me. Plus, I thought he hadn’t drank since the pub crawl that started it.
I walked into the livingroom to watch movies with my friend. Meanwhile, he played board games with friends in the dining room . I watched my husband go to the fridge three times. He grabbed a summer shandy each time. I had heart palpitations and cried hot tears as I watched in disbelief. My hands, legs and feet trembled too. My friend tried to comfort me.
I texted my husband and begged him to switch to tea or water. I saw him grab four beers in three hours. He didn’t deny it or explain what actually happened.
I went to bed upstairs. First I sent Chris a series of cruel texts describing what I hoped would happen to him after drinking that much. I didn’t fall asleep, but I tried. Later he read the text messages and was justifiably upset. He explained to me that he only had one beer. He grabbed the other three for our friends, because he sat closer to the kitchen.
I apologized and told him how uncomfortable that made me. It didn’t matter. My word choice from earlier was too much to set aside.
In July of 2017, my husband and I and the same buddy from earlier visited my in-laws. We had just finished eating lunch. We sat around the bonfire. A family member sipped on a Pepsi Fire and dumped it out. He said it tasted like, “weak-ass Fireball”. He asked my husband if he had fireball whiskey. Nonchalantly, Chris replied, “Yeah, I’ve had Fireball”.
From that moment on, I was heartbroken, disappointed and infuriated. I was inconsolable. That unbearable, heavy hearted feeling lasted through September.
I spoke with my closest friends, family members, family doctor, counselor and husband. It took a long time, but I realized my husband didn’t do anything wrong. He could have told me that he continued to drink after the pub crawl, so it wasn’t such a shock. That’s not the point. Chris was responsible and hadn’t changed like I feared he would. My counselor suggested I try visualizations to trick my mind, walking in a store with alcohol in my cart and practicing mindfulness. This advice was appreciated and followed.
What I found most helpful, I did on my own. I wrote a list of reasons why alcohol bothered me and brainstormed what I could do to lessen my heated reactions to it. My handwriting is sloppy, because I wrote as quickly as I could think.
When I showed the list to my friends, one suggested I write instances when I was okay being around alcohol. That was helpful too. I was surprised to think of as many examples as I did.
That July trip was like trying to ignore a massive sign with flashing lights. I imagined the words in that sign read, “DIVORCE, LONELINESS, DEATH”.
I understand if no one can relate to this post. It’s personal.
I did not want to continue resenting my husband and our friends for the situations that were sprung on me. I love my husband. To help me realize what I have and reassure myself that I needed to be more accepting, I wrote a lengthy list of all things that I love about Chris. It was easy. I didn’t want to lose him. The list is included below.
I realized drinking does not change Chris. He’s still the charismatic guy I fell in love with in 2009. He’s still the funny, sweet guy I married in 2012. He’s still my loving, goofy and reliable husband. Plus, his drinking has not made us less of a couple.
This July, Chris and I stayed with my wonderful in-laws again. They told me it was good to see me doing so well. My mother-in-law explained to my husband what awful condition I was in while he was away at a convention last year.
This year, we went to a bar/restaurant on the fourth of July, just before dusk. It was loud. A few people were inebriated. There were four young children present and some women were not wearing much. That upset me.
I was on edge for the first 15 minutes. I told Chris and my in-laws that I needed to get it out of my system and I would be fine.
Chris wanted to order an Apple Ale, but the waitress didn’t return to our table until he had eaten most of his burger. I thought if he ordered a drink, I would take a sip and bond with him. I ate a delicious pulled pork barbeque sandwich. My funny father-in-law joked that he could see my review. “The food was great, but the people were obnoxious”. No, I didn’t post a review.
I forgot to mention that I researched alcohol content in common beers, meads, wines and whiskies. Whiskey makes me uncomfortable, because its alcohol content is usually 40% and it’s consumed in the form of shots.
I’m considering going to a wine tasting with my husband. I understand each sample is between two and three ounces. My mother-in-law thinks I might like the darker red wines. She said those taste sweeter.
I still worry about being bitter to Chris and other loved ones. Thankfully, I am more accepting and open-minded. Thank you to everyone who has helped me and continues to reach out to me. I appreciate you.
There are several more things that happened in the past year. I think this post nicely summarizes it in a readable length. Thank you for reading.
Reminder. This post is personal to me. I appreciate your empathy and encouragement for me to be more accepting. Negative comments against my husband or myself will be deleted.