Drinking a Love Story Then and Now
Her husband grew tired, weary of the routine. They were arguing again as they did nearly every night. Harsh words throughout the day or small digs here and there but they added up. Bit by bit she knew she was losing him.
Was there someone else?
Why was he so angry alot of the time.
Was it her?
Was she not supportive enough?
Was it work?
She knew his boss could be a bit of a bully but she thought her husband could handle him. What was making him both so unhappy and anxious and also excited and full of anticipation it seemed?
He was so tired. Tired of listening to her nagging him about her work, about the children. Had they done their homework?
Who cares he thought to himself, why do I have to care about this every day? I need a break a release. I know what I need, I just need to zone out and see a good friend.
Both partners retreated to their respective corners of the room each lost in their own world. Her’s full of worry and doubt. His full of anger at feeling taken for granted and wanting to escape for a while.
She looked after the children and put them to bed, then went to bed early herself. He stayed downstairs watching television although he wasn’t bothered about what was on the screen. He was far more interested in the bottle in his hand. He raised his 5th beer to his lips and sat back and waited. He waited a bit more for a relaxing feeling he usually got from drinking but instead he still felt stressed and upset.
He blamed his wife.
Her nagging was affecting his mood he reasoned.
He decided to grab the red wine from the fridge. He’d treat himself he thought after all he deserved it. He was a good husband and father and if his wife couldn’t see it well screw her!
On his 3rd glass of red he felt hazy and sad, he didn’t mean to have all that. He’d got to drive the kids to school the next day and then he had to go to work. Shit, how could he manage that he wondered.
Nevermind it’d be fine. He’d done it before and a little hair of the dog wouldn’t hurt. Instead of dragging himself to bed that night he passed out however.
His wife woke him up with a cup of tea and a sad expression on her face. He didn’t even come to bed last night she thought to herself. Are we really that broken, perhaps he is involved with someone else.
He had in fact met someone else. He’d been seeing her frequently for a while properly, but in reality it had been years. He met her at University and was enchanted. He carried on seeing her after he and his wife got married though he’d promised not to. He felt alternately guilty about it and then justified in his actions. It was a rollercoaster of emotions but he couldn’t let this beauty disappear from his life. She represented everything his wife sometimes didn’t. His wife was often tired and stressed but this beauty was always there for him. She was sexy, cool, fun, attentive and so knowledgeable.
Who wouldn’t want to hang out with her?
As long as his wife didn’t find out again as then he’d have to choose between them.
He was afraid to do that because he knew at this point he wouldn’t choose his wife and children. His other love, he was ashamed to admit, meant more to him than they did. Though she could be difficult and sometimes hurt him badly he could handle her, couldn’t he?
Another few months passed in a similar way before his wife sadly accepted her husband’s heart was no longer in their once happy marriage. She didn’t think he even wanted to be around the children anymore. Summoning her courage with her heart beating wildly in her chest she asked him straight out.
“Are you seeing someone else? Please tell me the truth, you owe me that much after everything we’ve been through together ”
He looked down at the floor and nodded. He explained he was completely in love, besotted and passionate about his other love, that he loved her more than anything or anyone else.
Trying so hard not to cry and brimming with hurt and humiliation his wife asked:
“Do I know her? What is she called?”
Again her husband nodded, this time crestfallen with the realisation that his marriage was ending but unable to stop it. He replied slowly:
” Yes you know her….her name is alcohol and I’m so sorry……”
That Was then and This is Now
The husband I nearly left, the husband that I struggled with having respect for will be 2 years sober on Nov 27th. I thought he was weak when he was drinking but I have been proved wrong. He’s stayed sober through his mum being diagnosed with breast cancer, her chemo and radiotherapy, our children’s autism struggles my eldest’s dark thoughts and me not knowing whether I wanted to walk away from our marriage. He’s stayed strong throughout it all. Now he facilitates at SMART meetings .
My “useless, weak, completely addicted” husband wasn’t any of those things and I was so ignorant, he was just struggling with an addictive substance.
He has turned things around 360 degrees now and whilst we still have stress and struggles with the autism thing and usual life worries, he is my rock again.
He’s safe, secure and a brilliant example for our children and I couldn’t be more proud of him.
People who lose their way can find it again and no-one who is addicted is a lost cause x
This poem was composed by Floss The author of The Runaway Train
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