Special Occasions – how to get through them

When you have an alcoholic, Christmas or any other occasion can fill you with dread rather than joy. You dread being invited to work parties that you ‘must’ attend as you fear your partner will get drunk and then behave badly – co workers laugh it off as once off behaviour but little do they know that you are cringing inside as this is the behaviour you put up with on a regular basis. Or else you turn down invitations when you’d prefer to be socializing and celebrating the season and all because of that risk of the embarrassment or behaviour you expect your alcoholic partner to cause. My alcoholic husband wasn’t much into socializing, he was a home drinker. He liked to drink alone and not have his drinking interrupted by visitors. Even so Christmas gave him licence to fill shopping trollies full of booze because ‘it’s Christmas and people will be calling in’. My husband didn’t like to go to parties, friend’s houses or anywhere away from the home in the evening – he would much rather ‘relax’ at home. Why? Because he couldn’t drink the same amount elsewhere, the measures were too small or he would say he couldn’t enjoy a drink because he had to drive. This excuse wouldn’t stop him drinking at home and driving afterwards but it was a good excuse not to go socializing with me. The few times he did go out with me, he would have a soft drink and then would start hinting that we needed to go – it was getting late and who ever was minding our children would be tired, or he forgot to feed the dog or whatever – it wasn’t because he had a bottle of vodka or whiskey waiting to be drunk on the kitchen counter.

How did I cope? I usually went to parties, weddings, etc. alone. Though it wouldn’t have been my first choice to attend alone and I often longed to have my husband with me when other couples would be laughing or dancing together. When I had first envisioned what my life with this man would be like, I hadn’t suspected I’d be dreading Christmas and attending parties on my own. But then, I had never suspected my life would one day be so changed and sculpted by my husband’s alcoholism.

One thought on “Special Occasions – how to get through them”

  1. This is so true of me! It’s frightening to see so many similarities cropping up. The social isolation is about the worst of it for me, being as gregarious as I am. I drink very seldom when Gitte’s drinking, and always feel that I can never relax and let go. I do see it as a social device for the good, in-as-much-as it facilitates relaxation, and I don’t seem to be getting much these days! Gitte drinks at home for the most part, and I’m kind of caged there with her. I don’t drink as a rule when she’s “on one” because I to easily get involved in argument, and that always seems to set the tone for the rest of the evening.

    Occasionally I do “run away” to friends, but it always ends in me fielding calls and sms’s from her and also my friends, so that I can’t relax. If she discovers where I am, she’ll come and make so much of a scene that I have to leave. Sad

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