Tag Archives: Christmas

Shoe on Other Foot

Back at the desk after Christmas. It went okay. Hubby (Who was off the drink for 3 and a half years but started to try and drink ‘normally’ again about six months ago) over did it a couple of times which brought all the old memories and feelings flooding back and the barrier went up again – My glass wall that stops it hurting too much. Anyway we’ve talked and talked and now that the ‘season of over indulgence’ has passed there are no more excuses for him to drink to such excess – we’ll see what happens. He seems to constitute a bottle of wine every night as ‘normal drinking’.

The only saving grace over the Christmas was his friend who is a complete alcoholic, went overboard this year and he saw how it is to have to live with it. The friend’s wife  has been attending Al Anon for the past few months and has at last dropped her pride and started to talk about the problem. She now realises that he and his drinking has completely controlled her life and she has become very angry and bitter towards him, she is talking about leaving him. They have no kids so there aren’t the horrible complications of the upset it can cause them.

Hubby spent an hour talking to her last night, the  friend had got to the stage of hallucinating about things that never happened, he’s convinced himself that he once shot someone and that’s why he’s drinking. Last year he convinced himself that he was abused as a child and that’s why he’s drinking – after much therapy he agreed he may have blown things out of proportion.  Hubby agreed to call the friend this morning before he had a chance to drink. He’s using the excuse of not being able to give up drink at the moment because his wife is leaving him and ‘he has a lot on his mind’ – how often have we all heard that one?

So with the shoe being on the other foot ( I think that is the right saying!) Hubby is rethinking his plan of ‘normal’ drinking.

Christmas Parties with Alcoholic Partner

When you have an alcoholic spouse, 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.

Now that he is sober we are starting to socialize more together – friends come over and we go with the kids to friends houses. For the first time in 11 years we are hiring in a babysitter tonight so we can go out together! We are going to my work Christmas dinner and for the first time I feel relaxed in his company while out with friends – but I will still keep my own independent social life that I have built over the years. Why? because I enjoy it now and it is important to me to keep the independence I have spent so long building.

To all of you still living with an active drinker my heart goes out to you, but keep in mind there can be light at the end of the tunnel and things can work out.