I have a weird feeling in my stomach. And I have a nagging thought planted in my mind that seems to be growing day-by-day:
The longer I stay sober, the more I notice how my husband’s drinking bothers me.
A lot of these quit lit books I read talk about the epiphanies that come to you as walk along your sober path. Thoughts, feelings, things that you’ve shoved to the back of your mind in drinking alcohol. Boozing is a way of escaping. It’s a way of smoothing over the wrinkles in your life. A way of NOT dealing with emotions. With problems. When I quit for a period of time last summer, I began to see some “truths” about myself. I came to realize that I didn’t have much of a social life outside of Rob and the kids. I didn’t have friends, women I could call, could hang out with, could turn to as I grew older. I saw that my relationship with Jesus was lacking, that I wasn’t really instructing my kids on the Bible. I saw that my marriage was losing its romance, that I couldn’t remember the last time Rob and I took time to be with each other alone when HE planned an evening. I saw “cracks” in the foundations of my life.
I really struggled with the marriage part. I can look back over dozens of journal entries from this past fall and winter and see how depressed I was when it came to Rob’s and my “love life.” Even into this spring, I wrestled with whether to just go ahead and plan all the date nights or leave them to Rob (praying desperately that he would).
When I didn’t drink, I had to watch him. I told myself that it was no big deal. And maybe in some ways, like the addiction side of things, it was okay. I worked through or plain just ignored my cravings. I didn’t necessarily WANT to drink. But when I abstained over a period of time, I grew increasingly aware of how much “Drunk Rob” bothered me. He spoke loudly, was self-absorbed, would fail to listen, would never remember anything we spoke about. He seemed quick to irritate, quick to point out anything he felt I was doing wrong. His teasing–whether with the kids, the dogs, or with me–often stung. And the times when he did show affection? It wasn’t real. How could it be when he was “out of it?” Making love was like having sex on autopilot.
Watching my boozy husband, being around it enough times on the weekends, I slowly sidled a little away from him. And it concerned me (I love Rob, love him with my whole heart; he’s a great husband, a great father). I felt a distance wedging between us, though. Was it the reason I went back to drinking on the weekends? It definitely had a big part in it. I quickly saw that when I was on the same “plane” as Rob, I wasn’t annoyed as much, wasn’t feeling like a gulf existed between us. I, too, wasn’t present for conversations and therefore couldn’t be blamed for not remembering them the next morning. By being “out of it,” too, I was numb to his mood swings, didn’t truly hear his words, didn’t pay attention to his actions; I was too caught up in mine. I was floating (or sinking) in that state of inebriation. So immensely sad for our kids…
Now I’m back on track. I’ve righted the train car and am chugging along, alcohol free. I don’t want any part of drinking. The brainwashing, the lies, the false beliefs, I want none of it. But… my husband still imbibes. And I’m telling myself that it’s okay, I’m telling myself it will be fine, I will handle it, I will not let it bother me, I will stay on my path. Sober. No moderation. Not one drink.
I’m praying that I won’t feel the distance creeping back in with my marriage. But already, since I’ve returned from my company trip this past Monday, Rob’s been somewhat irritable, snappish. I have to assume he drank over the weekend, most likely got crappy sleep, and is dealing with the inevitable aftermath. Today it’s Friday. We don’t have any definitive plans outside of just dropping my daughter off at an overnight birthday party. I know what this means… Rob will start drinking right around 4:00 PM, we’ll go grab dinner out (where he’ll will continue to drink), then we’ll hang at home (where he’ll keep drinking). It’s THIS that I’m not looking forward to, NOT that I’m going to be abstaining.
It’s knowing that at some point I could be dealing with “Drunk Rob.”