Husband said this to me tonight as we were packing, "Your not drinking is starting to scare me." Happy Two Weeks For Me! A very exclusive party of one. He said it lightly and I lightly asked what he meant, he said nothing, and I said, "Don't worry I'm still the same girl you married." (where the hell did that come from??) and he replied, "Really? Are you? Just joking." And we moved on to fill more boxes and dance to the music.
I understand why he might be getting scared. We are the bestest drinking buddies. And that IS who he married. And that is the big question: will I still be the same girl he married if I stay sober? Am I still me? And another reason why he could be scared is that I'm not pleading with him to help me stay sober like when I tried to do it before, and I'm just doing it. Shit, I guess we are co-dependent. (as I'm I'm about to write out my next sentences.) I always thought that I would have better luck drinking less (or quitting) if I lived alone because I just wouldn't keep alcohol in the house, and that would just work, right? Since we are married it always felt unfair to ask Husband to stop drinking at home because of my issues, and if he did not drink at home for a short time it seemed to always slip back in-usually because I felt guilty depriving him the pleasure of his normie habits. Or I've asked him to hide bottles and pour his drinks in secret because it was the pouring that was a trigger. Or I've just asked him to not pour me drinks even if I asked, and he says he can't say no to me....All of these situation are so convenient for both of us, right? I just set myself up for failure each time by putting him in charge of my drinking or blaming him for my drinking, and he got to keep his favorite drinking buddy and not alter the flow of our household.
What will our marriage be like without me drinking? Who am I if I do not drink? We mostly have fun drinking together, loosen up and connect. We get into conversations that need to happen (but sometimes they are blurry or forgotten the next day), he is a happy, loving drunk when I can be firey, ok let's be honest: I can be an aggressive, offensive, and an angry drunk and whatever irritants I am feeling towards him come how when I'm really drunk, so attractive! But outside of the drinking fights, we really don't fight-and that's an issue. We have needed booze to bring it up in order to make up. A pressure release valve.
And I now admit that booze has bonded us, been our friend and facilitator-when it is taken away what's there to replace it? That is a scary question. For Husband too, this is scary because he doesn't want to really now how much he is drinking, he does not collect the data about himself like I do. And now, when it is just him drinking, it is much more obvious how much he is drinking by the empty bottles throughout the week. And who wants that? I hate those people who made me feel like I have a drinking problem! Not that I have made any comments about his drinking amounts, but the fact that I'm not drinking is probably enough. For the past two weeks he has been living like that...it must be shitty but he keeps telling me he is proud of me and I keep pouring him a drink when we get home from work.
And I thought this was all so easy! What would be easy to just go back to the way thing were...not rock the boat, but just be a moderate drinker instead. That's the only thing that has to change. EASY! I can't be a moderate drinker. Or I can be until I'm not and don't know it until the next day after I slept like shit, hungover and asking delicate questions about the night before because I blacked out at some point. I can't go back. I have to remember it always ends that way: hungover and a black memory of my embarrassing moments.
I used to drink with the best of them, but I don't anymore. My life is so much better for it.
-Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp