So, I’ve been going thru a lot in my marriage. While actively tearing it apart binge drinking and exploding over the past 5-10 years, I have finally hit a bottom. I think.
My wife finally said she’s thinking about separating. She doesn’t want a divorce right now, but doesn’t want to be married like this. And she has no trust in me. Hard to have a successful marriage when one person doesn’t trust the other. Especially in a high achieving marriage, where we both have high demand jobs. We need to be able to lean on each other and ask for support when we are down, drowning in the aspects that make up daily life. She has been there for me, and I have complained that she hasn’t been there enough because of how much she’s working. And I didn’t begin to see that she felt completely isolated and I wasn’t there at all for her. She doesn’t need me to fix things, she needs me to be there to listen and validate her emotions. But she finally asked me to fix me. Or she’s gone for sure. And she may be anyways.
So me when I drink. Well, I have always prided myself on my memory. I can remember sports plays from before high school, golf shots years later, my first thoughts when I saw my wife for the first time, her walking down the isle. My kids playing, kissing me, smiles, etc. In detail. It’s amazing.
And I remember the dark, the shitty, the painful. The moments I thought if this was worth it. The feeling of rejection. Betrayal. Hate. Btw, saying, is this worth it, I’m referring to tough times in life, not ending mine.
Alcohol is my time machine. And when I’m on that ride, it amplifies everything! Where it takes me depends on who I drink with. High school buddies, our parties are crazier, the plays better, the jokes funnier. They should have made movies about these things. We would be famous. Shit we were amazing. Same with buddies I bar hopped with. The stories are always the same, always better. The girls were always 9-10’s, maybe an 8, on off nights. The casino wins are always bigger. The weekends always crazier.
And then my wife. At first, when we met, we drank, had fun, no problems. Get drunk, great sex. That was our fun, that was what we did. Movies, dinner, friends. Drinks. Lots of drinks. We competed between each other who drank the most. And sex. It was fun. It was great.
Then it wasn’t. Obviously that type of relationship wouldn’t last, it would fall apart. And it did. Man it hurt. I honestly loved her. Fell in love with her instantly. It was amazing. And then it was gone. Okay. Everyone has those moments, they lost their love. Drink it away with buddies, you never loved her that much anyways, there’s another girl who will fill that void. She’s probably over there or at that bar across town. Let’s go find her.
Two points to that. First, I have always wanted that void filled. That void that someone left me, give me the feeling of being wanted by someone. It was a big void, growing larger as I got older. I had always tried to find someone to fill it. If not multiple people. It wasn’t healthy. I see that now. I joked, you always need one in your back pocket. It’s what my buddies did. Girls did it too. It was pop culture. But then there was her. Suddenly, with her in my life, that void was overflowing, that canyon filled. Something was different. Something happened. It felt right. I felt complete. I felt, dare I say, safe. Yea. She made me feel safe. I longed for that. Just keep me safe. And slowly, but surely, she pulled back the layers on me.
And then it was over. Just that fast. Okay. So it’s gonna be a little harder than other girls. Nobody commanded attention like that last one. No lips felt the same. No body was as perfect. No conversation as easy, as deep. No connection. It all was cold and physical. So deal with it. Oh wait, she’s calling me, hold on, maybe there’s a chance.
“No I don’t hate you” (actually I love you and want you near me right now) “Yea I was planning to come home this weekend” (just tell my buddies I’m working extra) “So what’s going on? You want to have dinner or something?” (Please dear God anything) “I’m sorry?!?! Can I call you back?”
SHES PRENANT! What the fuck! How, well I remember, it was great, but how did this happen! Well maybe we will get back together after all. This may not be so bad after all.
“Hey, sorry. This will work and we will be great!” “Oh, what, so you’re not wanting to get back together? You’re mad at me? Okay I have to go. I’ll let you know when I get back in town.”
Long of short of it is, it was hard. She started seeing someone else. He was married. And she was pregnant with my kid, sleeping with someone else. I was sleeping with other people, getting drunk probably every other night. Trying to dull the pain. Block it out. But it never went away. It got worse. I totaled a truck I had for 4 months wasted as shit one night. No alarms went off in my head I wasn’t handling this well. I’m coping, I got lucky I didn’t get hurt, but I’m bulletproof. It was fine. The truck reminded me of her anyways. Fuck that truck. And I was trying to impress a different girl anyways.
All those emotions. All that pain. That’s where I go when I drink with her. Not the love making, not the 10’s of thousands of memories since. See we made it work, for 10 years since then we have made it work. But the alcohol hasn’t let me forget. And it takes me back to there. And I relive it, constantly. And make her suffer. She can say sorry, she has, so many times. And I have forgiven her. So many times. Until that 3rd or 4th drink. And it takes me right back there. And she is hurting me all over again. Only it’s not her hurting me. It’s the alcohol, and it magnifies the story, magnifies the hurt. DRIVES ME CRAZY! And I drink even more. And more. And the pain gets worse, my anger gets worse. And I get meaner, and try and test her.
“I’M LEAVING BECAUSE YOU HAVE NEVER PICKED ME! YOU PICKED SOMEONE ELSE BEFORE, SOME DAY YOU WILL AGAIN! YOU NEVER LOVED ME LIKE I LOVE YOU!”
but it’s really
“I can’t let go of my past, my pain, my hurt, because im drunk. And even though you have picked me, every moment of every day, for 10 years, the alcohol is controlling my emotions and I can’t let go. And you have loved me thru this. More than I have loved me. And I can’t see it. And I’m gonna hurt you because the alcohol is hurting me. And I’m not going to stop until I drive you and the girls away! Because I’m out of control!”
And I’m out of control. And guess what? I’ve accomplished it. I’ve driven her away. The one who has stood by me, every moment of every day since then, since we got back together. 10 years of moments. Two kids, two masters degrees, buying our first, dream house, vacations, amazing careers, she’s been there. I’ve finally done it. I’m following in the footsteps of my family. Children out of wedlock, alcoholic, under achieving, and then divorced. Hell, I’m right on path.
All for what? A drink, to relax. Yea, I’ll have one more, I got this. Nothing to worry about here. This time will be different. I won’t go to that place. I can control this drink that has controlled me unknowingly for over 15 years. And just like that, I start to undo what I’ve spent my whole life working toward.