My sister, 35, watched her husband, 40, lose his business, friends, family and possibly in future trust of his 1.5 years old toddler (if the habit doesn’t change). It’s not easy to live with an alcoholic and it saddens me to see how my sister is undergoing the same that my mother went through when my father was drinking (thankfully he has stopped now).
But time always hardens you and motivates you to hold on no matter how bad things look like.
It’s very easy to imagine a drunk as a vagrant roaming on the streets or sitting in car with a bottle in a brown paper bag. But, it’s very tough to imagine that drunk to be your own husband. A grim reality, which my sister faces everyday is not easy to live. Her husband slowly turned from a successful entrepreneur and father of a cute baby to a broken, unruly man. From being a protector to his wife and child, he became a responsibility and liability.
She never liked alcohol, we both saw our father come home drunk and abuse our mother. He promised her at the day of wedding that he would never drink again and he kept his side of the promise for a while.
His drinking increased slowly when she conceived. She was too busy keeping herself and he baby well that initially she didn’t notice, but this bad habit did not even die after the child was born and that’s when she became worrisome.
Loss in business, and not having another job, took him to a path from which I have no idea if there would be a turning back or not. He preferred to gulp down his problems with a bottle of beer rather than confiding in his partner.
Sometimes he was drinking alone and sometimes with friends. While he was a happy drunk, he was miserable afterwards. He would come home with no sense whatsoever, shout for no reason, talk loudly and just go to sleep.
Her relationship with her husband changed. She became the one providing for the family while the small income that he earned went towards his beer. She took up a part time job to make sure that her kid was provided for. They would constantly keep fighting but it was useless. How can you ever win an argument with a drunk who has lost sense of right and wrong?
Things went to an extent that there were no time boundaries of when he would drink. He would drink in morning, afternoon or night, whenever he could.
She tried to reason with him, telling him to think of his health, his child, their marriage but he constantly denied that he had a problem. He always maintained that he had his drinking under control. His parents also didn’t help and kept encouraging his behavior. All the constant chaos, troubled my sister a lot, I could see it in her eyes and voice, but she kept strong for the world, and for her son.
He had become cold and distant with literally no intimacy left in their relationship. She herself didn’t want to be close to him in that state. But in spite of all this, she didn’t leave him, she kept covering up his absence in social gatherings and kept a smiling face always. She knew he wasn’t a bad man, if only he could leave the drinking, he might become more responsible towards life.
I have seen many women in my life struggling and getting depressed, but not my sister. With all that going in her life, she would just cry to me, she never ever humiliated her husband in public, always maintained his good stature. Was it for love, care or her child, I don’t know. At times, no matter how much we hate someone, you just don’t want to leave in fear that what will happen to him if I leave. Even though he abuses you, you would stand by because that’s what marriage is all about. That’s what the marriage vows say, in good or bad, we will be together, till death do us apart.
I’m not sure if he would ever be back on track, but one thing is sure, till he doesn’t accept that he is an alcoholic, nothing is going to change. I keep telling her that crying, shouting or cribbing about your life is not going to help. You gotta keep strong and keep it together for your son’s sake. The day little kiddo will start talking and will ask his father, “Are you drunk?”, maybe that day he will change forever for good.