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Posted: August 24, 2021, 6:53 PM
Below is a letter I wrote my soon to be former wife the other day about her drinking. We have been married for 30 years. I have dealt with this all that time.
Sorry but I give up. I don't feel guilty about it as I have really tried.
(names have been changed to protect privacy)
It’s about 6 am. I’m having a cup of coffee and watching the world come to life for the morning. It’s going to be a beautiful day in Seward, and I wish you were here.
I love you very much Beth. I love your zest for life. I love the way you can be patient with a puppy even after he chews something like a sandal. I love that you find great joy in your flowers, and I love that you like feeding the birds.
All these things I love about you my dear.
All that said there are some things that we need to resolve. This next part is going to sting a bit but I hope that you take the time to listen to what I have to say.
First off lets talk about the alcohol content of a bottle of wine. A bottle of Organic Red wine is 25 ounces and is 13.9% alcohol. That means that there is 3.475 ounces of alcohol in a bottle of wine.
A shot of whiskey is 1.5 ounces for a “large” shot which is the standard for a drink at a bar. Whiskey is 80 proof which means it is 40% alcohol. That means that a standard bar drink of whiskey is .6 ounces of alcohol. That also means that a bottle of wine is the equivalent of 5.79 (almost 6) drinks at a bar.
I found a Blood Alcohol calculator on the internet and entered the data for your weight, and the time span of four hours to drink that bottle of wine. If you start sipping wine at 4:00 PM and finish your bottle at 8:00 PM your Blood Alcohol Content is .18 which is over twice the legal limit to drive a car.
By any measure that is pretty darn drunk, and that is every day sweeti. Here is what that amount of alcohol does to you my love.
If you are in a happy mood that day everything is fine. Those are honestly a good percentage of the days.
If you have something on your mind then the alcohol enhances those feelings. What ever is on your mind you focus on with great intensity.
Then you reach a frenzy of intensity regarding that thing that is bothering you to the point that you escalate that into a conflict between you and I.
Very quickly you go from happy Beth to an all out attack on me.
I try to sense when you are focusing and bring you back from the edge and occasionally that works, but more often it does not and you end up in an all out rampage.
At some point I generally lash out and tell you to leave me alone, and frankly I am so fed up by that point that I am not nice about it.
Beth, this behavior is not you. It is brought on by the fact that you are highly intoxicated. Just as intoxicated as if you went to the bar and downed 6 large shots of Whiskey. Intoxicated enough to be over twice the legal limit to drive. Drunk as a skunk is a great saying and it fits anybody that drinks that much, not just you honey.
Besides it’s effect on me and your marriage, this level of drinking has affected your family. We could have a wonderful relationship with our only child, his wife, and our granddaughter, but alcohol has prevented that. Nobody wants to come around a drunk person Beth. I have been telling you this for years. Now our granddaughter is 15 and we barely know her.
This May you confronted our only child by email and forced him to answer why he keeps himself and his family away from us. He wrote you a heart filled response with all the love that a son could show in his situation. I have read his email and although some of his exact memories differ from mine, the message was clear. Your behavior while drunk has greatly affected his and his families relationship you and honestly with me as well. You made him write his message and share it with his grandmother, and now his relationship with his grandparents does not exist. His grandfather who he loves dearly will not talk to him, and he has not been in communication with his grandmother whom he also loves dearly for several months. He has also and most importantly lost his mom over your behavior while drunk.
Lets also think of what has happened to you. You have eliminated your only child, and his family including your granddaughter over drinking. Yor husband is afraid to be around you at night because of your drinking. Even today as I write this, you should be down here with me fishing, but you are not, because of your drinking.
Beth, your drinking is ruining your life, and my life, and harming the lives of the people that love you.
Honey you and I are at a crossroads. I love you so much but I cannot do this any more. The last few times you went ballistic my heart started beating irregularly. I will not allow myself to have a heart attack because you choose to drink so much that it sets you off the deep end. I’m sorry my love but I have to choose to live.
You have some choices Beth, and I hope that you choose wisely.
You can choose to continue your one bottle of wine a day habit and because of that I will choose not to share my time with you.
Or… You can choose to at a minimum reduce your alcohol consumption to 1/3 of a bottle of wine a day and we can have a happy life.
I would honestly prefer that you quit drinking altogether, but it is not my place to tell you that. If you choose to quit, you have my full support, and we will become an alcohol free household.
Beth I love you but the choice is yours.
This post has been edited by kevinak on August 24, 2021, 6:56 PM
Posted: August 24, 2021, 8:36 PM
Awww KevinAK, I'm sorry. I'm sorry you are here on this message board but I can tell that the people here will not judge you or berate you. We will listen, we will offer advice & support. We all have similar situations - whether it is a child or partner, drugs or alcohol or both. They are destructive & not only destroy the addict but everyone surrounding them too.
I wish you luck in mending your relationship with your son & family. I hope Beth finds & completes the help she needs to live her life. It can be done, but only she can do it.
Posted: August 24, 2021, 9:08 PM
I think that I am not alone to have suffered in silence for many years. Everyone here probably has a sad story.
I simply wish beyond wishes that things were different.
This is frustrating because my wife's parents have not and will not say anything, and although my wife is in her late 50's she looks up to them. I know it is not their fault but they could help and refuse not to even discuss this with her.
People seem to look down on illegal drug use but overlook abuse of alcohol. Very frusterating indeed.
Posted: August 24, 2021, 10:15 PM
Hi Kevin and thank you for sharing your situation. I'm sorry you have suffered so long because of your wife's addiction. It's very hard to live with someone with an addiction. It's a very lonely and painful life, not always but mostly, sadly....
I liked the letter you wrote your wife. It was kindly written and it highlighted how significant her drinking is and the impact it is having on your life, especially with your son and his family.
Addiction is all consuming. It takes on a life of it's own and it eventually has so many negative consequences and losses. It affects all areas of normal functioning. The person becomes a slave to it and the addiction cycle repeats over and over again. It's hard to watch and be related to it.
Would your wife ever consider detox and treatment? I hope she will take the help she needs and you get the life you deserve with joy and peace.
Posted: August 27, 2021, 5:08 AM
No, I do not think she will ever even remotely consider treatment.
Actually i asked her to give it a try. To either reduce her consumption or eliminate it, for just a few months and see how things go.
The problem is she does not recognize her drinking as a problem. She actually thinks or at least said that I am only trying to control her, by using an ultimatum to get her to stop.
I do not understand, sigh... If your partner tells you for years you have a problem with alcohol... Maybe just maybe you have a problem. I do not want to control anybody. I just want to live out my life without the fear that tonight is going to be another one of those nights.
We are to the "splitting things up" stage. All the mechanics of separating a lifetime together. We both have hired attorneys, and this is moving forward fairly rapidly.
I feel guilty and happy all at the same time. 30 years of dealing with a "mean drunk" is a long time, and my life window is getting shorter by the day. I am at the point that I have nothing more to give.
Thank goodness I am prepared for this. I cannot imagine the trapped feeling some must experience with no where to go. I feel so blessed in that way. We are well off, and I have a boat that I stay on a good part of the time already. It has been my sanctuary for the last decade. After we get this transition finalized I'll be taking off on a nice peaceful cruise. An extended vacation for a couple of years. Sometime I might settle down, or I'll just enjoy my elder years exploring by sea.
In the end she will be fine and alone with her dogs, in a lonely world. I will be fine knowing I gave it my best effort. It's just so sad seeing someone ruin a otherwise perfect life.
Addiction crosses all socioeconomic boundaries. It does not give preference to anyone. It destroys lives equally.
This post has been edited by kevinak on August 27, 2021, 5:10 AM
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