he wouldn’t say *shit* if he had a mouthful.

the talk with the husband.

i guess i knew it would happen eventually.

i say something like “i know i don’t tell you much about what’s going on online, but i just want to say that i’ve found a really great group of women bloggers and i’m surprised at how much it’s helping me.  I don’t want to talk about not drinking all the time, or you’ll think i’m online getting brainwashed, but it really is helping me a lot.”

he says: “i think it’s great, whatever you think helps …”  and then he adds with some surprise, “i never thought you’d stop drinking on your own like this.”

me: “really?”

him: “I’ve been thinking for a long time that we drink too often (nightly). i just never thought you would stop. i figured i’d eventually have to say something.”

[gulp] i know he never would have said anything.  this guy wouldn’t say shit if he had a mouthful of it.

me: “how long have you thought we’ve been drinking too much?”

him: “since we lived in XX” (4 years ago).

me: “i figured you’d find me boring now that i’m not drinking. you said that N and G were both boring once they stopped.”

him: “not you.”

me: “and when we go on vacation, you’ll be thinking ‘why can’t she drink with me?'”

him: “no.”

me: “well i’m not sure what i’m going to do at the end of Dry July.”

him: “you’ll probably just continue.”

[god, what is he saying?]

me: “continue drinking socially?”

him: “continue not drinking.”

and while he may match me one-for-one when the wine is open, he never initiates it. he never is the one to buy it, to plan it, and if there’s no alcohol in the house he doesn’t drink.  i think now he’s just been drinking to keep me company or to avoid conflict.

yesterday i was on day 16, and i asked him when was the last time he had 16 days in a row with not one beer, and he said he didn’t drink daily before he met me (7 years ago)…

spectacular. fantastic.

of course, i know that feeling disappointed, or sad, or resentful are key triggers to drink … but i’m not being triggered. i’m actually feeling very zen and at ease with my decision to stop. there is wine in the house for an event we’re having this week, and it is not speaking to me. he was out last night and i watched a show on the computer and made muffins.  i’m sure there are difficult days ahead, but i’m honestly feeling that it has not been that hard to stop.  some brief moments of cravings that pass quickly. and most days, no cravings at all.  i’m very aware that i’m still counting days (and in some ways this seems like the longest month on record). and i know that there are challenges ahead at day 40 or 50 or 90.

i thought i was doing this just for the month of july, but perhaps not.  three drinks a day, every day, just isn’t how other people consume alcohol. and i’m really not interested in having a glass of wine with dinner now and then — as nice and romantic as that may sound. To me it sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard.  i hope at some point in the future it’ll seem appealing to have ‘just a glass’ but i know for now, it sounds like a special kind of hell.

and i never want to have ‘that’ conversation with my husband…

Belle

I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • Day 19. I had actually told my husband I would be doing this. Then we fell into radio silence while I actually did. Thinking he might want to know how it’s going I told him I was really excited to be on day 15 this week ,and he laughed and said ‘well, only 85 days to go’. Arse. He knows I want this to be a life thing. He knows this has to be done. He watches me throw back at least a bottle a night, every night, and he gets into senseless arguments with me half of the time. So stuck inbetween rage at his comment and guilt (he has started drinking more with me), I decided not to explode and thought about it. His way through life is done with humour, probably what this was meant to be…..so I told him, honestly for the first time, that this is actually a big deal for me, that I drink too much, I need to be healthy, and I need his support even though I’m sure I have hurt him many times. This morning he came and told me he was really proud of me, 2020 is going to be our year for good health and strength and he knew I could do it. He also supported me through dinner with friends last night (Tough moments). Oh my, so perfectly said, that special kind of hell that comes with one glass. Rather none and one. One glass and all barriers are gone. I was tempted nonetheless, but didnt go there. Yes, I feel strong, yes, I feel I can finally do this, on my own if need be, but it does help to have positive nonjudgemental support (especially considering the responses of others). Even with the jokes. We can do this !

  • Having one drink is exactly like living in a special kind of hell.

    I’m on day 22, and I agree, in many ways it feels like this first month is dragging on. When I was in the loop of drink, forget, sleep, hangover fog, repeat – the days flew by, it was a foggy journey and I had no clue where I was going.

    Now that I’m not pouring booze on my head, I have the patience and clarity to remember things, notice what is around me, actually start entertaining the thought of practicing mindfulness in a real way – not a lying to myself kind of way.

    My husband very gently told me that he thought it would be better if I didn’t drink so much (Jan 2018). Just one time, and just one comment. But it killed me. He knew. My behaviour bothered him, maybe not a lot, but it did. And that was so terrible to hear, I felt that I had let him down and disappointed him. And I was disappointed in myself. I wasn’t proud of myself – I didn’t even know what that felt like anymore. It took me until Oct 2018 trying and failing to do things on my own, gathered a bit of momentum (again on my own) from Oct 2018-Feb 2019 and FINALLY found this site and these amazing resources. I’m thankful I have a supportive partner. I’m so thankful I found Belle. I am on my journey and am feeling proud of myself again. Not drinking today.

    • I am on day 1 today.
      Having had many, many day 1’s in the last year.
      My fiancé was partially the reason I drank much of last year.
      He’d say, “oh just have a glass of wine tonight…”
      He doesn’t have an issue with alcohol, he can pour a glass, take a couple of sips and forget it is there. I never forget it is there, unless I drank too much of it.
      This last month he has noticed that I am different when I drink.
      Here’s my theory:
      I want soooo badly to be done with ‘thinking about drinking’ that my behavior is getting worse and worse when I do drink. I am so angry and disappointed with myself and that translates to being angry with him.
      That is not fair.
      He is now being very supportive of my choosing to not drink.
      And he has been supportive when I did and was obviously angry with myself about it.
      I am excited to be free.

  • Well what a lovely geezer – you need to hang on to him .

    I have loads of doubts of what BF REALLY thinks. When I got to him I was a twelve stepper then this mingled with doing some recreational drugs on occasion and eventually a couple do drinks at a wedding. The chameleon I turned into who pretended to do be able to do all these things without any consequences feels to me like that’s the one he wants. But she’s not real. My last supposed relapse in May was when the reality came crashing down and my phew drinks at a wedding turning into night after night drinking at home and i had to admit defeat. I can’t help feeling that that one, the pretend girl in the wedding attire drinking white wine in the wedding attire would he his idead. :”’-(

  • It’s interesting to hear, and I mean really listen to and understand, what other people have been thinking especially when it is a close, loved one. If you were drinking while he said it, you probably wouldn’t have heard it. It’s a pretty deep convo and is particularly thought provoking that he would drink nightly to keep you company though he didn’t drink daily before he met you. The way our lifestyles affect others is more significant than we realize. Booze goggles, ya know.

  • I feel like we might be married to the same guy. I’ve worried lately because my husband has started having a nightly drink with me. He’s only ever had an occasional beer. I don’t want to wreck my guy!
    I told him AND the children…via text, (i was too embarrassed to do it face to face) that I was accepting the 100 day challenge.
    When I got home, he opened the pantry and said, “shall I pour all this out? What about this expensive stuff?”
    I easily answered, “Yes, please. All of it.”
    I’m on sober day 3

  • I’m on day 10 and we are going away to a friends home on a lake. They aren’t big drinkers but are accustomed to me having wine with them especially at dinner. I’m a little nervous . My husband doesn’t drink anymore due to medical reasons. I haven’t said anything yet and he hasn’t mentioned anything. Hhhmmm. I’ve been dropping hints like I’m going to live a healthier lifestyle, I’ve been too long at the Fair etc. I guess I’ll see in a few hours we are currently about an hour away in the car. I can do this, this doable. They are my friends. Seriously just winging this. I’m hoping Belle is right and that actually no one cares all that much except me

  • I am still feeling sad, disappointed and resentful on day 17 but I am not self medicating those feelings. Fuck you Wolfe !

  • Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary and my husband and I will likely go out or dinner. The thought of a bottle of wine with dinner sounds so nice. But that would mean only 2 glasses. You said it perfectly; that would be a special kind of hell. To only be able to have a little bit of wine. I would sit miserably after it was gone, wanting more. And I would give in and have more. We would both have more and drive home when we should not drive. And I would wake up hungover and hating myself. Hmmmm…. Maybe wine with dinner does not sound so good after all. I just wish restaurants served yummy nonalcoholic drinks that felt like a treat…. Cranberry and club soda gets old quickly.
    Pam

  • You are very fortunate to have support within your marriage. My sobriety wasn’t the best thing to happen to my marriage and after 10 years together we chose to go our separate ways. I laughed out loud at the part about brainwashing. My husband used to make that comment about AA. Or he’d call it a cult. I hope you continue to stay sober. Its totally worth it.

  • Hi Belle, also loving your story and the lovely way in which you write it. Thankfully I think we live in different countries otherwise we might be confronting the fact that we are married to the same guy! However I have not even really talked to mine about my decision – and I am on day 53!! A bit weird I know, but T is hugely supportive and accepting and non-questioning of my decision “to stop drinking for a while”. I suspect he thought I was drinking too much too and is happy with the change, but like yours would never had said a word and went along with it and often drank to keep me company. We are really close and good friends too and yet I have kept the whole not drinking thing really light between us. I will need to examine this more. But good on you girl. You have taken the braver route. Cleo xx

    • married to the same guy : ) that’s cute! my conversation with husband was also pretty light … no talk about length of time, no big declarations. we both have parents who tend to overindulge so we’re both aware of slippery slopes. he’s not online reading over my shoulder. he’s just sort of leaving me to do my ‘thing’. he says i don’t seem any different (that my moods are the same) … whereas i feel completely different. well, I’m not doing this ‘for him’, so it doesn’t really matter if he thinks i’m diff. or not. i think he thinks when this is over, we might move on to some kind of modified consumption, like only on weekends… i’m not saying anything unless asked a direct question! and all i really know is that i committed to Dry July and that’s the minimum of what i’m doing.

  • I’m really loving the slow reveal of your journey in sobriety, it so mirrors mine, how slowly but surely you start to see things really clearly that you never saw before, and realise things about your own drinking that you never realised before. I considered myself a smart perceptive chick yet I couldn’t see the shit right in front of my face! Sounds like you may have a pink cloud floating into view (heard of those?). Really enjoying your writing, thanks so much for sharing and communicating so clearly what’s going on. Take good care xxxx

  • Wow, what a conversation to have had with your husband, Belle. I think it’s really wonderful if he just stops cuz you did. And then you both will be on to your new lives. They really are better and fuller and funner and richer lives, too.

    I am very proud of you, no matter what he does, you are the decider of your fate and you have a great start going here. dry July is Looking Better Every Day – Hang in there, Belle. You can do it.