A letter from a husband to a wife

Rehab 2014 –

We are thinking of you all the time and really hope to get back the old you by never drinking again!
It’s quite difficult to put down into words how hard it has been to live with you over the last few years, but I will try. I think back about 5/6 years begging you to stop and it’s got progressively worse since.
Do you know that your character changes completely when you are drinking? The other week I showed you a video of you which illustrated what we have to live through on an almost daily basis. And that was you on a good day. I get a feeling of dread of what I will find when I go home, whether it’s on the way home from work, or from taking the kids to activities or when I’m on a bike ride and sometimes I feel that you are quite determined to prove me right – whenever.
For most of the last few years we see you in the morning for a few minutes, with most of our contact during drunken times. It is particularly difficult spending so little time with the ‘nice’ you and so much of our time together with the drunken one. Yet on an almost daily basis we get up, forgive your drunkenness and lies and hope for a better day.
I’ve really notice a change in our wonderful kids, and since I’ve been explaining your illness to them I’ve gained some insights into how they have been affected.
I really believe your drinking is causing them to be less happy. They are sceptical about you being able to get better having witnessed so many broken promises and all the lies given to them on a daily basis. There is now a massive trust issue in our family. They all believe that you are going to be drinking as soon as you get home.
Socially I have noticed less and less invites. Not really surprising as you have become a liability at parties. You were always the drunkest person there, with opinions that are embarrassing for me, and your friends. Often we have had to return home early or sometimes you disappear (which might be ok if you were in a state of being able to find your way home). The one friend who knows about your illness tells me that all your friends know about it, not because anyone is gossiping but because it is there for all to see, whether it’s on nights out or visits to our house during the day.
I dread our meals out together as they have been with the drunk you (almost without exception) for years. Not someone I want to spend a night chatting with. This leads me to think of your accusations of lack of affection from me. But the reason for this is that I feel I’m always with the drunk you, not the sober one that I want to show affection to.
Trips to school have become an increasing issue when you are mainly not sober, I don’t feel I get embarrassed easily, but I find some of these nights really uncomfortable…as well as what the parents might think, what do the teachers think, do they hear the slagging’s and will social services be alerted to our situation? Trips to A&E are become more frequent, and this too is embarrassing, not really because of your (drink related) injuries, but the way you speak to the staff who are trying to help you, whilst all the time claiming not to have been drinking.
You have to realise that there is a massive job to do in re-building trust in your family. BUT we are so pleased and proud that you are there attacking this issue and showing massive determination to get better. We all love you and miss you (the sober one) and we all are looking forward to getting the rest of our lives back on track!
All our love,

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