Recently, I wrote a blog
that highlighted the challenge many marriages are facing regarding alcohol. There are countless couples out there that live every day in the disagreement over this issue. One spouse wants to drink and the other wishes he or she would stop or at least slow down. After I posted the blog, a couple sent me a brief description of their journey with this very issue. I think it raises some important perspectives and is worth your time to read. I have not added or subtracted anything, except their names. This is their story, in their words.
Wife: We both were raised in homes where drinking was ok. My family members were social drinkers and my husband's family would drink every day. When we were first married, we were social drinkers.....we were also very social so it was every weekend. It changed when we had our son. I didn't want to go out and drink every weekend. This is when my husband started drinking at home. It started out with getting some beer to keep in the fridge for him to drink over the weekend. This quickly became him drinking a little everyday. At first I didn't mind. He works extremely hard for our family. Who was I to begrudge him a well earned drink. Then this turned in to him having several every day. This is when I started to worry. I feared for him. His mom and dad both are alcoholics (un-admitted). I started feeling scared, insecure, powerless, helpless. I felt like I was the only adult. I had a hard time understanding why he just couldn't put it down. So, I confronted him. And, of course, started nagging. Around this time, I started reading the book The Power of a Praying Wife. I learned really quickly that I am not the Holy Spirit and it is not my job to convict my husband. So, I had another talk with my husband and told him I thought he had a problem. I told him that if he could look me in the eye and tell me he didn't have a problem, I would never mention it again. He looked me in the eye and said, "I don't have a problem.” So, I shut up and I started praying. Two weeks later, he came to me and said that he thinks he should stop drinking. I had never been so relieved in my entire life. It wasn't an easy road for him, and he struggled many times but I always tried to remember that my job is to support him and love him...not to be the voice of the Holy Spirit. Through this, he has boldly stepped up to leading our home and family in a way that honors God.
Husband: The biggest struggle I had was simply one thing…drinking was normal to me. Drinking several beers daily was the norm in my home growing up, so I assumed that it was going to be the norm in mine. At first, I saw it solely from my prospective when my wife came to me about my drinking. I assumed that she was trying to take my fun away, my little joy after a rough day. It was not until I saw how it was actually causing my wife so much grief, did I start to realize that maybe the norm for me is not the norm for everyone. That is when the Holy Spirit started convicting me of my drinking. I could not come back with the normal excuses at that point. My wife was hurting her and that was not acceptable.
When I decided to stop drinking it was really up and down. I would be good for a couple of days then I would sneak a drink. Then I would be good for a couple of days then I would sneak another drink…that was really when I knew alcohol had a tight grip on me. It took about three months total to put it all down completely. I have been clean for about four years now and I have no intentions of tempting myself again with a drink…that being said…I do miss Scotch.
Do you have a story of overcoming a marriage challenge? I would love to hear it. Please post in the comments below and we may share your story of hope on the blog.