So here are my thoughts. This is coming from a momma, a wife, and a friend. My husband was in the emergency medical services and worked as a paramedic for 15 years. For as long as he and I have been friends, dated and married. So I’ve been through it all, and he started out drinking really mildly then it got much like your husband is now, then it surpassed what I ever thought he needed to be doing. Drinking 1/2 gallons of hard liquor in weekend, and it turned into drinking in the morning- as early as 4:30 or 5 o’clock am, and go ALL day, sleep for a few hours and start all over again. And I kid you not, this drove me insane, to the point we argued EVERY time he was home, and he wanted to break up with me or divorce me EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND. No joke. And I know this is going to sound crazy, but I started making him go to church with my son and I every Sunday for a while, which he would sneak a water bottle of vodka or something into service, but at least he was there. Then one night he got REALLY REALLY sick. Like to the point he almost considered going to the ER, all the while I didn’t say anything. I just prayed for him and did what I needed to do to take care of my family, all while watching him drink himself into a stupor, and if necessary yell at him about being an ass about stupid shit. That night he got super sick, I heard him pray and make a promise, if God would get him through that pain, and make him feel better, he would give up drinking cold turkey. That was 5 months ago and he’s been sober since. Now mind you, he still has his chew- which is astronomically better than the drinking. I know this is a long response, but hang in there. I knew that no matter how much he was drinking, or being an ass about stupid shit, and he was and he knew it, I tried not to question about him caring. What I discovered later after picking his brain, and you better believe I did, was that it was to numb what he as dealing with at work. As a fellow wife of the first responders, they have a damn hard job and see things that we couldn’t even imagine. They see everything from new life coming into the world, to the ends of life’s, to abuse and neglect and things again we could not begin to understand or even want to. I’m not by any means suggesting that the drinking is wrong, or maybe excessive, but perhaps step into his boots and try and see it from his perspective. Odds are, he’s drinking because it’s easier than trying to explain something that doesn’t necessarily have words to explain, and like my husband didn’t want to share with me what happened or what he had to deal with in a shift because he didn’t want to stress me out or make me worry or sad or whatever emotion he thought he was protecting me from, and my son from. So my best advice for you, is don’t be too hard on him. Give him an outlet and let him try and relax his mind. Maybe instead of bugging him to talk to you, because guys won’t- they aren’t like women who talk about everything, perhaps give him a hobby, give him a project of things to do when he’s home that are positive ways to redirect the energy that he’s trying to cover with the alcohol. And sometimes honestly, that doesn’t work either, and all you can do is just give him a hug every time he comes through the door, kiss him, and tell him how much you love him and appreciate what he does. Believe it or not, telling him that and showing him that will help a lot. Just knowing that their partner is supportive no matter what they are dealing with, helps more than is possible to even explain. If he thinks you’re questioning his love, or caring for you and baby, that will make it worse. My husband NEVER called in sick for me when I got sick and he had to work, because I am a stay at home mom and we have one income to cover the bills. And I heard about that a lot too. The best thing you can do, is just get a journal- honestly, and write it out. Don’t take it out on him, because it’s just going to make things escalate. You have to sometimes dig deeper than you think is possible, because when you marry into a mans life who is married to his work, you marry his work and all the craziness that comes with it. Give it time, let him know you’re there, no matter how badly you want to box his ears- trust me girl I feel you- and let him know you love him, and appreciate everything he does, and verbalize, that you can’t begin to imagine how crazy work must be or how hard things are that he must have to deal with. But you’re a safe spot to talk, and will just listen if that’s any help, and if he doesn’t want to talk about it, that’s okay too. That you love him and appreciate him. Sorry for the long response, but hope it helps a little. Sincerely a lady whose been there and seen the worst of it.
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