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It’s a new year and therefore a new start.
For people who’ve been cheated on, the start of a new year signifies a way to say goodbye to a shit-filled year, and hello to something that’s hopefully an improvement.
At least, that’s what it means to me.
I must admit I feel a certain amount of hope as 2015 gets under way.
On the second day of the year, I sat down with my husband and had one of “those” talks. A talk about our future, where we see ourselves heading, how things are shaping up.
We tend to have these talks in the dark after we’ve put the kids to bed for the night.
In this case, it was the middle of the lounge room floor. Late. In the dark.
I had been trying to talk to my husband for days leading in to the end of 2014, because as I said to him, “there are some things I want to leave behind in 2014 and not drag into the new year.” As it happened, this wasn’t to be. It was now late on January 2.
(Although we hit rough seas after weeks of being on even keel, 2014 ended on a fairly sober note. He didn’t go to his work staff awards night party, which I was happy about, and even more glad he didn’t go to his band Christmas party. Both are serious triggers for me and he recognises and acknowledges their effect on me.)
So as we sat on the lounge room floor, I eventually spoke.
“As you know,” I began, “I spent a lot of time in 2014 thinking about whether I wanted to stay or go.”
“I know,” he said.
“I had to work out whether I wanted to stay in this marriage and be miserable, or go and have a shot at being happy.”
“Is that your only choice? Staying and being miserable?”
“I’d like to be happy one day, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.”
It was dark, but I could see his head was hanging in sadness. There was silence.
“In any case,” I said, “I don’t want to leave.”
He let out a huge sigh of what sounded like relief.
“I love you,” he said. I didn’t respond.
“We have so many good weeks that give me hope, then you go and do something stupid that sets us back MONTHS, ” I said.
“I know, ” he said. “I’m sorry. What can I do?”
“You can stop drinking alcohol for 6 months. Do you think you can do that?” I asked.
He didn’t hesitate. “Yes, of course.”
And so everywhere we’ve been since January 3 has been alcohol-free.
Having my husband drunk and doing something stupid is one thing I don’t have to worry about at the moment. I cannot tell you how freeing that is. My husband never drinks at home, only when we/he goes out. For now, I needed him to not drink for a while. My mind needed it.
He is trying to to do whatever I’m asking of him. And for that I am grateful.
Tomorrow marks 14 months since D-Day. And while I’m no longer a complete emotional wreck, I still have plenty of down days, down moods and down energy.
Anything he can do to change that is a positive step.