"The weekend seemed to give him permission to return to his first love, which is alcohol"

July 15, 2003
By a Sterling wife and weekend graduate

I did the Women's Weekend after my sister and her husband completed their own in November 2000.

My husband and I had a strong relationship.

He completed his weekend and felt so empowered he walked up to a bar and ordered his first scotch after 18 years of sobriety.

Our lives have not been the same since.

Although he is not as active with the "Men's Team" as he was the first year, thank God, I am still reeling from the effects of the drinking.

It seems many of the men on "the team" drink. That's what "real men" do, drink and smoke cigars.

But not if the man is an alcoholic.

There is a strict ban on telling women what goes on with the meetings and the weekend. But my husband loves to talk so he told about one man on his team who is an AA member. He was so ridiculed by the group about the 12 step program he left.

This obviously impacted my husband because he was determined to show the guys he could drink.

He has gone on Sterling overnights reeking of booze.

I know there is an alcohol restriction at events, perhaps he drinks on his way home.

There have been nights when he would dash out of the house stating he had to meet with one of the men in his team. Then he met with that and they went out drinking.

The difference between an alcoholic and someone who is not, his team mate was home by that night, but my husband wasn't back until 4:00 AM. He stumbled in after falling a sleep because he was too drunk to come home.

I will give the group some credit.

When I finally broke my silence and contacted one of the members of his team, they did try to help.

They assigned him a mentor who raked him over the coals about his drinking, irresponsibility etc.

But at this point it was too late. And he was very angry I reached out to his team to try to help him.

I would say generally our relationship has deteriorated significantly. We have sweet moments. I work a good Alanon 12 step program which is my saving grace.

I have to live "one day at a time," putting the fear away, wondering if today he will be home or not, will he be sober or not.

The bottom line is the weekend seemed to give him permission to return to his first love, which is alcohol. I have been second to that ever since.

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