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Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

What's normal anyway...

I’m very excited about being on Perri Peltz’s radio show on Tuesday (1/27/2015) at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on SirriusXMStars Channel 109. Not only am I going to be on the show, but I’ll be following Dr. Koob of NIAAA. That’s an honor and a hard act to follow. He’s about science and research and I’m about life experience. I think that just about makes us a complete package.

I think life experience as a wife of an alcoholic is subjective. No one person is just like another and no one marriage is just like another. But, there are commonalities and sometimes it’s as though they are not just commonalities, but rather everyone is alike. Really, we are not. I’m happy to have discovered that.

There was a point in my marriage that I thought we were like every other married couple we knew. I felt normal. My husband would get up in the morning, we would have coffee, he would go to work, I would take care of the household, he would come home, have dinner, watch some TV, tuck the kids in and go to sleep. It was pretty much the same routine every day. Of course there was a couple of scotch on the rocks when he got home, then wine with dinner and maybe more scotch during TV.

Even though I did not grow up in a home that had alcohol, this routine didn’t feel out of the ordinary to me. This is how life was depicted in movies starring the likes of Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. Don’t remember of Ozzie Nelson kicked back a drink when he came through the door. But, if it wasn’t actually on TV, it still seemed that it might be something he would do. I imagine those productions made it seem “natural” to consume alcohol after a hard days work.

The description I give about my marriage is one that was within the first five years of our couple-ness. After that things went downhill.  During the early years, I would look around and see my friends husbands drinking what seemed to be an equivalent quantity of booze as my husband. Maybe they were alcoholics also. After all, most of our friends were serving about the same submarine and were attending the same social functions. Maybe it was a “birds of a feather” sort of thing.

I didn’t wake up to the fact that something was wrong until we were transferred to a new city and stayed with friends until our new house was available. The husband of the couple did not have any alcohol at all until after dinner when he would pop open a can of beer while watching a movie on TV or playing UNO with the other adults. He played with the kids in the yard while there was still daylight and helped with the homework while the wife cleaned up the kitchen after dinner. When I witnessed the dynamics of this family, I realized that there may be some issues in my own family.

I don’t know why it took me so long to really realize that something was wrong in my marriage and in my family. I’m a stubborn woman with a positive outlook and that may have been my downfall. I wanted with all my heart to be “normal.” But, eventually, I could see that my husband’s first love was alcohol. It was worse than discovering that he had a mistress – which happened at just about the same time.


The topic on the radio show is about how alcohol affects families. The details and scenarios of that destruction is a point that I hope to address. Please join me and Perri Peltz as we talk about standing in the wake of alcoholic destruction. We will be taking callers. “The Perri Peltz Show” is Live on SiriusXM Stars Channel 109 from 1-2pm ET. The call in number for listeners is 888-947-8277.

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