When it comes to alcohol, I’m bouncing back and forth between the prejudices and expectations of three cultures within my marriage: Filipino, American, and Irish.
The Filipino culture (or at least within my mother’s family), often views alcohol with a wariness. They don’t even drink that much; well the younger generation does but I believe that’s because we grew up in America instead of the Philippines. It’s linked to abuse (mental and/or physical) and disrupts the marriage. The men who my family members had dealt with that were alcoholics had left their toxic marriages. So all in all, if they think a man drinks too much or is out with the fellows too much [and all night], it’s bad news.
In the American culture, well that shit is all over the place I’m not really sure what’s the excepted norm within a marriage. I’ve seen American men (gray and wrinkly even) downing beers at family occasions like it’s water. But the main example I had in the way American husbands drink is my father. He is as wholesome and Americana as one can get. He had his fun young, and at the age of 17 he traveled the world through the military, and didn’t settle down until he was 29.
He had only occasionally or casually drank beer and he didn’t over do it.
He didn’t drink until he was shitfaced and he didn’t come home late into the evening on days he actually hung out with his coworkers. I grew up thinking that’s how it should be.
The Irish culture, drink is the norm. It is their water. They can find ways to let go of smoking but drinking is one thing they can never let go of. As of late it’s mainly the only way Sean, my husband, can chill out. I had made the mistake of thinking he was too carefree. He is in fact the opposite of carefree. So much so he ended up shitfaced too often. And it had gotten to the point where I was suffering bad from it.
You see, he got shitfaced because the worries he was dealing with were too much. He wanted to stop thinking about them. So he wouldn’t stop himself on those tough days when he got overwhelmed and he didn’t know how to deal with his feelings. His consciousness took a vacation while his subconscious took over. So yes, he was able to not “think about it anymore” except his subconscious would still vent his worries to whoever was around and everyone else, me included, would have to deal with it all instead.
He told me to ignore him when he drank way too much. Unfortunately I could not even if I tried. He’d call for me in a frustrated stupor until I responded. I’d become his personal stuffed animal that he’d squeeze too hard or toss about too roughly. He’d spout out cynical or mean things and Reason and Logic never got through to him.
Apparently, through the Irish culture the expectation given by his mother is that he did wrong by not coming home after a night of drinking. His sister also believes he should have come home and that one night out a week of drinking is more than enough.
I talked to Sean. My parents talked to Sean. His parents talked to him. Everyone had something to say. He says it was wrong of him to get shitfaced and he wont do it again. He acknowledged that he had to grow up and mature as a husband. I told him I fear alcohol and his nights out because I don’t want to experience shitfaced Sean anymore. I told him if he does it again I’m done. I don’t want to leave him and I made that clear as well but I can’t take that environment. Especially not with the fucking shit I’ve been dealing with on my end.
Marriage is hard. Marriage between different cultures is very hard. Lol, and I’m tired. I need a vacation.