How exciting is a spouse who stopped drinking?

Spouse stops drinking

Until recently, Jibola, a 39-year-old accountant was the life and soul of most parties he attended. He would think nothing of polishing off a bottle or two of red wine, then follow it up with whatever booze was available. Then, one day, horrified at seeing a colleague’s daughter’s wedding photographs and how ridiculous he looked in most of them, he decided to go on the wagon. He stopped drinking abruptly and put himself on a very strict regime. Was his wife Fola pleased? Not in the least! She explained why: “I met Jibola when we were both at the university and, like most students, we drank like a fish and went to wild parties most nights of the week. Spouse stops drinking In fact, part of the reason I fell for him was because he was so full of life. After we left university, things settled down a bit. We found good jobs and got married. We still drank at weekends and a few times during the week, but it never affected our daily lives. “Our sex life was amazing too—partly because our barriers dropped when we were drunk and we could relax and get into it. Even after two children, life wasn’t dull and the fun went on. Then, out of the blues, Jibola decided to go off booze! I was disappointed, to say the least. He signed on for a gym, went on mostly fat-free diet and cut out all traces of alcohol. I knew it was good for him, as he was active and pretty slim, so, I wasn’t worried about it. I told myself he wouldn’t stick at it forever. But, a month later, there was no sign of him changing his mind. His enthusiasm went from strength to strength, and instead of drinking a few nights a week, he’d be at the gym pounding a thread-mill. He refused to go out at first, insisting it would be too much temptation. Instead, we spent night after night just watching TV. He then stopped being funny. Sometimes, it was hard to get even a word out of him. People stopped ringing us to link up knowing he’d only refuse to join them anyway. Life became so dull that I was begging him to start drinking again. I would buy bottles of wine and leave them on the table, hoping he’d cave in. He never did. “These days, we go out more often, but he’ll only have a bottle of beer and then go straight into drinking orange juice. Things are not the same as they used to be and it saddens me. I know it might sound ridiculous, though I love him, I find the new Jibola boring to be with. I just wish he’d let off steam once in a while and be his old self again.” Jibola on the other hand was miffed by his wife’s attitude towards his drastically cutting alcohol off. “I feel quite hurt that my wife thinks I’m boring. The Jibola who was the life and soul of the party, the ‘mad’ Jibola, just wasn’t me. It was always the drink talking. This is the real me. Apart from the weight I’d put on when I was drinking, I simply got sick of living life through a permanent hangover or a drunken stupor. I know my wife says I was fun and that our se x life was great when I was drinking but what is the point when I don’t remember a thing about it? When we were students it wasn’t a problem. There was no work to get up for, and Fola was just as bad as me. Even when we first started working, it didn’t really matter. “But, I soon realised I was permanently tired, and wasn’t performing properly at work. Then, when I was passed over for a really important promotion because my bosses thought I wasn’t up to the job, I realised there were other things in life which were more important than the booze. I really believed my wife would support my decision to sober up. I wanted to prove to her it was possible to have fun without having a drink. Admittedly, it was hard-sitting there stone cold sober while they all fell about slurring their word—but the benefits were obvious straight away, my wife should have been pleased. But all she did was complain. “I’ve never discouraged her from drinking. As a matter of fact, a few months ago, I realised not drinking at all wasn’t right for me and now I have the odd bottle or beer when I go out for the evening. But, I honestly don’t want to get drunk any more. I’m happier sober. I don’t know how we are going to work this out though, because my wife doesn’t seem to agree…” Analysing Jibola and Fola’s problem, a marriage counsellor said: ‘Tola’s problem is that she married one man and now, it seems to her, he’s turned into someone else. She must learn to respect her husband’s decision not to drink to excess, in the same way as he respects her lifestyle. He recognises that excess drinking was causing problems and has done so well in cutting down his consumption. When a couple no longer share the same interests, they have to find some other common ground. They should sit down and try to plan other things to do together that don’t revolve around drinking.
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