Does alcohol tend to get in the way like some jealous lover?
Does it turn you into a hideous creature; does it make you selfish; does it steal your time; does it make you angry; does it create infidelity; does it create a lack of respect; does it cause you to lie; does it take all of your money; does it dominate the destinations of your vacations; does it rob you of your memories?
Perhaps you are someone who has taken alcohol under your wing because you cannot communicate effectively in your relationships? Perhaps you are in a flux of constant disagreement, and this turns to stress, and the bottle has become your only salvation?
Or perhaps, the bottle has always been present in your life, and you are only just waking up to the possibility that the destructive life that you have seemed to accepted as the only possible life; could actually become something different entirely?
Or perhaps your marriage is hanging by a thread because you are trying to stop drinking and your partner just doesn’t seem to have the empathy and support at this vital time of need. You hate them for it and you turn to your bottle for that support.
We have the power to create and rule our own lives
You need a very open mind to understand the concepts that Don Miguel Ruiz is trying to teach you in the Mastery of Love. This is a good thing, because it’s great practice for you, because when the time comes to ban the bottle from your life, you are going to turn to that open mind to help you succeed.
Ruiz makes your life seem so simple.
And it is.
Just like the decision to drink or not drink is also so simple.
But we love the drama.
We need to believe that everything is so complicated and so we smother our lives with a veil of deceit, lies and illusion.
The belief that life is complicated is one the biggest illusions of all. Even bigger than the illusion that alcohol provides you with any benefits.
If you are willing to open your mind and let Don Miguel Ruiz take a look around, I swear to you, that this book will change the way you think about your relationships, and enable you to act in accordance with love.
The rewards are amazing.
How alcohol and relationships intertwine
I believe the two are inextricably linked.
I believe that difficult relationships can lead to an over reliance on alcohol, and I also believe that an over reliance on alcohol can destroy relationships.
People just want to dull the pain.
People just want to shut out the noise.
A few cans of lager later and I can see you screaming at me, but I can’t hear the noise. Spit flies into my face, but I don’t hear it land. I smile. I think you shout even more, but like I said, I can’t hear you anymore.
I want to tell you my story about alcohol and how it affected the relationship I had with my first wife.
We were arguing a lot, especially after we had been drinking. For a very long time I blamed the alcohol for this, and it was actually this conviction that led to my decision to quit drinking.
I was so wrong.
The real reason why we were arguing so much was because I was trying to change her. I wasn’t happy in my relationship because I wanted more. Imagine how it feels to be under constant bombardment of veiled comments and discreet verbal abuse all aimed at trying to change who you are.
It’s no different than taking your belt off and whipping her with it.
It’s the worst kind of violence.
I guess my ex wife would bottle up these pent up frustrations and then explode during the poking and prodding’s of our drinking sessions. I would react. We would fight. We would hate each other. We would sober up. We would feel that intense and overwhelming need to connect – the one you get after an argument – we would make things right on a superficial level.
Then it would start all over again.
When the drinking stopped
When I stopped drinking and my ex wife did not, things got much worse. My need to change her became unbearable, and the only reason I didn’t leave was because I was a coward.
I was scared of losing everything that I knew and understood.
I simply feared change and thought it was easier to just put up with my situation rather than leave.
Then my ex wife reached breaking point and asked me for a divorce.
She freed me from my cowardice.
Another reason why I didn’t want to leave was because I wanted to try and fix my situation. You see I had no idea, at the time, that I was abusing her in this way. You have to understand that I thought I was the most loving and wonderful husband and father in the world.
This is what created so much anger.
So much frustration.
Why the Mastery of Love is so important
I am a more educated man these days.
Painful experiences does that to you.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing because it allows you to improve your future. When I found love after my divorce, and the fuck every night hormones had settled down, I too settled down.
Back into my old ways.
I now wanted to change my new wife.
Don Miguel Ruiz makes me laugh when he puts his own spin on this.
A dog is a dog, and that’s ok with you. You don’t need to be responsible for your dog, to make it a dog. The dog doesn’t try to make you be a good human, a good master. Then why can’t we allow a woman to be a woman or a man to be a man and love that human just the way he or she is without trying to change that person?
Why pretend to make someone fit what she is not?
If you want a dog you don’t buy a cat.
If you decide to be with a person, don’t try to change anything about her. Just like your dog or your cat, let her be who she is. She has the right to be who she is; she has a right to be free. When you inhibit your partner’s freedom, you inhibit your own because you have to be there to see with your partner is doing and not doing. And if you love yourself so much, you are never going to give up your personal freedom.
And what if you can’t allow them to be who they are?
This question will haunt you if you have quit drinking and your partner has not. Rest assured you will have a tough fight on your hands, especially if you have done such a good job of disposing of the brainwashing we have been bombarded with since birth.
Once again I will leave you with the wise words of Don Miguel Ruiz on this issue.
If it works, keep going. If it doesn’t work, then do yourself and your partner a favour: walk away; let her go. Don’t be selfish. Give your partner the opportunity to find what she really wants, and at the same time give yourself the opportunity. If it’s not going to work, it is better to look in a different direction. If you cannot love your partner the way she is, someone else can love her just as she is. Don’t waste your time, and don’t waste your partner’s time.
This is respect.
Now it’s your turn. How is alcohol affecting your relationships and what are you determined to do about it?
Photo courtesy of Noel Zia Lee cc @ Flickr.com