He is cute. Actually no. He is handsome! You were shocked when he took you out on a date, even more surprised when he asked that you be his girlfriend. You keep wondering how lucky you can be. Here is one admired young man that many other women were hoping would date them. But he chose you! You now know exactly what the saying “butterflies in the stomach” means. Wow. Except for the bottle. Yes, it is the one thing that bothers you.
His other side
When the weekend comes around, you are excited you will be spending more time with him. But you are also worried about what he will do after he has had his fill of beer, whiskey, gin and anything alcoholic in his path. You worry because when he takes liquor, he changes. Suddenly he is not so sweet. In fact, he is mean. He embarrasses you in front of your friends. He calls you bad names, even uses swear words at you.
Many times, you have felt like leaving him at the drinking joint, because you are tired of having to stop the fights with friends, of cleaning the mess in the car. But you don’t. You stay on. Many weekends end up being wasted this way. When you go back home, you wonder if you should continue in this relationship. No amount of talking, begging or crying has made him change his ways or consider it.
On Monday morning, you can hardly concentrate on your work because you are thinking about the horrible weekend. Then he sends you a text message: “Sorry about last night. I am lucky to have a wonderful woman like you. Will make up for it with dinner tonight.” You smile. How sweet. You begin to plan what you will wear, but the niggling thought at the back of your mind about his alcohol problem doesn’t leave. It keeps pounding away, like the strength of your heartbeat.
But you are not alone. Your best friend dates another cute and rather successful young man. You are all good friends. In fact the four of you do double dates a lot of the time. You even call yourselves the Fantastic Four and post really sweet photos of those dates on Facebook, all the time.
Your friend has been living with her boyfriend for four years now. You are all sure that her boyfriend loves her. He shows it in so many ways. But the three of you also know for a fact, that she is not the only woman sleeping in his bed. The signs are there. A time or two, he has been caught red-handed. Like you, she has cried, begged and pleaded. Once she even left him. But those sweet messages, those gifts… it was hard to keep away. So she went back.
And the four of you keep hanging out every other weekend. On girls’ nights out, you and your friend meet to catch up without the noisiness of the boys. You talk about the drinking, sadness all over your face. She talks about the cheating, tears welling up in her eyes. But you console yourselves saying “men are like that”.
Comfort in other people’s misery
You gossip about Lisa, whose man is so stingy, he can’t even give her money when their daughter falls sick. Then there is Meagan whose man hits her, Poppy, whose fiancé did not show up for his own introduction ceremony two years ago, Sicily who is dating a married man. You laugh then talk about work, money and when you hope to get children. You finally bid each other goodnight with warm hugs and go back to your homes.
You get to your house feeling good after having a wonderful night out. You bathe, read a magazine, say a short prayer and try to go to sleep but the niggling thought sneaks its way right to the “front of your mind”. That night you, your friend, and Lisa, and Meagan, and Poppy in your separate homes and beds wonder if that relationship is worth it. It’s a good question to ask, isn’t it?