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An Answer
2007-12-11, 1:39 p.m.

Day 1206 An Answer

Ton of comments coming in lately. Well, relative to the usual traffic. Some I answered in the comments section, some I answered directly or indirectly in subsequent posts. If I didnít respond to a comment and you really, really want to know wassup, ask again and Iíll try to be less ignorant. Or busy. Or scatter brained.

Yeah, things between Cindy & I are going along pretty well. Good natured teasing (thatís understood for what it is and not taken as a dig), better communication (that still needs work, but it IS better), both of us acting like we want to be trusted again. Had a bit of a communication snafu over the diary entries discovery, but I think we even worked that out.

But Becca asked a very pointed question in the last entry. The question is: ďDo you think you would have cheated on Cindy if she did not have a drinking problem? Do you think you cheated on her because she's an alcoholic or do you think you would have anyway?Ē

In answering for my case and my case only, I think Cindyís drinking certainly played a part in my having an affair. The whole thing was a cycle of each of us withdrawing further & further from the other Ė she into her bottle and me to the gym, the computer, my bike Ė anyplace ďawayĒ. Many aspects of our relationship were left to wither. To paraphrase an old joke, my birthday came more than I did, if you get my drift. While Cindy turned to the bottle to numb her pain & guilt, I turned towards many persons, places and things for that missing stimulation.

In a way, I felt Cindy was cheating on me. Her lover happened to be a bottle of cheap Canadian Whiskey. No slight meant to my Canuckian neighbors Ė it was really cheap Ė Canadian Leaf, goes for about $9 a liter here.

There are two events that really polarized things for me. The first was quitting smoking. Drinking was a huge trigger for smoking (or vice versa Ė itís hard to separate the two). The second was my decision to craft my own diet and get serious about losing weight. It came down to a choice of where to get my calories Ė a nice bowl of tossed salad or a bottle of beer? A dish of green beans or a vodka tonic? An extra slice of pork loin, or a glass of wine?

I like to eat. My parents got me addicted to it when I was just a wee tiny child and Iíve had to eat every day since. Drinking? Was something I did A LOT of when I was in my 20ís, 30ís and even early 40ís. But quitting smoking and eating healthier enabled me to sharply curtail my drinking. Now, I still love me a nice glass of beer. But I have then infrequently, and I refuse to drink regular, mundane shit. (That Brooklyn Monster Ale? Yum.) So Iíve become a beer snob.

I was headed for a point. Quit smoking, cut way back on the drinking. Lost roughly 1/12 of a ton. (80 lbs) In doing all of that, it exposed what Cindy was doing Ė still smoking and drinking at her regular rate. But now, with out me drinking too the hooch lasted longer. I wasnít helping make it disappear. I also realized I didnít like hanging around Cindy when sheíd been drinking Ė and so began the isolation.

I whined about it here frequently. Alison was instrumental in getting me to go to Al Anon. It didnít take at first, but after Cindyís half assed suicide attempt (look around May 9, 2006 if youíre interested) I went back and stayed.

Al Anon did a lot to teach me what I had been doing wrong. I still have a lot to learn. Even with the program though, certain things still werenít being satisfied. (See frequency of birthday) So I went cruising on line ads. On a lark, I responded to an ad on Craigs List. Somehow, someway, the person on the other end (Ms. CL, or Paula actually) and I managed to hit it off. We swapped emails. Then we swapped phone numbers. We met at a Panera Bread store. Then I went to her place to watch a movie. We agreed to keep things platonic, just be friends & sounding boards for each other. That lasted for all of a week. We accidentally discovered our kissing styles matched perfectly. Our heights were a pretty good match too (Iím now just under 6í, she is 5í8Ē or so). We liked the same movies and music, had similar senses of humor and were both horny as hell.

The more Cindy drank, the easier it was to justify being gone. I took days off of work to be with Paula. Weíd watch a DVD in the morning, test out her mattress late morning, grab lunch then go hit up the dollar movies. Paula was the perfect antidote to what I had been missing. Tall, intelligent, liked good movies, had a sex drive like a rabbit in heat. And Cindy kept drinking.

Then all hell broke loose. Her paranoia got the better of me. We were found out. Never caught red handed, but certain bits of evidence were undeniable. That led to Cindy & I getting into couples counseling Ė oddly enough with the same therapist Iím now seeing one on one. Paula has since decided to return home to her own family. Her husband was/is a redneck, bigoted, ignorant, controlling, paranoid, eighth grade educated truck driver. She doesnít care for him much Ė never even slept in the same bed with him. But she misses her daughters fiercely (12 & 17) and is going to put up with her husband just to be with her girls again.

So. Would I have cheated if Cindy hadnít been drinking? Probably not. But it wasnít the drinking alone that caused it. The underlying issues were a breakdown in communication, a sense of abandonment and a sense that the partner just didnít care anymore. Both of us had parts to play in all of the causes. What went wrong could have happened had both of us been sober. Might have taken longer or it may never have happened at all.

Bottom line Ė whether it saves a marriage or not, if drinking is a problem, it canít be a bad thing to get it under control. Itís certainly better for the person doing the drinking. Iím lucky. I can have a beer or three and stop. Cindy maybe canít. Ever again. Thatís her demon to wrestle. But she knows if she ever gets as bad as she was for the last 3 years, Iím not hanging around to watch the wreckage.

So. That answer the question? I hope so. Iím all typed out.

Work is thrashing my butt. Meeting tonight. Cindy is chaperoning a swim meet at school. Jill has class late, so Zach & I are doing dinner. Meat balls in a salsa verde. Some Goya recipe. Tasty little meat balls, a lovely salsa that we spoon over egg noodles. I made this batch nice & hot. Zach is going to hate me after this one. Jill will too because of the after effects. Sheíd better get used to it. Itís a family trait.

Gotta run. EMI scans waiting to be run. No Ė you donít want to know what they are. Better to be naÔve & innocent I this case.

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