Pausing because your partner drinks too much

Kim and Hester take a break, because they think it's a healthy choice. And because they have a partner who has a difficult relationship with alcohol. You can read what that does to them here.

Kim (55): My husband is currently recovering from throat cancer. He was previously diagnosed with lymphocytic leukemia and esophageal cancer. When I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, some alarm bells went off for me. Could it have something to do with his drinking? My husband drank heavily. He was a real social drinker. But it was not that pleasant. He was often and long gone. Our family suffered. I read many studies on the internet that showed that alcohol stimulates the esophagus over and over again, increasing the risk of esophageal cancer. I asked several doctors about the relationship between alcohol and esophageal cancer, but no one answered.

I strongly advised my husband to stop drinking. In the past he sometimes sought help, but never with the intention of quitting drinking. This diagnosis did not convince him either.

Last July we received the crippling news that throat cancer had been diagnosed. Unlike the doctors we met in the previous disease trajectory, the ENT doctor told my husband to stop drinking alcohol immediately. He did see a connection and he knew about my husband's alcohol use. My husband was shocked. Now it is. He stopped drinking. That was over half a year ago now. He is still in a lot of pain at the moment and does not crave alcohol.

I am afraid of the time to come. Later when he feels better again, when the catering industry opens again, when he is allowed to mingle with people again. Everyone knows him with a drink. I hope he is strong enough to say no.

I participate in IkPas because it feels good. And because I don't want to drink under his nose. I want to keep the temptation as limited as possible. He says he doesn't care and that you all make your own choices. Still, I don't drink anything now, because it feels better."

Hester (71): “My husband has been drinking a bottle of wine a day for a long time. I consciously registered for IkPas in the hope of getting him to take an alcohol break as well. Unfortunately this did not work. He still drinks daily. He does this to fall asleep better. He also takes sleeping pills. As a result, when he sleeps, he snores incredibly. We've been sleeping separately for quite some time. I don't mind, because that's quieter for me.

In 2019 my husband had his first epileptic seizure. Another one a year later. He lied to the neurologist about his alcohol use. But I was there too and told him to tell the truth. The neurologist was far from happy with this revelation and literally told him to stop drinking. It fell on deaf ears. I have also raised my concerns with the doctor. He has said to take them seriously, but can do nothing if the person in question does not want to be helped.

He knows it's not good for him, but tells you to "live" a little too. What he doesn't see and doesn't want to see is that the alcohol is holding him captive. I used to drink with him. But luckily I have completely recovered from that. I am a heart patient and my cardiologist urged me to stop drinking alcohol. I immediately took that advice to heart. Every now and then he wants to tempt me to drink alcohol. Then I pretend I'm taking a big gulp and then I actually just take a mini sip. Or I throw it at the plants.

Our relationship has changed. We live in a big house and we both have a few hobbies. That means we're not on top of each other all the time. Luckily he still loves me. If that wasn't the case anymore, I'd leave him.

I hope alcohol will one day become ten times more expensive. And that no supermarket is allowed to sell it anymore. It is poison and you are doing yourself a lot of harm by drinking it.”

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