Edward had always wanted to enter politics at some stage of his life and now seemed like the timing might just be right. He had been a senior partner at his law firm for 5 years now and his political interests had soared during this time. His family was settled with his two children now in university and his wife seemingly content with her hobbies and pastimes. She would make a wonderful politician’s wife, she was photogenic, intelligent and people really liked her.
Edward had spent the last couple of years exploring the possibility of entering the race as a state legislator. It would make a good stepping stone to future ambitions. He was busily recruiting for his campaign and finding backers, getting his “ducks in a row” and spending many hours away from home. His law practice had kept him busy over the years but he was confident that his supportive wife had things under control on the home front. This made it easy for Ed’s star to rise in both the political world and his career.
Ed’s wife Wanda was keeping a considerable secret from Ed and most of those around her. She was developing a dependence on alcohol since her last child left home for school. Her close circle of friends would get together, chat, and drink wine over book club and social event planning and this made it fun for them. They knew they over did it sometimes on their drinking but always managed to cover for each other if necessary. It wasn’t all the time and besides they enjoyed themselves.
Wanda’s problem was she didn’t stop drinking when she got home; she continued sometimes at a stronger pace to the point of inebriation and would then fall asleep. Edward was always getting in late anyways so he never noticed. When it was necessary for Wanda to attend functions and rallies with Edward she seemed in total control, which on the surface she was thanks to a designer flask she kept in her purse that contained high-end vodka that was smooth and right for the job of keeping the edge off.
The problem was Wanda appeared to be outgoing and friendly but was in fact a shy person who didn’t share her husband’s ambitions. She loved him and wanted him to be happy even if it meant being by his side in the limelight that she hated. The alcohol helped with that as well.
As the contest progressed Edward became a front-runner and this meant quite a bit more public scrutiny. Journalists were writing stories about him and his family, their background etc. and they were under the microscope of public opinion. Up to this point Wanda’s secret was still that. However, her life and Edwards’s meteoric rise to public office would soon come crashing down. Secrets are never safe especially when you are front-page news.
One evening Wanda was attending a Women in Business dinner and due to give a speech to several hundred local women entrepreneurs. She had been socializing and campaigning for her husband occasionally slipping away for a nip from the flask to fortify her for her upcoming speech. The speech went well as nervous as she was, the alcohol helped to calm her and so the event ended with Wanda making her exit and driving home.
As she left the parking lot her mind was racing about the evening and how well it went when suddenly flashing lights and a quick blast of a siren caught her attention and she pulled her car to the curb. The trained officer could tell straight away that this woman had been drinking and he asked her to step out of the car. Wanda obliged but was quickly steered to the sidewalk when she stepped toward oncoming traffic. A sobriety check proved further testing was required and she blew into a portable breathalyzer unit. She failed.
Wanda was handcuffed and her car was impounded. She was taken to the police station where she was formally charged with DUI and jailed until she could arrange for her release. Edward was stunned when he received her call and he left his meeting abruptly with an associate to bring Wanda home.
After some discussion with his close advisors and Wanda they felt they could weather this storm and Wanda would accept responsibility for her actions. They all felt a little better as cooler heads prevailed.
The next morning the full force of Wanda’s arrest for drunk driving impacted when on the front page of the local paper a photo of Wanda in handcuffs being escorted into the police station was front and center. Someone had witnessed this and snapped a photo with their cell phone. Their own phone didn’t stop ringing as reporters from all over the state were calling. Wanda began to explain to Edward about all she was experiencing the last few years and how she was not up to the job of being a politician’s wife. She wanted him to succeed and so did what she could to make it so, seeing now how obviously obtuse her efforts had been.
Edward was dumbfounded. He didn’t realize that Wanda was in distress and it horrified him that he didn’t see it. He had always maintained that his family came first and so he would suspend his plans for office and see to his wife’s treatment. It would inevitably lead to his bowing out of the race as his supporters pulled their support one by one. This was disturbing only because many of those Edward thought he could count on were abandoning him.
Life would be different but they would get past this, the shame and guilt they each felt for the other becoming the cornerstone to mending their lives and moving forward. Edward still had his law career and a strong family. Wanda was receiving treatment, responding wonderfully to therapeutic counseling and A.A. meetings. If they had learned anything from their ordeal it was how easily a fine life can be transformed to bedlam due to alcohol.
To set up an appointment with Michael Pearlman, M.D., Call 1 (866) 285-3400 toll-free or (617) 620-2230,