My Brain’s Rules of Right/Wrong and Other People’s Actions

Last night, my partner and I went to a concert. He drank 3 double white wines (approx 1 1/2 bottles) and enjoyed himself immensely. As an extrovert, he likes going to concerts, drinking, and interacting with other attendees. He’s very friendly – so he makes lots of new “concert friends”, people take photos with him, it’s a good time. (As an introvert who doesn’t drink, I also enjoy the show – just in a completely different way).

On the way out, very inebriated, my partner was climbing the stairs out of the event – and out of the blue, he spanked (quite hard, I thought) the butt of the lady right in front of him. Her and her friends and some others quickly looked back at him – and he was smiling and laughing and said “oops” with more giggles. However, they all turned back around and finished going up the steps and left.

So. This is a thing that happened. It was meant to happen, because it did. But my first thought was (and my thoughts since have been)… “OMG. He hit her. You don’t hit people.” My mind conjured up more thoughts about people calling the police and he’s lucky no one escalated this. And all of my thoughts made me feel pretty terrible.

(BTW, just for context, he made more friends outside of the venue after it was over … changing shirts with, he told me, “a 53-year old lady” who wanted his shirt. So I drove him home wearing a very nice white blouse.)

Now. I’ve been working on new models with thoughts like… “He was drunk and no one seemed to be hurt, just surprised” and “He’s a good person 99.9% of the time. This was just a misstep.” But my brain keeps thinking these are just justifications. My brain keeps rebutting with… “Yes, but… The rule is – you don’t hit people.” I’ve tried… “Well, that’s not a hard and fast rule. You would hit someone who was attacking your child.” But then brain says… “Yes, but this was just a happy concert goer who was innocent. You don’t hit innocent people.”

So I understand the situation. He was very inebriated. His own drunk brain said it would be funny to spank the lady in front of us. He did. They were not amused, but it didn’t go any further. And he RARELY does this. I think he’s only done something similar maybe 3 times I can remember in the 14 years we’ve been together. (Always went very inebriated.) And he’s never hit or spanked me. But my pesky little brain is just trying to get calm and centered – without changing him one iota. He will do what he does when he drinks. Maybe that’s the thought. “He will do what he does when he drinks – and whatever comes will come.” Or maybe … “He will do what he does when he chooses to drink – and we’ll both handle whatever comes from it.”

Any thoughts on this?

* P.S. If I, as an introvert, who used to drink HEAVILY to cope with the anxiety around these types of events – can stop drinking and have zero desire to start again, then ANYONE can stop. 😉