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Did He Ruin Your Life?

I think it's fair to say that an alcoholic or addict-husband can ruin a woman's life.

I know my alcoholic husband ruined mine.

The happy, loving family I thought I'd have...broken and angry.

The house that I would adore and cherish raising that family in....never happened.

The beach cottage we would dream and plan where in sight.

The wrinkles and gray hair, pudgy bodies and careful gait we'd welcome in old age as they marked a life well lived and loved...not really the direction we are headed as a couple.

I love my children and we are getting through this best we can. Often, I blame myself for us not getting through it "better." I hold myself responsible for not protecting them more - not just from their alcoholic father - but from their mother who is married to an alcoholic. I fault myself for forgetting their pain, their frustrations, their losses.

But other than my children, I say this sadly and sincerely but not for pity, nothing about my life is as I imagined it, dreamed it or wanted it.

My children. God bless them. I know how dearly blessed I am to have them but they are all of my life that worked out as I expected, planned, hoped.

Because I married an alcoholic.

And yet, as the reality of my own empty nest creeps closer and closer with each passing day (I have a few years but we all know how fast they will fly!), this is what I finally understand:

It doesn't matter that his alcoholism ruined my life.

You know the saying, "Not my circus. Not my monkeys."

Yeah, but if it's your tent you still have to clean up the poop.

Other people can cause great problems in your life. Bosses, spouses, children, siblings, parents...neighbors, friends, relatives. There is no end to the list of people and the ways someone else may infringe upon, hamper, disrupt or, yes, ruin your life.

Hal Elrod wrote a book called "The Miracle Morning" about how a good, focused morning routine can bring about profound changes in your life. Do you know how it was he came to write this book? Because a drunk driver hit him and he nearly died. In fact, he "died" twice in the hospital. He had extensive injuries and spent years in recovery.

That driver certainly RUINED his life.

But he was the one who found the way to repair it.

And what choice did he have?

She wasn't coming to clean up the poop her drunken monkeys left in his tent.

Sooner or later, you realize:

It doesn't matter who ruined your life, why or how.

You're the only one who can fix it.

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