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  • wrenrwaters


I have a friend who is also married to an alcoholic. In fact, her husband and mine are eerily the same in regards to behavior and drinking habits. Beer is both their beverages of choice and both choose to be checked out, removed, unavailable and detached from their wives and family. However, one difference is my friend is probably five years behind where I am emotionally, mentally, spiritually. We talk about that often. She sees where her life and marriage and sense of self is headed as reflected back to her by me and my life and my marriage and my sense of direction. She doesn't doubt this is where it is all headed. She's just not *there* in terms of wanting to give up on him, on the marriage and so one thing she does is complain. A lot. About him. About his behavior. About how it all makes her feel. About how it should be. About how it's not suppose to be. She can go deep into these laments and easily spend an hour on the phone with me going on. And on. And ON!


This is by no means a judgement or condemnation of her.


I get it so frickin much because that's exactly where I was for years. Too many years now when I look back and think of it. Here's the thing: it's part of the process of being married to an addict. Who wouldn't complain and lament and cry and wish and curse and cry some more. God, how I cried. And complained. And cursed. But it's absolutely futile. Think of it as your car getting hopelessly stuck in three feet of snow out in the middle of no where and there is no hope of freeing it and you cell phone is screaming "no service." The only real solution is to walk to the gas station you saw - five miles back. Who the hell wants to do that? Of course, no one. So you try and you try some more and you hope and you curse and you try some more to free your car. You pray and you beg and you bemoan your luck. You know what you have to do but you really don't want to have to do it so you throw good energy after bad hoping against hope until you finally accept what it is you have to do.

Processing being married to an alcoholic is kind of like that. Sooner or later you have to accept - the real solution is a "five mile walk" from where you are. The real solution is letting go your expectations for the marriage and focusing on (or creating for the first time maybe) your expectations for your life.

God! I hate being married to an alcoholic. It has quite literally ruined my life. It's ruined all I thought my life would be, my marriage would be, my family would be, my home would be. RUINED IT ALL! I've cried many, many tears for the years I lost to life with an alcoholic husband. I hate it SO DAMN MUCH!

But then one day, I finally understood: complaining and hating and regretting only kept complaining and hating and regretting. You've complained enough about him. You've lamented enough. You've even cursed the god-blessed situation enough.

Now it's time to take action in the direction of your own life.

I am not saying we all don't have seriously just cause for our rants and laments. But such rants are not just futile, they are toxic. They feel like a release but the fact is they bind us to that negative energy rather than releasing us from it. I finally stopped complaining and talking about my husband and regurgitating his repeated transgressions against me out of sheer exhaustion. I was tired of listening to my own self. I came to see that no matter what the particulars, I was really always talking about my same feelings of hopelessness and hurt, despair and disappointment. My advice would be don't wait until you simply tire of listening to yourself. Start making a consorted effort to change the feelings you give life to through your words.

It's funny, you know. Writing can be very cathartic but when you journal, somehow the process knows whether to solidify your feelings through the writing or to let them go through writing. But speaking words isn't like that. Speaking words always solidifies the feelings within you. Drives them into your soul where they fester and ferment. I took way too long to learn to govern my words when it came to my husband, his drinking and the horrific affect on me and my family. Don't take as long as me. Become mindful of what you say. Practice refraining from making his drinking, his behavior, your pain and disappointment the center of your life. Create a new center. One that is about you and your dreams and your life.

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