Guest Bloggers

The Shift from Living With to Existing With an Alcoholic By Anonymous

I want to thank you all for reading my first ever blog, this has been an amazing experience. Thank you, Beth, for the opportunity, guidance, and support. Thank you all for your kind words and prayers. This journey of mine has been a long road that started 10 years ago when I first realized there was a problem. The stories I am sharing are just glimpses into my journey that continues to this day. When I started the process of looking for someone – anyone – who could relate to me, I started by reading blogs. I had very mixed emotions as I read them, but just finding one that I could relate to meant a lot. I am hoping that maybe my stories can do that for someone else.

No little girl dreams longingly about her wedding day and thinks, “I sure hope I marry an alcoholic.” No woman does either.

But there was just something about him that left me paralyzed and made me stay.

I didn’t want my kids not to have their father. I also didn’t want to not be with my kids on the weekends.

I was scared.

I mean, the man drank until he was fall-down drunk every weekend. Would he do that when the kids were with him? So many scenarios played out in my head.

I had to stay.

After the July 4th episode, I just stopped caring.

We never fought.

I never questioned if this was his last beer.

I just stopped – stopped asking if he was coming to bed, if he wanted to go to the park with us, if he wanted to do any of the things that made him a husband and father.

I simply did what I had to do for my kids and myself.

“Why didn’t you just leave,” people always ask.

If it was that easy, I would have. Believe me.

He still found his way to the kids’ games. He was still a hard worker. From the outside, we still looked like a happy family.

But behind the scenes… now that was a different story.

He would walk in the house, trip over a toy, or see laundry on the couch and just start yelling. He would still fall down walking in the house, but that time I stopped checking to see if he was okay. I didn’t care.

I simply existed with him.

I once overheard him say discussing our relationship with a friend. “Things are great between us!” he said, “We hardly fight anymore. She’s not on my case so much.”

“Really?!?” It sent chills up my spine. Was he really that oblivious to us?

I cried myself asleep a lot more than before. Before I would be angry, but somewhere along the way, that anger turned to sadness.

I joined online AL-ANON groups, which helped a little because at least I knew I wasn’t alone. I read and Googled everything about being married to an alcoholic.

And after reading all sorts of people’s opinions and experiences I started to think, “Well my story isn’t as bad as hers, maybe I am making this a big deal and it isn’t.”

But it was.

I just didn’t want to admit it.

If he wasn’t beating me (and yes, there were times it got physical), I rationalized that things were just fine.

My head spun from “oh my God, this is horrible,” one minute to “here I am, making a big deal about nothing again” the next.

Where would I go from here? Could I find peace for myself, my husband and my kids? I had no idea.

And the uncertainty was so terrifying, that sometimes the thought of merely existing with this man I called husband seemed like it was the only way to live.

More to come…

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