Marriage / Standing Your Ground

The Beginning of the End

I wrote about love a long time ago being a decision not a feeling.  There is a breeze wafting through my oversized sweater as I sit typing on my laptop at the airport restaurant.  I’m warm and cool at the same time and so is my heart.  I am in love with my husband and I’ve decided that I have to leave him.  Last year, the revelations about his deep layers proved to be the beginning of the end for us.  In fact it was exactly a year ago to the day that I wrote him a letter asking him for three key things if he wanted our marriage to last.  After a year he has done none of them.

Both of us have cried every day for the past at least 4 months over the demise of what felt like the perfect match and perfect love.  It feels like I’m living a bad nightmare and I wish I would just wake up already and sink back into the soft, warm touch of my husband’s embrace.  But I have pictures.  I have videos.  I have screenshots of conversations.  And none of them were with me.

I have the memories of being terrified as I realized my husband was hiding alcoholism until he couldn’t hide it anymore.  And then even more terrified when I tried to help him when he didn’t want help.

The details are ugly.  Suffice it to say I got sucked in to trying to rescue an addict who thought if he just ignored all of his wrong actions and if I would just continue to love him as if nothing bad had ever happened between us, we could still have a perfect marriage.  But that is denying reality and through the many twists and turns of my life, I have learned that above all else; do not deny reality.

A year ago I specifically asked him to stop binge drinking, stop online communication with other women, and to prioritize his health by taking prescribed medicines and keeping up with doctor’s appointments.  I know these three things were not too much to ask.  Apparently, even though he had agreed to them, as time went on he found reasons to object, and back out of his promise.

I moved out late August.  I was determined to show him mercy and love while also trying not to enable him.  But it wasn’t always easy.  I wasn’t perfect.  I was hurt.

Establishing boundaries with him was difficult at first.  I literally had only my kid’s condo I bought for them to dwell and it was a half mile away from him.  My sister reached out to me and asked me to come stay with her for a while in Vegas.  She and her husband had the space and a car for me to drive.  So I bought a plane ticket and I put distance between us.  I hoped the time and space would show him I was serious and he’d clean up his act so I could come home.

It didn’t exactly work out that way though.  He descended even further into alcohol.  It started interrupting his work days and showed up during conference calls with clients.  Everyone I had access to were telling me they were worried about him and were also trying to help him.  But a few good days in a row and a timid phone call trying to give him encouragement from me were routinely followed by days where he was missing in action again.

First it was because business stress, then it was because I left, but it was never anything he ever took ownership of.

I stayed in Vegas for almost 4 months and flew back and forth to work meetings.  Sometimes on my visits home I tried to see more of how he was and spend time with him, but something always happened to show me that he was still drinking heavily and still not ready to admit he had a problem.

I saw the writing on the wall.  I did.  But I knew also that the Holy Spirit lived within him and that all things are possible with God.  So as a last ditch effort I asked if he’d be willing to go to a conference that dealt with some of the issues he was facing and he told me that he would.  I spent a lot of money on the conference that was to last three entire days and he left half way through the second day.

It was the final straw for me and I told him so but he didn’t want to hear it.  I spoke with my boss and asked since it was working out with me commuting long distance if they would agree to me moving to Vegas for a year to keep distance between Harry and me.  They agreed given the circumstances that it was for the best.

He’s not behaving rationally.  The more he realizes that I’m committed to staying away, the more desperate he becomes.  He’s choosing petty arguments over things like my ring and the dog over dealing with the alcohol.  And it’s really just super sad.

He keeps saying in his drunken stupor to me,  “I don’t want this you want this I don’t want this you want this.” And I wonder what demon has a hold of his brain to convince him of that.  It’s truly the last thing I want.  The last thing.

Part of the process of letting go has been this need for me to accept facts instead of him pledging his love.  The facts on the table speak of a truth he will not admit.

At this point, his level of desperation and panic, has led me to fear for my own safety.  He has hurt me while in a blacked out rage.  Now that he knows I’m serious about leaving he has tried to physically restrain me.

I will be his friend again one day.  I pray for his well-being.  His health.  His soul.  But I have to say good bye to my Harry.

My soul feels shell-shocked.  I’ve lost 5 lbs in a week and I feel myself sinking into depression.  But I also know I’m stronger this time because of this blog and all the things I’ve thought through in my writing.  I can go back and read of my past feelings of desperation and realize they only last for a time.  I know I will be ok.  I know I have the Lord and His love for me.  I will begin again…because isn’t that what they say?  Every end is also a new beginning.

2 thoughts on “The Beginning of the End

  1. Wow your heart wrenching story hit me hard and it is a testament of how brutal the disease can be both to the alcoholic and those surrounding. I applaud your courage in This share

    • thank you Rob. I just pray for recovery for him and healing for me. I have gone to Alanon meeting and there are others like it and I encourage people in similar situations to check them out. Going to the meetings helped wrap my head around the very counterintuitive move to leave instead of stay to help.

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