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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sea Change

I am living in the middle of a drama storm. I don't know how I got here or how to get out.
In the past week, I have discovered that my husband has been engaging in compulsive, risky sexual behavior and is an alcoholic. After I discovered those two things, he was in a car accident and got a DUI. Last night he was suicidal, with a clear plan. I called 911, and he is in the hospital on a hold.

I have debated on whether to blog about this or not. Obviously it is utterly consuming my life right now. Finally I decided that I simply cannot pretend that this isn't happening. Some of you have been friends, all of you have been engaged and kind as readers of this blog. There are obviously many details to this sordid story that I am not going to post online. I am devastated, and trying to figure out my next move, taking one day at a time.

Because we live 400 miles apart, my hubby was able to lead a double life. As far as I can tell, he did not drink when he was with me. Alcoholics and addicts become expert manipulators and liars, and he hid all of this from everyone for a long, long time, especially those closest to him. He is hurting and desperate now, and I have to decide how to be loving while not making the behaviors worse or preventing him from experiencing the consequences of his actions, so that he can make the changes he needs to make. Only he can make them. I have no control whatsoever.

I don't know what will happen from here. I do not have any other personal experience with addiction--my family does not have a history of chemical dependency, and I have never been with another partner who did. I am a nurse, and I've worked with thousands of patients who were addicts, but that is completely different. I have to learn what this is all about, how it works, and how to help rather than make things worse. I also have to decide how much I am willing to do or go through at this point, and what is the right thing to do for me.

Fortunately, my directors of my program are very understanding and supportive. They know what is going on, and that I am struggling to keep my head above water at this point. My one overriding goal, above all else at this point, is that I must finish school, no matter what. I need this for me. We are broke, and broken. But no matter what else happens, I must finish school.

6 comments:

marietta.b said...

Gwen:
I'm sending positive, healing thoughts your way. It's brave of you to be putting your stuff out there, but I and many others can identify. Thanks for your honesty. Take good care.

She Smiles said...

First of all Gwen, *BIG HUGS*. I too wondered whether I should be as frank and honest as I have been of late on my blog, but you're right, readers are sometimes friends that can provide support.

As you know, I am an addict. I struggle with alcohol and have been known to hurt those close to me with my behaviour when I drink.

While you care for your hubby, you also need to care for yourself. My husband knows when I am crossing the line and always pulls me back. Its kind of an unspoken agreement we have thats evolved over time and I know that if I don't make the decision to be present in our relationship when he calls me on my shit, then I will lose him. I know its all too easy for him to walk away when I am in the depths of my addiction.

Addiction is a life long thing, and your husband has to make a decision on his own and for himself in how he is going to deal with it. That is the first step. Nothing you can say or do will make that easier for him. Addiction is like a yearning inside of you that just cannot be satiated. Its something that is always there, like a tiny voice willing you to do what ever it is that you're addicted to. Its like being possessed. And going against that is like the worst hunger a person could ever feel. It absolutely consumes you.

Whatever you decide to do, whether you stand by him and allow him to try to win back your trust, or choose to move on and forward on your own we are here for you. Please know that. You are not alone xox

Amanda said...

I have read your blog for a few weeks now and only finally comments...tend to lurk....
I am so sorry for all you are going through...addictions are tough. Take care of yourself...the rest will fall in place with time...and work...in whatever path you may choose this to lead you.

sparkly_jules said...

Gwen,

I am so, so sorry to hear this. I have no words for you. I have relatives who struggle with drug and alcohol addictions and it is not easy, ever, regardless, and a spouse is surely more difficult than any other relationship.

My words are simply comments on a blog, but my wish, my hopes for you are peace, clarity, and safety. And yes indeed, you must stay in school. You must.

Reach out for help for yourself when you need it, or even if you think you don't.

Blessings,

Julie

Diz said...

My poor Gwen. This absolutely sucks! I, unfortunately, come from a long line of addicts and am married to an alcoholic. My addiction is food. My mother and brother, heroin; My sister, meth; The journey living with someone with an addiction is difficult. Hell, I had my wedding ring off my finger for a number of years because of it. Stay in school, focus on your health and well being, and keep the lines of communication open between you and your man. The death of the marriage comes when the communication dies...at least that's what happened in our marriage. We work every day to keep it.

My prayers and thoughts are with you always. As far as advice goes...when offered, take what you can use and leave the rest. Stay in school and pamper yourself. Love yourself.

Inspiration said...

Gwen, so sorry for this!! You are brave posting this on your blog and you know that your readers care about you. I know this is hard, but things will work out. Time is sometimes what is needed to figure out what you are going to and how the situation will remedy. I can't imagine how you are feeling but I know that part of you must feel very betrayed. I wish you the best. keep us posted!