It can be a special kind of lonely hell when you love an addict.
Your relationship is teetering on disaster –
You’re barely surviving emotionally-
You’re in a hole so deep the sky looks like a pinhole-
You are afraid that if you let go, the world as you know it will crumble around you.
but you’re tired of wearing the masks-
and you’re ashamed of what you and your life has become.
The dark, sticky, snake-like fingers of the disease constricts every aspect of our lives.
The finances, the employment, the physical health and the mental well-being of everyone in the home is compromised.
Before you know it – you’re so entwined in the madness that getting out feels like death.
Because it would be.
You had hopes and dreams of a happily ever after, and if you leave, that dies.
But just as addiction can wrap itself around your relationship, so too can recovery.
Marriage is hard – adding addiction compounds it.
How do I know?
I’ve married two addicts.
Hubby #1 – I left.
Hubby #2 – I stayed.
I thought for sure that if he just quit the drug, things would get better. That if he would just quit drinking. Or get a job. Or spend more time with me and the kids… that it would be OK. I didn’t have the problem – he did. I could run the household, raise the kids, go to work, AND deal with him and his crap.
I was also working with hundreds of addicts professionally in an addictions treatment and recovery support program. I knew this disease inside and out.
– I was superwoman – right?!
He doesn’t have to get sober for you to be happy.
He doesn’t have to get clean for you to be whole.
Once you start seeing what it is you want for your own life, you’ll find that making decisions gets easier. Just like any other muscle, the more you use it, the stronger you get.
I wished with everything in me for someone to help me understand what was going on, why it was happening, what to do, and to tell me what the next right choice was.
But no group or person existed that could help me in the way I needed to be helped.
Now, I’ve made it my mission to be that person for other wives.
I am a support coach for wives navigating their husband’s addiction and/or early recovery.
It took me over 30 years to figure out that I am not “just” a government job, a marriage, a divorce, a re-marriage, a step-mom, a mom, a wife… Fully aware of (many of) my flaws, I work to polish my rough edges vs punishing myself with harsh words and self-sabotage. My mantra has become “things don’t happen TO me, they happen FOR me”. I fully understand the difficulties facing wives of addicts, and having lived through it myself, I know what’s missing from the existing support programs and networks.
You’ve heard it before – you can’t pour from an empty cup.
We are quick to help others, and our needs are usually the last to be met (if at all).
You can take care of yourself without feeling guilty, and take care of others without compassion fatigue and/or resentment!
Here’s a few examples of the women I connect best with:
The spouse or lover of an addict, who’s at a crossroads trying to determine whether to stay, or go.
The mom who is at that point where she realizes there’s more to life than bottles, diapers, teenage drama, cell phones, car pools, and all that other MOM STUFF, on top of dealing with a husband in active addiction, or going to so many meetings he’s not around to help.
The woman who’s husband has been clean and sober for a year or two or three and you’re wondering if you even still love this man.
The woman who needs to remember that it’s OK to have needs too.
The wife that knows there’s a gorgeous woman inside who’s dreaming of being who she was always meant to be before “life got in the way”.
The woman who is ready to tell that voice in her head saying “you’re too _____ to do ______” to f*&% off. (and not blush!)
If you are married to an addict, I’m here to help you.