Sobriety can cause a divorce
What did you just write? Are you serious? He must be desperate to write an article, because he may not have anything to contribute at the moment. Someone should fill his brain and break his laptop.
I’m serious about all this. And I’m a recovering alcoholic. I just want to inform my readers that I do not mean to be too enthusiastic about alcoholism. I realize that I am entering a slippery slope on unstable ground. But I am very familiar with the slippery slope and unstable ground. Please, naked with me.
Recovering from alcoholism is not an easy achievement. It doesn’t just take time, it also takes courage and patience. With courage, it means being true to yourself. With patience, it means that sobriety does not come overnight. Some alcoholics who are in denial need intervention. That’s hard. I never needed intervention when I decided to quit. I could have used it in my early stages of alcoholism. Back then it was not the trend.
I can clearly see how recovery from this powerful and crippling disease can cause relationships to break up or cause divorce. But then again, if an alcoholic continues to drink, it may very well end a marriage or relationship. It is a two way road. And the curves and bumps are sometimes unforgiving.
There are many factors to consider in how successful a recovery will be. Being in a relationship where both people drink too much and abuse alcohol can be a devastating experience and the habit would be hard to break. If only one seeks help, the other will feel betrayed, angry, and jealous. Recovery can be extremely difficult to achieve when alcohol plays such a large role in their lives. Successful recovery from alcoholism can result in the breakdown of a relationship or marriage. One must make this final decision in order to move on with their lives.
The worst that could happen is looking for a relationship while you recover. Alcohol counseling discourages this idea. One is so vulnerable during this period. Your main focus should be on working on your sobriety and sticking with the program you’re on.
Then there are the relationships and marriages that suffer when one person is addicted and their partner drinks little on special occasions or never drinks at all. This may be easier to swallow than being codependent. In this case, one person can be there to understand and support the other’s addicted personality by attending Al-Anon or AA meetings.
In any case, patience is a virtue. Separating or seeking a divorce may be the only decision to make, if the intervention does not work. Walking on eggshells is no way to live. There is so much that one person can help the other. Someone who is an alcoholic must take the first step and do it for himself, not for someone else.
In my case, my wife, Bobbie, knew what she was getting into before we got married. My alcoholic friends were there to always remind him. As if my so-called friends walked a pristine path.
My wife believed that you do the crime, you do the time. She never participated in Al-Anon or AA meetings with me. Once again, I repeat, she said, “You commit the crime, you serve the time.” She despised people who drink and drive. She insisted that she would not be punished for anything I did. This meant that she would not attend Al-Anon or AA meetings with or without me.
I was known to get arrested for DUI. I had eleven convictions. Nine of them were on my broken plate when we got married. It was all in the past, I thought. After two years of marriage, I was arrested and convicted only once in our nine and a half year marriage. I say “just once” because that was a record of not having been arrested and convicted of a DUI for almost eleven years. My eleventh DUI occurred two years after my wife died of cancer.
We had a very happy marriage. We never separated or divorced. The first three years were a testing ground. My drinking was largely under control during our marriage. Since she disapproved of my drunken behavior, it somehow worked, because she always wanted her to be proud of me for not drinking. She had other ways of being understanding and loving than attending Al‑Anon or AA meetings. She rewarded me with kindness in many other ways, like being proud of me and telling me so. And she admired her for not drinking or not being an alcoholic. She really planted the seed of sobriety in me.
After my wife died in 2001, my depression and illness hit rock bottom. I didn’t care how advanced my alcohol dependency became or how bad my physical and mental health became.
Two years later I met a woman I thought I had fallen in love with. Seven months later I was arrested for DUI #11. After all was said and done, I paid nearly $10K for a night of heavy drinking and driving.
I knew I had to do something about “my problem”. But it took two more months of heavy drinking before my higher power convinced me and armed me with the weapons of mass destruction I needed to combat my illness. Thank you God For that. I got sober on July 4, 2003. It became another reason to celebrate Independence Day: my independence from alcohol. And it became my other birthday… in sobriety. I witnessed a miracle before my eyes.
Two months into my sobriety, my new house was ready to move into. I convinced my girlfriend to move in with me and start my new life. Things went well for the first three months. Then I started to feel like I was going to fall off the wagon.
I felt that our relationship had taken its toll. My sobriety was being challenged to the max. After being sober for a few months, he was beginning to think that he had nothing in common with this woman he lived with. I did not feel anything. Our relationship became empty.
Sobriety had opened my eyes. I didn’t like what I saw. I felt that if I continued this relationship, it would blow up and my sobriety would be at risk. It was not because this woman drank, she drank very little. It was what she stood for, or what she lacked. I had no respect for her. I thought her daughter was supplying him with drugs. A daughter to whom I gave a loan of $4,000.00, because I felt sorry for her. She never tried to pay the debt. She never intended to pay it. I began to believe that she was buying drugs with the money she lent her. I felt betrayed.
I finally had to ask my girlfriend to leave. She was a threat to my sobriety. It was the best choice I have ever made. I changed so drastically when I sobered up. I guess the people I associated with thought I became a bore or a brat. Well, I thought the same of them.
I would like to thank my readers and recovering alcoholics for sharing this story with them. Some may realize what to expect in recovery: to be an alcoholic or a drug addict. Sobriety will be a challenge, but a valuable adventure for your soul and well-being. It has made me relax more and like myself despite all my flaws or the mistakes I made in the past.
To achieve sobriety one must make big decisions. Some can be very difficult, like breaking up a relationship or marriage to save your own soul. This is a very personal decision that I would not like to make for others. Just be careful: sobriety can cause divorce.