I have recently been exploring other blogs that deal with alcoholism and addiction. I also read some excerpts from a book called How to Break Your Addiction to a Person by Howard Halpern. In it, he explores examples of relationships that are addictive. I began to explore my own relationship with my husband and the ways I have been addicted to him and his need for me.
Halpern speaks of these types of relationships as being in a “prison” and points out that “the prison door is wide open” and “all we need to do is walk out.” Well, I did walk out. I let go by asking my husband for a divorce. So why can’t I let go and just file for divorce? After all, I did indeed walk out that door, but something is keeping me on the stoop. I am no longer dressing our relationship with “fancy curtains or decorator colors” and have seen it for the addictive, destructive relationship that it is. I can only guess that I feel guilty for not being able to help him through all of his demons. I feel guilty that our son does not have a father to play with on a daily basis. I feel guilty that I walked out of that prison and left him to dwell and fester alone.
I also feel guilty that when I did end it, I really wanted to be single and be free to date whomever I wanted. I did go on a few dates since he left and even slept with someone, but that did not feel right. I honestly do not want to take precious time away from my child by dating some guy that wasn’t really worth my time. I was not seeking a new relationship or a new daddy for my child in any way, just freedom to find happiness. So again, I wonder, why have I traded seeking that happiness to stand on that stoop wondering if I made the right decision? And why does my guilt play a role in that decision?
If I stop seeking happiness, then my child loses in the end. He should be my priority. Part of me sees my husband through my child’s innocent eyes and the love and adoration he has for his father. But the other part of me sees the reality…a life full of unhappy endings. I had left him once before and maybe I should have stayed gone. But, I wouldn’t have had my beautiful child. Back then, I couldn’t leave him in his misery. We needed each other, but in the unhealthy addict way. It’s almost as if I wanted the drama that went with the relationship. The drinking, the lies, the utter disrespect for our relationship and for myself. This will never change. I know this logically, but my heart still reels for having my family whole again. At what price, though?
That price is too high. If I stop and think, realistically, I know that it will continue in a downward spiral. Our relationship will never be one of healthy, happy and devotional love. It will be destructive and harmful to our child and each other. Period. This is an addiction I must stop, leave behind. I must step down from the stoop I am clinging to and move on. I must stop looking back wondering if I have made the proper decision. I must stop beating myself with defeat and guilt. I must break this cycle for my child’s sake.