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.


About smommy

I am a single mom, by choice. I decided to separate from my husband and an unhappy marriage over three years ago. My son was two at the time. I am pretty much raising my kid on my own with occasional support of my family when I need it. (I don't like to admit I need it, ever!) My soon to be ex-husband (STBX) is an alcoholic and after we separated and he moved back to San Francisco, he became a drug addict also. Life is a struggle, but a sweet one since I have this awesome boy and we love each other sooooo much! Now, if I could magically be divorced, that would be great...but alas, I cannot force him to sign the documents. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but there are moments when it seems so far away and unreachable.
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4 Responses to Addiction

  1. cobyjean says:

    I hope this isn’t nosy — but is addiction to substance an issue for you and/or your husband? It sounds like it is, for the hub? If so, dearest, your confusion and hesitations are so very normal (they are anyway) — trying to create a healthy relationship is virtually impossible, until the addictions are addressed. And I do know what you mean, about the pull to continue the relationship feeling addicitve in itself — we get used to being in drama. You might try AlAnon, for support — but in the meantime please know I hear you loud and clear, and feel for you, for the struggles you’re facing. Remember — Mommy’s air mask goes on first, always — otherwise you can’t help your son or anyone else xoxo

    • smommy says:

      I don’t have an issue with addiction. I grew up with an alcoholic father and now my husband. I think addictive properties come from those relationships (of a codependent nature). I used to go to Coda meetings which are also 12 step meetings dealing mainly with the behaviors derived from growing up in an alcoholic home. So, I just keep reading a lot of self help books, including Codependent No More. They do not have Coda meetings where I live and how I wish they did. The best thing I ever did for myself. But rest assured, I keep working the program and continue to grow and learn from every situation I encounter. That’s why I write here. To really lay out my thoughts and behavior honestly and then analyze.
      Thank you for your comment and words of encouragement. Have to remember that my mask goes on first. Good line to keep in mind at all times and that is really what I work towards. xoxoxo

    • cobyjean says:

      In fact, you sound so much like me, and situations I’ve been through, that it’s eerie. No guilt, sister — as I say, keep yourself healthy, attend to your son lovingly, if what’s been going on with the hub has only gotten worse despite all efforts, then — honey, plug your nose and do jump off that stoop. Much easier said than done, I know!!! Letting go of what we dreamed would happen is so hard. But there are new dreams worth pursuing. Chin up! xoxo

  2. I definitely get the guilt. Guilt has held me prisoner to my emotions and to the ex. It’s such a difficult process. Even knowing all of the crap I’ve been through with the ex, I still want a rewind button so that I wouldn’t have to go through the guilt and pain of leaving. Here’s hoping that we both reach a point where we are living with no regrets.

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