Sobriety May Cause a Divorce

What did he just write? Is he serious? He must be desperate to write an article, because he may have nothing to contribute at this time. Somebody ought to stuff his brain and break his laptop.

I am serious about all this. And I am a recovering alcoholic. I only want to inform my readers that it isn’t my intention to be overzealous on the subject of alcoholism. I realize I am entering a slippery slope on shaky ground. But I am very familiar with the slippery slope and the shaky ground. Please bare with me.

Recovering from alcoholism is not an easy accomplishment. It not only takes time, it takes courage and patience, as well. With courage, it means being truthful to yourself. With patience, it means sobriety doesn’t come overnight. Some alcoholics who are in denial need intervention. That is rough. I never needed intervention when I decided to quit. I could have used it in my early stages of alcoholism. Back then it wasn’t the trend.

I can plainly see how recovering from this powerful, disabling, disease may cause relationships to break up, or cause divorces. But then again, if an alcoholic continues to drink, it very well may end a marriage or relationship. It’s a two way path. And the curves and bumps are sometimes relentless.

There are many factors to consider in how successful a recovery will be achieved. Being in a relationship in which both people drink too excess and who 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. Recovering can be extremely hard to achieve when alcohol played such a big part in their lives. Successfully recovering from alcoholism, may result in breaking up a relationship or marriage. One must make this final decision in order to move on with their lives.

The worst thing that could happen is pursuing a relationship while recovering. Alcohol counselingadvises against this idea. One is so vulnerable during this period. Your main focus should be to workon your sobriety and follow the program you are in.

Then there are relationships and marriages that suffer when there is one person addicted, and their significant other drinks lightly on special occasions or never drinks at all. This may be easier to swallow than being co-dependents. 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 either case, patience is a virtue. Splitting up or seeking a divorce may be the only decision to make, if intervention doesn’t work. Walking on eggshells is no way to live. There is only so much a person can help the other. One who is an alcoholic must take the first step, and do it for themselves–not for somebody else.

In my case, my wife, Bobbie, knew what she was getting into before we married. My alcoholic friends were there to always remind her. 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 do the crime, you do the time.” She despised people who drink and drive. She insisted she would not be punished in something I did. This meant she would not attend Al-Anon or AA meetings with me or without me.

I was notorious for getting arrested for DUIs. I had eleven convictions. Nine of them were on my broken plate when we were married. It was all in the past–I thought. After two years into our marriage, I was arrested and convicted only once in our nine-and-a-half year marriage. I say “only once” because that was a record having not been arrested and convicted for 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 split up or divorced. The first three years were a proving ground. My drinking was largely in-check during our marriage. Since she disapproved of my drunken behavior, it somehow worked, because I always wanted her to be proud of me for not drinking. She had other ways of being understanding and loving, rather than attend Al-Anon or AA meetings. She rewarded me with kindness in so many other ways, like being proud of me and telling me so. And I admired her for not drinking or not being an alcoholic. She actually planted the sobriety seed in me.

After my wife died in 2001, my depression and disease hit rock bottom. I didn’t care about how advanced my dependence on alcohol became or how bad my mental and physical health became.

Two years later I met a woman I thought I fell in love with. Seven months later I was arrested for DUI #11. After everything was said and done, I paid almost $10K for one 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 disease. I thank God for that. I achieved my sobriety on July 4th, 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 finished 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 was beginning to feel that I was going to fall off the wagon.

I was feeling that our relationship had taken a toll. My sobriety was being challenged to the max. After being sober for a few months, I was beginning to think that I had nothing in common with this woman I lived with. I didn’t feel anything. Our relationship became empty.

Sobriety had opened my eyes. I didn’t like what I seen. I felt if I kept this relationship going, I would erupt and my sobriety would be at risk. It wasn’t because this woman drank–she drank very little. It was what she stood for, or lacked of it. I had no respect for her. I believed she was being supplied drugs from her daughter. A daughter I gave a $4,000.00 loan to, because I felt sorry for her. She never tried to repay the debt. She never intended to pay it. I began to believe she bought drugs with the money I loaned her. I felt betrayed.

I finally had to asked my girlfriend to leave. She was a threat to my sobriety. It was the best choice I ever made. I changed so drastically when I sobered up. I guess the people I associated with thought I became a bore or a snot. Well, I thought the same about them.

I would like to thank my readers and recovering alcoholics for me sharing this story with them. Maybe some will come to the realization about what to expect in recovery–being an alcoholic, or a drug addict. Sobriety will be a challenge, but a worthwhile adventure of your soul and well-being. It has made me relax more and like myself despite of all my flaws or the mistakes I made in the past.

To achieve sobriety one must make big decisions. Some may be very difficult–like breaking up a relationship or marriage to save their own soul. This is a very personal decision I would not like to make for others. Just beware–sobriety may cause a divorce.

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