There are AA & Al-Anon groups and meetings online which is a great way to have continued support if you can’t make it to a meeting in your area. Lately I have seen post after post from mostly women but some men too from the spouses of alcoholics and it seems as though it is the same sadness repeated. What I am reading is the blame game continues, the anger from them is so destructive. Most of it is done with the sharpness of a tongue. The name calling, the threats of abandonment to leave/Divorce, sleep in other rooms, having these behaviors in front of their small children. One woman said her husband called her a Fu**ing Bitch and now her 4 year old is running around saying “Mommy Bitch” how awesome is that!
I have been to many AA meetings with my husband & continue to go a few times a week and this is a common thread in just about every person that shares their story. They will stand up and many of them will say “I was mean”, “I wasn’t there for my wife/husband/family”, “It was always someone else’s fault” and the list goes on and on. With the help of AA a lot of them have this humbling gratitude that they don’t have to be that way anymore if they choose to use the tools they have learned in their programs. They have said that when they start to feel themselves getting angry and the old behaviors start creeping up they stop and immediately pray to their higher power to relieve them of that and show them what is right. What an incredible tool to have and use to keep your life going in the right direction and holding yourself accountable for what your feeling and taking action to do something about it before it gets out of control.
Sadly not all do this and this is what I have been reading about lately. The continued feelings of being unworthy, and unloved from the spouses of alcoholics. Some are new into this and say “I thought when he/she became sober everything was going to be wonderful, why isn’t it better” or things like they have been sober for years and when the spouse falls back into old ways of behaving and dealing with issues as when they drank their lives become chaotic and unmanageable. Although it almost always takes two you can sure tell when an active AA member is not following the program and they kind of stray from practicing what they have been taught.
Life is not always easy, in a marriage with any addiction you have two people that are healing. I feel like there are many cases where the non drinking spouse has been more traumatized and affected by the alcoholism than people even realize. I say that because they have been affected by everything that comes with the alcoholism which can be lies, abandonment, infidelity, physical, verbal, & emotional abuse (usually one or more of these), selfishness, money loss, raising children yourself, abandonment, self-entitlement, I mean the list goes on but you get the point. Believe it or not though I have seen that person who was once so destructive transform when they use the program to their benefit! Life is going to happen, their are going to be issues, triggers, emotional traumas to deal with but what you choose to do in those times of turmoil, how you choose to behave, how you choose to treat your spouse is on you.
You can’t go around blaming anyone else for your reactions. I mean if that was the case then every time a situation arises where someone made you angry you feel “justified” in calling them names or getting physical with them. How about every time someone crosses the line and flirts or gives you an opportunity to be unfaithful you take it and act on it. How about when your children do something that disappoints you, are you just going to give up on them? My point is your reactions and behaviors are yours and only you are responsible for them! Nothing is worth doing any of those things.
I try and live my life everyday to be the best I can and that doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes because I do. However, you can sure bet that I will not strike anybody, I will never be unfaithful, I don’t lie, cheat or steal, I do not give up EVER! Usually when someone is upset they just want to have their feelings heard, not fixed, not disregarded just heard! Some days we all fall short but allowing so much time in between when things happen is not a good idea, bad feelings just fester fix it as soon as possible there is less damage that way.
Forgive quickly, apologize even quicker, learn from your mistakes, honor your feelings, work through your healing process, sometimes it takes a lifetime but know that is okay. We are all broken in some way that’s okay too. Honor your life, your marriage, your family, work hard at changing what needs to be changed within yourself. Sometimes all a spouse needs is a safe place in your arms to feel worthy, cherished and loved so they can continue to heal & grow.
Like the photo above says and shows, it is nice to hear your loved but being shown with actions, taking care of the one you love when they need you no matter what the situation may be is the most loving thing anyone can do…….. words are easy to say but putting it into motion makes it real!
Wishing you Peace & Serenity………….Harmony