How My Alcoholism Destroyed My Marriage
The word alcoholism was for other people or families - we were not dysfunctional. That is the denial of the disease. The truth is alcohol treacherously ended up taking my dads life and destroyed my own life. My brother and mother are alcoholic but their disease suggests to them that there is nothing wrong with them.
I was 47 years old when I drove myself to a treatment center. My wife had fallen in love with another man and I was devastated after listening to a intimate phone conversation between them. That was Dec 9th 2006 and she convinced me not to break up the family so I chose to hang in there and try and work things out - the reality was she just wanted to get through Xmas without her family finding out about the affair.
It was Dec 28th and we had guests over for dinner and I was not dealing with the affair well and had felt completely odd all day. I was having a few glasses of wine while I prepared dinner and every time I went to the wash room and looked in the mirror - the reflection was that of myself as the devil and he was telling me each time that something was going to go very wrong this night ...
I knew I should have quit drinking immediately but of course I was an alcoholic and that was not possible. My wife had been behaving very coldly towards me all night and had been disrespectful to our guests. I of course felt that she should be by my side as she was the one begging me not to break up the family.
We ended up at the neighbors for a party and my wife continued to ignore me and play games. I of course drank heavily and after returning to my home became angry and began throwing items around my house and threatening to kill myself. My wife called the police who took me away to the hospital under suicide watch.
Hours later when I was able to see a doctor the reality and his candor made me realize I had hit bottom. The doctors question to me was "do you want to live?" If so treatment for your drinking is the only option for you. The next morning after a tearful conversation with my wife I decided to book into a treatment center. I left for a 60 day
stay, little did I know it would turn into 5 months and I would never be allowed back in my home again.
My obsession to drink was gone immediately upon arrival at the treatment facility (I suspect a higher power was involved in that one). Although the obsession to drink was gone it was simply replaced by my obsession with my wife and what she was doing while I was in treatment. Needless to say treatment was hell on me as I worried about my future. It did not help matters when my wife came with my children for visits that she would express her feelings for the other man and that she was not sure of our future.
I would completely crash and burn after these visits and act out for days on end after hearing of her love for someone else. Two weeks left in treatment my wife made a special trip to the center to tell me that she wanted a divorce. My life crumbled, I was so hurt and angry all those months in treatment and the end result ... devastation.
I have been sober now for 3 1/2 years and the emotional toll the breakup of my marriage has not allowed me to find any joy in my life. I have my children who are 13 and 9 who know nothing of the details of the marriage breakdown. They love me and I them. I struggle having to see my X as I carry the guilt and shame of my drinking and subsequent behavior like a cross over my back.
I own that but I do not own her behaviour but do acknowledge that people do get sick as a result of their exposure to a alcoholic for a long period of time.
I continue to work a program that includes regular AA meetings and open and honest conversations with the friends that I have made in the program. The problem with sobriety is the clear thinking and the realization that I thought I was fooling everyone when in fact I was the one who got fooled.
This disease robs us of so much and if you are going through anything like my story you are not alone. What ever happens it will not get any better by picking up again. In the face of total despair we have to believe that God has plans for us and will be shown to us on his time.