Changing the Rules

In sobriety, I have often felt like I have pulled the rug out from under my husband. When we met, we were in our early 20s and party people – big time. I was a cocktail waitress and we lived in the heart of a large, hip and happening big city. We had a fun circle of like-minded friends and many evenings ended in the wee hours following many, many cocktails. Once we had kids and moved away to the suburbs and then to a smaller town we did not go out nearly as much, but we continued the party at home after the kids went to bed. The at-home party evening came about by cooking a nice dinner or preparing some delicious appies – but really, for me it was all about the booze. This worked until it didn’t – somewhere along the line my drinking became dark, scary, and obsessive. But not so for my husband.

I knew on soul level that this obsession would take me down and that it would not be pretty when I finally hit the bottom. I chose and am choosing daily to stop before the tragedy happens and those I love are left devastated, wondering how it could have happened. That still leaves my best drinking buddy, dearest husband, drinking on his own. Many of our traditions, rituals, date nights, weekends, travel plans, celebrations, and on and on have been changed or halted out of necessity to protect my sobriety.

I must say I have felt intense guilt and do have some insecurity around this. What if he can’t roll with the changes I have thrust upon him? What if he finds someone who can drink to have fun and without all of the drama of being obsessed with alcohol? What if he misses the way we used to do things and wishes I were different? On previous attempts to quit I used him as an excuse to pick up the wine glass(es) again and again. “I was doing it in the interest of our marriage…” Or, “I can’t not do what we both have always enjoyed so much…” And then the next morning I would be mad at him that I had blown my sobriety dream once again. It was madness. And so this time I am stepping out in faith and putting my sobriety above all else, even my marriage because ultimately my marriage won’t make it if my drinking is allowed to go the whole distance anyway.

This morning I read the following quote on another sober blog (One Crafty Mother – love you Ellie!) and it has soothed my sober soul:

“We marry people because we like who they are. People change. Don’t marry someone because of who they are, or who you want them to become. Marry them because of who they are determined to become. And then spend a lifetime joining them in their becoming, as they join you in yours…”
~ Huffington Post

Oh, how that resonates for me. I am determined to become a truthful, authentic woman who does not drink because it gets in the way of her AMAZING life. And yes, I changed the rules in our relationship around alcohol. But it was to make life better and when it is better for me than it must be better for him… I am determined to be all that I was meant to be and to live the life I was meant to live. I cannot be that woman or have that life AND drink. I choose life.

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10 thoughts on “Changing the Rules”

  1. By choosing life you are giving yourself the ultimate gift of self love and approval.
    Do what’s best for yourself today. It’s all we’ve got. Don’t let future worries mar your happiness.
    And try not to put thoughts in your husbands head!

    Yay to bring our best selves!

  2. This post resonates with me as my husband and I were always drinking partners too..I had 3 years of sobriety and still had fun with him…actually our relationship was much better as wine drinking sometimes led to arguments..sober again and I know he really wants this for me as much as I do for myself…I’ll bet your husband does as well..

  3. This post touches my heart – I have wrestled with the same thoughts. Yesterday I was reading “Co-Dependent No More” and stopped at a passage about how (we) co-dependents find it hard to believe that others could really love us, yet we define ourselves by what others think. I am only now after three decades accepting that it’s possible my husband really does love me – not because I’ve tricked him into missing my faults but because I am worthy of love even with my faults. This shift has been profound. Knowing your background, I suspect you have some similar codependent baggage to contend with, and it’s life-changing to shed some of that. I think you are amazing, by the way, and I love your charm and sparkle – sobriety can only make that brighter and nourished!

    1. Oh Jean, every morning I read the Language of Letting Go – Daily Meditations on Co-Dependency hahaha – you would be right in the “co-dependent baggage” that
      I contend with… Right back at ya with the “amazing” observation. Well done on the daily blogging by the way – that was a lot of work and commitment but your writing was eloquent and engaging. Love being on this journey with ya sista!

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