Day 667

How much alcohol is too much?

When does a person go from being a heavy drinker to being an alcoholic/alcohol-dependent?

What if you think you’re fine but your spouse feels you have a problem and says your drinking affects them negatively?

How much should one’s partner’s opinion matter in this case? What if they’re overreacting?

What about pot? Does smoking regularly in the evenings count as addictive behavior? Could it be considered a replacement for alcohol, an avoidance mechanism that should be addressed?

Is there ever justification for a husband giving his wife a black eye?

What situation is better – staying in a dysfunctional marriage to give the kids a sense of stability, or separating to give each other space to work on the dysfunction, but disrupt the children’s lives in a way they won’t understand?

Why do I need someone to answer these questions for me?

Why can’t I just trust my gut?

Why do the opinions of those around me matter so much?

Day 653

Where to begin?

Why am I here? Well to be honest, my dear imaginary reader, its because I haven’t found a new therapist since my last one “graduated” me and I need an outlet for my jumbled thoughts. Our dog walker and friend just left after I bombarded him with the contents of my messy brain, and I’m realizing I need a better place to get things out, and maybe sort through them.

I feel the need to mention that I’m still sober – zero alcohol since Oct 1, 2017, although not entirely “clean” as I still smoke a puff or two of pot in the evenings.

It’s been awhile since I’ve spilled words on this blog and I think that’s because things have been a bit messy and hard to explain. So forgive me the following stream of consciousness jumble.

An unfiltered letter to my husband:

Can we move past this? Yes.

Can we forget it happened? No.

Even though it may feel, to you, as if nothing has changed, everything has changed for me. I always knew you had a white hot anger flowing underneath the surface, that although you like to imagine yourself as the kind, loving devoted husband and father you portray on social media, underneath the surface hides another version of you that reveals itself whenever you feel slighted.

Your anger, especially when fueled by alcoholic irrationality, quickly goes from zero to an overwhelming out-of-control rage that, regardless of what you do with it, scares those it’s targeting.

You’ve only hit me once, but you’ve scared me and the boys many times before.

So no, this isn’t something that can be swept under the rug, left unaddressed until the next time it happens. I’m done waiting for the honeymoon period to end and for your anger to simmer unaddressed until you decide I deserve another dose.

You wonder why this separation is unnecessary?

It’s because I don’t feel safe anymore. I don’t trust that your rage will stay contained in the future. I have no reason to believe it won’t happen again. How have you changed? Do you even see a reason to change?

You keep saying things like “we’ve lost our way”, “it’s because the first few years of raising the boys have been so hard” “maybe now that it’s getting easier, our relationship will improve”. None of these statements tell me anything about your willingness to take responsibility for your own issues in our marriage.

Over a year ago, when you told me you were not open to working on our marriage (or yourself) in therapy, I decided the only choice was to work on myself, by myself. Which I’ve done.

Any time I found myself complaining about your behavior, I would turn that question toward myself – am I asking the same of myself? Is it possible I’m the one with that problem? And then I would work on it.

And although I still see much room for improvement, I’m tired of doing it alone. If you’re not willing to look inside and do some heavy lifting on your own issues, I’m not willing to remain in a marriage that is this out of balance, especially when it means always having to worry about when your next temper flair-up is going to happen.

My mental health, and the future mental health of the boys who are watching our dynamic and learning how to behave, is not worth that.