Evolution Series: I Deserve Better

I Deserve Better

The prince or princess always shows up, and everyone lives happily ever after. That’s how it happens in the movies or on television. We live in a society where relationships and marriages are glamorized.


People who are in love stay in love, and they love loving each other. 


When I got married, I thought trust and honesty were to be assumed. Beyond that, I had no clue what marriage was all about, but who really does? I was married before social media had a chance to further perpetuate this concept of marriage as some sort of fairy tale that everyone should desire. Growing up, I was unlike the typical girl who may have been fantasizing about her wedding day – her dress, flowers, and children. I never gave marriage or children much thought, and that’s something about which my mom frequently reminds me.


The bottom line is, I never understood how difficult an ordinary marriage would be, let alone a marriage to an addict. 


When my husband and I talked about starting a family, we had agreed that we would stop smoking weed once I got pregnant. The lies started early. It was six months into my new marriage, and I was three months pregnant. I was going to bed very early every night, and one night when I woke up to get a glass of water, I suddenly realized that he had been lying to me. It felt like the rug had been pulled from beneath me. I can still remember the night that I confronted him about the lie – his secret weed smoking that had been going on for months. Our talk was actually good. We were both calm, respectful and open. I trusted that this was just a mistake, and he said he would stop. Sad. I deserve better. 


A few weeks later, he came home from grocery shopping, and I smelled something. It was weed. I confronted him. He denied it, but after some more calm and clear communication, he admitted that he had slipped and promised it wouldn’t happen again. And I believed him. Sad. I deserve better. 


We moved to a new house as I was heading into my final trimester. Hot and uncomfortable, I opened the window for some cool air, and suddenly got a whiff of weed. Again, the same dance. Confront, deny, confront, admit. We were about a year into our marriage, and not only could he not stop smoking weed, he couldn’t stop lying about it.


Sad. I deserve better. 


I don’t even know when the drinking became intertwined, but I guess it started when our dance began to change from: confront, deny, confront, admit, to something much different. The confrontations became much angrier, and the things he would say to me became much more hurtful. The denials suddenly became his truths, and our dance changed to: confront, deny, confront, blow up, confront, resent, back down.


He would no longer say, “I will stop,” which I realize now was just something he said to appease me. He would say, “I am not going to stop,” and, “Stop telling me what to do,” and, “Stop trying to control me,” and, “I will drink, I will smoke, and the fact that you don’t like it is your problem.”


As his behaviors changed, so too did mine. I became more suspicious, sad, angry and resentful. I was constantly walking on egg shells. We became the couple who was always in a fight when we went out. I became someone who was marking alcohol bottles, facing them in a certain direction and taking pictures to see if they had been touched. I placed tape on the door to see if it was quietly opened while I was asleep.


So sad. I deserve better.  


The spiral continued. The difficult part for me was that this wasn’t a daily thing. We could go weeks – maybe even a month or two – without a major blow up. Things could be so good, and then things could be so bad. He would become angry. He would say such hurtful things, and he would lie. Those are things that I don’t think are supposed to be part of a “normal” marriage.


Sad. I deserve better.


And then in mid September, 2021, he declared that he was going to stop drinking. He had enough, and he was done. As he started his sobriety, his anger, mood swings and resentments were in full force. And there were slips, which I will call lies, because he never actually admitted to any lapses. The truth just fell into my lap, the last time being this past November. He still can’t tell me the truth.


Sad. I deserve better. 


It’s been hard getting used to our new life. We don’t hang out with the same people because we can’t. It wasn’t true friendship. It was really all about drinking. No more invitations to the summer cottage with people we thought were our closest friends.


I sit and smile as others compliment him on how amazing it is that he has decided to stop drinking. Not everyone knows he is an alcoholic. He controls the narrative, and he doesn’t share the details with everyone, but everyone is so impressed that he no longer chooses to drink. At a restaurant, I see other couples sharing a bottle of wine – something we once did. Although for him, the wine would be paired with several double scotches, a grappa for his digestion and then a huge joint. I still enjoy a glass or two of wine on a weekend by myself. I usually go into another room, or have a glass while he is out, and then quickly pour it into the sink as I hear the garage open.


And this dishonest game is what our life, our marriage, has become.


Sad. I deserve better.


If you are the loved one of an alcoholic, you deserve better, too. Consider joining us in Echoes of Recovery.

Echoes of Recovery

Perfect Silence
February 9, 2022
A Hunter’s Guide to Successful Gathering
June 29, 2022
Alcoholic Denial
July 28, 2021

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