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California, USA
December 06
In the newspaper business for more than 20 years. I write, I edit and take photos ... I'm a triple threat.


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APRIL 27, 2012 11:58PM

The clock is ticking

Rate: 8 Flag

It's been five weeks since my children last saw their mother. 

I'm typing this on my iPhone as she is trying to get our 3-year-old son to sleep in another room. Our 1-year-old daughter is conked out  in her crib.

I am in Nevada for an extended weekend visit. Yes. I'm weak. My wife has been distant but I haven't allowed that to bother me. I'm not taking her actions or behaviors personally.

I'm finally on step 8 (made a list of all the persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to the all). I just got off the phone with my my Alanon sponsor. He was checking in to see how I was doing. I've had a few other Alanon people check in this week also. It's been difficult as a single parent. I really didn't think this separation would last this long. But, here we are. Almost three months after I got my alcoholic wife out of the house and not much has changed. Well, I guess I've changed. Physically, I've lost 90 pounds over the last year. My closet is bare, having donated all those old fat clothes to charity. Emotionally, I no longer obsess and worry about the alcoholic and what she may or may not be doing. 

I'm finally starting to do things for myself. The last two weekends were supposed to be visits with my wife, but when I couldn't even get a call or text returned, I opted to stay home.

I'm focusing on myself and my own attitudes and behaviors. I also set a boundary, telling my wife she needed to get her act together, pull her head out of her ass, and decide if her family was worth the effort of getting sober. I wasn't harsh, but I was honest. I told her I wasn't going to wait forever. My sponsor told me it was well said and my 'honesty is paramount.' I spent most of last weekend either in tears or on the verge of tears. As my sponsor said, 'sometimes detaching with love can be painful.' No kidding. 

That's all I have today. I think it's enough.  

Note: I typed this with my thumbs on an iPhone, with its autocorrect quirkiness, so bear with me on odd typos. I'll fix them later.  

Author tags:

alanon, alcoholism

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Good morning, STW, always good to hear from you. Your children need to maintain a connection with their mother in some fashion, so your visit isn't necessarily all about 'weakness'.

When you say you never thought your separation would last this long, the premise is that you thought your wife would regain her sobriety by now, or at least try harder. She hasn't. Some number of alcoholics never do. I hope you can imagine a way forward on your own, that is, continuing on the path that you are already on. Sounds like you've done a good job so far, tears notwithstanding!
It seems to me, a stranger on the outside, that every step you are taking is out of pure love for your wife, your children, and yourself. I am learning that acting out of love is just about the hardest thing one can do in life. It is not a path for the weak. I wish you all continued strength and peace. R
Good morning. I have been thinking of you and hoping things were better. Please continue to take care of yourself and your babies.
My alcoholic love died and that was so simple. I had another who is still alive barely. You are doing so well taking care of yourself. An alcoholic will throw anything under the bus for another drink. That hurts. You will always be connected with her because of the kids. Hopefully they will be stronger for how you treat their mother. Life is not easy. I am so glad you write here. Thank you Thank you.
I posted on your new years post, just caught up to see how this year has been going...Wow. So much pain. I would have a hard time letting this woman stay in your children's lives, although she must be in a lot of pain herself, even if she can't feel it. You are doing the right thing for those kids. Are you starting to think about lawyers?
This sounds so hard - and so right. Hang in there.
Now I am thinking I shouldn't have said the comment about lawyers. It's not right for me to jump there when I can't possibly know your situation. I guess this hits too much home for me in a lot of ways, mostly from my family of origin. Ironically, all I can ever wish is that my parents made it through the drinking and fixed their marriage and stayed together. They both eventually got sober, but apart. And I really think what tore them apart was other thoughts are with you.
'sometimes detaching with love can be painful.'...I think maybe I have been lucky in that my love for the husband died long ago so detaching has been easier for me. I did not even know I was doing so at the time until I started to read the Al Anon books. I still wish you peace so much peace in your life. You have so earned it.