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Sue's Story


By Sue S.

June 2002



I must tell you that when I found your site I was almost cried.  I have sent the information on to a dear friend of mine how is also in an alcoholic relationship.


My first husband was a wonderful man, compassionate, loving and a total addict - alcohol and drugs.  I thought I could change him and save him from himself.  We were married and had a beautiful girl.  Our first Christmas I was going to jail to bail him out on a drunk in public charge, and breaking and entering (he was stealing frozen chickens!)  That should have been my final straw!  I felt like I needed to be there for him through everything, and surely one day he would see the light and stop all this nonsense. 


I just knew that if I stayed by his side and was there when he needed me that everything would be okay.  A side note, during this time, my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was dying.  I went with his dad ( a wonderful man in an alcoholic relationship), he came home for approx. 3 months, then went to jail for the charges. 


Prior to his sentence I was cleaning off the kitchen table preparing for last dinner and noticed what I thought was flour on the table, it turned out to be cocaine, he was furious - that was the last straw.  When he went to jail the next day I filed for divorce. 


We remained close friends throughout the next several years, then one morning his dad found him in bed and he could not move.  He suffered a massive stroke and died within 4 weeks.  I felt like part of me was dying, and it was, but you what I came back and decided that I liked me again.  I met a wonderful, stable, strict man, we eventually married for 12 years, - no alcohol, no drugs, but again my codependent actions followed me.  Supper was on the table every night by 5:30pm - no exceptions, the house was spotless, you could eat off my floor!  Our clothes were all pressed, the lawn was perfect, the cars were perfect, everything looked perfect from outside.  He even measured my stitches (I love to sew) to ensure they were proper length, needless to say my sewing days quickly came to an end, but all bills were paid on time, we had money in the bank, went to breakfast EVERY Saturday with our neighbors, everyone thought we had the perfect family, but I was dying, I had lost all my own style, my desire for life. 


We had an uneventful divorce that left me feeling even more empty and I felt like I was a total failure.  Then I met a man that had a wonderful zest for life, but he seemed to drink a little more than I thought he should, but I knew that if I stood by him and helped him everything would be alright!  Here we go again!  During the first 5 years of our marriage, it is like a blur, constant drinking, he did not work at a steady job, I carried us financially even paying for the beer.  Then I gave him a choice, the beer or me and he had to have a steady job and keep it. 


For about 6 months the beer drinking was kept to a minimum and he did get a full time job that he still maintains.  During this time my daughter had a little girl, the light of my life, my granddaughter.  Things seem to be like they might even out and we were falling into some kind of life.  We managed to buy a small farm, a dream of both of ours.  Then after we moved into the new house, the drinking moved with us and it became increasingly more. 


Our life as husband and wife had ultimately come to an end during the last 4 years, but I thought there is more to a marriage then sex, so we can survive.  Well, we kept growing further apart and the drinking increased, there was always an excuse, too many people in the house, my daughter's attitude, his brother, something.  Anyway, I joined the Al-Anon and soon realized that I did not want to be going for the next 12 years of my life and not solving anything, many of the members had been there for the last 10 years!  So I did not attend any further meetings. 


Anyway, I ended up doing something that I never thought I was capable of doing, I was unfaithful.  I was honest with my husband, I told him and tried to explain, not make excuses, because there is none for my actions, I should have taken proactive action long before this occurred.  He told me he would forgive me, but he was who he was, and I had to accept that, he could understand why it happened and he was hurt but he could get over it, in time.  I was going to have to be patient with him, because he might drink a little more due to the stress over what I had done - it seemed like everything that happened during the past 10 years was now gone - all the problems we have are related to the one incident only - not due to the drinking! 


Well needless to say after 8 months of saying I am sorry, but can we work on the drinking I was about fed up - then we had a BBQ and my granddaughter (who adores him), ran over to the cooler and got PAPA a BEER - that was straw - I could not believe that I was subjecting myself to this again, but my daughter and granddaughter - I had NO ONE TO BLAME BUT ME for staying.  I have filed for divorce, that scared me to death, but I truly for the first time in a long time feel alive - and believe me it WAS NOT EASY! 


I still care a great deal for him and truly hope that he can seek help - but I need to heal and so does my daughter and granddaughter.  It will take time, but I thank God over and over again for finally turning on the light!  The love of my granddaughter helped me open my eyes and make me realize that I want to live - I want to succeed and I want to smile!




Sue S.

Received June 6, 2002


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