“There she is, the man stealer” I think as I drive past the location that my love spends all his time at. The other woman. She is quite large but intimate. She offers comfort in ways that I cannot. He has sought comfort there for about the same amount of time that I have known him, yet they are closer than I will ever be to him.  She is the first place he turns to when things get hard, the first place he goes to celebrate a triumph. She is his world.

When he gets off work he heads right to her, staying there until late at night when he goes home either to his bed or mine to claim he loves me. I wouldn’t know, it is hard to feel that love when all he does is sleep next to me. She is the one who knows his secrets, comforts his soul, and provides his entertainment. He never lights up for me like he does around her.

I know that I should let him go, let him be happy there and move on but I keep holding out hope that one day he will see all the damage she has done to him and all he has lost because of her. She is the reason for most of the drama in his life, she is the reason his bank account continues to dwindle. If he had not been with her that Friday night, he never would have gotten his face beaten in by another man who also wanted to spend time with her. The fact that he cannot tear himself away from her has cost him several jobs, living situations and now might even cost him me. It won’t matter. He will replace those things with more of her comfort. After all, I am just a woman who has given him my heart and loyalty. I could never compete with his bar!

What is in the Bottle (written during my marriage to an alcoholic)

What is in that bottle over there?

To the average eye the bottle on the counter is just wine, vodka, whiskey, whatever the pick of poison is today.

To you, the alcoholic, the shell of a person I married, it is a way to relax and to forget about the stresses you feel.  It is a way to become a happy social person.  A way to like yourself.  It is a way to get some sleep or get out of doing a chore. You see it liquid courage, a party, an escape. All of your happiness is in that bottle. Everything you care about. What you think about from sun up to sun down is all right there in that little bottle.

To me, the spouse of a person addicted, I see it as a bottle of my hopes and dreams being quickly sucked down your esophagus. A bottle full of lies and broken promises. It is filled with conversations that we will have tonight, that you will never remember. It has a few hospital bills in it from when you get so intoxicated that you fall down or need medical attention. It has A LOT of money in it. Money that could have gone towards our child, a home, a vacation, memories that do not involve alcohol. In that bottle I see all the poor decisions you have made. The affairs and nights you didn’t come home. I see the jobs you have lost because an eight hour day is just too long to go without a drink. I see the arguments that got escalated to a violent rage. The holes in the walls, the holes in your relationships, in your life. After dealing with this for years, that bottle could easily fill up with my tears.

I often wonder . . . how can two people see the contents of one bottle so differently? Tomorrow it will be a different bottle, but until you get help, the contents will always remain the same.