Love Over Addiction Podcast with Laura

Are you all ready for a jam-packed interview? We cover so many topics like what happens when you tell your in-laws something is wrong, learning to accept the truth even when it’s painful, infidelity, and what happens when the one you love leaves you.

All of this comes out of my intimate conversation with Laura: a woman who is a part of our Love Over Addiction community who’s still very much in the middle of her season of life loving someone suffering from addiction.

She is one of us—our sister. So let’s listen and make space for her very special story.

 

Michelle: Thank you so much for agreeing to share your story with me. I’m so grateful, and I know it’s going to help so many women to hear your words of wisdom and your experience. So let’s get started.

The first question I like to ask is: how did you meet your husband, and when did you start to see red flags around his drinking?

 

Laura: I first met my husband in high school, and I was about 17. I started seeing some signs of problem-drinking after we had dated—and it was more that we both drank—but after a while of dating, and especially after going to weddings, I noticed that he wasn’t able to stop until basically, the wedding was over. And so it’s pretty much early on in our dating. I didn’t think anything of it or any problems that could occur in the future.

 

M: When he was drinking too much at the weddings (which I think is a brilliant example), what was his behavior like? And what was his behavior like when he was just drinking at the beginning of your relationship?

 

L: His behavior was happy, fun, and then it could turn into mean and not caring. You know, if I said, “Oh it’s a lot. You’re having another one,” he wouldn’t like that and just make an excuse or get upset.

 

M: And You realize and recognize now though that when he was doing that to you early on in the relationship when you pointed out that maybe he was having one too many, that was addiction that was trying to train you to keep a quiet mouth. The anger was actually trying to shame you or scare you so that you wouldn’t bring it up in the future.

 

L: Yes, and I didn’t realize that until going to the program many years later.

 

M: Right? Particularly you, I know you didn’t grow up in a house with alcoholism or addiction. And so when you haven’t done that, how are you supposed to know? You don’t, really, so we learn as we go.

 

L: You know, after our children, I did see some drinking that was he wasn’t able to stop, and I remember that. It was a habit. And looking back, I can connect the dots. Coming home and having some beer and a glass of wine for dinner—I was fine with it. I could stop. And I could see over the years it has increased. And the escaping—that’s been a problem.

 

M: Yeah, well that’s one of the problems with this disease is that it’s a progressive disease. So what used to be able to get them drunk and give them that feeling, it takes more and more alcohol or drugs or anything you’re addicted to actually get to that point of euphoria or numbness, whatever you’re looking for, so that’s the scary part. If they don’t have their drinking under control today, imagine where they’re going to be five years from now. It’s a scary thought to think of.

 

L: Yes, it is.

 

M: So here he is. He’s drinking in excess on these special occasions, and he’s starting to now— when did you decide to marry him, and did you have any reservations about marrying him now that you can see there was a lot of drinking going on?

 

L: I had no reservations about marrying him. The drinking at that time was not and issue even though I was seeing those certain times. To me, I didn’t have a problem. He was with me; he was wanting to do things as a couple and a family. So I never had a problem.

 

M: So you weren’t worried?

 

L: No, there were arguments about it, and looking back, it was alcohol-related, but when I was going through that, I had no idea where that was coming from—that it was alcohol. Does that make sense?

 

M: Yes, I totally do. You didn’t realize it was a disease at that point.

 

L: Exactly

 

M: You thought It was just a coincidence. You weren’t looking at the whole puzzle yet. You just saw one piece and didn’t realize that this was part of a larger problem.

 

L: Exactly

 

M: Okay, great. That makes total sense. So you got married.

And do you have children?

 

L: Yes, I have five children.

 

M: You have five kids?

 

L: Yes, I have five.

 

M: We are bearing that cross together?

 

L: Yes, we’re from Maryland, so we moved here 17 years ago to Florida for my husband’s job. So we had two, and then we had three when we moved here—three Florida babies.

 

M: Wow. Okay, that’s a lot. So I know for me, I had three kids when I was married to someone who’s suffering from addiction. And it was incredibly stressful with three because I was constantly feeling like I was walking on eggshells. Similar to your husband, mine started out just occasionally drinking and then it turned into more and more frequent. And then it became every weekend in excess. Trying to raise kids in that environment for me was so stressful.

How are you feeling about raising five children in this environment? Does he drink at home? Does he drink in front of them?

 

L: Oh yeah, it was very stressful. When he was down here and we started our little life, he would go to work, and I would notice an increase in his drinking. And that started to bother me because he was basically escaping at that time. Looking back, it was the beginning of escaping.

We had the two children, and then shortly after we moved, we had another child who actually is medically fragile, so we’ve been in and out of the hospital. He’s really a miracle. He’s been through—we’ve had nursing, but we’ve had to really raise him with the difficulties of trying to find the whole medical and the diagnosing all that with the extra stress. But we managed through it. He was very blessed to have a child.

He gave me a son, and we wanted a big family.

And that had really nothing— with him having special needs, it required more care.

And so I had him coming home and drinking, and I had three children, one who was literally just very unstable. We had him in hospice at one time. Our children were three and five, and I remember just trying to do it all. My little daughter who was three was just waiting to be read to on the couch, and I would go back and forth to ask my husband, “Could you please come out and read?” And that’s when the arguments really started.

Literally for probably the 17 years we’ve been here, almost every night I would come in and say, “Would you please come out with the children? Would you please come with us to here? Would you please?” And it was like pulling teeth.

He’d rather stay home and drink, and it affected our children.

Just the frustration of trying to get him to go.

He drank every day. Every day. From the time he came home to the time he went to bed. And it’s just increased and increased, and over the years, I’ve just avoided arguments. He knew he had a problem, and he was trying. Now he’s in denial that there’s no problem. I can see that now. And in between all that, we had this wonderful relationship and more children, so it’s …

 

M: Well, it’s like a roller coaster, right? It’s not just a tragic story that happens every day of your life. There are good times. There are good moments. You do get windows where you think that it’s a breakthrough that you’ve been waiting for, and you get hope back. And you think that this is the guy that I married. This is why I married him. Look at how this is the guy that woman, that girl, that friend was talking about at the table that day. I see him. He’s arrived. He showed up.

And then the drinking and addiction takes over, and that guy fades away into the background. And this new person shows up, and that’s tragic and hurtful and leaves you managing way too much while they go and feed their addiction.

So was he addicted to anything else? Was it just alcohol or was there pornography or drugs or women or gambling or anything of that nature?

 

L: Yeah. He had the phone you know with his phone getting on it and there were some affairs along the way. There were two that I know of. The first one was back in, gosh, 2005? And I remember I was driving home with the kids in the truck all happy and my life was full of peace and joy. I got a phone call from a guy from his work telling me that he’s been seeing someone. He knows he has a family, and he wants me to know. And from then on, I was led through so much truth that probably was revealed to me too much.

 

M: Talk to me about that. When you say too much…

 

L: Yeah. There’s this denial, but things are popping up, and I started seeing stuff in it like anger towards me. The drinking just totally—and I know he had seen a priest about this and was told to go to your wife, and he didn’t. And he shared that with me.

 

M: Did he tell the priest that he had an affair?

 

L: Yes, eventually, but there was behavior that was happening. And it’s funny because I had noticed this behavior, and I wanted so much to go to his mother and brothers to say something’s not quite right. And I knew when it came out, oh gosh, I have to now go to them, and I was glad because I probably would have been blamed. You know, the shame—his story versus my story, but I did end up going to my mother-in-law, and there was a lot of denial and anger. She said that was not true.

And I remember just trying to convince her that this was going on. And then my son, my older son, had been to tell me as we were leaving in the car one time Dad was on the phone with someone, and he said, “I think he said I love you.” I’m just like, “what?” He told me her name. And I went, “Oh dear.” So the truth was coming out.

For some reason, I did get where she had lived, and he had left for some time. This was 14 years ago—12 or 14 years ago, so there was a moment I remember telling my daughter, ”Daddy’s chosen to leave.” And that’s what I thought. He was leaving.

I don’t know how I knew, but I knew where she lived, and I had gone to the apartment complex and I saw his car, and I ended up knocking on the door. I don’t know how I knew. It was just all those apartment doors. And it was the right one.

He eventually came home, and I was really determined my marriage was not going to fail. This is not happening, and I remember just getting to mass and prayer and just being there as a wife. I told him I’ve been busy with the kids, and  I’m sorry if I’m not as—cannot think of the word, but…

 

M: Available?

 

L: Available to you. Yeah.

 

M: You mentioned the word shame when you went to talk to his mother and his brother. And, of course, you felt shame if her reaction was denial. Because when you go to somebody and you say this is what happened and they deny that, you feel crazy. Like automatically that this is something that you misinterpreted.

 

You take on blame and start questioning yourself. And if you go to somebody else or the same person and say this is what’s going on and their response is anger with you, then you feel shame. That’s where the shame is. When they get angry at you and try to blame you for something happening that was entirely out of your control, that’s where the shame and the guilt come.

 

So when I’m hearing you talk about your mother and his brother’s reaction to you sharing that he had an affair, and then I’m hearing you say you were sorry for being too involved with the kids.

Is there still some shame or a part of you that feels responsible for his affairs?

 

L: Yes and no. I think I could have been more available, but I have to remember that he was under the influence. And there were a lot of times where the intimacy was wonderful, and the next day you would be called these names, and you would just be so hurt because you gave him all of you, and to hear that just really hurt. And I think at that point when he came home, I did put a boundary up that I’m not going to be with you if you’re going to drink.

 

M: Do you mean intimately?

 

L: Intimately. And I noticed, well, that’s not working. It hurt me too, so I let that boundary go. But there were times where it was clearly— because his drinking was increasing and he was a quiet drinker— more of the problems would probably be me going to him and talking to him while he was drinking. And I guess I had a huge problem. It was almost like addiction for me was I didn’t say it right. I just needed to say it like this, or I didn’t say—or there were some more things I needed to say.

And every night I would go in and try to talk to him, and when I say night, it was late—probably after dinner to bedtime. That was the worst time to talk, and I was told don’t go there. He has a beer can. And I could not keep myself from talking to him, and it would go into arguments.

And eventually, the intimacy left, the anger increased, and there was bitterness, hurt, and isolation and escaping.

All that was just taking place, and there’s that other piece to the puzzle about what could be the next stage in our life. Looking back, I wish I would have been more—you know, I’ve been in the program since 2005. It’s Al-Anon that I knew I could not get to these meetings because I couldn’t leave the kids by themselves. So that’s when I started searching online and saw you.

I’ve been reading Al-Anon books, but I really was not able to get to these meetings. But I knew that I needed help. So I’ve been doing the program trying my hardest, but I wish I had taken in all of what to do and not to do. That was really difficult for me. Just to do this and not do this.

You know, don’t count his beer, don’t throw his beer out. I think I just went to my limit of trying to raise the kids and seeing my family broken and me just working at it. And he just came home and hung out at the garage or went back to the bedroom and just drank back and forth while we’re in the living room going one beer after the next. It was pretty tough.

 

M: So you found—if I’m understanding you correctly—you’re saying the part of the program you found difficult was all of the dos and don’ts. You found them hard to stick by.

 

L: Yes. I prayed about it, I read about it, and I even had scriptures for the bedroom door. I think the biggest thing was that it took me a long time to accept, and that’s part of the serenity prayer. You just looked at it so differently. That’s when I was told to accept—that’s when all that bitter anger, hurt, and everything that—I think that the anger was just more from hurt and pain, you know, revenge. It was more resentfulness and unforgiveness. I really tried so hard to work past that.

But when I accepted, that sorrow turned to compassion and repentance. I felt my part I played a lot in, and I was sorry for my part contributing, but I had that compassion. And I did pray about that during that time. I just prayed because it was sad to see him go down that path. And I just wanted so much to go and hug him, and I just…

 

M: So you felt really empathetic once you released the need and accepted the need to control, the need to fix, the need to solve…

 

L: Oh my goodness, yes.

 

M: And then you just released the responsibility and accepted. Now let me ask you a question.

Where are you now in your marriage?

 

L: Well, let’s see, back in January, our nursing stopped with our nurse for 24/7. So I was basically up all night and up all day. We homeschool also. With our oldest in college, I didn’t have the help as much as we used to. And our other children helped a lot. But to stay up all night and up all day and up all night and up all day, I really had this supernatural strength. I knew this is what I had to do. I couldn’t go to my husband for help because he was working and, I just felt he needed to sleep, and I could rest in between. So that went on.

I remember on the weekends, he would stay with our son, but it was difficult because he was on a ventilator. He has a trache and a G-tube, and it’s a lot of stuff going on. If you’re not in the medical field or if you’re drinking, you’re not thinking. And so he had been taking care of him. If I had to go to the grocery store or take the kids to where they needed to be, he would just stay home. And in four hours, there’s something wrong.

So I knew that it probably wasn’t safe, even though he wouldn’t intentionally hurt him. But he was under the influence, and I think my biggest thing is anxiety.

I don’t call myself an anxious person, but when we have a child who’s sick and then the small children, they can go into the hospital in a minute. You can go in a minute. You have no idea. And I would be thinking, “Who’s going to watch? Who’s going to drive?

He’s impaired, and so that would come up in my conversation as my concern. And it would just frustrate me. I’m thinking of what I should have done, but I can’t go back. But I believe in May or April—end of April, beginning of May—I started seeing a pattern again. And he had told me he was going out after work with some guys—and I had been out in the garden—and when he came home, he came up to me outside which I thought was strange, and then he acted like he had the second time I found out there was somebody which was about four years ago.

And I told him he probably needed to move out and talk with his mom because I can’t do this anymore. So that was already tied in with the problems in our marriage—the divorce. I don’t want one. In Florida, you can’t separate. I did not want a divorce.

I just knew that there needed to be a separation, and I couldn’t leave, and he didn’t want to.

So this went on, and I had seen a lawyer just to see my rights at some point during those times, and I just knew this was not what I wanted. This was not what I wanted. But I could not see myself staying. And when this happened this year in April, I started seeing a pattern. And I had intuition with him coming out to the garden and saying where he had gone. It was so random. I could think was, “Uh oh.”

Then, the next week he wasn’t coming home—no texting. And then the next week he wasn’t coming home. I tried texting, and it was getting to be 12:30 – 1 o’clock in the morning, and he’s not answering. I didn’t know if I should put a missing report out because he wasn’t home, and he saw that. He texted back, and then he came home.

The next day I came home with the kids from their outing for the day, and he had been in the bedroom on the phone with a beer in the bed. And it was the drinking bed. This is where he missed dinners. He’d go back and forth. He would just escape into the bedroom, and I just tried to talk to him to let him know that I was tired and asked if he could help out and if he could just sit with Keaton so I could rest for 20 minutes.

He just ignored me and went outside to the garage to drink. That was another drinking spot. And it was just another “Please, come in.” It was just me trying to get him to be part of the family. And then he had come in and was upset because I had said “Come in. It’s dinnertime.” He was talking to a neighbor, and I happened to say, “But I’m your wife. We’re married, and we have children, and dinners ready, and I need help.”

Somehow we ended up in our bedroom, and I stood there at the bed, and I don’t know what he said. I remember being calm, and I said, “I can’t do this anymore,” And I started stripping the sheets off the bed. And then I started— this wasn’t planned—taking the mattress—and I looked up and noticed one of my sons was standing in the bedroom. Looking back, I’m like, “What was he doing there?” He helped me take the mattresses, and I just carried them off to the garage. I can’t do this anymore.

And I didn’t know what I couldn’t do. Maybe it was hearing where he’s at. It was a trigger. That was a trigger for me. He’s with somebody, and I can’t do this anymore. And that was my only way of saying, “No more.”

And I know there were times where I had probably gotten mad and thrown clothes outside. You know what I mean? I think that was one of the craziest things I did. And I probably should have done more.

 

M: Yeah, this disease makes us do crazy stuff. We are very smart, gifted women, and this disease brings us to a level where I’m embarrassed to say. I look back on that, and I think I was insane—that insanity-like behavior.

 

L: Yes. I think what happened was he texted on those two days after: “Is my bed back?” And I simply said, “No.” And looking back, I should have been more communicative. Communicating to him: “This is why,” but I just felt in my mind he needed help, and I couldn’t enable him anymore. I was just going to see where this led.

 

M: Well, where is he now?

 

L: Now, those two days—that was Monday in the beginning of May. Tuesday and Wednesday he was at a hotel I guess. No, Wednesday and Thursday he was, and then Friday he came home. He said, “Do you want me to move out? And I said, “No, but I can’t be treated like this.” And he just told me he was moving out. He had a place. And I asked, “where?” I guessed where it was, and it was—I don’t know how I knew this—but our neighbor’s son—he was going to his place. And I just was crushed by that it was such *talk over

 

M: Was it another drinking buddy?

 

L: No. It was a young younger guy. In fact, he had problems with his father. He doesn’t talk to him. And I was hurt that our neighbor would be so—they don’t know. They’re just there to help, and I guess that’s what happened. So he had been—

 

M: You don’t know what he said to that boy. That’s the thing: sometimes you can be very hurt by the people who you sit there and go, “How could you be on his side?” or “How could you partake in this?” And we have to give the people the benefit. Addiction is so cunning, and it’s so manipulative. I don’t know what addiction said to that person, but I doubt it’s the truth of what really going on.

Okay, so he moved in with this neighborhood boy. And he left you, and you weren’t prepared for this. You were feeling like: wait a second, I wasn’t asking you to move out. I was just asking for some time away. But now he’s taken the lead, and he’s moved out.

How did you feel about that?

 

L: Yes. Oh, well, taking the lead is was what he eventually did. I know there was a time where we weren’t talking for a couple of weeks, and then we were texting, and it was, “I love you and the kids so much.” And it was very helpful. One day I happened to call—I believe it was in June—the end of June—and I happened to call to see how he was doing, and he said, “Good.”

Just to back up—I know my son had wanted to talk to him because at this point we have the four kids at home, and he really has not been communicating. And he left without saying goodbye. He just took off. He didn’t come to say goodbye to any of the children. And so that was concerning, and I know at one point, my son tried to text him to see how he was doing, He said, “I’m doing great.” What my son had texted was a lot of hurt and pain.

And his response to “I’m doing great” was “Did you just read my text? I don’t believe your lies, and you need help.” And there was no response.

So that was in June when I called to see how he was doing. I told him that I wasn’t doing well, that I missed him, and I really broke down. It was on my way a meeting with a spiritual director who was helping me through this. I think I cried the whole way over and he was yelling that he had retained a lawyer. He’s not sure if he going for a divorce or separation, and so I don’t think this backfired, but it didn’t go the way that I wanted it.

And so two weeks later, I was served with papers, and I am praying and praying and praying. I emailed my mother-in-law. I told her, “I come in peace as your daughter-in-law.” I just threw out, “I love Mark. He’s the man I want to be married to” and all his good qualities, but this is what has been going on. And I should have called the police from time to time, or I should have gotten a restraining order, and I didn’t. And there was a lot of shame and embarrassment that I didn’t follow through with. It didn’t happen all the time, but it happened and…

 

M: It sounds to me like you’re in a space right now where you’re analyzing everything that you’ve done in the past, everything that he did in the past, and kind of holding yourself accountable and responsible for the things that you feel like you should have done differently which would have changed the outcome of the situation.

Is that an accurate assessment?

 

L: Absolutely. And all I can do right now is look forward and do what I can do and learn from what—I didn’t do it this way, but I have a chance to do it this way today. Right now, the divorce is on hold. The next week, he lost his job. This is the second lay off in the last four years.

 

M: Why do you still want to be with him?

What makes you sit here and go, “This is something that I want to continue and not only continue, but welcome back into my life and welcome back into my kid’s lives”? Has he stopped drinking?

 

L: I don’t know. I know when he’s come to the house to pick up the mail, he does not smell like alcohol.

 

M: Is he saying he’s stopped drinking? Have you asked him?

 

L: He told me that he was getting help, and I don’t know where. I kind of changed where I’m accepting it and learning that—I think listening to, I believe your friend Dana, had lived—so I felt like okay, I can have a choice in this. And I clearly did not want a divorce. There needed to be a separation. I was never thinking divorce. So I hope that during the separation, we can reconcile and that we can put things aside, you know, have the tools…

 

M: I want to make sure I understand. Because this is super important, and you’re going to be speaking to a bunch of women who are going to say, “Yeah, I don’t want to leave either. I’m not comfortable living by myself. I’m not comfortable with divorce.” For whatever reason.

For some women, it’s financial. For some women, it’s the emotional—you’re still in love. And the idea of not being with that person makes you feel so uncomfortable that you’d rather be with that person no matter what kind of troubles or circumstances come from that. Some women I know choose to stay because they don’t want the responsibility or the feeling of guilt for breaking up a family.

Some women choose to stay because they feel that God or their church would not support them. whatever the reason is—and there are a dozen more—I know that those women are probably listening to you right now going, “You know, I’ve been there where I hear my words, I hear my story, and most people would tell me ‘You need to leave’ or ‘Why haven’t you left?’ But I’m just not there yet. I’m not interested in that decision right now.”

So I know there are some women here who will be able to identify with exactly what you’re feeling and your desires are.

But I want to be super clear. So what you’re saying to me, and correct me if I’m wrong, is you’re saying, “Michelle, I have my eyes wide open. I’ve overcome the denial that I once was in, so the scales have been removed from my eyes. I can see clearly now who he is, what this marriage is about, what he has to offer, what my roles in this were, and how I can take responsibility and accountability.”

“I see the reality of the situation, and I’m willing to accept it. I’m willing to live with it. I am willing to embrace it and to welcome him back home and try to work together not knowing the final outcome, but be willing to go ‘let’s start again; let’s start a new beginning. I have learned lessons, and I am excited to share with you what I’ve learned, and hopefully, you can make the commitment to me that you will learn some lessons too.’”

Is that where you’re at today?

 

L: That is where I’m at. In fact, I’ve texted him this morning, and I was praying about it—pretty much the same thing. I mean, almost exactly the same thing. And I just put it out there. We’ll be married 24 years in October. We’ve grown up together; we have children, we have a life— it’s funny because that’s the last thing I said to him getting in the car when he was leaving: “I hope God removes the scales from your eyes.”

And I had told him, ‘Mark, I said that to you, and the scales from my eyes have been removed.” I am at peace. I have this joy and this compassion. I’m overwhelmed with this desire to hug him. I would do anything to hug him again. I didn’t realize that living in that moment of “I just can’t do this anymore. He needs to get out.”

I would love to help someone else if they’re in that decision because when you’re where I am right now, the chances of them being in the home—you’re that loving presence to them more than when they’re out of the home. We don’t know where they are going. I don’t know where he is right now. He could be with his—I don’t know. And I try not to go there. I just try to trust. I’m married, and I’m still his wife, and I’ll always be.

And I want to let others know that I’ve learned to accept. That love and compassion was just a gift.

And I could see clearly—and you know there is peace in this home. The children have stated times they were glad he was not here, so I’ve been keeping peace and keeping Dad in prayer just as if he’s going to come home.

I’m teaching them that you have to listen to Mom and Dad, so it includes him. It’s praying for him. It’s accepting our responsibilities and forgiving. They’re hurting, they feel abandoned, they feel hurt, they feel a lot of emotions. A lot of times they don’t want to see him again. Sometimes they’re stuck in the middle.

 

M: That’s a natural position to be in. That’s ok. It’s ok to be in the middle. You should be in the middle because that’s your job to be in the middle. You’re their advocate; you are their parent. You are the sober one. You’re the sane one. It’s your job to protect, and you are the boundary that should be and is appointed to be and is chosen to be by God in between them and addiction. And that’s your Godly responsibility. And so that is not something that you can’t handle; otherwise, God wouldn’t have given you children and put you in this situation.

You are completely capable of being in the middle of them and should be in the middle of them. To go back and forth as if you’re going to continue this relationship. And even if you were to leave, you still are the point of contact that is responsible for the advocacy of your children between them and addiction. So no matter what you decide to do, that’s a position that needs—you need to feel very comfortable in or get to the point where you’re comfortable in it because obviously, it takes time,

I really appreciate you sharing your story with me, and I really appreciate the fact—this is what I love about this community.

I’ve been doing many of these interviews now, and what I love is that every woman’s story is different. And every woman’s story has some lesson and some ending to share. And there’s no judgment. There’s absolutely no judgment whether you leave or your stay.

We are all in this together. We can all learn from one another. And you choosing to stay does not make you weak, just like someone choosing to leave doesn’t make them strong. It’s just a personal decision that is made with each woman. So I love the fact that you took solace in Dana’s testimony. That’s my best friend, one of them, but she’s been my best friend since college.

And they are very happily married. He is a phenomenal man who is such a hands-on dad. They come to visit us and the way he cares for his kids—he lets us sit for hours and chat while he takes them to the playground and puts them in the pool and takes them out for ice cream.

So he’s very very involved, not only with his kids, but he runs the family business. And I just think he’s a great role model. They are great role models as a couple for two people who chose to remain together, committed to their marriage and also committed to their children and committed to the fact that sobriety is the goal.

It might not have a perfect track record, and relapses do occur, but there is a constant commitment to effort. And I think that is where you can successfully remain together: if two people are both trying hard to make the marriage work. But There are actual words behind the commitment. I think you can remain happily married—lovingly married.

I don’t ever hear Dana tell me that she’s thinking about leaving. He knows what I do for a living. I’ve interviewed him before, and he feels very comfortable with our friendship—that we go for girls weekends because he knows I’m not going to try and convince her to leave. This is not what this is about, so I think it’s absolutely possible.

I will be joining you in prayer that his scales are removed from his eyes. For you, for your kids. I’ll pray for your future together, and I love your story. Thank you so much.

 

L: Thank you. I’m so blessed. It was a joy to share, and I hope to help others. Thank you so much for all you do.Thank you

 

M: Absolutely sweetie. Alright, you take care.

 

What I love about this story is that Laura represents a part of our community that wants to stay married. In her heart, she wants to cling to and hold tight to the man who is still struggling with his disease. And there is never any judgment about that. We can choose to stay or go and be happy in both situations if we are willing to accept the truth and be willing to work at our recovery rather than trying to resolve theirs.

 

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