Why I Decided to Leave My Marriage

Did I ever tell you one of the reasons I decided to leave my husband was because of a basketball hoop we purchased for my kids’ Christmas gift?

My six-year-old son really wanted to learn how to play basketball. And we had just enough space in our backyard to set up a real basketball hoop so he could safely practice. This hoop was not the plastic kind for little kids. This was the heavy, 10-foot, NBA kind.

On Christmas morning, my oldest son opened the big gift. But tears started rolling down his cheeks when he realized it had to be assembled.

I looked at my husband and waited to see if he would grab some tools and get started. Instead of assembling his son’s new toy, he got in his car on Christmas day to meet his drug dealer.

My teenage brother came to the rescue and put together the basketball hoop in the cold, snowy weather for hours until his hands became numb and the sun went to sleep. All that work just to see my kids enjoy their gift.

That’s the kind of love my children needed. But it was not the kind of love they had.

Their father was sick and kept choosing drugs over his family, but why did I have to choose to live with his decision?

He was leaving his family for days at a time to get high, but why didn’t I take the kids and leave?


A few months later, I did leave.  It was well-planned and it took a village. I would have stayed if he got sober.

Breaking up a family was never what I wanted.  But then again, I didn’t break up a family by leaving him.  

Addiction broke up my family.

Driving down 1-75 in a big U-Haul to start a new life in Florida, I was scared, lonely, and broke. I was a single mom who had tried everything she could to not be single. But there I was with a belly full of anxiety and three babies, headed toward our next chapter.

There was a surprise I found while planning our new life… courage. It turns out, I was full of it. Addiction tried to convince me I was worthless and used up. But with each step I took to leave, I found some deeply buried courage that was waiting to be re-discovered.

Courage is a funny thing… it only appears when you really need it. It’s not something you feel when you’re brushing your teeth or reading a book or folding laundry. Courage lays low. It’s stuffed deep between your joints and only shows up when necessary.

So if you’re stuck and remaining comfortable in your pain because you’re afraid or listening to the lies of addiction, you’re never going to pull up that courage that’s waiting for you.

Courage is begging to prove that you’re capable of saying and doing that thing you’ve been wanting to do or say. You just need to put the plan in motion and follow through. You can count on your courage. It’s always reliable and never-ending.

You’re a survivor. You’re an advocate and a defender. You were gifted by God with courage and that’s why you’re commanded to be strong and courageous. He wouldn’t ask you to do something you’re incapable of.

Your courage is waiting… are you going to use it?

Are you ready to take your healing to the next level?

Love Over Addiction is here for you.

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Love Over Addiction is a private self-study recovery program just for women who love someone who drinks too much or suffers from substance use disorder.

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