How To Give Up Control Of Your Loved One’s Addiction

How To Give Up Control Of Your Loved One’s Addiction

When we love someone suffering from addiction, life can feel out of control and completely chaotic. When we’re at a loss for what to do, it’s easy to resort to trying to control every little thing. 

And who wouldn’t? I know I did for a long time. There’s never any judgment here. But today, let’s explore letting go of that control. What happens then? 

We have an interview for you this week with our sister, Laura. Laura is part of two of our programs: Love Over Addiction and Love Over Boundaries.

She found us when she was searching for options where she didn’t have to leave the house, but could work on her own healing. She knew she couldn’t leave her kids with her husband suffering from addiction, but she also knew she needed help.

Laura gets extremely vulnerable here. She’s brutally honest with me, and not afraid to make mistakes and learn from them. She’s still working on her own healing.

Her desire is to stay married to her husband suffering from addiction, but as you’ll hear, it’s been a rough ride.

Let’s make space for Laura and her story. Please sit back, make a cup of tea, or head out on a walk, and listen to her powerful words.

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 addiction?

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. We both drank then, 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. So it was pretty early on in our dating life.

I really didn’t think anything of it or any problems that could occur in the future.

Michelle: 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?

Laura:

His behavior was happy, fun, but then it could turn into mean and not caring easily.

You know, if I said, “Oh it’s a lot. You’re having another one,” he’d just make an excuse or get upset that I was pointing it out in the first place.

Michelle: I have to say Laura, you do realize and recognize now that when he was doing that to you early on in the relationship, that was addiction. Addiction was trying to train you to stay quiet, and not bring up the drinks. His anger was actually trying to shame you or scare you so that you wouldn’t bring it up in the future.

Laura:

Yes, I do now.

But I didn’t realize that until going to the Love Over Addiction program many years later.

Michelle: I know you didn’t grow up in a house with alcoholism or addiction. And so, if you’ve had no experience with addiction, how are you supposed to know?

There’s no way we could know, so we learn as we go.

Laura: After we had our children, I did see some drinking that was he wasn’t able to stop. I remember that very clearly. It was a habit. And looking back, I can connect the dots to it becoming a real problem (and habit).

I can come home and have a glass of wine or a beer for dinner, I was fine with it. I could stop. But I could see over the years it had increased for him.

He was trying to escape with the drinking.

He clearly could not stop at certain times.

Michelle: That’s one of the biggest problems with this disease: It’s a progressive disease. So what used to be able to get them drunk and give them that feeling they were looking for, doesn’t anymore. Because of the increased tolerance, it takes more and more to actually get to that point of euphoria or numbness, whatever you’re looking for, 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.

Laura: Yes. Yes, it is.

Michelle:

When did you decide to marry him, and did you have any reservations about marrying him now that you could see there was a lot of drinking going on?

Laura: I had no reservations about marrying him.

The drinking, at that time, wasn’t an issue, even though I was seeing those certain times where he didn’t stop. To me, there wasn’t a problem because he was with me. We were together. He wanted to do things as a couple, and as a family, so I never thought it’d be a problem beyond that.

Michelle: So you weren’t worried?

Laura: 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?

There were certainly arguments, and looking back, it was related to the addiction, but when I was in the moment, I didn’t connect those dots. I didn’t know where the anger was coming from, but now I know it was indeed coming from the alcohol. I just didn’t recognize it at the time.

Michelle: Yes, that totally makes sense. You didn’t realize it was the addiction at that point.

Laura: Exactly

Michelle: 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.

Laura: Exactly

Michelle: That makes total sense. So now you’re married, and you’ve mentioned children, tell me about them.

Laura: I have five children.

Michelle: You have five kids?

Laura: Yes, I have five.

Michelle: We’re bearing that cross together then?

Laura: 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.

Michelle: 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?

Laura: 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. 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 so much medically. We’ve had nursing, but we’ve had to really raise him with the difficulties of trying to find proper medical care and the diagnoses add a lot of extra stress.

But we managed through it. He gave me a son, and we wanted a big family. And really his special needs have nothing to do with the addiction, it’s just that he requires a lot of special care.

So my husband would come from and just drink. 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.

I had major frustration by just trying to get him to get up and go anywhere or do anything.

He drank every day. Every single 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.

Michelle:

It truly is a roller coaster ride.

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.

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 so tragic and hurtful.

It leaves you managing everything while they go to 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?

Laura: 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 2005, I think. And I remember I was driving home with the kids in the truck all happy and my life was full of peace and joy. Then 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.

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

Laura: Sure.

I wanted to be in denial, but things just kept popping up.

I started seeing his anger towards me through his actions. I know he saw a priest about this, and he was told to go to his wife, but he didn’t. He shared that with me later.

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

Laura: Yes, eventually, but there was inappropriate 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, I have to now go to them, and I was glad because I probably would have been blamed. There would have been shame, it would’ve been his story versus my story.

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.

Then one day, my older son told me that as they were leaving in the car, his Dad was on the phone with someone. He said, “I think she said I love you.”

And I’m thinking “WHAT?”. He hold me her name, and the truth just started coming out.

For some reason, I did get where she had lived, and he had left for some time. This was 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.

I was really determined my marriage was not going to fail.

This is not happening, and I remember just getting to mass, going to prayer and just being there as a wife. I told him I’ve been busy with the kids, and I’m sorry if I haven’t been available.

Michelle:

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?

Laura: Yes and no. I think I could have been more available, but I have to remember that he was under the influence. There were a lot of times where the intimacy was wonderful, but the next day I’d be called these names. I’d just be so hurt because I gave him all of me the night before. I ended up putting a boundary up that I wouldn’t be with him if he’d been drinking.

Michelle: Do you mean intimately?

Laura: Yes, intimately. It wasn’t effective, because it hurt me too. So I let that boundary go.

His drinking just started increasing more and more. He was a quiet drinker. The problems started when I would go and talk to him while he was drinking.

And I guess I had a huge problem.

It was like, the addiction for me was saying it right. I would just fester on what I said, how I said it. Thinking that I should have said it this way, or I should have said that instead. I always felt there was so much more I needed to say.

Every night, he’d be drinking, and I’d just want to talk to him. I tried so hard not to go in there, but it’s like I couldn’t help myself. I knew he had a beer can, I knew he was drunk, and I knew we shouldn’t be talking right now.

I couldn’t keep myself from talking to him. So I’d go in, and we’d get into arguments late into the night.

Eventually, the intimacy left, the anger increased, and there was bitterness, hurt, 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’ve been more, you know? I’ve been in the program since 2005. With Al-Anon 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 found you.

I’ve been reading Al-Anon books, but I really was not able to get to these meetings.

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.

Michelle: So 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.

Laura: Yes. I prayed about it. I read about it. I even had scriptures for the bedroom door.

I think the biggest thing was that it took me a long time to accept

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 comes with it really set in. I was in so much pain and had so much hurt. It was more resentfulness and unforgiveness. I really tried so hard to work past that.

But when I was able to accept, 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…

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

Laura: Oh my goodness, yes.

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

Where are you now in your marriage?

Laura: Well, back in January, our nursing stopped so we no longer had 24/7 care. Because of that, I was basically up all night and up all day. We also homeschool. Our oldest one is in college now, so I didn’t have the help as much as we used to have. But all our other children helped a lot.

Somehow I was able to stay up all night, then stay up all day, then up all night again.

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 for awhile.

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 clearly.

My husband 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. 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 would be impaired, and that’s what would come up in my conversation with him as my primary concern. And I’d just get frustrated. I’m thinking about what I should have done, but I can’t go back now.

Recently I started seeing a pattern again. He’d told me that he was going out after work with some guys. I was out in the garden when he came home, and he came over to me outside, which I thought was strange. He was acting like he was the second time I’d found out he was having an affair, which was about four years ago.

I told him he probably needed to move out, and talk with his mom because I couldn’t do this anymore. That was already tied in with the problems in our marriage, and divorce.

I knew I didn’t want a divorce.

In Florida, you can’t separate. I didn’t 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. I just knew divorce was not what I wanted.

But I couldn’t see myself staying.

Especially after seeing the pattern again, and knowing he was probably having another affair.

I had intuition with him coming out to the garden and saying where he had gone. It was so random. And all I could think was, “Uh oh.”

And then the next week he wasn’t coming home, no texts or calls. I tried texting, and it was getting to be 1:00 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 in bed. This is where he missed dinners. He would go back and forth. He would just escape into the bedroom. 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 dinner’s ready, and I need help.”

Somehow we ended up in our bedroom, and I stood there at the bed.
I don’t even remember how we got in there or most of what I said. I remember being calm.

I remember saying “I can’t do this anymore.”

And I started stripping the sheets of the bed. I hadn’t planned to do this, it seemed almost unconscious. I started taking the mattress off the frame. My son had come into the room, and I don’t even know why because normally, no children would’ve been in there. He helped me carry the mattress out to the garage.

To be honest, I didn’t even know what I couldn’t do anymore. Maybe it was the fact I needed a break, maybe it was knowing he was having another affair. I’m not sure. But it came from deep within.

And that was my only way of saying, “No more.”

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.

Michelle: Yeah, this disease makes us do crazy stuff. We’re 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.

Laura: Yes. He ended up texting on the two days after: “Is my bed back?” And I simply said, “No.”

And looking back, I should have been more communicative. Saying something like, “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 went.

Michelle:

Well, where is he now?

Laura: He stayed at a hotel for a few nights. On Friday he came home. He asked if I wanted him to move out. And I said that no, I didn’t. But that I couldn’t be treated like that anymore.

And he just told he that he was moving out. He had a place. I knew where it was, it was a place with our neighbor’s son. It had to be. I was crushed by that.

Michelle: Was it another drinking buddy?

Laura: No. It was a 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… accepting. They just didn’t know what was really going on. They were just trying to help, so that’s what happened.

Michelle: 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 of the doubt.

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 was really going on.

So he moved in with this young neighbor kid.

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?

Laura: Yes. Taking the lead is was what he eventually did. There was a time that we didn’t speak to each other for a couple of weeks. Then we were texting, and he said that he loved me and missed the kids so much. That was very helpful to hear.

I know my son had wanted to talk to him too, because at that point, we had four kids in the home.

My husband hadn’t communicated with any of them.

He’d just left. He didn’t say goodbye to the children. That was concerning to me.

So my son had tried to text him to see how he was doing. My husband responded that he was doing great. But my son had texted a lot of hurt and pain. My son’s response to his father’s ‘I’m doing great’ text was “Did you just read my text? I don’t believe your lies, you need help.” My husband didn’t respond to him.

One day I did call him to see how he was doing. He said he was doing good. I told him that I wasn’t doing well and that I missed him. I really broke down and cried. I was on my way to a meeting, and I just cried the whole way over. All the while he was yelling that he’d retained a lawyer. He said he wasn’t sure if he wanted a divorce or separation.

It was about two weeks later that I was served with divorce papers

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.

Michelle: 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?

Laura: Absolutely.

All I can do right now is look forward and do what I can do and learn from what’s been done.

I didn’t do it this way in the past, 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.

Michelle:

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 kids’ lives?”

Has he stopped drinking?

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

Michelle:

Is he saying he’s stopped drinking?

Have you asked him?

Laura: He told me that he was getting help, but I don’t know where from or what kind. I’ve shifted where I’m trying to accept it. I listened to an interview with your friend Dana in the Love Over Boundaries program. She decided to stay with her husband suffering from addiction, and I was really inspired by that.

I don’t want to get a divorce.

I do hope during the separation, that we can reconcile and work things out. We can put the past aside and focus on the future.

Michelle: 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, that you truly are 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 their faith makes that decision for them. Whatever the reason may be, and trust me, there are dozens more reasons.

You know, I’ve been there.

When you tell your story and people hear where you’re at, they might say ‘you need to leave’ or ‘why haven’t you left yet’ or ‘how could you possibly stay’.

So I know there are some women here who will be able to identify with exactly what you’re feeling. You’re certainly not alone.

But I do want to be super clear. What you’re saying to me, and correct me if I’m wrong, but 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 am 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?

Laura:

That is where I’m at.

In fact, I’ve texted him this morning, 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. I have 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: I just can’t do this anymore. He needs to get out.

I would love to help someone else if they’re in this decision, because when you’re where I am right now. When they’re in your home, you’re that loving presence to them more so than when they’re outside of the home. 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 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 I’m stuck in the middle.

Michelle:

That’s a natural position to be in. That’s okay.

It’s okay 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’re their parent, you’re the sober one, you’re the sane one. It’s your job to protect, and you’re the boundary between them and addiction. And of course you can handle it. Because otherwise you wouldn’t have been put in this position.

You’re 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 that 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 you stay. And no judgment on your decisions.

If you’re reading this, thinking, I would never do it that way, that’s totally okay. We’d never expect that of you. We trust each woman and her intuition to make the decisions that are right for her.

And inside our Love Over Addiction online program, you’ll learn how to develop those skills, master them, and practice. It truly is life changing.

We’re all in this together. We can all learn from one another.

If you’re choosing to stay, that does not make you weak. And if you’re choosing to leave, you’re not weak either. You’re not giving up. It’s just a personal decision that is made with each woman.

I love the fact that you took solace in Dana’s testimony inside the Love Over Boundaries program. That’s my best friend, one of them, but she’s been my best friend since college.

And they’re 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 is amazing. 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’re 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 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. 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.

Laura:

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.

Michelle: Absolutely.

We all have different stories. We all have different backgrounds, family origins, different faiths. We’re all so different. Please remember sister, we never do judgment here. Towards our sisters, and even towards our own selves.

Laura was brave enough to share her personal story with us, and I hope you found some nuggets you can take away. Even if your situation is different, or you would’ve decided something different, that’s totally okay.

Please take a moment and send Laura a positive thought, a little love, or a prayer if that’s your thing. Thank her for sharing her story and being vulnerable with us.

Do you have any feedback about her story? Do you have a story of your own that you want to share? You can record a voice message for us here: https://loveoveraddiction.com/podcast-recorder/

We love to hear from you.

Are you interested in the programs that Laura has taken?
Click here to learn more about Love Over Addiction.
Click here to learn more about Love Over Boundaries.

Explore the Love Over Addiction program

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Remember being fun? Laughing? Feeling giddy? Being carefree? Addiction can take all those things away from you and replace them with worry, anxiety, fear, and anger. It doesn’t have to be that way. Discover how to change your life and your relationship today.

Explore the Love Over Addiction: Stay or Go program

Have you ever wondered? Or maybe you know… but you don’t know how. Staying or leaving your relationship is a huge decision. There are questions you need to ask yourself, and ways to prepare no matter what you decide. Find out how to make this decision, even if you’re not ready to make it today.

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