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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Don't blame me

A couple of days ago I had a conversation with my ex-husband in the grocery store parking lot. He was going, I was coming. He had some interesting news to share with me. First he said he had been in the hospital for 10 days, with all sorts of things wrong with him, including pneumonia. Perhaps he should stop smoking? He also shared without emotion, "my kidneys finally gave out and I am on dialysis three times a week".

I also had no emotion hearing his news. He has probably been drinking and smoking since he was 10. Whatever is about to happen, I feel he did it himself. I was drug into his drama for 27 years until the day, 15 years ago, when I had reached my limit and said enough.

Looking back at our relationship I see that we lived in a circle. He drank, then I yelled and called him names, then he drank some more; using me as an excuse for his habit. For many years I think I took the blame, not having the courage to walk out and face life alone.

People don't realize how difficult it is to be married to an alcoholic who is still able to keep a job. On the outside everything looks good, but behind closed doors it is a totally different story. The children of the relationship are not able to understand how emotionally stressful the situation is to the spouse who doesn't drink. Their view is that of a child and they often grow up blaming the wrong parent.

It has taken years for me to realize that I was not to blame. I never once took a bottle or a glass and forced the contents down my husband's throat. He did that all by himself. Hopefully before the end he will take responsibility for his own actions and not blame me.

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