Dave: Why have you staid with me all this time?
Me: Because I love you.
This may seem like a simplistic answer, but love is hard. We’ve weathered a number of storms. I could write a novel filled with grievances, as well as mistakes as we’ve tried to re-chart our course, but I’d rather continue our journey together. Every day we have an opportunity to succeed.
I do not want to belittle our struggle, so I will only say this: Alcoholism is a kind of vampirism. It’s not the cool, new-age vampires that are sparkly, independently wealthy, looking for centuries for that one true soulmate to grant immortality. Alcoholism sucks the soul, energy, and sanity of all of those that love you.
I believe that there is only one constant: love. Despite all that is happened, I love you. I have loved you. I always have and I always will. We met when we were children. Fell in love when we were children. You are and have always been my one true love. We’ve been together for 17 years. When we were young it seemed as though we could conquer anything. I had such faith that we would be fine, but we are not fine. Alcoholism is a disease. We are treating it as a disease. Yes, there have been relapses. You get up. You start another day. You find an AA meeting. You go to therapy. You go to work. You see the doctors. You listen to the criticism. That takes strength. And with every day, we are stronger then yesterday.
When I was young, I thought I knew everything. I thought I could handle anything. Hubris. Pride made me not ask for help. Pride kept me quiet. Pride was my only companion. I recognize now that I know very little. There is a certain kind of wisdom in that.
I cannot fix you. The only person in the wide world that I can change is myself. That is hard enough. I cannot make you get out of bed today. The loss of the job hurt us both. I worked all week. Now I am cleaning and doing laundry. You went to the treatment program last night. You got out of bed early in the wee hours of the morning to attend an AA meeting. Came home. Went to bed. You started smoking cigarettes again. The group said it was fine if it kept you from drinking. I will trust in the knowledge of others. I don’t know what I’m doing. All I can truly offer is myself. You will never be alone. Because I love you.
I also recognize that in some relationships, love is not enough. Only you can make that decision in your heart of hearts. Marriage takes hard work and commitment by both parties or it will fail. Marriage involves compromise and understanding. One has to do what is best for him or her: mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially. I do not believe in divorce, nor do I judge other’s choices. This is our story. These are our choices.