Sunday, October 28th, Day Fifty-Four, Peace
If you would like to join me in this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.
Last night I weighed my values, deciding to value my husband’s life over our marriage. I fear that my choice will engender strife in my marriage. I was not able to sleep in peace last night. That does not mean however that my choice was wrong. I just need to seek the Lord again for peace. There may be a way to marital peace, even if I do not get my husband’s alcohol. He is sober currently and has been for about a month. If we start with sobriety, that will help.
Even before we married, my husband experienced events that were the result of his drinking. He would seek my help afterwards. I had the understanding that he was going to stay sober from that point and would help him. He would go to AA, and I often went with him. Later and sometimes not that much later, he would drink again and break my heart. We would stay together for a time, then he would insist that I get his alcohol. I would refuse. He would get upset. That would precipitate a breakup. This pattern went on and on. I finally decided that if we were to get married, to keep the peace, I would have to agree to get his alcohol. Then he would not get upset and precipitate a breakup. The problem: read yesterday’s entry. He is now disabled and not even able to do alcohol rehab. However, he still wants to drink!
I could go back to refusing to get his alcohol, but that will most likely instigate strife in our marriage. This is probably the dilemma of all spouses of alcoholics. What do we do? How can I find peace and have my husband live a long life too?
Could I Change?
Maybe I have to just take his upset when I tell my husband no. However, being a highly sensitive person, I have not been able to do that in the past. Is there any way I could change and take it now?
The most obvious thing to do is to go to Al-Anon. That way I would have a support group if I run into problems with my husband. I tried going to Al-Anon when I first came to Colorado, but my husband, who was then my fiancé, blocked me from going. I have not tried since. It is only three miles away, but even that short of a drive is draining on my energy. However, I could possibly go twice a month and take Lyft. I have not thought of that possibility before. I could go this week while he is still in rehab. If I feel up to it, I could even drive.
Perhaps I Am Wrong
I just returned from church. I do not feel the peace I had hoped to find in my decision last night. Perhaps it is wrong. Perhaps I am listening to my husband’s son rather than my husband. Perhaps I should value the marriage first over my husband’s life and do what my husband asks. Maybe it is better to be a widow than a divorcee. It would be okay to break my word, but should I do it? That I do not know. I have two sets of competing values.
What Would Jesus Do?
What would Jesus do? When Jesus was asked for wine, He provided it, a lot of it, miraculously. Did He ask if any of the wedding guests were alcoholics? Did He express concern that any of them might die from imbibing? Did He put restrictions on how much any of the guests could consume? Did He put any warning labels on the containers about how dangerous the wine was? And He was the perfect example!
Man has sought to improve on this example by establishing rule upon rule, but does that keep alcoholism from happening? If God Himself will not keep man from self-destruction, should I try? Why should I risk my marriage over it? Yes, my husband could die, but he will die before all that long anyway. Why have a life of strife beforehand? Why give up our peace? Perhaps it is my husband who is going to have to decide that he will not drink, not his wife. Hopefully, he will choose in favor of his life. Al-Anon is great, but they set wives against husbands in many instances, resulting in divorce.
Do I Want a Falling Out Too?
Both possibilities have strong arguments. It probably is not fair for my step-son to put it on me to keep my husband from drinking. I can probably not keep him from drinking, if he is of mind to. My step-son himself had a falling out with my husband because he opposed his drinking. If I oppose my husband when he wants to drink, I will most likely have a falling out too. It has already happened way too many times.
I am Feeling More At Peace Now
I am starting to feel more at peace now. Let my husband decide. He has been through the pain of rehab, the pain of not being able to walk or drive. Maybe it has not been painful enough. All of this attention has been lavished on him. Medicare has paid for it.
He does have to wait a while for me. I am washing his pajama pants right now, so I can take them with me to the rehab center. Hopefully, my husband will choose life. Yes, it would be okay to break my word. No, I do not have to. God himself did not force the wedding guests to not drink if it was dangerous for them. How can I force my husband? I highly value life; I highly value peace.
Choosing Life and Peace
Yesterday at the rehab center I played some peaceful piano music for my husband. Some other guests, residents, and staff enjoyed it too. Later in the day, I talked to my husband about choosing life. I could tell he still wanted to drink, which was disappointing. However, I kept up my own mood by thinking of cooperating with him rather than opposing him. We need peace in our marriage.
It might be heroic to think of saving my husband as that kid saved my renter from shooting himself, but in the long run, my husband has to choose life himself. I cannot choose it for him. If I try to force him not to drink, we are both going to have a miserable life and lose the peace we have enjoyed so far in our marriage.
Of course, I will think about this some more, weighing my values and thinking about my husband’s as well. Over the years, he has attended hundreds of AA meetings, so he has heard story after story of how alcohol nearly ruined people’s lives and how they were saved by sobriety. Participants continually reminded him to be grateful for sobriety. Maybe he has forgotten all of that by now. In virtually every case I remember, it was not the pleading of a sober spouse, but rather an adverse event, usually a DUI, jail time, or both, that precipitated change.
I woke up very early this morning, about 3:40 AM. After writing two paragraphs, I went back to bed, and slept in until about 6:40 AM. I started eating and drinking before I entirely eliminated, making my weight hard to measure.
I Am At Peace
I am at peace compared to yesterday morning. Setting out to single-handedly save my spouse is an undertaking that is not only perilous emotionally, financially, physically, and spiritually, it is probably not going to work. What will work? I think just loving him and giving him something to live for will work wonders. He said he finds purpose in taking care of me. Yesterday, he even offered to pay for a day of my Lyft rides!