Monday, November 17, 2008

Marriage Isn't for Sissies Part 2

Con't ... did something that could potentially destroy your marriage?

Last week, I attended my first support group for addicts and partners of addicts. While I don't want everyone in cyberspace to know what addiction my husband suffers from, I will acknowledge that we've been stuck in a dark period of our marriage for the past 10 years due to his addiction. It's like that picture of a kitten hanging on for dear life to a branch and asking God to help him/her.

We got to the place for the support group. There were all types of men and women there--and all kinds of addicts ranging from alcohol, drugs, and sexual addictions. I took one look in the room for women (they separate men and women) and I backed away. I told my husband, "I can't do this. I'm not like that. I'm better than this!"

Yikes, I was in denial--big time! I tried to back away, running away, anything to get out of there! In my mind's eye, I prepared myself for a perfect marriage--I went to pre- and post-marital counseling, and I dragged John along. I thought we were prepared for any rift in our a relationship, and we wouldn't need anymore help!

The clock got to 6:00 p.m., time to close the doors, and begin group. I finally gathered up my courage, and said goodbye to John as he went merrily to his group. I beelined to the nearest chair to the door. Women kept pouring in...and in...and in...until there were three to four young women sitting on the floor. The woman next to meet was squeezed into the corner, blocking the door. It definitely wouldn't pass a safety inspection, or an easy escape for me. So, I sucked it up.

Everyone went around the room, introducing themselves. When it came for me to say, "Hi, my name is Wendy, and my husband is a ____________." In reality, it wasn't like that...but I was pithy to say the least. I said, "My name is Wendy Komancheck. My husband's next door," indicating that he was the reason I was stuck in this room of damaged goods.

After an hour, I started to relax, and I realized that I wasn't alone. There was another angry wife there; there was a woman who has made it with her husband in recovery (and they're still married); and women who confessed their struggles ... even struggles that I've dealt with. I felt that I was in a room of friends. People who've been in my shoes and have survived the storm. I had hope ... hope that I could survive this trip with my husband. We can do it...

And that's why marriage isn't for sissies.

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