I'm not being smug because it has not been a smooth journey. And I thought about divorce many times over the years. In fact, after every drunk episode, I wanted out. I did what most people do who live with alcoholism, I keep hoping that things would change--that she would change. And in the morning after a drunken night, I would believe the promises that she would be different and meant to quit drinking this time. And the years went by.
Even for a while after my wife joined AA, I did not give us much of a chance. But through patience, respect and growing love for each other, we are still together. I am at the point in my life where I cherish every day with her.
A lady at my meeting last night has been living with a dry drunk for many years. They basically have little communication. And she had been in tears at last week's meeting because she did not have the kind of relationship that she wanted. So I shared then that what I began doing that first year in recovery was hugging my wife and telling her more and more that I loved her. And from there, we began to heal. That is how we interact now--lots of hugs and kisses and "I love you"'s. It made a huge difference in our attitudes.
Last night the lady shared that she went home and hugged her husband after the meeting and gave him a kiss on his head. She said that it made her feel good. She was learning that her pride kept her apart from her husband. I suppose for me it was lack of trust that kept me from sharing my feelings. Sometimes it is okay to "fake it until I make it" to get those feelings back that have been so eroded by alcoholism.
So I have much to be grateful for as we celebrate our anniversary. It is Thanksgiving day too. I hope that the day will be a good one for you no matter where you are or who you are with.