My husband and I fell into a DINKS (dual income, no kids) routine. We luxuriated in our new status as middle income. We spoiled ourselves rotten.
I joined the gym at work and frequently worked out with K and/or his wife. He helped me with weight training and she helped me with running. I was soon working out 5 days a week (and not dropping an ounce of weight... grrr...).
We decided to remodel our home ourselves. Whew! That, in itself, is something that could divorce a couple! We fought our way through the summer, survived and were very happy in our like-new home.
I was fast becoming a star at work. I also enjoyed working with my co-workers and, as I worked with mostly men, I was enjoying the attention I was receiving. It was attention that I felt I wasn't receiving at home.
My husband was traveling all the time and his drinking became a larger sore spot for me. I began worrying about him more since my attention was no longer on completing school. There were many nights that I slept in the spare bedroom because I couldn't stand the smell of alcohol on his breath. I'd even left him a few times in attempts to convince him to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
I was never strong enough to stay away.
I loved him so badly that it hurt me. He kept much of his emotion to himself or else he drank it out. I wanted him to be healthy and strong so I did what I could to keep him that way, sometimes angering him in my quest to quell his drinking. He even began drinking in secret and keeping other things, like money issues, secretive as well. He did not like confrontation.
I attempted to overlook the drinking as best as I could, though the trust was gone. I felt I owed him for supporting me through college. I would have done anything for him. I wanted to keep him alive. It felt like my duty as his wife to do so.
He was a good man with a flaw that I could not understand.
I only point this out because, well, it seemed like a turning point in my marriage.
We were to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. I was excited to reach that point. 5 years was a huge deal to me - especially considering that I'd left him a few times already due to his drinking.
I'd planned out a week's worth of surprises to be delivered to my husband's office. I couldn't wait for that weekend to celebrate with him.
To my disappointment, he acted as if the entire event was an afterthought. I believe we decided to go to dinner that night. Other than that, it wasn't even a noticeably different day.
I remember feeling extremely sad. I remember thinking that he didn't love me. I remember feeling unimportant. I remember thinking that I'd tried and tried and that he would never love me as I needed him to.
I remember then wondering if my marriage was over.
Perception is everything, isn't it? I now wonder if I was looking for a reason to get away....if I was looking for a sign of his love, already convinced that it wasn't there.
to be continued...