June 12, 2007

I hardly know what to say in the face of all your amazing, supportive comments, except thank you. I feel better for having told the tale.

Before I turn this blog back to lighter topics, there is something else I wanted to talk about. Some of you mentioned how amazing JB has been to stay by my side during that whole mess, and you are right. You don’t know the half of it, what he’s gone through with me.

JB and I used to drink together all the time. For the first few years that we lived together, alcohol was a huge part of our lives. We had our favorite beers, our favorite mixed drinks, our favorite places to go out and get drunk.

Somewhere along the line our individual relationships with alcohol changed, and JB’s fundamentally healthy take-it-or-leave-it approach began to seem very different from my daily drown. Over time I infected my marriage more and more with everything that comes with a major drinking problem: lies, booze-fueled fights, emotional trespasses.

JB tried to help me, but I didn’t want to be helped. When I look back on it, I realize I was sabotaging everything so I would be free to pursue my path of ruin, with no one around to make me feel guilty.

We came very close to divorce. JB had every reason in the world to walk away, and he almost did.

But he didn’t. He stood by me after I had taken a sledgehammer to our marriage, and he stood by me after I promised to quit drinking then got a fucking DUI.

He quit drinking altogether, so I wouldn’t have any temptations. He gave up what was for him a harmless but very pleasurable activity, for my sake. That was years ago. He’s never had so much as a beer since.

Every single thing in our lives has changed since we first started dating. We once had a completely carefree, booze-fueled lifestyle devoid of responsibilities, and it is like we have traveled some unimaginable distance to where we are now. And we are still together, still finding new things to love about each other, still making each other laugh.

I think of the vows we took, how for richer, for poorer can mean something entirely different than money. JB has been with me through both, and I will never, ever know how I got so lucky.

Our lives are nearly bursting with richness these days. (It’s exactly what he deserves.)

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Comments

95 Responses to “Part 2: a love story”

  1. CA on June 12th, 2007 4:18 pm

    It’s what you deserve, too. Remember that while all JB’s done says so much about who he is, it says a lot about you, too – because of who you are, he loved you enough to stick by you.

    For me, this entry was even more powerful than yesterday’s.

  2. Becky on June 12th, 2007 4:18 pm

    yet another one crying at work…

  3. Allie on June 12th, 2007 4:42 pm

    I totally cried too. I’ve been meaning to tell you and just never did so I guess I will now. The love that I can see on your husbands face in pictures with your or Riley is a truly beautiful!

  4. robin on June 12th, 2007 4:52 pm

    I can’t tell you how many times I attempted to comment yesterday with some kind of words to describe how incredibly touched I was that you decided to tell this story. I was mostly shocked at how you never let on that this turmoil was going on in your life and you never, ever mentioned it. Not that I blame you, I just envy that. I’m not sure I could have done the same.

    Today though, you made me cry. The line “I realize I was sabotaging everything so I would be free to pursue my path of ruin, with no one around to make me feel guilty” struck such a nerve and put what I’d done myself in such simple words……

    I’ve wanted to profess my admiration for you and your little family but always felt a little odd actually punching it out on the keyboard and could never push that SAY IT button, but it’s true and since everyone else is chiming in I won’t look like such a stalker. I think you are one incredible lady.

  5. Alyson on June 12th, 2007 4:55 pm

    Ya know, when you’re younger (read that without kids), the drinking thing is no big deal – although in your case it seemed headed that way. But we ALL grow up, one way or another. You and JB seemed to have done it pretty well……..Congrats. Some folks, who I know personally, and will remain nameless, but they are my brother-in-law, go through two marriages, fatherhood, breaking up someone else’s marriage….and…..and…..and NEVER seem to grow up.

    Just think, when Riley is a big guy, you can honestly say, I have made a bunch of mistakes, I’m not perfect, but I LEARNED and became a better person. Not everyone can say that! You can honestly say….”I tried it, it wasn’t for me, and I have a fine life without it!”

    Now that my DH and I are securely in our fourties, we occasionally have a beer – once or twice a month – one beer each – and we get crap from our oldest, for drinking so much more than we did when he was little. OK, so we have gone from none at all to a little bit……….WHY doesn’t he gripe at me for eating so much! THAT would be helpful!

  6. Lesley on June 12th, 2007 5:07 pm

    I raise a sparkling fizzy glass and a toast to JB – and I mean mineral water of course!

  7. SJ on June 12th, 2007 5:09 pm

    Again another reason why I keep coming back…

    YOU inspire me to be a better person in so many ways and I thank you for that. You and your family are beautiful people. I am honored to know you – even if it is just via the blogworld.

  8. Mack on June 12th, 2007 5:19 pm

    I’m a firm believer that the real hardships in marriage make the good times a million times sweeter, and the bad times pale in comparison. We all have our demons, and thankfully some of us have that person that helps us outrun them.

  9. Dina on June 12th, 2007 5:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing it was raw and so you…weather it is your life or the travels of the road less taken you always seems to bring home the point….which i love and which i live my own life…i am an open book love me bumps and all….i am who i am….thank you you always make me think why do i lurk and not write when you can touch so many lives….thank you Dina in michigan

  10. Amy on June 12th, 2007 5:41 pm

    You are part of such a strong an amazing family! I wish you continued happiness.

  11. Melinda on June 12th, 2007 5:53 pm

    Ah girl. You totally made me cry. That was WAY beautiful. You and JB and Riley ALL deserve your beautiful life. (…and now I’m singing Talking Heads…)

  12. Sara on June 12th, 2007 6:23 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing — you are amazing, and you do deserve the best.

  13. HollowSquirrel on June 12th, 2007 6:28 pm

    Sob.

  14. kristin on June 12th, 2007 7:16 pm

    Sundry,
    My husband and I have been married for 3 years…he’s 32, I’m 26. We too, started our relationship both drinkers….both enjoying the carefree cocktial drink days..AND nights. We both really enjoyed drinking, especially together. However, things with my husband started going downhill…his health..his behavior…the way we interacted when he was drinking. All of a sudden, I realized that THIS ISN’T FUN ANYMORE. I began to HATE drinking and wouldn’t partake in it with hime anymore. And then I realized, SHIT, I married an alchoholic. It took some really hard times, a few moments that brought us close to divorce, and 4 hospital stays until he quit drinking. He’s 1 year sober. Holy crap it feels good….our relationship is different….better by 1 million %. I guess I’m just trying to say, I know what you’ve been through, and from the other side…and I appreciate that you’re writting about this because it makes me feel normal, that I’m not the only person in the world who is young, and who had a rough go of it during the first few years of marriage.
    Thanks for your honesty…thanks for your amazing blog….it’s quickly become my favorite.

  15. jonniker on June 12th, 2007 7:28 pm

    Now I want to hug Kristin, too, in addition to kissing Sundry repeatedly.

    Oh Kristin. Marriage is *hard*, dude, and you’re never alone in something like that. For some it’s drinking, for others, depression or disease. You’re never, ever alone, even when it feels like you are.

  16. Stacy on June 12th, 2007 7:32 pm

    Does this post ever hit home. My Dh- we’ve been married for 4 years. My 10 month old son and I at the time were in Colorado visiting family last October, he went out to play pool and have a guys night. The night ended up with him gettin a DUI. He has the enterlocken thing in his car. For two years. He’s lost his license for two years. He is going to alcohol classes. It’s rough. And I can honestly say, I do not know if he’s learned his lesson. I have no idea where I am going with this comment other than to say your post hit something inside of me. I think I am going to have him read this.

    I enjoy your blog- thank for your honesty. Your family is beautiful. :)

  17. Melanie on June 12th, 2007 8:27 pm

    I just read the last post and I have to applaud you for your bravery. And this one? Applause for its beauty. You’re hitting them out of the park lately, BAY-bee.

  18. K on June 12th, 2007 8:35 pm

    I really wanted to comment after reading yesterday’s post. Understanding what that experience cost you (not in dollars) just left me sitting motionless for a time in front of my computer. I couldn’t think of anything witty to say, and I needed the time to digest your words. This whole internet universe is a strange thing; it brings people together… sort of. I read your site daily with the same interest as if you were a dear friend. But you’re not. And sometimes I feel like I’m an oogy peeping tom for relishing the glimpse into your life. But, I wouldn’t change a thing.

    I am so grateful to you for baring your life for me to read. I enjoy learning from you, I feel warm and fuzzy inside when I read the sweet stories of your family, and every day I anxiously await your next post. Thank you.

  19. Colleen on June 12th, 2007 8:46 pm

    Wow. I’m teary-eyed.

  20. Lauren on June 12th, 2007 8:54 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing. My brother just went through something similar and it has hurt the whole family in ways we never could have anticipated. Unfortunately he hasn’t reached the amazing place you’re at, but it gives me hope that he will find his way.

  21. Karl on June 12th, 2007 9:28 pm

    I was going to comment on your earlier post, but it was already in the hundreds. I can’t hold back on this one, though, although I admit I have nothing new to add…

    Obviously you are a lucky woman. What I hope you realize is that your man is a lucky man! He took the 1 in 10,000 chance and you both won. I salute you for reaching down and finding whatever it took to stop, and I salute him for having the guts to take a chance on you. What a success story!

    I don’t have the alcohol demon myself, but I watched it kill (literally) my wife’s ex. The demon is real and you don’t know who is susceptible until it happens. Thanks for sharing your story.

  22. Shabbir on June 12th, 2007 10:17 pm

    Oh yeah, this isn’t for you Linda, this comment is for MEN. the Men that takes their sons to the Brazilian all-you-can-eat steak place for boys night out…..when their boys are only 2 years old. For MEN who teach their sons that our role is to support our women even when they’re unreasonable, because eventually we get it all back karmically….for MEN who, after years of marriage, find their wives incredibly attractive despite the onslaught of media images of women who look like they’ve never eaten a slice of toast… We’ve got this figured out.

    Yes, this is for MEN.

    (So, this works better if you read it with that voice of the guy that does the “BEEF, IT WHAT’S FOR DINNER” narration….)

  23. Liz in Australia on June 12th, 2007 11:51 pm

    Your husband is an amazing man.

    Another beautiful, touching post – thank you.

  24. thejunebug on June 13th, 2007 1:59 am

    I always knew JB was a winner. :) Any man who writes his name in snow & emails a picture to his wife gets my vote.

    *snugs*

  25. Lisska on June 13th, 2007 4:49 am

    so my best friend…the one who sent me to your blog to begin with. she’s amazing. when i was young and embarassed by my…well, let’s be honest and say emotional baggage (there’s a lot of it, but it’s a matching set so it’s okay)…she used to say that we are all of us broken on the inside, and that we are the more beautiful for having been broken. I love that. I believe that. but i also think that we’re the more beautiful for being broken because of who puts us back together again. i am one of those women blessed with a most extraordinary husband…who, inspite of my flaws, my weakness, my broken-ness…continues to put me back together again. thank you for reminding me of what a beautiful thing it is to wake up next to someone who has known me at my most broken, my most hopeless, and continues to love me.

    and riley is so working his cute voodoo magic, he’s making me want a wee version of him in my life. thanks!

  26. Claire on June 13th, 2007 5:02 am

    Glad you were able to overcome; that’s a pretty momentous accomplishment!

  27. Swistle on June 13th, 2007 5:21 am

    This is really sweet. And I want to say something else, but it keeps sounding cheesy/weird/inappropriate no matter how I phrase it. The gist of it is supposed to be that you seem to me like someone worth sticking around for, but see how that sounds creepy when I say it?

  28. PattM on June 13th, 2007 5:30 am

    You are two wonderful people and belong together. JB is a keeper.

  29. metanoia on June 13th, 2007 6:04 am

    My husband and I have been together for 30 years… The “bad” times and how you weather them together are the glue that holds you together for the long run. Remember your vows – even with the down times, it only gets better!

  30. Cavu on June 13th, 2007 7:02 am

    Just look at how hard that little kiddo is smiling! He’s got two loving, healthy, strong parents. Lucky boy.

    Thank you for sharing. You’re an inspiration in many ways.

  31. Keri on June 13th, 2007 7:03 am

    I echo the comments others have made about wanting to comment after the previous blog, but feeling that my words would end up inadequate, hollow, and redundant. After this one, I still feel this way, but with these two powerful and haunting posts, how could I fail to acknowledge their beauty and bravery?

    Thank you for sharing with us, and thank you for this amazing blog. I wish you and your family all the happiness you so richly deserve.

  32. Jessica on June 13th, 2007 7:17 am

    Dude. I’m right there with you. On our first date, my husband and I got wasted and made out behind a pizza place. We used to have a lot of fun.

    Now, neither of us drinks, me because I’m an alkie, him because he can take it or leave it and he wants to support me. And weirdly, we have even MORE fun these days.

  33. Teralyne on June 13th, 2007 7:21 am

    Wow second post by you that has made me all teary. You Rock!

  34. Kim D on June 13th, 2007 8:14 am

    I am very thankful that you have the opportunity to share your stories with us. The past few days many things have happened in my life that make me realize that no matter the path we take, we make those decisions simply to end up where we are supposed to be. Sometimes the path is arduous and riddled with thorns and stinging nettles, and other times it is adorned with lilac and lavender. Either way, we tighten our “ba pa” straps and slather on the sunscreen and power towards our destination. Amen for someone willing to accept responsibility and learn from it. You rock.

  35. nonsoccermom on June 13th, 2007 8:24 am

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I wish you all the luck and happiness in the world.

    When did Riley’s hair get so blond? Too cute!

  36. Dawn on June 13th, 2007 8:55 am

    Damn you woman! I should know better than to read these post’s at work because now i have tears and I have to be in a meeting in 5 minutes and that is hardly enough time to fix my makeup =o\
    This post was beautiful. You and JB are awesome people and both of you very strong, you are both lucky to have each other. Riley is by far the luckiest to have been blessed with two such strong motivated parents. You guys know what marrige is all about, it’s about the hard times and getting through them because that is what makes the good times so good.

  37. fellowmom on June 13th, 2007 9:12 am

    Beautiful story–not only for how it shows what love can do, but for how it shows what being open to love can do. I am glad you grabbed the life preserver JB was holding out to you. I am glad that, at some level, you were willing to believe you were worth it and would be able to make a wonderful life for yourself and your family.

    Maybe this should be your book? You are so funny, but this is such a powerful story. Go team dork!

  38. Sabine on June 13th, 2007 9:22 am

    I know a lot of other people have already said this, but darlin’, YOU deserve this too. I hope all of us reminding you of that brings it home.

    JB knew what he was doing hanging in there, and yes, you are lucky.. but so is JB.

  39. Junni on June 13th, 2007 10:29 am

    I’ll admit it…I teared up a little bit.

  40. breckgirl on June 13th, 2007 11:15 am

    Our stories are so similar – it is weird. My husband has stuck with me, too – and I did some truly heinous things – I was unfaithful in my drunken times, said horrible things about him to his face – just awful. I once peed on the living room carpet – he cleaned that up, too. Isn’t it amazing what the people who love us will do in the face of such depravity? I am astounded still by my husband’s willingness to continue loving me when I could not love myself. We, too, have a wonderful son now and a much fuller and richer life. We have our struggles but I know now, for certain, that I will never leave him and he will never leave me. The commitment we made was til death do us part and we are sticking to that. Thanks for sharing – JB and Justin rock, as do all other supportive and loving spouses.

  41. Kelli on June 13th, 2007 1:50 pm

    I lurk a lot more than I comment but I just had to say thank you for sharing. It’s funny but I was thinking of you this morning after I’d read your post about your DUI yesterday. And I was thinking of JB and your marriage and how even though I don’t know either of you it was nice to hear about truly a “for better or for worse” marriage – that you two stuck it out and came through on the other side together.

    I love your blog and your posts.

    All three of you are lucky. And I do believe you all know it and deserve it.
    Congratulations.

  42. kalisah on June 13th, 2007 6:39 pm

    As my sponsor says, “Aren’tcha grateful?” As long as I stay grateful, I can stay sober.

  43. Rayne on June 13th, 2007 10:59 pm

    Beautiful

  44. Bunny on June 14th, 2007 6:26 am

    He is an incredible man and husband to go with you through all of this. And you are right, the vows mean so much more than we think about when we make them.

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