When you join one of our online programs, you get a special invitation to our Secret Facebook Group (no one can tell you’re a member or see your posts). This group is filled with women who all love someone suffering from addiction.
And our little Secret Group is a big part of my heart. These women share with honesty that empowers us all to rise up together. They encourage one another and cheer each other on. It’s such a beautiful community to be a part of!
We never, ever do judgment and we don’t do negativity and venting. The community is a safe place to ask questions, share victories, and receive encouragement.
Here’s one of the questions was shared by one of our strong, wonderful women in the group:
Q: So I have been opening up to family and friends about being in an alcoholic marriage. I am at the point now where I really don’t care who knows and don’t feel the need to keep it a secret from anyone. At this point, if anyone asks about my alcoholic husband, I am honest with them. How do I share with people outside of my immediate world? While I don’t want to embarrass him, I feel strongly that I do need to be honest if they ask.
Here’s my response:
Great question. I share my experiences with a lot of people. I think it’s our responsibility to break the stigma of this disease. We are thoughtful, loving women, and the more we share with others, the more empowered we become.
It’s important to not talk poorly about them. That makes everyone in the conversation feel uncomfortable and you want to maintain your dignity.
You can say, “I am currently going through a divorce with a wonderful man who happens to suffer from addiction. I would have loved for it to work. He is talented and funny, but I just couldn’t support his poor choices anymore.”
You can change the “talented” and “funny” part to whatever traits you admire about your partner.
Stick to the facts and give them credit for his or her good qualities (this disease does happen to good men and women).
You don’t want to come across as resentful or bitter. You are healing and you are empowered. I know you are a loving and strong enough woman to have forgiven and chosen to move on.
You don’t owe anyone any apologies and you don’t need to feel guilty or embarrassed. You refuse to be brought down by this disease. You’re a survivor.
And I really want to take a moment to say… I love that you are sharing this with others.
There are so many women out there secretly suffering who need to know they are not alone. Who need the message of hope.
So please keep sharing. I share as often as I can – with the grocery clerk, the Starbucks barista, the woman I just met at a party, etc. I try to get people to ask me questions so I can share about my marriage experience with an alcoholic and substance abuser. It’s not about putting him down – it’s about offering hope that we can rise up from this disease.
If we choose to stay or leave – that’s not the point. It’s that we are learning to overcome. Together.