If you’re married to someone who leaves the house to hang out with his friends or who stops at the bar on the way home and you’re wondering why he doesn’t want to spend time with you (and the kids) I want to ask you a question about a bad habit you may have picked up.
And before I ask you, it’s important to know that the reason I can ask is because I used to have this very bad habit. So there’s no judgement – ever. Just promise me that you’ll be honest because we can’t heal if we’re not honest with ourselves and each other.
We are a sisterhood. We get one another. We’re in a safe place and we are all connected.
Here’s my question to you: are you nagging him when he drinks or uses drugs? Are you nagging him when he’s not doing what he said he would do?
If you’re nagging – you’re enabling. He knows his choices are bad and he doesn’t want be called on it. My ex husband used to leave for days at a time because I would not put up with his drinking around our three young kids. And he didn’t want to deal with me being a nagging wife.
And when he left – who do you think he went and hung out with? Other women like me? Of course not. He went and found other alcoholics and addicts. People who would tell him it’s ok. People who might even be worse off than he was so he can feel superior.
Their “friends” are not holding them accountable. They are not pointing out the fact that he should be home and sober with his wife.
When I left my husband he ended up with a wonderful and beautiful woman who had a drinking problem. She once told me that they enabled each other.
The sign that he wants to leave the house means that you’re in a healthier place than he is. So next time you feel tempted to nag him ask yourself – does this really work? And more importantly: when I nag how does it make me feel about myself? Chances are – not very good.
You want to honor yourself by refusing to be the nagging wife. Get on with YOUR life and YOUR choices and let him make his. If he’s not coming home get busy doing something that makes you happy. A bubble bath, cleaning out a closet, going for a walk, baking some cookies. Make a list of 10 things that bring you joy and do 1 thing every time you feel tempted to nag. Meet your own needs. This will help you get back control over this disease not by trying to control him, but being accountable for YOUR choices.
You can do this! I am right here beside you reminding you – even in the worst of times – you’re not alone. I know how you feel. Put your healing first by joining one of our programs and see how much different your life will be.