If you’re married to someone who leaves the house to hang out with his or her friends or who stops at the bar on the way home and you’re wondering why they don’t want to spend time with you (and the kids, if you have any) 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 ask is because I used to have this very bad habit. So there’s no judgment – 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 your partner when he or she drinks or uses drugs?
If you’re nagging, you’re enabling. Your partner knows their choices are bad and they don’t want to 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 his behavior is okay. 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 or she should be home and sober with their family.
The sign that your partner wants to leave the house means that you’re in a healthier place than he or she is. So next time you feel tempted to nag him to 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.
Honor yourself by refusing to be the nagging wife.
Get on with your life and your choices and let your partner make theirs. If he or she is 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 ten things that bring you joy and do one thing every time you feel tempted to nag. Meet your own needs. This will help you get back control over this disease not by being controlling, but by 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.
If you’re ready to make your healing as important as your partner’s sobriety – we are waiting for you. Our programs are online, confidential, and you have lifetime access – so you can do them at your own pace.