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I Can't Fix You

The Struggles of Loving an Addict

Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

Relinquishing all hope that I can change you: that is difficult for me. I hope so much that one day you wake up and are you again. I love you, but the addict in you makes it so hard. Should love be this much work? Should a marriage be filled with this much resentment? The truth is, I don't know. The obvious answer would appear to be no, but is it different with an addict? It takes every bit of yourself not to leave, even when you feel you should. The question I can't get the answer to is, when should I give up?

The last few years have been my closest to leaving. Our daughter being born has made me less patient with your addiction. Every time the addiction took time away from our daughter, I started to resent you more. I would snap and talk of endless ultimatums. I know that a threat of leaving would do nothing to pause the drinking, but I would do it anyway. It is hard to understand that some liquid could be a priority over everything. I have asked you to get help, but it is futile. There are endless excuses and I know I enable sometimes. How do I ask you to stop drinking when you have endless physical pain and tell me you want to die.

I've spent nights holding you, not sleeping. If I were to sleep, you will kill yourself, you tell me. I am scared that we are slowly building to the day you do. We are stuck in a hopeless and helpless cycle, it seems. I just don't know if I can hold you up anymore.

My focus is no longer on you, but instead caring for our daughter. She needs you to be her dad. I don't understand how you could be so selfish. Our baby cries when you leave the house. How can you hear those cries and still leave to get your drinks? You leave your bottles around and I am always picking up after you. This is the part of addiction that baffles me. You could have your daughter and wife begging you to stay, but you will still drink. I am scared that this is how our baby will know you. Catatonic and staring off at nothing, unless you get a drink. When you get your fix, you come alive again. It isn't long before you get sloppy and sometimes aggressive. I have cleaned up vomit-covered bathrooms more times than I would like to remember. Excuses—I have made so many for you. I cover for you when people ask questions. Maybe I should have let everyone know. Can't you see the damage your addiction is causing?

You are not a bad man. As a provider, you are amazing. The trust is just gone and over the years my heart has been broken, each time by the same man. I am not sure how to get that trust back. Is it even possible? Those few hours you are sober, I remember I love you. I live for those hours. Lately, those hours have lessened and I am not sure they are worth the wait. There was a time I would wait for you forever. Funny how that happens. I am starting to think I would be happier without you. If I look at us objectively, I should have left a long time ago.

To be completely honest, I find it hard to remember what healthy love feels like. I feel lost and alone. I don't know if I can love you anymore, but I do know I can't fix you.

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