Twelfth (Saturday) Night

This is the twelfth Saturday night I’m spending alone since I kicked my alcohoholic husband out.

The last Saturday night we spent together I was out, at our high school reunion, without him.

People kept asking about him, and I didn’t know what to say.

He just didn’t want to go.

My reply: “He’s more of an introvert.” When I told him this, he laughed. No I’m not, he protested.

You’re not? When was the last time you did anything for fun, intentionally, without someone else planning it or bringing you along for the ride?

2004. Back when W. was president, folks. And that’s when I fell in love with him. Is it me? Did I make him this way? He doesn’t pick up the phone. I beg him to bowl with his buddies, play with his band. He can’t.

He struggles just to make it through the day.

Husband holds down a job, plays with the kids. We were still romantic on a regular basis.

He cooks dinner, cleans up, does laundry, bathes the kids. In some ways, he is a dream husband.

But he’s a liar. He had a hidden bank account. He was using drugs and DRIVING MY KIDS AROUND IN A CAR.

And he just can’t seem to stay off the juice. He’s not even a cool alcoholic!

Is he at the bars, making friends, having a good time?

No. He’s home, alone. Drinking. Not working on his sobriety. Not calling his sponsor, whom he’s never talked to but swears he finally has, and certainly not working the 12 steps. Until he does, we are separated.

When I kicked him out, 12 weeks ago, I had this hope, deep in my heart, that he’d get better.

Finally. That maybe, just maybe, this would be his rock bottom.

Then he went MIA for a week, drinking gin in a hotel room. Did I let that secret dream die?

No.

Because I’m an optimist. Or maybe have my own issues. But then last week, when I sneaked onto his back porch and lifted the lid of his trash can to find beer bottles, I did let that dream die.

He is an alcoholic, and he may not get better.

If being removed from your family home isn’t enough to make you realize you really do need help, what is?

And so here I am, laundry to be done, papers to be graded, dishes to be washed. One boy down and one sweet small voice singing in his bed.

Alone, on my twelfth Saturday night. This night feels more acute, more raw than the others.

Perhaps because I’ve let that dream of a family whole, a reunion, die.

Finally.

And that hurts.

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