I’ve been thinking a lot lately about leaving my husband.

Not thinking about it in the way we all think about it – constantly but not seriously.

I’ve been thinking about it seriously.

Like I really am going to leave.

And when I truly allow myself to mentally experience the joy and elation and liberation of leaving, another emotion comes tagging along.

Though I guess it’s more like barging in.


Here’s what most people – people on the outside anyway – believe the alcoholic marriage-equation is

Alcoholic husband + Marriage = Leave him

Except the real equation is nothing that simple.

The real equation is like one of those math problems you see that covers an entire blackboard and super-genius human beings stand before it, pondering it for months, maybe even years, in search of the solution.

Why would any woman feel guilty about leaving a husband who is emotionally vacant.

Calls her horrific, debilitating names.

Takes alcohol as his mistress.

Causes tension and stress and anxiety in the home.

Because for all the chaos he causes in her…

For as much as it seems like he is the one in control…

And depsite how unstable he makes the rest of the family feel…

She knows.

She knows that the only (only, only, ONLY!) hope of stability for him is…


She is his foundation and he may be jackhammering the hell out of her but still…

She is his, albeit tenuous, tie to reality.

I’m not saying my husband would fall apart in an obvious way.

I don’t think he’d lose his job, become homeless and go live under a bridge.

But I do know.

I do know despite all his actions to the contrary, he needs me deeply.

I was a life guard in high school and college.

In the training they teach you how to release the panicked, death grip of a drowning victim.

If need be, if they are so panicked and out of control that they are a threat to your safety, you have to leave them.

Yes, to drown!

The thought of leaving my husband feels a little like this.