In an effort to detach myself from my husband, I have been trying to get rid of things that no longer signify joy or happiness – like a set of kitchen canisters we got as a wedding gift.  It’s harder than I thought it would be.  We’re not using the canisters.  They just sit taking up space and taxing me mentally in a storage closet.

That is what I intended to post about today – the difficulty of letting go of things, i.e. him.

And then, as I was thinking about what I would write – it hit me.

It’s actually not him that I am having trouble letting go.

It’s my marriage.

In today’s throw away culture – get a new one if it’s broken, you changed you mind, there’s a “latest” version or it would simply make you feel “better” – it can be surprising to hear there are people who still hold sacred something like, oh I don’t know…

Their wedding vows.

But there are and I am one of them and I suspect a lot of women married to alcoholics are as well.

I’m not being sanctimonious.

In fact, it even surprises me a little how deeply important honoring my vows is to me.  Had I not married an alcoholic, I am SURE I would have never (ever, ever) understood the concept of staying married because of your vows, regardless of the state and quality of the marriage.

I don’t believe anyone should stay married “no matter what” simply because of their vows.  I think there can come a day when your mental and emotional and spiritual health need’s outweigh the committment you made to your husband, your marriage and yourself.

But when that day comes – and make no mistake, it comes like a slow rain, not a sudden downpour – it won’t be as easy to walk away as one may expect.  Leaving your husband – the man – may be the easiest part.  Leaving your vows, your dreams, your expectations, your future and even your past won’t be so easy or simple.