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You know how you hear a song and most of the lyrics apply to you or a situation you’re in. Or the lyrics apply but only in a way you understand, not necessarily in the way the song writer intended? Rarely does a song represent your feelings 100% or in exactly the same way as it was written.

But sometimes a song does.

Sometimes it’s 100% spot on.

Like Keith Urban’s “The Fighter.”

I think of myself, my life years down the road and the words, the emotions, the meaning in this song fits so completely.

Which, ironically, is one of the thing that holds me back.

The knowledge (knoweledge!) that I could leave my husband and have a whole new life, complete with a healthy, happy and fulfilling relationship.

I think the outside world would be surprised, shocked, (angered even?) by the idea that a woman could regret her own happiness at the expense of her “no good drunk-ass husband’s” pain. But it’s true.

And I think as the wives of alcoholics, we have to really understand this and how it can play out in the efforts we make – or don’t make – to reclaim our lives. No one wants to leave someone behind to die – be it physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. Even if the “leaving behind” is simply moving forward with our own lives but not necessarily divorcing our husbands.

Of course the fallacy and real tragedy is that even if we are to deny our own happiness, our own potential, our own chance at living a fascinating, creative and interesting life in the name of protecting our husbands from their own pain, we aren’t protecting them at all. We aren’t taking away their pain or insulating them from it. We’re just perpetuating and creating more pain for ourselves.

I can’t be a life preserver for his life.

He’s still going to drown.

And I’ll drown with him.