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To those out there in my situation, I send you wishes of hope, strength, and love.
And I hope myself to be enlightened by the wisdom of your experiences.
All it means, for me anyway, is that my husband can continue to keep drinking without "seeming" that he has a problem to himself or those around him, especially as he is successful for his age, pays our bills (maybe not on time, but they get paid), and we are not wanting for anything material.
Here is the list of how things are a little different than what people may expect: He has not been arrested for a DUI (oh the times he's been pulled over and I hoped he would).
After all, reading the literature on alcoholism did not draw a lot of similarities to my situation, and I found it difficult to relate.
If someone were to ask me "How is your husband's drinking a problem?
I have never had to call in sick for him at his job or answer calls from his employer wondering where he is.
I was used to buying a bottle of wine a night for some time, and later it became two.
His moods were erratic and frighteningly changeable - "Jekyll & Hyde" I would explain, frustrated and frantic, to loved ones who had heard about it too many times already.
Going through various Wikipedia articles on mental illness, I tried desperately to understand where he was coming from and explain how he was so easily enraged, where his "communication style" originated, but nothing seemed to fit - Bipolar didn't work because he was never "manic" or anywhere approaching ecstatic; indeed his moods are usually "Okay" or "Watch out." The closest it came was to Borderline Personality Disorder, but he wasn't clingy and didn't beg me not to leave him - typically he was the one telling me to get out, that he wanted a divorce, that he hated me, etc.
(I should note here that I have learned that mental illness can occur with addiction, but I also eventually learned that it was a waste of time to try to "figure it out.") So here we are.
The last few years have been an absolutely "Why are you still here? We have moved twice in the last two years, and may be moving again soon, all times due to him changing jobs.