Some of my favorite blogs are kept by women who are codependent, or as one of them says, codies. They are in relationships with addicts in recovery and they document their ups and downs in their pages, sharing with readers the work they are doing on themselves, recognizing patterns and the reasons why they may have gravitated to their addict. Some of them have their own addictions they are fighting as well.
The one thing that I marvel at, and admire the most, is their fierce love and their commitment to their mates, to walking the path of recovery with them. In a nutshell, these women are fucking strong. Their men are very, very lucky, and I hope they realize it and treat these women like the queens they are.
Compared to them, I am a royal bitch, because there is no way I would do the same if I was in their shoes. No siree. I have enough on my hands just being a mother and a productive member of society while managing highly fluctuating moods. I don't have the patience, the dedication and the energy it takes to support somebody else's journey of healing. To put it plainly, I can't put up with people's shit anymore. I do not want to.
You could say I used to put up with people's crap before. After all, I grew up in an alcoholic household. And yes, you would be right. I did put up with crap from my parents. But it was something I had to do because basically I was stuck with them. Even then, as a college student I remember telling my mom that enough was enough and she should just divorce my dad. They even separated for a few weeks, although my mom ended up taking him back, because my dad was so miserable. And maybe it was for the best, as he died a year or so later.
I love my husband. He's got demons in his past that sometimes affect his mood. He's got struggles in his present incarnation as a self-employed professional. I support him completely. I am grateful he does not have an addiction problem, though. I don't think I could deal with the uncertainty, the potential for lies and the risk of being drained financially. You see, more than anything, I crave security and stability, two things that an addict can't provide.
I have two kids, who freely unleash their inner drama queen every day. Both are intelligent and quite challenging. My nine year-old questions everything I say and often calls my bluff when my words do not match my actions. Gabe says they take after me. And it seems to be true, as I sometimes act that way too around my family. But I wasn't like that as a child at all. My mom says I was very well-behaved, never one to give her any trouble, save for some talking back during my teenage years. Married to Gabe, I am sometimes childish and throw fits that rival my daughters', as if compensating for all those years when I had to be the dependable, balanced one. Awareness that I am being an ass usually makes me snap out of these tantrums rather quickly. Other times, the moods are murkier and spill out in episodes of rage whose origins I am at a loss to ascertain. Gabriel puts up with it, surprisingly. Maybe because I am always contrite after these moments; after all most of the time I try to be understanding and accommodating. Maybe because I put up with his moods too, although not as good-naturedly as he does.
Being a single mother was hard for me, but honestly it was no harder than being married. I am well aware that I can say that because I have a good job, with benefits. A stay-at-home mom, or a mom in a minimum-wage job may have a different view. In any case, I was able on my own to make a stable life for my daughter and I. Four years after my divorce, when I decided to date again, my approach was pragmatic. I was not looking for my soulmate, I was definitely not looking for a husband, much less a provider. I had a house of my own, I had a job and I already had a child, all I wanted was companionship. But not at any cost.
The first guy I seriously dated turned out to be an alcoholic prick. We were together for three months. When the novelty ran out, he broke up with me via e-mail, very Sex and the City tacky of him. I cried and was a wreck for two days. Then I realized I had been let off the hook and I should actually be glad, not sad. On the third day I sent him a farewell e-mail in which I told him he was an angry drunk and should own it and get help. I ignored his replies where he professed he still loved me and it was just a matter of bad timing. And when he wanted to come to my house to give me back my stuff, I made sure to leave his shit outside my door and not answer if he rang. To further quell any lingering doubts I had as to his character, I fabricated a fictitious "carefree, fun-loving hot Latina" profile on Yahoo personals and waited. A day after I posted my profile, among the dozens of hits I found a message from him requesting to meet Latina Hottie in person. Just as I expected, good riddance indeed.