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Marriage and Alcoholic

"Marriage and Alcoholic, Should you leave? "
copyright 2011, all rights reserved

by Toby Rice Drews
author of the "Getting Them Sober" books

Sometimes one hears from persons at family-recovery meetings that they do not, and would not, leave an alcoholic spouse, ever.

But what I want to address here is how sometimes that is said as, "I'm not a quitter!" Now, what is the implication of the word "quitter"?

It has quite a different connotation from when one uses the verb, "quit"...which only means to leave something.

To quit driving a Ford... to quit walking on Main Street, and walk the parallel roads, instead... to quit eating at restaurants on the other side of town... to quit playing squash because one is more interested, now, in golf.

There is not a 'condemnation kind of judgment feel' about "quit". But--- the word 'quitter' certainly feels like one does not want to hear others say that of oneself. There is such condemnation in that word.

What would happen if one told a general in the army that "you are a quitter if you ever re-trench your forces"?

He'd see you as someone who had no idea of military strategy---that you do not understand that there is a time to go forward -- and a time to go in another direction. Yes, "you're a quitter" sounds certainly different from "you've chosen another direction to go in, for your life".

Why is there, so often, such judgment, even in recovery rooms? Bill Wilson, co-founder of A.A., put it well---in his "As Bill Sees It" book, he says that "people find it so hard to be eyeball-to-eyeball with others".

Yes....on the same level playing field.....not better than...not worse than. Not implications of "I'm so much farther along in recovery than you". Not "oh, you like that meeting? I USED to. I guess you need it, but I think I am beyond that, now." or ----- "you obviously are more xxx than I am" (with a "tone"). It's all in the's all in the tone... it's all in the implied tone, even if the words "are right". All this one-ups-man-ship. It is all so much the opposite of that wonderful slogan on the walls of the recovery rooms------ "live and let live".

What your choices are for your life, may be very different from mine, for my life. It only means we are different...... my choosing one path does not invalidate yours...... and your choosing another path does not invalidate mine............ love in recovery, Toby

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