Friday, August 15, 2008

One of the most oft-repeated pieces of advice that Ann Landers used to give to people who were unhappy in their marriages was to make two lists - Are you better off 1) with him/her or 2) without him/her? Before Mike had his stroke, I made one of those lists. I found it a while back in an old journal, and seeing the advantages and disadvantages listed in black and white made quite an impact, especially when I realized that all of the advantages are gone. Actually, the financial advantage is still there, but it's the only one, and lately, it's not enough to make up for all the disadvantages. I'm afraid Mike and I have entered the zone of diminishing returns - more and more effort put into "getting along" resulting in less and less satisfaction.

So where do we go from here? I wish I knew. It seems that whenever I spend time away from Mike, I dread coming home more than the time before. This time it's been rough. I haven't slept well, and I've felt more contempt and resentment than I ever remember feeling, especially about his drinking. I'm beginning to wonder if my staying here is exacerbating the problem. After all, the rescuing caregiver in me does enable him (to a certain extent) to continue this unhealthy habit. I don't blame myself, but I must admit that I do make it easier for him to stay on the destructive path he's on. If he had to deal with more challenges of daily life like paying bills, preparing meals, doing laundry, etc. would he drink as much? My guess is he would not.

I'm not ready to do anything rash, but I am beginning to look seriously at what life without Mike would be like. Maybe some people just aren't cut out for marriage.

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