Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Donít Look Back (04/19/12)
By Jean Elizabeth
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We were happy in the beginning. There are many memories that make me smile. Life was simple. It was fun. There wasn't really anything to complicate the relationship. Then, we moved to a new state, bought a house, and had our first child, closely followed by our second. It was time to grow up, but one of us didn't. In the face of those things, eventually the people we really were emerged resolute and unbending.
Alcohol became a major fixture and a roadblock to healing and reconciliation. It is destruction and desolation in a bottle. The alcoholic is focused only on making the pain go away and while drinking it appears to do just that. But it's a cruel illusion. To stop drinking means letting life back in - the good and the bad. Too soon the bad is all-consuming and the drinking never stops.
A healthy marriage requires active participation by both people. I knew that. I think Paul knew that. But we couldn't do it. One of us hid in a bottle and the other hid in a book. Without conversation, without intimacy, without forgiveness, we gradually stopped being married. And stayed that way for fifteen years until we finally divorced.
I want those years to be different. I want the conflicts resolved, the hurts soothed, the love nurtured. My head realizes the impossibility but my heart's not there yet. Little by little, now, I look forward more often than I look back. There are no answers behind me but there are possibilities ahead.
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