No one told me I should stay. No one told me I should have sympathy. Our pastor told me I had biblical grounds for divorce. My counselor said she would help prepare me to leave. My husband’s CSAT told him I might leave and that would be a consequence of his actions. She told him that he broke it and he had to fix it.
No one told me I couldn’t be mad. …or call him names ……….or throw things. No one told me I had to be “nice”.
Recently I’ve read stories from women about how their husband’s childhood trauma was weaponized against them to guilt them into staying and giving their husbands a pass. Childhood trauma is part of the explanation of behaviors, not an excuse. (I do think it’s a crucial part of recovery work and now I can empathize with what my husband experienced just like he can empathize with my childhood trauma.) Men can work on the childhood trauma at the same time as staying sober and becoming good people. As my husband says, monsters are made. How they were made doesn’t negate the responsibility they have for the damage they caused. It breaks my heart that so many women have been stuck in bad relationships with men who aren’t in recovery because of irresponsible counselors and/or religious leaders. I truly believe one reason why JP worked so hard on recovery was because I had no reason or obligation to stay if he didn’t.