Putting sobriety ahead of "love"
I felt overwhelmed by feelings of unworthiness and fear yesterday, and being at the computer, used the opportunity to write my fears out, clearing my head and pointing out exactly what I am anxious about/fearful of.
The wife and I have been at odds the last couple of days. So as she came up to me when I was writing the post about fears, I closed the window so she wouldn't see what I was writing. This visibly upset her, so I sent her a copy of the post once I finished it.
I was hoping for a) sympathy b) reassurance c) support d) understanding of what I'm going through etc.
Instead, I got nothing at first; nothing, as in no comment, not even an acknowledgment of what I wrote or an acknowledgment of my feelings; and later in the evening, it escalated into another "lash out at Mottel" session, which, in turn, ended up in sleeping in separate rooms etc.
So, as I was going to sleep by myself, and with two babies in the room, one of them in a cast, my fears came crashing down on me. It seemed like a really good idea to escape into fantasy and masturbation. As it is, I spent the whole day lusting, and I saw things on the streets that I should've not, and so forth... (Luckily I surrendered all that by making like a million phone calls earlier in the evening).
A thought occurred to me, based on the readings I've been doing on GYE and elsewhere:
I really don't care what my wife's feelings towards me are.
I can't help them, and I have no bandwidth to affect them without jeopardizing my sobriety and sanity. I can't nor should control her feelings. And since my feelings towards her are not "romantic/puppy love" feelings anyways, what difference does it make if she professes "love" for me or not?
I want to stay sober so I can be present for my kids. I want to stay sober so I don't view myself as a degenerate and a moral failure. I want to stay sober so I can have a relationship with G-d. Married or not, I can still be sober and have all these things.
But if I freak out over my wife's inability to relate to my problems adequately, if I allow her to keep dragging me back into my problems, instead of letting me live in the solution, if I allow her to dump guilt and shame on me ad nausium, I will lose my sobriety, which will lead me to lose my sanity, and then I will surely lose my marriage, my children, my G-d, and myself.
Whether she shapes up or not, I want to stay sober for the rest of my life. If there is a divorce down the road, I am sure that the One who kept me sober yesterday and cared for me and protected me in the past, will do so again, and I will find happiness and serenity eventually. As long as I stay sober.