Page 2 of 3
During Adrian's brief attempt at sobriety, we had become engaged. There was a ring and a photo shoot. We were trying so hard to clean up our lives and stay together. But when Adrian began riding his former sponsor's motorcycle, he went from my fiancée to my stalker. Driving to work or home, I would often discover him in my rear view mirror. It was terrifying for me because by now, Adrian had moved on from cocaine to crystal meth and his personality was so different from the man I once knew that I had no idea what he might be capable of.
He did break into my apartment wearing gloves to hide his fingerprints but fortunately all I had to do was give him the engagement ring and he left. Eventually, another woman entered his life and he stopped stalking me. It would be five years before we would meet again. And by then, he was clean and sober.
Being the hopeless romantic that I am, we quickly got engaged again. I thought everything would be different now that he was sober. And in many ways it was. But Adrian never took to sobriety with the same degree of devotion that I did. We were married and he managed to stay sober for ten years. Then he began experiencing back pain and in the end prescription pills led him right back to drugs and alcohol.
But before that happened, we battled his addiction to pain pills for five long years. And during that time, although he never touched alcohol or illicit drugs, he began behaving like an addict and our marriage suffered severely.
My response was typical of someone who is married to an addict or alcoholic. I tried to warn him, to convince him, to educate and enlighten him. I attempted to love him more. I experimented with negative reinforcement by refusing to show him affection. I nagged. I cried. I pleaded. I grew cold and distant. Or I felt immense sympathy for his struggle and prayed for more patience. I would see his inner child self and just want to hold him and make the pain go away. And sometimes I tried to pretend things were not as bad as they were.
When he finally totaled his Corvette, was fired for being high at work and got arrested for possession, we agreed it was time to divorce. But that was not the end of our love story. We hung on for another eight years after our divorce, living in separate homes but still dating. Eventually our sex life went from hot to nonexistent but we simply transitioned into a platonic friendship. Our grief over losing our marriage and our life together spanning nearly thirty years, was just too great for us to simply walk away.