The following story was posted by Dr. X. I check his blog daily because besides being an astute political observer, I almost always agree with his views on how human beings function. I highly recommend dropping by his site and reading what he has to say. The following story struck me because it speaks to how I see addiction. Not so cut and dry, as many so called addiction experts would have us believe because human beings are the epitome of the concept of shades of gray. Read on:
A True Story
I know a woman who was a hopeless alcoholic for nearly 20 years. Through much of her marriage, her husband browbeat and denigrated her over her considerable failings as a spouse and mother. At the point when it seemed she could barely function, her husband divorced her and married another woman.
Literally the day after the divorce, she stopped drinking. She says that quitting was effortless because she lost all desire to drink. In fact, she hadn’t even intended to quit. She simply lost the urge to drink.
Several years later, she has a glass or two of wine occasionally, but she says she has never been tempted to get drunk. She is remarried and has what I believe to be a very good marriage.
She doesn’t blame her former husband for her drinking, but her story raises an interesting question: which came first the denigration or the drinking? Can we, in the case of this woman’s first marriage, view either husband or wife in isolation from the other?
The usual caveats: Experiences not typical. Your results may vary.
I am not suggesting that all or even most alcoholics would stop drinking if their spouses left them or that abused spouses have provoked their abusers. What I am saying is that, quite often, our understanding of human behavior is lacking when it is without reference to the intersubjective dimensions of psychic life. Inner life is itself dynamic and, additionally, there are moving, interacting parts in marriages and families.