Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hauling out the Christmas Tree

This year, I hauled the Christmas tree out by myself with some help from my 6-year-old son.

It was a huge tree and really needed two adults, but my dad has done this for me for the last 2 years and I couldn't see asking him again. I know he would do it and say nothing but it was not worth seeing the look of total disgust in his eyes.

I come from a family (on both sides) where the men do these things. Odd for me to say this as a feminist, but I like it this way.

My husband reminded me when I told him that I chose to live alone.

No, I chose to be marry a sober man. I chose to have the relationship that we agreed on in advance.

In Islam, you agree on the parameters of the marriage beforehand, much like a business agreement. If either partner does not keep their end of the bargain, the other party is free to divorce.

Islam was the first religion that gave women the right to divorce, among other things. It was a very progressive and feminist religion from the get-go. Women actually have rights. For all the "progressiveness" of the US, I'd say that the intention (at least) of Islam was to give women more rights and more choices. Women are not expected to just suck it in when their rights are violated.

In our case, I told my husband if he relapses I would leave him. He chose to drink anyway, after 3 years of sobriety.

He said he would follow my religion and that I could raise the children while he supported the family.

In Islam, any money a woman makes is hers to spend as she wishes. The man supports the family. The woman's primary responsibility is to the children and to the family. Not to say that the woman can not do anything (there have been far more Islamic countries with female Presidents than we have ever seen in the US!) But, I think it is a common sense religion, in the sense that throughout the world, women take on the bulk of responsibility for house and home - and they are honored for that - not forced to take on a double work-load.

My husband said he would honor my religion. Without these promises, I would not have married him.

I certainly would not have lived through another relapse. Had I known he would chose to drink again, I never would have married him.

I thought I made myself clear before we were married what the parameters would be. He reminds me now that marriage is for better or worse. Perhaps he's right. But I did not sign up for worse and worser.

He chose to drink. He chose to cheat. He chose to squander all our money until we were broke. He chose many things that I never would have chosen for us.

I chose to stick up for myself, kick his cocaine-head, alcoholic self out of this house and take care of our children.

I suppose I could have chosen to move on and move another man in to take care of us and all the things that go along with a house, but I didn't think that would be good for my kids.

So I suppose I chose our kids. I just did not expect that I would get fucked again and again because of it.


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  2. "Didn't cause it, can't control it, can't cure it." I like that approach to thinking about addiction in my loved ones. Take it easy, Sula Lee.

  3. I wish you the best. I think that standing up for yourself is good. Your decision to not live with active addiction is good. Remember that we each have choices--no one is forcing us to do anything. We make a choice.