Missing Out Because Spouse Says No

10 June 2017 Written by 

I Hadn't Eaten Coconut And Rarely Seen A Movie In 30 years. Not because I don’t like them. The reason is far more insidious. My husband didn’t like coconut so I never used it or had it. It is not my husband’s fault or even alcoholism that I didn’t have coconut for 30 years. It was my own choice. Just because one person in a marriage doesn’t like something does that condemn both parties to abstinence. I reflect on my life and see how this simple example has been repeated over and over again. It's called co-dependency. 

My husband didn’t like going to movies so we didn’t go to the movies. He didn’t like to leave the house so we stayed home on weekends. So many times I went along with his choices because I didn’t think I had a choice. Why did I do that? Because I didn’t have my own opinion about anything. How sad for anyone to lose their voice. And I am not alone.

I was behind a woman in a meeting recently who was bemoaning how much weight she had gained since her husband’s neck surgery. She had given up all her fun outings since he could no longer join her. He told her to go without him, he would be fine. She chose to stay home and not enjoy herself without him. Her resentment grew along with her dress size.  Who was to blame for this situation? Ultimately, she is responsible for her own happiness and health.

I have learned that I too, have final say over what I do. This was an incredibly huge surprise to me when I entered the rooms of recovery. Due to my misinterpretation of my role as a wife I let decades go by letting a sick person make decisions for our entire family. With the help of Al-Anon I have found the following to be true for me:


I am allowed to say No to anyone anytime

I am allowed to say No and not explain why

I am allowed to do what is best for me

I am allowed to make decisions that cause others to feel uncomfortable

I am allowed to let others be uncomfortable

And that I am allowed to have coconut anytime I want


What are you missing out on because someone else doesn’t like it? I found out I love going to the movies, kayaking, going on hikes, and that I really don't like coconut all that much. At least now I know what I like and don't like, and that is an important part of freedom.

A Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By Madeline Schloop

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Read 16367 times Last modified on Sunday, 02 July 2017 19:09
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Madeline Schloop

Madeline is the widow of a man who died of alcoholism and the mother of 5 young adults whom she parents with the tools of Al-Anon. Her children continue to be affected by the disease of alcoholism. Her stories  deal with life's daily trials and what has and hasn't worked.
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