Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Step Four: 4.2:What does it mean to you to be a ‘moral’ person?/ aamuses

This is a difficult question for me to answer right now, not because I don't know the answer, but, more because I know in answering it I'll sound as if I'm faulting Abby for her recent transgressions. The truth is, I know that in some ways I've fallen much farther then Abby did, with the only difference being that I was single at the time and her slips came more recently and so she betrayed not just me, but, the vows we made to each other.

So, with that in mind, I guess I see the answer to the question much the way it was taught to me as a young child. A moral person abides by the laws of God, and those set by the legal system, they remain true to their word, and to their spouse. I know, it seems so simple but, I know it's not, and even knowing that, it doesn't change the fact that I know Abby holds me somewhat responsible for all that happened.

When I first got the call about my father, there was no question about my going home to Croatia to be with him. My first thought was that I would bring him back to Chicago with me so I could oversee his care, but, my father was old, and stubborn, and quite set in his ways, and no amount of coaxing, or bullying would make him leave his home, his friends, or the land he was born on. I wanted Abby and Joe to go with me when I first went over, but, we still didn't have a passport for Joe so, we had no choice but for Abby and him to remain behind.

I hadn't planned on being gone for as long as I was, and looking back on it now, I realize how hard it had to have been for Abby, but, it wasn't easy for me either. Knowing that though, doesn't relieve her of the blame of putting our young son's life in danger with her drinking. Of course, I only learned of this when I came back to Chicago, and even as she revealed the truth of her drinking there remained another secret that she'd keep to herself until much later. I'd only been back in Chicago a couple of days when the news of my father's death reached me. I had to go back to Croatia, and this time I wanted my family with me. As hard as the decision was, Abby decided instead to enter rehab, so Joe and I said our good-byes to her on the street in front of our apartment with the hope that within the next 30-60 days she'd be joining us there.

I hadn't realized just how much I'd missed Abby until I saw her at the airport in Dubrovnik, and in those moments I thought I could forgive her everything that had happened up to that moment. If only she hadn't decided to reveal that remaining secret, if only she hadn't revealed that she'd not just started drinking again, but, that she'd slept with her boss as well. How was I supposed to forgive that? I'm a Catholic, I vowed before God to stay with her for the rest of our lives, but, how could I when she had betrayed everything we had between us? Everything that I thought we had suddenly seemed to crumble around us, and by the time we returned home to Chicago, I knew I had to have some time to try and make sense of things.

I wish I could say that things between Abby and I were perfect now, but, they aren't. We are trying to work things out, and as part of that I've moved home again. We've decided to leave Chicago, in the hope that a new start will make it easier to let go of the past. We know it's not going to be easy, Abby will have to work hard to maintain her sobriety, but, for the sake of our son, for me, and for our marriage, she's determined to overcome this. I wish I could say I believe everything Abby is saying now, but, with all that has happened, regaining my trust is something that will take time. I'm not ready to give up on her though, especially knowing how far I'd fallen at my worst. Maybe that in itself will prove to be the secret to Abby's success in overcoming all of this...strength of family, or at least that's what I want to believe. That's why I'm here.

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