Confessions of a Tired Wife - By Dr Pradnya Ajinkya

Subeesh and Suprabha were married for 6 years. Subeesh was a recovering alcoholic and drug addict years before he met Suprabha. She was a successful professional and Subeesh was in the top management in a multinational. After several years, the couple started a business of their own which they hoped would help grow their savings and allow them to travel and enjoy life more. Things did not go as smoothly as expected, but they kept working on it and trying to deal with the stresses of a new business together.

After about a year, Suprabha found Subeesh weeping. She asked him what was wrong and he said he had to move out and "see what he wanted in life". Devastated, but left with no choice she let him go. After a week, he came back to pack up his belongings. In the meantime, Suprabha worked the business on her own. About a month later she received a call from the bank that her business account was overdrawn. She discovered that Subeesh had been funneling money out of their business account for some months before he left. When Suprabha finally reached him, he minimized the theft, but said that he would reimburse the account. A couple of weeks later, she found out from friends that Subeesh was dating another woman. Later, he stopped reimbursing the account.

Therapist

What we have to analyse is whether there is much hope for this relationship. With a history of addictive behavior in the past, he could have been secretive about his feelings for some time. By the time he decided to talk, he was ready to leave. Now who was the codependent in this relationship? Who takes the lead in trying to help? Why did Subeesh betray his loyal wife? Did he make an attempt to be honest, apologise or take responsibility for his actions?

Probably there is a very strong chance he had started drinking, drugging, or gambling. This was the point where he was in a complete relapse, and it was only a matter of time before he would be found out. Subeesh bailed out with more lies before he had to face that consequence.

A postscript: She can take some steps to stay out of the codependency role by being completely honest about Subeesh’s behavior to family and friends. To do otherwise would be a continuation of caretaking, "protecting" him from having to face the consequences of his actions. By the same token, Suprabha will be extremely vulnerable to Subeesh’s "charming" side should he try to reconcile with her. Chances are also strong that he will attempt a reconciliation because addicts are very dependent on their codependent partners.

Another postscript: I don't want to give the impression that recovering addicts are bad partners. Recovering addicts who are actively working a programme can be very good partners because they have been forced to look at themselves closely, are used to talking about and listening to feelings.

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