“I Saw the Other Side”: The Silent Drug That Destroyed Our Marriage


The other side…

Evenings out with friends were always enjoyable, fun, and filled with laughter. The night might have included our favorite karaoke bar, restaurant, or just a night alone. Wherever we were, alcohol was involved.

As the evenings came to a close, I knew the dark reality would soon set in. The anger and hurt in Bryan’s eyes after everyone was gone was scary. I saw the other side.

I remember nights where I hoped that Bryan would just pass out after we were alone. My wishful thoughts were often overshadowed by the nights of darkness.

The moment I realized that drinking became an issue in our marriage, I tried to control it. I became nothing more than a broken record saying, “you’ve had enough,” only to hear another bottle being opened. My controlling words only fueled the anger deep within Bryan.

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He could not see the other side.

The bottles and cans overflowing the trash can should have been enough to wake him. But in reality, it was just masking the hurt inside. The words; “Shayla, if you really knew me…” haunted me. The evening events turned into daytime events. After Bryan attended a Royals day game, I asked him who won. He was so intoxicated, he didn’t know. I wish I could say that this was a rare occurrence. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

I could sense that Bryan’s drinking was starting to spiral out of control. I was losing my grip on trying to control Bryan’s actions. I hated this for Bryan.

I hated to see my husband, my best friend, become a victim to this silent drug.

Even though I lost my grip on control, I never stopped caring or worrying about him. Bryan thought he was invincible. He didn’t need a designated driver. He would often put himself and others in jeopardy because of his continued decisions to drive drunk after hours of drinking. I remember one particular day; I researched the phone number for the Kansas Highway Patrol to report my husband as a drunk driver on the interstate. I was scared that he was going to kill himself or even worse, kill an innocent family. I begged for him to stop driving but once again, it only fueled his anger. I was angry too and wondered why he was throwing his life away in exchange for a temporary escape from reality.

I never made the call and thank goodness he made it home safe.

During sober conversations, I would share my concerns about the drinking. Bryan would tell me that he would try harder to stop. But nothing ever changed. This horrific cycle would continue. My hope was gone.

Being on the other side is a lonely place.

Is this how the rest of our lives are going to be? Will Bryan ever hit rock bottom and get help that he desperately needed? The breakthrough finally happened or so I thought when Bryan agreed to go to an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting. I am sure he only went to please me.

My heart and dreams shattered as he left the house to go to the meeting. I was in disbelief that this is what his life; our life, had come to.

He was losing the battle to an addiction that was taking control of his life.

I was so hopeful that this would break the cycle for Bryan. However, he only went once. He never went to another meeting. The cycle would continue.

Some of you reading this can relate to this side of living with someone with an addiction. An addiction that divides a marriage, an addiction that causes deep wounds, an addiction that creates trust issues, and an addiction that destroys a human being.

I stopped counting the times I heard the words, “I will stop,” only to come home to a trash can full of bottles. I felt betrayed, lied to, and crushed over and over again.

Bryan’s drinking addiction killed our marriage. The addiction led to an affair. The addiction broke trust. The addiction was a mask for his deep wounds. The addiction fueled the demons that Bryan was battling.

The night that Bryan told me that he would never drink again, he was severely intoxicated. I was done. I was tired of hearing over and over again that he would stop. I could never trust him again. He could not control himself with one drink. One drink would turn into three. Three drinks would turn into seven. Seven drinks would turn into ten. Ten drinks would turn into a disaster.

One January 30, 2008, looking into the eyes again of my drunken husband, he told me that he surrendered his addiction to Jesus.

I did not believe him because I had heard that statement so many times before. I will stop.

However, something was different this time. Days went by without drinking. Hmmm.

Weeks went by without drinking. Whoa.

Months went by and still no drinking. Shocked.

Social events came and went and still no drinking. Amazed.

A year went by. Sober. Unbelievable.

5 years went by without a drop of alcohol. Loved.

9 years, no drinking. So proud!

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Bryan & Shayla Moffitt
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Bryan and Shayla Moffitt, of Anguished Hearts, are speakers, writers, parents to the two most adorable kids, and followers of Jesus. Shayla loves coffee and Bryan loves running marathons. They have been best friends for over 18 years and husband and wife for over 17 years. Follow them on Facebook.