My Husband’s Affair with Ms. C

I know he doesn’t mean it

When he goes to you instead

He’s known you longer than he’s known me

Will you know him ‘til he’s dead?

I smell your perfume in his shirt

At the end of every day

I know he spends more time with you

Yet there is nothing I can say

Wordlessly I watch and wait

While his lungs turn goopy and burn

My love for him isn’t strong enough

He chose you and I lose my turn

This poem is in response to Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt on The Poet by Day to write a poem about how addiction has touched my life. While smoking may not seem as terrible as opioid addiction (it’s not illegal, it’s still somewhat socially accepted), it is still an activity that takes you away from your relationships, obligations and hurts your health. In fact, I think any activity – even ones that start off as healthy, like running – can become an unhealthy addiction.

In this way, addiction has probably touched more lives that people might care to admit. Think of binge drinking in college or the even the use of smart phones – activities that people use as “coping skills” but, in reality, take people away from having real relationships and can cause serious mental and physical health problems. The mental and emotional components of addiction, as well as the physical aspects, has lasting effects, not only for the individual, but also for all the people in that person’s life.

In my professional and in personal lives, I am keenly aware of “addictive thinking” and “addictive behavior”. Tragically, I had a friend who died from alcoholism that she hid very well from us for many years. There is still so much stigma around addiction but we can’t be quiet about it any more. People are dying and we can’t just “wordlessly watch and wait”.

©️ iido 2018

11 thoughts on “My Husband’s Affair with Ms. C

  1. this is such a great awareness piece. addiction in general not just one that is singled out. sometimes people move form one to the other, there is a deeper reason for addictive behaviour. your final sentence is powerfully awakening. I am thinking how do we really help?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is the million dollar question. Most treatment for addiction starts with the the person coming to realize that they need help and want help, but that’s one of the symptoms – addiction masks so many issues and hinders insight. I can analyze my husband’s addictive behavior (and I have) but I can’t force him to quit. Such is the tragedy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • its a very deep rooted issue and unless the person wants to address it can be very confusing for those around them too. I can relate to your predicament, I lived with someone who had an addiction that destroyed a lot of things. It is the denial that hurts too. I hope there will be a way for you one day.

        Liked by 1 person

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