I think I've lost the capacity to love anyone else more than myself. This isn't to say that I'm some kind of an egomaniac. I just have a sense of self-preservation that I didn't have 15 years ago, and that often takes presidence over friends and loved ones. I can love you and still leave you behind if I haveto. It might be a long separation process, but eventually I'll break loose and go. Unconditional love…don't think I've believed it that for a long time.

I'm not talking about leaving people in a burning building to save myself–that's just cowardly and self-serving. But if you hurt me enough, if you neglect a need too often…love is not enough.

I often think about leaving my husband whenever we get into a big fight. I rarely let it go beyond a fleeting thought, because I know our patterns. The air usually clears after the bomb drops. Life goes on and we forgive.

Not sure if life is going to keep going after this one. How much rotton crap can I listen to before appologizing seems like a cop-out to me and another free pass (until next time)for him.I'm tired.

Odd thing is, I didn't even cry very much tonight–not until he kept trying to get into his car, despite the fact that he was slurring and could barely walk straight. Of course, now, alone in the living room…I seem to have sprung a slow leak. But even that comes and goes.

I just felt betrayed that he fought me so hard about "one last drink", that I told him it was upsetting me and he treated me like a cruel jailer, like a horrible excuse for a wife like I'd somehow betrayed HIM.

See, this is all new to us–the excuses, the outrage ("I work two jobs! I just paid all those bills! I work so HARD for you and you won't let me have any fun! You're not the one having surgery in two weeks!") He even turned on the tearless crying, intermitantly bawling that I was some kind of horrible bitch to him and telling me to go live with my sister.I couldn't get sucked into it–it sounded so manipulative that I just stared, dumbfounded.

We get loud when we fight, sure, but we're not the "domestic dispute" couple on every episode of COPS. There are lines we normally don't cross, and tonight they were crossed. Not hitting, but I've never had to physically restrain my husband and take his keys. He's never threatened to slap me before. We're not that kind of couple. Except, we were.

"A few drinks" to him, 5-7–not beers, mixed drinks, DOUBLES, if he's making his own.

"A few drinks" to me, is 3, maybe 4 if I'm feeling extra celebratory.

His winning argument is "I don't do it every day" but he does it at least twice a week. Instead of saying "Meh, I've got a good buzz after the 5 I had in the resturant, why upset the wife over it?" hetells me at home "Last one" and then immediately pours another once it's finished, then another before bed.

He didn't drink like thiswhen we were dating, he wasn't even this bad during the 4 years we lived in our little ghetto apartment. It's like once we got a house of our own he started celebrating a little harder than usual and three years later doesn't think his wife should be allowed to speak up about it.

He's worried about a hernia operation that's coming up–his third. It's going to be a bit more risky because it's reoccuring.I understand that and I'm right there worrying with him and trying to be positive, but I'm not going to get sucked into some kind of textbook, co-dependant Al-Anon poster-child type manipulation bullshit–thinking "I can't leave! He needs me!"I'll be there for him for his surgery, because I love him and he's afraid,and then I might not be there once the worst of it's over. I dunno…

Tomorrow will tell. If he's still angry and sulking in the morning, it only makes leaving feel more rational. If not, we have to see a counselor or call it quits. I won't keep torturing myself trying to be heard. I've already tortured myself over someone else in the past. At least I have the ex to thank for teaching me that it's better to walk away before it turns me into a wreck.

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