The New Beau–A gentleman I met through one of those online dating sites. Our first telephone conversation lasted over 2 hours without a pause. The conversation continues… without a pause. He’s kind, gentle, loving in ways I only dreamed existed.

The Wizard–The other alcoholic in my life, the one I recently divorced after 21 1/2 years of marriage.

He was once a brilliant man. Well-educated. Successful. Good father. Community-volunteer. The brilliance and kindness are now masked by untreated alcoholism.

As The Wizard’s wife, I blindly believed he would change. I hoped.

I wrote him long co-dependent love letters:

I’ve never loved anyone as much as I love you. My heart is in thousands of tiny shards, yet it still beats for you. I’ve said I will love you always and all ways–and I will! …I do not want to lose you.

I love you with all of my heart. Every fiber of my soul is devoted to loving you. I am committed to you, to our marriage, and to our family… It is killing me to watch you destroy yourself and our family. (Yes, it is fine to vomit a little in your mouth. I know I do when I look back at my desperation.)

I wrote thousands of words to The Wizard.

Then, I let go.

Through Al-Anon, I have learned I can’t save The Wizard. I can only save myself.

I won’t tell The Wizard’s story. As the ex-wife, I tell my story.

This blog is my story, but he is a part of it.

The Kids–The products of a merging of The Wizard and Dorothy’s DNA. The Kids (#1 and #2) are two of the most adorable, brilliant, well-adjust teenaged children in the world, especially considering the Hell they have walked through with their parents.

Chef Man–A romantic gentleman friend I met during a chance encounter at a dive taqueria. He and his son were trying to decide what to order, when the words “I always order the tortas” spilled out of my mouth. The rest… is an adventure in new relationships that often leaves me with warm and squishy feelings of happiness and, maybe, just maybe, that “L” word.<—I discovered all of that was another illusion. Chef Man was attached and living with someone. He didn’t tell me, though I asked all the questions upfront. Lesson learned — I hope.

The Shiny Lure — My male BFF and closest advisor on opposite-sex relationships. Our friendship began as an almost romantic one until we both discovered what we really needed was a friend. He’s my wingman. I’m his wing woman. It works.