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Recently dry AH's resentful attitude, towards ME?

Old 05-12-2013, 02:10 PM
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Recently dry AH's resentful attitude, towards ME?

Can anyone explain or offer advice on how to deal with the attitude and constant anger of my AH who recently quit drinking (again.) We've been married 10 years, been together 15 yrs, have 3 young kids under 6. Again, after a few scary blackout situations and irratic behavior, my AH decided to "take a break from drinking for awhile." He says he wants to quit for a year this time. In the past, he tried to quit drinking but it only lasted 2 weeks. This time, the only difference is, he's drinking tons of non-alcoholic beer. He's buying them by the case. Which has been fine, it seems to help. The problem is, he is so angry and bitter, like I took candy away from a child, pouting and shouting and acting pissy over every little thing. It's intolerable, especially around the children. I don't know what is worse or better, being drunk every night or being sober and basically acting the same! I've tried to talking to him about it, but I'm getting the usual response, "Well, you better get f*@#$ used to it, this is the new me, this is what you wanted right?" Even though this time it was his own suggestion to try quitting again. He is blaming me for it, punishing me with verbal and emotional abuse, but not because he is drunk, but because he had to quit. How should I be reacting to his anger outbursts over nothing? It's hard to know whether to keep talking to him about it, which just makes him mad, or try to give him more time and more space. Just like when he's actively drinking, once again, his behavior rules all of our lives, even though he's sober! Any advice would be appreciated. I love him and want to be supportive of his efforts to quit, but he is walking a fine line at this point, I'm nearing the end of my patience. If he stays sober, that's great but I'm afraid he will not be any nicer or reliable as a dry drunk. Do years of alcoholism change a person inside forever, can they ever shake off dry drunk syndrome? I want him to be the way he was before he was bitter and miserable about life. He used to love life. What will it take to get him back to that frame of mind?
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:18 PM
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This sounds like where I was a few weeks ago with my AH. He was like that for almost three weeks. I thought I was going out of my mind. Finally, he relapsed and drank and the kids and I ended up in a hotel. He entered inpatient rehab last week.

He told me last night that the "dry drunk" stage he was in was just part of relapsing. Some book he was given in rehab explained that the anger and 'dry drunk" period was just a stage prior to getting angrier and leaping to the next stage of grabbing a drink. Sure enough, that is what he did.

I'm sorry you are going through this. It certainly isn't fun. I'm learning that during the "dry drunk" period, all I wanted was for him to be nice. I was craving his attention. Now that he is working at his sobriety, he is craving me and I am the one who is stand offish. Now that things on his end are peaceful, my emotions are getting time to come through and it isn't pretty. Funny how we build up emotions and bury them deep inside. ;(
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by luv2teachkids View Post
I'm sorry you are going through this. It certainly isn't fun. I'm learning that during the "dry drunk" period, all I wanted was for him to be nice. I was craving his attention. Now that he is working at his sobriety, he is craving me and I am the one who is stand offish. Now that things on his end are peaceful, my emotions are getting time to come through and it isn't pretty. Funny how we build up emotions and bury them deep inside. ;(
I think I'm here right now, thank you for posting this. He is going to AA and to Al-Anon and now telling me I would "find value" in Al-Anon (i.e. I "should" go!). And he's all "whatever you want" and "I don't want to live in chaos."

And right now I'm like screw that! I didn't want to live in chaos either! (I don't want to, which is why I'm taking steps to help me get out of this chaos.) But I'm just angry right now. And I sure don't want him all "oh I'm all better you should get better too!" Look, you idiot, I'm the one who had to live with you! Aside from the fact that, hello, I'm NOT you, my "better" is going to be a whole lot different from yours because I am/was coping with an entirely different set of things than you were to begin with... from YOU!

EAAAAAAAAUUUGHH. Venting.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:31 PM
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Right there with you, Blue! I'm feeling the exact same way right now! He's happy and I am angry....feels like we reversed roles!
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:46 PM
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oy, multiple issues at play here! first and foremost, you are not THERE to be the focus of his abuse, anger, resentment because HE has a drinking problem! he is treating you with complete disrespect, which at least IMHO, is Unacceptable. second, he's not quitting as a means to a better life, he's putting himself on restriction and making everyone pay for it. and third, drinking "non" alcohol beer by the caseful is not helping, it's like poking the hibernating beer with a stick....non-alcohol beer DOES have trace amounts of alcohol in it and it triggers the "oooo beer!" response, only a good drunk never comes. NO WONDER HE'S PISSED.

i'm sorry, it doesn't sound at all good for you. or the kids. if this is as good as it gets....is it good enough?
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:13 PM
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I can relate to some of the personality things you and your AH is dealing with right not. i think many of us with drinking problems, myself for sure, tend to have problems with depression anxiety etc.. when I stopped drinking a lot of this was exacerbated. I find it very very difficult to go through certain days, even certain times of days without getting anxious. For instance, most every Friday I would get out of work by 4 and be having my first drink by 5, usually smashed by 9 pm. Now, I find I get very anxious and irritable around quitting time and even angry at times. It takes time to recognize when you are being a jerk because you aren't drinking, and it takes a lot of insight to be able to see it and correct it. It is so very very hard. Personally, I try to live a happy life and be nice to people. But guess who takes the brunt of my alcohol withdrawal? My loving husband. I don't have a cure for you. I don't know how to help you. I can say there is a very good chance your AH wants to change. Maybe the reason he is having a hard time is because he doesn't know what the cause of his bad mood is?
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:28 PM
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Maybe suggest he go to AA. If he's a real alcoholic, drinking booze is not his problem. The disease of alcoholism is his problem.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:58 PM
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Just because he's attending AA, as you state, doesn't mean he's in real "recovery". Until he gets serious, and does it for himself, he is a "dry drunk". So he will deal with irritation, anxiety, anger, etc. But it doesn't mean you have to deal with it. Go to AlAnon, learn to set boundaries on his behaviors. Take care of you. Unless he gets real recovery, this kind of sobriety can't last.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by AnvilheadII View Post
oy, multiple issues at play here! first and foremost, you are not THERE to be the focus of his abuse, anger, resentment because HE has a drinking problem! he is treating you with complete disrespect, which at least IMHO, is Unacceptable. second, he's not quitting as a means to a better life, he's putting himself on restriction and making everyone pay for it. and third, drinking "non" alcohol beer by the caseful is not helping, it's like poking the hibernating beer with a stick....non-alcohol beer DOES have trace amounts of alcohol in it and it triggers the "oooo beer!" response, only a good drunk never comes. NO WONDER HE'S PISSED.

i'm sorry, it doesn't sound at all good for you. or the kids. if this is as good as it gets....is it good enough?

I totally agree with this, thank you. He is not quitting for a better life, he's only putting himself on restriction and making everyone else pay for it. That's exactly what I was thinking when I wrote my first post. He will not attend AA, I gave him the book, Under the Influence but he tossed it up on the shelf and won't read it. He thinks he can "handle this on his own." He can't. Duh. He has no idea how or why he has to work on recovery not only from the alcohol itself, but also the emotional side of it. He has no idea how to even begin working on himself. He's been full of anger and discontentment, saying he hates his job (he has a GREAT job with the City!) He says the kids are annoying him, so he hides out in the garage (man cave.) Although I am so happy he is not getting drunk and aggressive every night, this sober guy is only slightly better, still unacceptable as a husband and father. He is not treating me with any shred of respect, but I've been letting it go, all in the name of being proud of him that he hasn't gotten drunk in 2 weeks. I know he will likely relapse if he continues to allow his alcoholic behavior be part of his life. Now to face your question, if this is as good as it gets, is it enough? The answer to that is NO.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:57 AM
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To follow up on your last post: you can't make him find recovery either, and I know that's a frustrating part for us as partners. We can't control anyone else, as much as they can't control their drinking (for very long) on their own without help. Unfortunately, we also can't live their lives for them. If the environment is intolerable to you, you still have choices for YOU that can make whether he's drinking or not.

As for the NA beer. My AH tried that one. First he'd mix it with the real stuff and try to hide it from me. DUH, I totally have beer radar and can smell the real stuff a mile away, LOL. Then he just gave up and switched back to the real stuff. It didn't take long. He even complained recently that I have a 'problem' with the NA stuff and now he can't drink that either. Umm, I didn't say he could or he couldn't, I just told him that he can move out if he wants to drink that stuff because I know the path it leads to as evidenced by his past behaviors.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:26 PM
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As mentioned, he is not even really a dry drunk. He is still consuming trace alcohol in NA beer.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:01 PM
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You stated you are letting it go because you are proud he hasn't drank in 2 weeks.. but is there really much to be proud of? He is still the same guy he was..he is acting out, not being a good father to your children, not showing you any respect, verbally and emotionally abusing you, blaming you for him not being able to drink, etc. He hasn't taken any steps towards recovery and life is just as bad as it was when he was drinking.

We always hope that when our loved ones stop drinking they will go back to the person we loved before the addiction occurred. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Just because he isn't drinking doesn't mean that man will come back, in fact, that man may never come back. His whole outlook on life is different, he has no motivation, he is miserable, all he wants is alcohol and now he blames you and his family for taking away his one love, and he is now chugging non-alcoholic beer because he just can't stand the thought of being sober. Unfortunately, the problem isn't really alcohol or drugs with our loved ones..it is all the other problems that drinking covers up. He is an empty shell and he is only going to get more and more angry the longer he goes without a drink until he decides to actually work a program of recovery.

You do not deserve to be treated this way and your children do not deserve to be in a house where this is going on. You stated that if this is as good as it gets then this is not good enough, so knowing that, it might be time to think about what you want for your future and what it will take to get there. I'm not trying to say you need to do something now, I am just saying maybe it would help to think about what would make you happy/fulfilled and what you want for your children.
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