Any insight?

Old 02-15-2017, 01:56 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 378
Any insight?


I am sober for well over 4 years. I work my own program daily. Iíve read extensively about codependence and addiction. I quit for myself yet part of the reason was the severe arguments my wife and I would get into. She usually blamed my drinking. I wasnít so sure our issues were all the fault of my drinking. She really wanted me to stop through the years and equated my drinking to having an affair. When I quit my wife continued drinking. Either her consumption increased or I just never noticed how much she consumed. I would find her drunk on the sofa in the middle of the afternoon, empty liquor bottles under the sink and finally I called her on it when she started hiding wine boxes in our bedroom closet and was drunk at a school function. She quit drinking though said she didnít have a problem. She went into therapy over 2 1/2 years ago and is still going. She has become increasingly distant. She says itís easier just to not talk to me because we think differently. I agree, we do think differently. She accuses me of being the problem. Calls me an alcoholic. Says we are/were enmeshed. Is now holding intimacy at bay. Refuses to go to couples counseling. Is argumentative whenever I try to engage in any real talk about what our issues are. I argue back. Defensiveness is a weakness of mine. We are both working on trying to talk without emotional build up. That is getting better. Today, when I brought up our lack of intimacy she said everything in her life was fine. I told her everything was not fine in my life and our marriage. I know I canít control anyone or the pace of healing. I may be living with what are the consequences of my drinking past. I also know I need to be patient and back off. Which is hard for me to do. I am increasingly frustrated with her apparent avoidance of me and the issues that face our marriage. Itís like Iím living with a distant roommate. When I am direct I am accused of being mean or condescending or aggressive. Maybe you have some insight on my situation? Maybe Iím sensitive to my wife getting stronger? Am I paying for my sins as a drinker? Am I doomed to a platonic marriage? Is my marriage slowing going down the drain? I am sad, lonely, frustrated and confused.
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Old 02-15-2017, 02:32 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
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Hi, Cardoon,

My first husband got sober 37 years ago, a year before we got married. He was/is a terrific guy, with really solid recovery. Yet, over the years, I came to realize that as much as I loved him, I wasn't "in love" with him. We did counseling, and I tried to get past it, but the thing is, I didn't feel like I could have more than a platonic relationship with him, without doing violence to my own sense of self.

Eventually, I told him I wanted a divorce. He was, understandably, hurt and angry at first. He got his own counseling and we ultimately were able to work out a very amicable divorce. We remain close friends, and when I eventually had to get sober, myself (my drinking took off shortly after the divorce), he was extremely supportive.

Now, I can't say for sure what's going on with your wife, but it may have zero to do with how good a husband you are, little to do with your alcoholic past, but everything to do with where her head happens to be. Sometimes people grow apart, and it's no one's fault.

I'd suggest, if you want to save the marriage (and it sounds like you would like to), try marriage counseling. If that doesn't work, then I think you are both entitled to try to find happiness--whether that is with someone else, or being on your own.

Just my experience.

ETA: He married a lovely woman shortly after we split up, and she ADORES him. That's what he deserves, and what I couldn't give him. I stay with the two of them when I go out to visit my now-adult kids.
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Old 02-15-2017, 02:40 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
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hi cardoon. BIG congrats on your sober time, 4 years and counting is terrific.

i think it's also enough time that there is now considerable distance from the drunk person you were and the sober person you are today. and if you are working a program, even more so.

it sounds like your wife too had issues with alcohol and has not been on the sober bus as long. she has her own stuff to work on and work through.

it could be that you two are just not co-habitable any more. a lot of your combined history was tied up in drinking - with each of you having your own "reasons" for doing so. drinking buddies don't always transform easily into sober buddies. drinking partners don't often survive as sober partners. too much negative, chaos, turmoil and change.

we say here to watch Actions, instead of just listen to words. what does it LOOK like? what do her actions SAY?

and what do YOU want?
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:58 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
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Cardoon...if she refuses to go to couples therapy....I suggest that you go to therapy for yourself.. couples counselor don't just try to help couples stay together. They can, also, help you to see your situation more clearly....whether you stay OR go!
Some couples do make it, after sobriety...but, lots don't.
You are both entitled to happiness, and it is up to each of you to find it....
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