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Your non-alcoholic spouse's reactions to your recovery?

Old 01-31-2010, 08:52 AM
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Your non-alcoholic spouse's reactions to your recovery?

Are they just waiting for the other shoe to drop? I'm on day 36 now, Friday, H and I went to a bar with friends. I was completely fine, wasn't even jealous I couldn't drink, etc.

One of H's major issues with my drinking was how he had to watch over me because I would always literally get falling down drunk and black out, etc. So, after sharing with him what it was like for me to be sober in the middle of a bar with our drinking friends (all positive stuff), I asked him what it was like for him not to have to watch over me...thinking that perhaps I'd get good feedback.

Um - wrong. He just said it was weird. And so I said, oh...weird? Wanting him to expand a little on the answer...and he got mad and said that I "wants results immediately!"

Whoa - no...I explained I was just asking a question?

So - I guess this is anger at me for all the years of what I put him through? But my question is, when does that abate. I mean, my god, I've stopped drinking, I've apologized over and over, what else can I do here?

Thanks,
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:25 AM
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Stop apologizing! You'll show him with your actions which will mean more.

And please remember....early sobriety is tough. Emotions (can be) all over the place.

I don't have a sober spouse, so I probably shouldn't have even responded. Just want you to know, I think your sobriety is Awesome!
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:31 AM
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Cool

"... I asked him what it was like for him not to have to watch over me...He just said it was weird...weird? Wanting him to expand a little on the answer...and he got mad and said that I 'wants results immediately!'...So - I guess this is anger at me for all the years of what I put him through? But my question is, when does that abate. I mean, my god, I've stopped drinking, I've apologized over and over, what else can I do here?..."

Coffeenut is right; actions speak way louderf than words. Was this his anger for all the years.....? Sure, it could be. When will it abate? Who knows. Hopefully both you and your H are using some kind of recovery programs--working on yourselves.....?, or some kind of counselling or therapy....? This would probably help a lot. Both parties have usually engaged in actions that will no longer be necessary, and learning about them, and how to handle situations now will be a growing edperience for both of you, not just you.

I did want to put one thing out there as a possible answer to your H's 'wierd' resonse. He was probably so used to 'watcing over you' in the past that he may have spent a good deal of time this night also 'watching over you' (perhaps even subconsciously), and he may be a bit embarrassed........eh?

Ah well, just wanted to throw another option out there....ande wish you well.


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Old 01-31-2010, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by humblestudent View Post
what else can I do here?
Nothing else. Just get recovered, one day at a time. He'll sort it out on his own. It's not up to you. Only he knows what he's feeling, and maybe he's confused about that. Give him plenty of space.

Congratulations on Day 36... That's Awesome.

Watch those bars, that can be a pretty tricky place to be for any recovered alkie, but those early days... well ... be careful!!

Mark
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:14 PM
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I would've been disappointed in that response, too. I recently reminded my husband of my 2 yrs. sober - he never mentions my "anniversaries". (I know if it was him, I'd have marked it on the calendar and been giving him all sorts of praise.) When I push for a compliment he does say he never thought it would be possible for me to do it, & he's proud of me. Still, I have to bring it up. Maybe he's afraid if he heaps too much praise on me it'll jinx things.

Maybe you could ask him - the way you asked us - to explain to you why he seems hesitant to give you some "atta girls". We aren't staying sober for anyone but ourselves, hopefully - but some recognition is sure appreciated, isn't it?
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:15 PM
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Congratulations on 36 days, this is a fantastic accomplishment and not one to minimize, however, it takes more then just a few months to regain trust that was destroyed over many years.

Are they just waiting for the other shoe to drop?
well....ummmm...yeah

years of alcoholic behavior does that to those around us, they believe our past actions, which were to ummm...to drink alcoholically, for them to believe otherwise based on our past behavior is quite frankly incredibly unrealistic. He is the one on the outside looking in, as far as he is concerned you have been sober a total of .00001 percent of your life, 36 days doesn't quite make a trend yet, it's a hopeful beginning, but that's all it is, a tiny tiny merest of the sliver beginnings.

For me I couldn't expect someone to believe I had changed wholly in just 36 days.

It took years of work to undo years of damage. It took years of changed behavior to earn trust I had destroyed over many years with my own behavior.

For me today I don't believe anything that comes out of somebodies mouth unless it matches their actions, for me today trust is something that is earned, and for me today, if someone betrays or destroys that trust, like drinking will do to a relationship, it takes a LONG time to regain my trust.

This is healthy, it's known as a boundary.

One of H's major issues with my drinking was how he had to watch over me because I would always literally get falling down drunk and black out, etc.
So that is his "normal" and evidently has been for a LONG time, since you say you would always get falling down drunk, black out etc

that is his "normal", this is what he has come to expect from you in the past, and what he expects in the future.

Rightfully so.

So, after sharing with him what it was like for me to be sober in the middle of a bar with our drinking friends (all positive stuff), I asked him what it was like for him not to have to watch over me...thinking that perhaps I'd get good feedback.
So you wanted him to tell you what a great job you are doing? Not an unreasonable expectation, but an expectation nonetheless, keep reading

Um - wrong. He just said it was weird. And so I said, oh...weird? Wanting him to expand a little on the answer...and he got mad and said that I "wants results immediately!"
he's right, in your own words you wanted "good feedback", it's not a question if we already know what answer we want, those are called expectations, which are resentments waiting to happen


Whoa - no...I explained I was just asking a question?
Actually no, you wanted positive reinforcement, different then asking a question, it's not a bad thing to want positive reinforcement, but it doesn't have anything to do with asking a question.

I have learned not to ask questions I might not want to hear the answer to unless I actually want to hear the answer.

So - I guess this is anger at me for all the years of what I put him through? But my question is, when does that abate. I mean, my god, I've stopped drinking, I've apologized over and over, what else can I do here?
You can stay stopped, work the steps and try to undo years of hell and damage and blown trust, this is not an overnight matter.

Allow him his process, keep doing what you are doing and have patience, work on yourself and stay sober and everything will fall into place.

Seriously, congratulations, 36 days is huge, now the part comes where we get to start actually repairing our life and making a new one.

It doesn't happen overnight
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:23 PM
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I truly believe you will have to show him with your actions that you have changed.

I was also very anxious to have my family understand what I was going through. They wanted me to get better, but did not have any interest in hearing about it.

I think if your focus on your recovery and keep moving forward, you'll be fine.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:39 PM
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Thanks everyone - especially Ago, for being honest in your answers. I do appreciate the reality check. And I do realize that when I get angry because I'm not getting what I want, it's a bit tantrum like (if only in my head).

You're all correct - no one but an alcoholic/addict truly understands what a monumental effort it is to put the drink/doc down - forever. And they don't want to hear about it. Years and years ago, when I watched my mother go through rehab at 15 (though I didn't really know her/raised by others - long story), I was so angry at her, and just did not have the first concept about what addiction was. I just thought to myself, "Just don't drink...! How hard is that?? And I think that perhaps that line of thinking is what normies must think?

No matter how he reacts, or doesn't, I have to keep the focus on me, my behavior and my continued progress.

I do have to say though, that other than the hesitance on the 'atta' girls, just about everything else about our relating has improved. Greatly. And he does agree on that.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:54 PM
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Hi humblestudent

It stands to reason to me that, as difficult as it is for us to adjust to a new way of living, it must be as hard, or harder, for a spouse to adjust.

Give yourself time to work out where your sober water level' is...and then give your partner time to work out where his is at too...

And people are right - actions speak louder than words ever can
D
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:42 PM
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Yes, that's exactly it hs - normie's mostly have the "just say no" attitude. I'm quite sure my family all think it's a character flaw, too. My husband used to say - 'If it makes you so miserable and agitated, why do you keep doing it?' I never could explain.

Glad to hear everything else is going well in your marriage.
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:53 PM
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Stay sober for your own well being. He'll come around in time.

Good for you on your sober time! (((hugs)))
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:48 PM
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Ma, ain't it grand that the wind stopped blowin!!! There is a long period of reconstruction ahead.
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:57 PM
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Well, I'm going to be a hard axx. Going to a bar with friend is a bad idea. That shows him same old same old. Maybe I'm just a former Marine who calls BS when I smell it and seen too many times that behavior leads back to drinking. Maybe I'm still sober after 18 years as I don't hit the bars as I've seen friends and family in to the ground because of it.

Don't get me wrong I have at points visted my friends in between AA meetings etc but I sure changed my ways and time spent in those places.

ACTION makes ALL the difference NOT 'wanted' too..

Bring on the hate male/mail..

Bars are for drinking.. Someone correct me if I'm wrong....

AG
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