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Old 04-09-2012, 12:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Don't think my marriage will survive sobriety


Writing with a very heavy heart today. As some of you are aware, I have been working at trying to sober up after many years of heavy drinking. I am not all the way there yet, but I am working on it. I figure it has taken 20 some odd years to get me into this mess, it is going to take some time and a lot of hard work to get me back out, but I am determined to make it. But I am having a big problem. I am very sad today. I have been married for 11 years to someone I considered my best friend and soul mate. We have had many more happy times than bad times, at least while we were both actively drinking. He has done a really good job of not drinking, and it has changed his entire personality!! He is humorless, negative, judgmental, and completely joyless. The complete opposite of the man I married who was funny, affectionate, kind, and loved to work hard and play hard, just like me. Just to give you guys an example, this is how yesterday went…

We went to him mom’s for Easter. I missed my family but was more than happy to agree to spend time with his family this holiday. So we get there and his mom points to the kitchen in her tiny apartment and says, “Dinner’s in there! Mashed potatoes need to be made, rolls need to be cooked, etc. etc.” Well I am a pretty good cook and was happy to go ahead and make dinner. I didn’t expect it, but I was okay with it. I was glad to have something to do. So I bust my ass and make dinner for 20 people, which was actually kind of fun, but it wore me out. My husband wasn’t really talking to me so after dinner I went down to the playground with his brother and all the kids.

His brother was already drunk at this point. He told me to get on the merry go round and he’d push me. I didn’t really want to but I went ahead and did it anyway. Well he started pushing me faster and faster. I couldn’t hold on. I told him I was about to fall off and he didn’t believe me. Well, I went flying off the thing, face first into the gravel and then just about got my head knocked off by the merry go round when I tried to get back up. It hurt and I was a little traumatized but I was not going to be a big baby about it because I am desperately trying to just enjoy the day. Of course my husband never asks me if I’m okay or anything but whatever…so I go in and help his mom clean up. At this point I am feeling a little claustrophobic and worn out and I am beyond ready to go. His brother is getting drunker and drunker. I go into the kitchen to get a pop and my husband is in there. He is putting the left over pop in the fridge. I try to get by him because I just need to sit down for a bit and he hands me a pop and says, “help me out for a sec” really short and irritated. I kind of stared at it for a second like, “arghhh…okay” and then my husband yells at me in front of everyone “either help or get out of my way!”

Well something in me just snapped at that point. I just pushed my way past him without another word. But all the way home I just felt angry. This is the kind of thing that happens a lot with him. He’s irritable and short and downright mean. Anyone else would have been like, “thanks for helping my mom and putting up with my drunk brother” but not my husband, nope all he can do is make a bad day worse. He apologized but I am still furious with him because this kind of thing happens all the time. The good news is I had no desire to drink over it, at all. Too depressed to drink. Too depressed to care all that much about anything anymore. I am so angry that I am seriously thinking about leaving.

I don’t even know this man. I would never have married someone like this.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Is your husband doing any sort of program or work to help him with stopping? Or is he just not drinking? He may be resentful and angry about not being able to drink right now, taking it out on whoever is around (mostly you). He would do well to get some help with that, so he can learn to deal with it differently.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i too am very sad today..
lost my soul mate after 14 years...my drinking have caused such turmoil in our lives.
i hate myself because of it..always tell myself this time will be different yeah right.
i hate this efffin disease the pain it causes is incredible.
my thoughts are with you
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi WhiteKnuckles,

So sorry, you did not deserve that in the least. He should have been kissing the ground that you walk on.

Sounds like your H is not working any program, and he IMO, needs one.

Even though he is not drinking now, it seems he is taking all of his aggression out on you now, instead of the bottle
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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WhiteKnuckles,

How long have you both been sober?

Personally speaking, now that I'm sober, I'm having to learn for the first time how to really deal with my emotions. For all the years I was drinking, I lost this ability (or never gained it). For the first few weeks, I'd get angry over the slightest thing, and stay that way for hours (or even days). And sad. And depressed. All strong emotions triggered by small events. And in many cases, I wasn't even aware of my fault. Certainly not in the moment. We feel self-righteous in our anger & hurt - but that's more often than not a lie we tell ourselves without knowing.

I say I was this way for weeks, but I'd still be that way now if I didn't take proactive steps to change the way I reacted to the world. And I'm far from perfect now. Still plenty of work to do! It's a work in progress. I truly feel our emotional development is retarded and damaged by alcohol abuse. When we dry out, we need to learn to deal with the world the way we did as children. What do children do when they're upset? Rationalize the situation? Nope. The kick & stomp their feet & throw a fit. They don't mean to, but they do. They have to learn to cope. We, sometimes, have to relearn.

I hope you can sit down with your husband, when you're both feeling better, and discuss your thoughts & feelings. Ask him how he really feels. Ask him why he treated you the way he did. Don't look for an apology, but look for answers. Perhaps the answer will be he feels differently now. But most likely, he's having the same difficulties I did. You most likely have the same difficulties yourself. You may not react the same way he does. Maybe you turn to sadness where he turns to anger. Maybe you lash out at yourself while he lashes out at others. But the root cause is still the same.

I'm not saying you should be his punching bag. But there's a very good chance he simply can't see past his own emotional pain to understand the hurt he's putting you through. And he might not be able to see any way out. The sad fact is - we often take out our frustrations in life on those we're closest to. That doesn't make it right - but it does mean that his anger & pain may be completely unrelated to you. Perhaps some counseling would be of help.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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One the greatest gifts you can give yourself is the gift of peace. Many factors are involved in that quest. Your mind, body and spirit must be free and healthy. You have begun the process of healing your body but it sounds to me like your mind and spirit are still struggling. My heart goes out to you.

Since becoming sober I have take a hard long look at the people in my life. And I decided to make changes. TOUGH ones. I asked myself if I were to have met these people now would I invite them into my life. When the answer was no, then I walked away. It wasn't easy. I felt alone, I felt like a hypocrite, I felt guilty but those feelings passed. I have never felt more at peace in my life and it only keeps getting better.

A few of those people? My fiance (5 years). My mother. Various 15+ year friends. Did I feel lonely at times? Hell yes. But even during those times I was at peace. And I'll take peace over company any day of the week.

Best of luck.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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He is not in any kind of program or counseling. He's really not even an alcoholic. He can drink one or two and quit, whereas I could easily drink a 12 pack in an evening. I am sure it was not fun for him to be around that all the time, but I was never a mean, violent drunk either. Just a sloppy one. So maybe while he was realizing all of my ugly flaws, I was glossing over all of his, because I was drunk almost every night, and I always felt so guilty that he had to be married to a drunk, that I just couldn't hold a lot against him. So now, I would not say I am sober yet. I still drink a 6 pack once a week. Not great, I know, but that is down from 8 to 12 beers nearly every night of the week. I AM TRYING. And I am very depressed. I haven't been able to stop crying all day. Even though I have been a drunk mess, I have been a good wife in a lot of respects too. I usually have a pretty sunny, positive attitude, I am loyal, I am a good cook, I wait on him hand and foot, I am good to his family, I have a great job and I make good money. I am so sick and tired of telling myself I deserve this and that just because I am an alcoholic. Just like anyone else, don't I deserve to be happy too? I am so hurt. It's like everything I thought was my world no longer exists and probably never existed
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm sorry Ulverston, I understand. I know firsthand how much turmoil drinking causes. I am so sorry you lost your soul mate. I guess I have too in a roundabout way. At least we haven't lost ourselves...yet...
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Knuckles,

I am sorry you are in pain. You say that you wait on him hand and foot.

Has he ever done that for you?
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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And yes I have talked to him several times about this. I told him yesterday, just like I told you guys, "Wow, most people would say thank you, but not you!" and yes he was apologetic, but I am not impressed. I'm very resentful. I don't see how I can have any hope of maintaining sobriety if I can't be with someone who can be positive and fun at least some of the time. Every single day with him it's all doom and gloom, even though we have dodged some potentially devastating bullets recently. He probably needs counseling, he probably needs to be on Prozac, right now the way I feel I don't really care what he does, I am having a bad attitude because I feel like I need to have a bad attitude sometimes. I'm tired of always trying to be all happy and positive when things just suck. I feel like being mad and I'm just gonna be mad, dangit.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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No Change4good I always felt like waiting on him hand and foot was part of my penance for being a drunkard and his lack of reciperocation was part of my punishment.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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WhiteKnuckles - I'm so sorry you're in pain over this. It should be a time of growth and harmony between the two of you - not sniping and bitterness. I do like the advice you were given here. I, too, think a serious talk about what's going on is necessary. I suppose you'll have to pick just the right time, since he's not very approachable.

I would have been horrified to find out I was expected to make dinner! That's awful, & I think you handled it so graciously. I wonder why he wasn't more grateful? It's a puzzle, and I understand why you're tired of being unappreciated & misunderstood.

Glad you started this thread. I hope you'll get some comfort from it.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Power politics? He doesn't really want you better so he keeps the upper hand?
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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No Change4good I always felt like waiting on him hand and foot was part of my penance for being a drunkard and his lack of reciperocation was part of my punishment.

That sounds like an awful basis for a good relationship. Have you considered counselling as a couple? There is no doubt that your relationship will continue to change if you become sober. It might be possible that working on the marriage together would help. However, abuse of any kind is never acceptable.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Oh Anna I am probably making it sound more extreme than what it is. What I mean is, I have always fulfulled the traditional "wifey" role in our relationship in terms of cooking him dinners and getting him things he wants when he asks, and no he has rarely done the same for me. And I haven't really cared, because at the height of my drinking I felt like such a horrible person who did not deserve him anyway, what did it matter if I had to take care of him the way I do? I thought I was lucky he just stayed with me. But now I'm beginning to suspect that maybe I'm not a horrible person who deserves to be ashamed and miserable everyday. Maybe I *do* have more to offer than that. So maybe you're right SoberinPA, maybe these recent outbursts are a way to keep me "in my place" but it's having the opposite effect and making me very mad, and more determined to get well so I can finally figure out what the heck is best for me. Maybe staying with him and trying to work it out, or being with no one at all, or finding someone who is kind, who enjoys life, who loves animals and wants to be peaceful and happy just as much as I do.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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hi Whiteknuckles.. sorry to hear about issues you're having. I'd definitely go and get some counselling.. even without your husband.

It doesn't sound a good basis for a marriage.. I was with someone for a couple of years and anything I did was wrong, he was always grumpy. I kept thinking it was all my fault as he blamed me and had a go at my drinking. Might not be a similar situation but you don't deserve to be around someone if they are constantly in a bad mood.

I also don't get why you should be expected to do all the cooking, then get hurt by his brother. His family sound as if they think it's okay to do that... which it isn't.

Sit him down and speak to him, and let us know how it goes.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:42 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Hi WhiteKnuckles, my name is amy, and I am an alcoholic. I wasn't always an alcholic, not till i was in my mid 20's. I met someone, and I was never good enuf for that person, so I did whatever I could, so that he couldn't see my flaws anymore. I mean really, I was fat and ugly and he married me. I was 5'3 , 110lbs, long auburn hair, and could have modeled if I wanted to.

Was already put down by my dad, who told me that I was so fat, that I needed "Omar the tentmaker" to make clothes for me, bc, they don't sell my size in the stores.

So I set out to try to be that perfect person. That perfect wife, that perfect mother.

Guess what, nothing worked. Why??????? Kept going around and around in my head about this. What am I doing wrong this time.

Was married for 27 years.

Quit drinking 8/2/2011.

Know what I found out? There wasn't anything wrong with me. I was abused, and I was co-dependent. I needed to feel needed and appreciated. I needed, wanted to feel loved.

Can't do that. You can only feel and be loved once you love yourself
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:48 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Wow...Amy...thanks for sharing , that is so interesting...I too am 5'3...and many moons ago weighed 110...and my dad used to tell me I was fat, ugly, and dumb. Looking back, I was none of those things, and if I could go back and hug that little girl and tell her she's beautiful and smart, I would. My hubby used to take shots at my weight but then his soared to 300 lbs, so he can't say much about that anymore. He's not as abusive as my dad, but it is true that nothing I do is ever right in his eyes. I didn't notice it as much when I was drunk all the time. This really hurts!! It is nice to meet you, even if under these circumstances, and I congratulate you on your sober time.
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:09 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hi Whiteknuckles,

Yours was a very interesting post and got me thinking about when I first got sober, it was like my reality had shifted on its axis and things I hadn't really noticed before or drank not to notice were glaringly obvious.
Gosh my family would annoy me so much I couldn't bear to be in the same room as them.

I can't really advise you on what to do about hubby, this is really about you getting sober and making that number one priority. It seems to me you have opened a door in your life that you have kept closed for a long time, you are really beginning to see what is really going on in your life. This will be an interesting and a most important time in your life. Go with it

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Old 04-09-2012, 06:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
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CaiHong I thank you for your encouragement, I wish I could feel see the silver lining in this but right now I am just upset, scared, heartbroken, lost. I agree with you about family too, especially after yesterday.
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