Husband doesn't understand my sobriety :(

Old 04-29-2015, 05:31 AM
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Husband doesn't understand my sobriety :(

Hi all,

1 month 11 days sober here and I couldn't have done it without the support of so many in this community and your constant feedback, so I wanted to start this post by saying THANK YOU!

In less fun news, I had a big argument with my husband last night. He's generally been supportive of my sobriety (I've let him continue drinking but just not my favorite drinks - i.e. anything wine related). However, last night he said I've been cranky and irritable ever since I stopped drinking, and motivationless.

I want him to understand just how hard this is. I went from having an easy outlet for my pain (drinking) to suddenly feeling a lot of difficult emotions which I don't know how to deal with (I'm in therapy for that). I'm also doing everything else I used to do (haven't taken a day off work, attending important social activities/birthday parties etc) and sometimes doing these things is just really really hard for me because I'm used to drink away my work stress and my social anxiety. So yes, work and socializing feels new to me, and does make me a crankier than before.

I don't understand how HE doesn't understand that me being sober and healthy, even in a raw emotional state, is so much better than me taking down bottles of wine at night, drinking during the day to fill my emotional void, throwing up daily in the bathroom from the drinking , and then living with constant broken blood vessels, which caused the cycle to continue.

Plus... this is ME now, not drinking, who he's never met before because I've always been drinking heavily since we met. Doesn't he like me, just me?

I'm not sure if this is just a one time fight or if this is a bigger issue, but I feel like he needs to understand the pain I have been going through to understand why I'm acting cranky.

Anyone else in the same boat or have any advice to offer?
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Old 04-29-2015, 05:38 AM
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Hi cambie, thanks for this post. I'm sorry you're going through this kind of slog with your husband. Me too. (Mine is also an alcoholic.) We started our relationship as drinkers -- 20 years ago -- and I only quit at the start of March (though tried countless times before.) My thinking is it's going to take a lot of time, maybe months, to adjust to the our new dynamic. I'm a new me, or trying to be, and I'm awkward and angry and depressed -- and sick and anxious in groups. It will take time and effort, ugh lots of both, to get comfortable in my own skin -- and even more time to thrive.

Let's try to be easy ourselves as we make this healthy adjustment, for as long as that takes. Let's keep sobriety as a priority. Our relationships with friends, colleagues, partners might feel awkward now, but drinking will only make our relationships worse. Just thoughts. I'm actually struggling a lot, and learning a lot. Hoping this post is helpful. If anything, you know you're not alone.
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Old 04-29-2015, 05:39 AM
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Hi Cambie,

Your emotions are going to be raw for a while. You were suppressing them with booze. They are now coming out with a vengeance. This will pass. They will stabilize.

Maybe you should avoid all the gettogethers for a while. Give yourself a chance to heal and relax? Avoid any temptation?

As for your OH, well sometimes non addict/alcoholic people don't understand what we are going through if they don't have a problem with booze, they don't always understand what is happening to us. Maybe sit him down when you have a quite time and explain to him where you're at, physically and emotionally?

Hang in there.


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Old 04-29-2015, 05:49 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2015
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Cambie...have him check out AL-ANON ....My wife , who is very understanding BTW , goes there a lot to discuss her concerns and questions about me , because I sure as heck can't explain me very well at all... lol...

Seriously , check that out, and be sure to check out the family section on this site ...

I can honestly say , from the Man's perspective , you are not alone ...Be it man or woman , we all get ornery and tired during the first stages of sobriety..And that's the way it is ..

BTW , congrats on 1 Month and 11 days! That's awesome!
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by cambie03 View Post
I want him to understand just how hard this is.
I'm not sure a non-alcoholic can understand the difficulty of what you are going through. Any chance he would join you in being alcohol free? Even a "normal" drinker might feel some loss of their alcohol intake. It might give him a sense (times 100) of what you are going through.

Originally Posted by cambie03 View Post
...last night he said I've been cranky and irritable ever since I stopped drinking.
Are you being cranky?

Early recovery is an emotional roller coaster. Doesn't mean you have to take your husband on the ride.

Don't let withdrawals run your feelings. You can get through this without taking your frustrations out on your spouse. And by frustrations, I mean in part, the fact that he can drink and you can't. That has to bug you, but it's your recovery, not his.
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:46 AM
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Actually it is not you. One month is early and a good start. But if you drank any amount regularly at all and you actively work on recovery as opposed to just sobriety you are going to go through a lot of changes. Very positive changes. But as others have said, emotions are rough early on. So is rerouting and rebuilding our lives into something different. Then throw in the brain fog of early sobriety and physical changes. You are not you yet.

Also, sometimes the other person is intimidated by your recovery. It means changes for them as well.

Put 100% of your effort into your recovery and give it time. Much will straighten itself out.
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:55 AM
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There definitely is an adjustment period in a marriage. You are not the person you were and never will be. Your husband knows how to live with a drunk not someone in recovery.

My wife is extremely supportive and attends ALANON but at almost 6 years doesn't have a clue as to how hard this is. One thing that has helped is discussing my AA meetings in general terms. Over the years she has come to know that sobriety is not a given.

Stay sober for you. The pieces will fall into place but it takes time
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:02 AM
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I agree with everyone, it definitely takes time for him to adjust to you being sober. As much as this is a new and difficult (but worthwhile) journey for you, it is for him as well. Has he ever been on SR or read any of the posts on here? My husband was the same way in the beginning. I sent him some threads from the spouse's perspective and from some who were discussing how challenging it can be to stay sober in the beginning and it really helped him. I think it helped for him to hear what I was going through from an unbiased third-party and to read what others did to help their spouses. I hope this helps
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:09 AM
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I am in the same boat you are. It is stressful getting sober, and emotions I have suppressed for years surface. And now they have to actually be dealt with which is frustrating to say the least. When me and my boyfriend met 3 years ago I was deep in addiction so now that I am sober I am different, and sometimes hard to deal with. I think it is just difficult for someone who is not an alcoholic to understand the roller coaster of emotions that come with getting sober. I doubt he doesn't like who you are now he probably just does not know how to deal with the new you. Give it time.
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:13 AM
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Hey Cambie,

My husband is supportive and understands that I do not want to drink. It has been a huge adjustment for him though. I’m the one with the problem. He can drink a couple a night and be done with it and I am ok with that. I just can’t. 1 or 2 for me leads to the whole bottle and waking up with horrible anxiety that lasts for nearly a week.

Any way, he forgets sometimes. It has been a huge change for both of us. I know he misses me drinking with him. The adjustment is going to take time. He asks me a lot , “Are you Ok?” I’m great, he has just been used to me being under the influence and not having any real emotions for the last 12 years. He wasn’t the one who would quietly cry every day to himself because he felt so crappy all the time. Give him some time. I think with time as you heal he will start to see that it’s a lot better that you are not drunk all the time.

It’s kind of a shock to my man now that I actually clean the house and do dishes and like it on top of that. Hang in there Cambie.
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