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Sober time and marriage

Old 03-07-2021, 02:10 PM
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Sober time and marriage

Hello, all! I致e wracked up more and more sober time and I知 really starting to feel good, not just physically but mentally and emotionally. I have a year with a few slips, so I知 not sure how much I have consecutively but I知 feeling confident and secure, which is awesome!

I知 wondering though about relationship stuff. I am noticing that now that I知 not the obvious problem who is creating chaos due to addiction and trauma stuff, that I知 not 100% responsible for my marriage, if that makes sense. Idk why but I had this idea that any problems we had were my fault entirely as opposed to some stuff that predated my alcohol abuse or has nothing to do with me at all because they are my husband痴 issues. My therapist pointed out to me that I blame myself for the behavior of other people a lot, etc etc. I had sort of assumed that things would all be fine if I got better, and things are a lot better, but not everything.

did this happen to you? I have brought it up with my husband, but I feel like such an ass expressing my needs or observations when I have been so incredibly reckless in my substance abuse. I知 having a hard time making this right sized in my heart.
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Old 03-07-2021, 03:26 PM
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Hi Prettiekittie, and congrats on your sober time and the positive results!

You've described what I have been feeling as well. I'm just two weeks sober, but it's amazing how much more clearly I see things in general. I think it's a cycle/belief system we addicts can get stuck in. We pile on so much shame, embarrassment, guilt on to ourselves for drinking/using, and then make the leap to assume that everything "not working" is because of the drinking/using. And then we use to numb the shame, embarrassment and guilt. And end up heaping on more shame, etc. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I hope you're able to find the space in your heart to keep caring for yourself, which includes asking others for their support. My guess is your hubby has probably wanted you to get better, so expressing your needs may be helpful to him. Men in general like to "fix", so let him help! Yesterday evening, I told my husband that if he wants to soak in the hot tub while I'm in it, he's not allowed to talk. LOL. I said it much more nicely than that, but he got it and actually expressed happiness that he could help with that simple request. Of course, I don't know your specific situation and don't intend to minimize...but fundamentally, supporting each other as spouses is what marriage is all about.

Thanks for bringing up this topic, I'm sure many of us can relate!
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Old 03-07-2021, 04:08 PM
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Yes, I relate. I drank for about 3 years in my mid to late forties. But, I was so overwhelmed with guilt, I blamed myself for absolutely any and all problems in my twenty plus (at that time) years of marriage. In early recovery, the self-blame continued and it was probably a year into recovery that I began to see things with much more clarity. Of course, I wasn't the sole source of every issue, and I began to forgive myself. As my recovery continued, I understood that some things would not 'get better' so I needed to shift my thinking. I have to say that really everything within me changed, so my outlook on the world changed - for the better.
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Old 03-08-2021, 12:44 PM
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Who's to blame is a hard game to play. I ponder some of these from time to time, and often fail to come up with an answer, but your other concern, "Do things get better in your marriage when you get better?" Also, it's hard to know. I've heard it on several occasions, that sometime things get worse. A partnership founded on one or both parties drinking, experiences a change in dynamics when one partner quits, and the results are hard to predict.
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Old 03-08-2021, 12:44 PM
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Thanks, you two.

I suspected it was attached to shame somehow because apparently that is a theme in my life. 😂

oh well. Doing the self care stuff everyday and making choices in line with my values seems to help nudge that out little by little, and I will keep communicating.
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Old 03-08-2021, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by DriGuy View Post
Who's to blame is a hard game to play. I ponder some of these from time to time, and often fail to come up with an answer, but your other concern, "Do things get better in your marriage when you get better?" Also, it's hard to know. I've heard it on several occasions, that sometime things get worse. A partnership founded on one or both parties drinking experiences a change in dynamics when one partner quits, and the results are hard to predict.
yeah, I知 trying really hard to shift from a blame perspective to something more compassionate, particularly for myself, and it has been such a struggle.
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Old 03-08-2021, 01:17 PM
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I feel that my experience is very similar to yours. Through the first 27 of 28 years of marriage, my level of alcohol dependency steadily increased. Various factors reinforced the alcohol dependency. The behavior while drinking reinforced the anxiety and guilt. Poor communication and disagreements reinforced it all. It was a big mess.

Only when I began taking small steps with the other factors could I begin addressing my alcohol addiction. And only then could I take additional steps towards letting go of the crippling feelings of anxiety and guilt.

Now, after 14 months of sobriety, I feel like there is stop and go progress with marriage. The things that encouraged a dependency on alcohol before are still there though. The way I deal with them is different, and in most cases the severity is less.

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Old 03-08-2021, 01:48 PM
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Hi PK. As you may have seen on here, my 20 year marriage broke down in the last 12 months, coinciding with me becoming sober (over a year now).

My experience is very similar. When I was drinking I was a bad husband and father, and when I first got sober and she said she wanted to leave me I blamed myself. Time and good therapy has allowed me to forgive myself (I was ill, depressed and addicted to alcohol) but also to see a bit more clearly the role she played in the break down of our relationship.

I feel remorse and probably always will do, but I don't feel guilt or shame anymore. And in my dealings with her I can now see how difficult and dysfunctional she can be. I like finding the reasons for things rather than who's to blame, and that works for me.

(On a side note, I am absolutely convinced that I was addicted to her and our relationship, and her breaking that addiction very suddenly helped me in breaking my addiction to alcohol. I think of her now like I do alcohol - I find myself fantasising about how things could be and have to play the tape through to how they really would be.)

I am not glad it happened but now accept my marriage ending as a necessary part of my development. I'm learning and growing. It's ok. I get sad at times, but I'm a whole person by myself
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Old 03-10-2021, 05:15 AM
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For me, sober time has also been a time of finding my best ways to communicate, fight fairly and know exactly what I am saying. I never have to worry about my reaction or words being clouded by alcohol.
The longer I am sober, (I hit 3 years last October), the more I feel myself maturing and becoming stable. This has exponentially improved my relationships in all aspects of my life. My sobriety has given me a pride and strength to know what I want and what I will tolerate and therefore a more effective communicator. I no longer feel shame about being an alcoholic, I never have nights I have to apologize for or feel guilt for.
I feel like I finally have healthy relationships. The messy person I was, I don't know her anymore and I don't want to know her, she is a cockroach under my shoe.
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