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Breaking sobriety to significant other...

Old 05-02-2018, 03:19 PM
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Breaking sobriety to significant other...

My wife and I have been married a long time but live about three hours apart due to job situations. We meet up about 2/3 of the weekends with the daughters.

Here's the bottom line... I haven't drank at all in the last two weeks and I really don't want to tell her.

I saw her Saturday and Sunday and she made the observation I didn't drink on Saturday night (nodded her head in approval) but that was about it. I presume her wheels will really turn when I don't drink this Friday and Saturday night.

General concerns:
1. If I relapse, it potentially will be more disappointing to her than if I didn't attempt to quit at all.
2. She grew up in an area and a family where she thinks she can exert her influence through "tough love". (uses phrases like "You're lucky I let you do {xyz**.")
3. This will start the "process" of checking up on me. (Similar to when I got a health club membership earlier this year... making sure I am sticking to my plan.)
4. As in the past, she will compliment me in a way that is condescending. Well, at least I interpreted it as condescending. (e.g., "I am so proud of you-u-u!")

This probably goes way beyond my drinking issues and there are some relationship issues I need to address. She is well intentioned, but lacks self-awareness and has the knack to say exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time.

In a nutshell, this could be a challenging weekend. I anticipate that at least some of the above will happen and I will feel anxious, snap back, etc.

If you have advice or information on this topic... or can share your stories on how your significant other reacted to your sobriety attempts, that would be helpful.

Thanks!
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Old 05-02-2018, 03:29 PM
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If I relapse, it potentially will be more disappointing to her than if I didn't attempt to quit at all.
TJV, this sounds like a pretty lame excuse for future drinking.
I mean no offence by this but it jumped off the page at me when I read it.

**Edit- Jumped off the screen. We don't use pages here!
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:53 PM
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How so, I said "if" and the chance of relapse is always there even though I have not had any issues so far.

That comment is more about managing her expectations. It wasn't intended to mean that I was setting myself up for failure.

Finally, it should be a given that I have not been an ideal partner myself... that is why I joined this forum.
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:28 PM
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I used to hate being treated like a child too - but the longer I stay sober the more I look back and see me acting like an idiot teenager....

I can't tell you how to run your marriage man but I tell my wife everything - not telling my partners everything was part of my drinking behaviour not my recovery.

She might be a little passive aggressive even condescending for a while - but you know what - I reckon ultimately she might just be very receptive to the idea of you changing for the better by being let in on your struggle a little.

as for 'if' you relapse...no ifs - that can't be an option - not if you're serious about change.

I get it - you've never done it before - but neither had I until 11 years ago

You really can stay sober for good if you're prepared to work as hard as it takes

D
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:59 PM
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Thanks so much, Dee74. I really appreciate it.

You may very well be right regarding my behavior. I'd like to think that I was mostly a pleasant and composed drinker but that is probably not the case. I can see my overall general mood and outlook improve since quitting.

Also, I think I misspoke when I said I didn't want to tell my wife. I was saying I didn't want to tell her this weekend since it is early in my recovery. There will be a time where we will talk about it. Perhaps it can be a discussion that continues to evolve each time we get together. My mentor gave me some good tips and ways to handle it if the topic comes up this weekend.

Finally, I feel the need to say "if" just so I don't let my guard down. I understand there is a need to keep the guard up and remove self-doubt or add contingencies to the equation if I am truly serious about this... and I am.
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Old 05-04-2018, 03:36 AM
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When I quit last year I was also hesitant to make any big announcements. I'd done that before only to go back to it and look a like a fool. So I only told a handful of those closest to me and then I let my actions do the talking. It's a private journey. I was the only one who had the power and control to do this - no one could do it for me. I also really didn't want anyone to try to manage me or to treat me weird over it. It was my own trip and I'd quit because I wanted to, not because I was being forced and no one could have stopped me if I changed my mind (which I knew I wasn't going to do). Alcohol had already robbed me of enough of my dignity, I was taking that back when I quit so I didn't want to be treated like I wasn't in control, because for the first time in a long time, I was.

When the time is right you will tell whomever you want to tell and in your own way.

Welcome to SR and specifically to Secular Connections. Glad you're here and that you've made this decision!
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Old 05-04-2018, 01:57 PM
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Thank you! The talk already began last night when I picked up my daughter at the airport since she is on summer break from college. I was able to say that I am making improvements and she will see them this summer and we didn't get specifically into the alcohol consumption. (My fitness, weight, and general mental wellbeing are also an issue so I am talking in more general terms without making any major promises or proclamations.)
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