We're all hoping for the day when they choose us over their addiction - but what happens when that day actually comes?
Des, you’re not crazy. This disease makes us feel that way but it’s just trying to trick us into thinking it’s our fault. 🤍
I so longed for the day that my husband would choose sobriety. I thought it would be the beginning of healing our relationship. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I realize now that my husband likely has a personality disorder and is unlikely to change his abusive behaviors regardless of sobriety and therapy. I blamed myself for so many years and believed that I was the problem. I never even considered that I was being abused and taken advantage of until I received therapy. I am actively working my exit plan and finding my joy.
Thank you all for sharing!
For my husband admitting to having a problem, and wanting to do something about it just accelerated his disease.
When I thought we were a team doing this together, for him I turned into the enemy. The alcohol took over his thinking and acting in awful ways. It took him 3 years of trying himself to realize he needed help. Beeing suicidal and deeply depressed he got himself into psychiatric inpatient and AA. I thought those years were the worst, and that it would get better when he finally accepted his thinking wasn’t as shrewd as he believed. Alcohol takes over your brain in addiction. But he had a lot of pride in his smartness, and the bitterness and resentments he harbored were soon seeping out of his pores.
I needed to work through the trauma alcohol had caused me. But talking about past events triggered big defense in him, and he could not understand why I needed to bring up the past. Rudely calling me negative, obsessed with his faults, not cheering him on. I should be more, do more, love him better, trust him more.
The hopes I had when he seeked help were shattered many times. The promises felt worthless after a couple of cycles. And the years following turned into something more painful and challenging than I ever imagined. The lying, the emotional abuse, the distance and silence. The anger and rage simmering. I was still the enemy. He would say he loved me, but for the most part it felt nothing like love.
After years of trying to support him, my love for him was mostly based on compassion. I could see his struggling, I could see he was wanting to work for a better life. He just kept falling into his mental ditch of woe is me.
The streches of sobriety turned longer, and he somehow started to change. This change was uncomfortable for me. I was not used to beeing listened to, or validated. Sharing my feelings felt very dangerous. Being vulnerable spiked my anxiety. The anxiety that one day popped up in this relationship and took me by surprise. The anxiety that was telling me that this is not good for me at all. My alarmsystem going all in to protect me.
I could not turn it off. So I gave myself time to heal. To observe if the changes were lasting and consistent. This was difficult for him to understand. He had changed and I should be able to let it all go. Fast.
But that’s not how it works. Healing and recovery is a slow and long process. I have been to therapy and got help with processing my trauma. Now my alarmsystem is in balance again.
How his sobriety will be, and what this relationship will be - I have no clue. I try to focus on myself and what’s good and true for me. And let him work on him. I have a lot of doubts though. Is he really doing the deep work needed?
Who is this man? Do I like him?
Sometimes he is back to his familiar old self, and it feels comfortable in a strange way. At least I know that I don’t like THAT man. But this recovering, more reflected and kinder man. Who is he? Is he real?
Reminding myself of the choices I have in life keeps my power with me. I can always choose.
It's definatley been one he'll of a ride, my husband got help 2 years ago, went through the program, committed to an outpatient program, during this time inlet him and got a restraining order. One thing I didn't know he has was severe anxiety, he masked that with alcohol. He has relapsed multiple times, he didnt tell me because he didnt want me to know he was drinking, but some friends saw him out and i was so furious and felt betrayed. He proceeded to tell me that lying is part of the addiction! He wasn't an everyday drinkier, he drank to have fun or numb something that was bothering him. We stil livel apart and I really don't know what to do from here! I feel like the process is still very selfish and his emotional immaturity is really hard to stomach. Of course I love him, we've been together 14 years, but I just don't know if I have any hope of things changing. He says he wants to get help with his communication and validating instead of being defensive, but he started a new job and he doesn't have anytime to get help! I really feel as if I'm crazy half of the time!
My AH of 37 years has been sober 1 year. He is not in any 12 program, no recovery group or counseling. We’ve tried x2 couples therapist but I stopped both times as I realized he could never be vulnerable.
The last therapist I had such high hopes I’d get the relationship that I’ve dreamed of all my life. We had separated twice and this time I demanded therapy before I came back. He knew what I needed from him as I was finally able to verbalize it. I expressed to therapist what I wanted for us. Therapy started off well. Well I came back and soon understood he only went to get me home.
I’ve given up hope in those dreams. I’ve tried to emotionally connect but can’t open up. Seems not fair I be one vulnerable when he won’t? We are not intimate. Must of the time we are cordial, get a long BUT the relationship is different. We can’t seem to find anything in common. It was easier to accept that when he was drinking.
Good stuff- NO CHAOS. I can come home and expect normal talk coming from his mouth. I can expect normal behavior if a friend should stop by. I worry less about him
Bad stuff- 37 years of dreams being married, feeling connected- never happened. No happy well adjusted adult sons. No future dreams/plans. TONS of regrets, grief that I can not fix
I’m trying to find happiness and sometimes I get it. Thanks for listening
Wow I read all of it all of Michelle and everyone’s comment... I have been waiting for this... no one talks about the after rehab when he comes back d as sober... but as a man you don’t recognise... you don’t know..
They say they re so lucky they get back to their family when their inmates have lost everything... but they still don’t appreciate it...
Been married 25 years married an alchoholic but didn’t know for many years... he was never violent and he thinks he was a good alchoholic... they only do 2 steps of the 12 in rehab ... he never said sorry... why I wondered for many months after rehab... he doesn’t remember...he came back a different man... a stranger in my bed a zombie almost not even saying hello in the morning yet the kids thought he was a hero...
Then relapse happen after 2 years to be fair... and the old traits come back...it’s the shrug of the shoulder the smile the walking gait that gives it away.... instantly you find yourself wanting to find the secret stash then realise it is their choice you can’t stop it for them...but the lying about it is the worst insisting you know he had a drink but him saying no.... that breaks my heart
I read so much about it and how we shouldn’t name and shame... but it is so hard because we too have made sacrifices to stay...
tonight I told him to choose us because every time he chooses alchohol he alinenates himself from us...
I love you all thank you for reading this. You all know what a lonely place this can be. Even with the best well meaning friends they just will never truly understand xxx
Boy, has this topic hit home for me. My husband has been struggling with alcoholism for years, 10? For the first while neither one of us really thought of it as alcoholism. Then he started hiding it. Then he started lying. Then I would find it and confront him. This went on for a couple of years it seems. I told him at one point that he had to get help. He did get help through an IOP but he did it for me not for him. There have been more relapses than I can count. Over a year ago he asked me to take him to the ER where he needed help detoxing. After 4 liters of IV fluid being pushed into him and a 3 day stay, I thought he had had enough. He stayed sober for about 3-4months, which seems to be the average and then relapsed hard. This time I got his family involved and he agreed to go to in-patient rehab. About 3 months later he relapsed again. And then sober for about 6 months...I thought in those 6 months that maybe he was finally on the road to recovery. Nope...he relapsed again and this one lasted for weeks. Meanwhile, through all of this I am trying to keep myself healthy. I have built up walls around me to protect myself and I have had to be my own advocate. I have had to become very independent and also very numb to what is happening. So now...he is finally getting counseling. He has to work on himself before he can work on us. We have been married 35years and so it makes it very hard to just walk away. I have been going to counseling for over a year and that has been helpful to make sure that I am keeping myself on the right track. He is not the same person. After everything that he has put me through, I ask myself almost daily if I should stay or go. I am a changed person and he is the one who has made me change. I don't know that he will fully understand what he has done to us. He has been sober for 3 months now. He goes to his support groups, acu-detox and counseling. I know what alcohol does to the mind and body and that it can take a long time, if ever for recovery. I know he tries but I just don't think he understands what this has done to me. Only time will tell, I guess...
This article was my sign. I'm an old Love Over Addiction customer who lurked (gratefully) for almost a year before the transition. For some reason, I never worked up the courage to post. I've been with my SAH for 7.5 years, and have been on the messy recovery road with him since March 2021, when he was brave enough to let his doctor tell me that he was in the grips of active addiction severe enough that he was feeling suicidal. We went through an IOP that he quit amidst multiple relapses after about 3 months. We then went through a period of "white knuckling" where he believed he didn't need help to quit - he made it an astounding 9 months before relapse but he was an angry "dry drunk" for much of that time. His relapse was about 2 weeks after LOA stopped and, my, did I miss you all. I'd learned enough in my recovery by that time not to tell him what to do and not to try to do the work for him. I told him that I'd like to have kids someday and that I wasn't going to bring children into a home with active addiction. I made it clear I wasn't giving an ultimatum and wasn't going to leave him that day but, if I couldn't achieve my goals for my life with him, I was going to eventually move on. We didn't have a beautiful revelatory moment. And yet he started talking to people. He decided that he wanted to try sober living (he did this in another state because he works out of state). In July 2022, he moved out and lived with his mom while attempting to get admitted - it took 3 months of half effort until he finally leapt. During that time, I didn't see him. He's been in sober living since October 2022. And I'm just beginning to meet this new man - one who has embraced 12 step, one who stopped drinking even though alcohol was not his drug of choice, one who has (and has kept) a sponsor, one who finally told his family about his addiction and his choice of sober living. He picked up his 7 month chip this week. I call him my little duckling (to my therapist, my 'tough' husband would hate that) because, sometimes, I see glimpses of an amazing, thoughtful and genuinely happy man. He has been a better partner on his good days than I realized I could hope for. And, other days, I see a mid-20-something (his age when he started abusing his substance) who is learning to live sober and going through the maturation he avoided while using drugs. During this time, we've spent 1 weekend together per month testing the waters again. This summer (after 12 months abstinence from his substance), we will start to live together every other week and he'll spend the other week in sober living (he asked to stay there part time, while I played it cool and cheered inside). I'm really genuinely proud of him and the hard road he's had to walk. Sometimes, I'm still terrified - we both really have something to lose. I could not have done this entire process without weekly therapy. I am (VERY) cautiously optimistic that we've turned a page in our journey with addiction and sobriety, and confident that I have - and I think the second part has made all the difference.
My husband has been sober for 3 years. The first year was a real learning experience for both of us. He was obsessed with sobriety, which sounds wonderful but it’s weird. He has found that he has to stay busy all the time, but seems secure in his sobriety. The obsession is better, and our lives are good- not perfect, but a new “normal “. I do still find myself slipping into codependency even without the drinking. Things never go well during those times, and I really have to do a lot of talking to myself to get back to a good place.
This article couldn't have come at a better time.. I am struggling with my "new" husband & he is definitely different than he was before he became an AH. He's on medication to curb the craving for alcohol and also on a med for depression. He's been sober since January 28 when he was released from the Hospital due to Alcohol Withdraw. It was a scary time. He came close to death. We are
just now opening up the conversations to everything we both went through (most of which he says he doesn't remember ~ trying not to give him the side eye) for the last 4-5 years of him being in a AH fog. He hid the severity of his drinking from me & lied when I asked about it. I knew he had a "couple" of drinks after work & on the weekends. I'd been commenting on his drinking, how much, being drunk, smelling like bourbon, but I had NO idea he was drinking a 5th a day until I found all the empty bottles in his car... I can't even begin to explain how I felt. I became conditioned to living in survival mode.. always trying to keep everything in check and as close to "normal" as I could. I was definitely codependent. I'm trying to chill out & let his new personality develop as we go on this journey. He currently has a ankle tether to monitor any alcohol in his system & also a blow & go on his car. The tether comes off at the end of June, but the blow & go will stay on throughout his probation, January 2025. So, right now for me knowing he can't drink AT ALL & is being monitored 2 ways has calmed my anxiety. I am trying to live in the moment & not think about what the future may hold. I am also working on forgiving myself for everything I put myself through and forgiving him. I don't know who he will turn out to be... I know I love him regardless ... but he is definitely a changed man and I am a changed woman.
This post hit so close to home right now. My twins dad, my partner for the past two years. Has now been sober for 4 weeks after I had to kick him out of my house after a DV situation that involved myself and the twins. This was the first time he ever got violent but the mental abuse had been going on for sometime. I am lost and don't know what to do. I feel like he expects me to just let him back in even though it's only been 4 weeks. He also refuses to get any outside help. I felt every word of waiting on pins and needles wondering how long its going to last. I'm hurt and trying to figure out how to heal and I'm not sure I can do that with him or trust him again.
My STBXAH stopped drinking 8 months ago. He did an online 9 week program, but otherwise refuses help or support. His behavior is not much different than before, except that he hasn’t done the scary raging. I still get the silent treatment, aggressive driving, long political diatribes, etc. He still says he loves me and can’t imagine life without me, but too much damage has been done to me and our kids. With him refusing to get support, I just don’t trust that anything will be different.
My AH was doing so good. Tonight he had a relapse. How do I stay supportive when I’m so disappointed? My expectations are still there but he’s losing sight of everything because he wants to come home. He needs help and counseling but is determined to do this on his own. He’s very strong willed but no match for this awful addiction without God & help. He says if he comes home he can stay sober and we know that’s not possible. We can start over tomorrow but I’m afraid it’ll be a terrible cycle over and over until he caves and asks for help. I felt like I had healthy boundaries but now I’m stressed and disappointed talking on the phone at 2 am to the other person. The alcoholic. I deleted my other comment about how the last week has been so nice to have him sober for the first time. Am I punishing him? No I’m refusing to give attention to the addiction.
I'm so glad you brought up this topic. I'm just in shock about how wrong my expectations were after my husband returned from treatment. We've been married almost 18 years. And my husband has been addicted to alcohol for quite some time. And getting progressively worse every year, along with the lying, hiding, and verbal abuse. It was negatively impacting my kids' lives and my life. When my husband agreed to go to inpatient treatment I was so hopeful, yet also very anxious about what the future would look like. I felt I was very supportive of my husband despite all of the turmoil he put our family through. I felt that he was even more self absorbed, justifying inappropriate behavior because it was to help him stay sober. As an example, he formed a close bond with another woman in treatment. She was the first person he called when he got our of treatment, and they were texting and calling each other frequently without my knowledge. The betrayal I feel right now worse than I've ever felt. I filed for a separation and not sure if I can subject myself to potential abuse and relapse.
I gave my husband an ultimatum... treatment or his family. But now that he’s been home and a couple months sober, I don’t want to be his wife anymore. We’ve been through so much together in the last five years and I’m exhausted. He’s made choices since he’s been home that show me he went to treatment for the wrong reasons and I’ve had to act more like his mother than his partner.
I am really struggling since we each have two kids from previous marriages. I don’t want to be 31 with two divorces under my belt and put my kids through that again. I feel stuck with no family and no other housing available in the town I live in.
Your feed is about to have my name alllll over it lol. I finally signed up and so glad I did! So now I’m going through every post! My husband (now ex husband) got “sober” for a year. He was very unhappy. Didn’t get excited about anything. Wasn’t loving toward me. He was almost even more manipulative than when he was actively drinking and smoking weed.