My Husband is an Alcoholic ... and Has been Sober for 45 Days Now. But it Doesn't Feel Like Our Relationship is Improving. Why?.
I have been married to him for four years .. when he would get drunk most of the time not all of the time he was verbally abusive and physcially abusive ... now since he has been in group and going to meetings and stopped drinking he's told in group that the past is the past and today is a new day and not to dwell on the past.
Well its very hard for me to forget all the horrible things that were done to me - I love him very much and am proud don't get me wrong and I am doing my best to support him through this .. but i have been beaten down so much by him that its hard for me to know what to do next.
I still have that feeling that feeling of dread that he's going to drink again. He's sure down to his soul he will not drink again ... and by the way the abuse was only when he was drinking .. and that wasn't an everyday thing. At the end it was a three day drunk that finally made him want to get help he was so depressed and wanted to die.
He's getting help and I am glad of that. He tells me that I am an alcoholic if I drink one beer a month. I don't agree with that - I like beer and I can live with it our with out it ...I don't have to have it and I don't crave it.
I haven't drank anything since he has become sober to support him. I guess really what my question is or thought is - what happens to our life now? He has more blow ups now more than he did before - at me mostly ...
I try to open up to him and talk about how I am feeling and if it's not what he wants to hear or he disagrees with it he gets upset. I told him the other day that it was going to take a very long time for all the memories of him beating on me to go away and be replaced with new memories.
He started yelling at me saying that if I couldn't get over it that we had nothing. And its not that I can't get over it - it just doesn't happen over night and I think I need time to heal and 45 days isn't enough time after 4 years of abuse ... I don't think.
Am i wrong? Am I being unrealistic? Am I expecting too much out of him thinking I can talk to him about what is going on with me? Is that something I am going to have to not ever do again because he can't handle it?
Before he stopped drinking I was guarded about what I would say most of the time because when he got drunk he would bring it up and if he didn't like it I would get it over that ... so since he has stopped I want to be able to confide in him ... share things with him.
I wasn't attacking him when we were talking ... he took it all wrong. Does he need more time to get better? They have him on medication too for his depression and anxiety - I don't know i found your websight in hopes of understanding more and maybe getting some insight to how to handle what's happening with him ... and to understand more about his illness.
45 days is still very early on in your husband's sobriety. Old destructive behavioral patterns like your husband's anger take time and a lot of effort on his part to be released. So be patient and understand that meaningful and lasting change does take time.
That however doesn't excuse your husband's behavior. It's fantastic that he's now committed to a life of sobriety, but that doesn't mean he can treat you any way he likes. You deserve to be treated with respect - and it's up to you to insist that you get that.
Many alcoholics tend to, especially early in recovery, be totally self-absorbed and think only of their needs in relation to their recovery. And making their recovery a priority is okay. But it doesn't mean partners or spouses like you should be treated badly while they come to terms with their new lives of sobriety.
So you have to find a way to be firm and communicate to your husband that when you're trying to speak to him and help him understand what you're going through - him flying off the handle and losing his cool isn't acceptable. As much as you're trying to support him in his recovery - he also needs to make an effort to support you in your healing considering what you've had to go through while he was drinking.
Because you're absolutely right - 45 days is nowhere near enough on your part to suddenly have gotten over everything that's happened in the 4 years prior while he was drinking. While you need to be patient with him and his recovery - he needs to do the same for you and your healing process. It will take time.
If your husband is working a 12 step program
like AA - step 8 involves making amends with those you have harmed because of your drinking - so hopefully your husband will reach the point that he makes amends with you for how his drinking has affected you.
But don't sit and wait for that. As much as your husband's focus is now on his recovery - yours needs to be on your own healing. So you should really consider joining a group like Al Anon, which is for family members of alcoholics, where you'll really be able to begin your own healing process and better understand your husband's alcoholism.
By surrounding yourself with people who understand what you're going through, you'll find find it much easier to be able to deal with your husband because having that kind of support base can make the world of difference. That's one of the big reasons Al Anon works, so do give them a try.
I know it's not easy for you now, but remember change does take time. And don't let yourself be a doormat to your husband's moods. Be firm, be strong and insist that he treats you with decency and respect. If he keeps working his own recovery program, and you work at your own healing process, hopefully in time you'll have a relationship that works and is based on real and lasting love.
God Bless and Take Care