What To Expect After An Alcoholic Quits Drinking

JC: Laura, thanks for your story (below). There are a few things that we can expect will happen when an alcoholic decides to get help and quit drinking. Once he/she quits drinking, there’s going to be a definite change in the substance abuser’s personality.

Here are a few things to expect:

  1. When getting sober through attending AA or some other type of support group program, the alcoholic is going to spend a lot of time away from home. They will go to a lot of meetings. Their entire routine is going to change.
  2. Staying sober becomes the number one priority in their life. This means that friends, family, work and other things will have to take second place.  Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, comes before taking care of themselves in order to stay away from drinking.
  3. There will be many emotional highs and lows that the former substance abuser will go through. An alcoholic is so used to medicating the pain of life away with alcohol that when they have to actually feel all the negativity of life, it can be difficult for all involved. If  they are working a recovery plan, they will learn how to deal with the uncomfortable feelings in a civilized manor.
  4. They are going to stop interacting with people who party.
  5. The alcoholic will avoid any place where he/she may be tempted to drink again or purchase liquor. This can even include not walking by the beer isle in the grocery store.
  6. If the problem drinker decides to quit without getting involved in some sort of recovery program life could be very difficult for all involved. If the alcoholic doesn’t learn how to live a sober life from the wisdom of people who have quit drinking for many years, they are left to their own devices. Oftentimes the anger and rage is worse than when they were drinking.

Here are a few good articles:

When An Alcoholic Gets Sober
Recovering Alcoholic Relapsing
How A Recovering Alcoholic Stays Sober


Please feel free to leave a comment below the article.
changing alcoholicGuest Post From: Laura
I have written a few times in the past during the time that my alcoholic friend was drinking and we separated (from Nov-Feb.13). I worked on “me” to get back to the strong, happy, person that I “was”…while he hit his rock bottom, quit drinking totally and realized I was right about everything.

I’m the only one that has ever stood by his side and didn’t give up on him, he’s sorry, etc. He came home, it was strange at first, like getting to know each other again…even though it had only been four and a half months. No problems, we got along, he still hasn’t drank since January. But for the last few weeks, since he had some stress with his business, and a couple of financial issues, he has become rude, hurtful, and just mean.

NOTHING I say is right, it’s like walking on eggshells! Basically, he has become a complete jackass! All because of this problem that has stressed him out! I guess it could have triggered a manic episode…or is it that, and ALSO because he isn’t drinking, and before when he would get stressed…he would DRINK?

Is part of him “wanting” to drink and he knows he can’t, which is making him act so hateful? I love him, which is why I never gave up on him…and I didn’t do that for almost 5 months, to have things go back to this (even without the drinking).

Has anyone else dealt with someone “after” they quit drinking that behaved in the ways mine is? I really don’t know what to do or expect at this point…just relying on God to lead me to do what I’m supposed to…and pray a lot!

Thanks for listening and for any input.

Blessings,
Laura
Please feel free to leave a comment below.

You Might Also Like:
What To Do When An Alcoholic Gets Sober
What Makes An Alcoholic Decide To Quit Drinking


50 comments to What To Expect After An Alcoholic Quits Drinking

  • Rick

    Yes!!!!
    Laura, my wife quit drinking almost 5 years ago. She is the most miserable, emotionally unstable person I’ve ever been around. She’s in AA but she’s not getting better. Her thinking is still the same. And she needs her “medicine” to cope the “unfair, Not to be trusted” world. She is very self focused. In fact that is all she can focus on, but she’s always been that way. Now that I’m in Alanon I can see that she has been an alcoholic for the 20 plus years in known her. It’s all about her and searching for anything that can give her a minute of pain relief. Running, Starbucks, spending on any kind of treat she can find. If she’s not out driving around shopping or exercising, she’s asleep on the sofa trying to escape from her own misery. I thought that stopping drinking would fix everything, but it’s only proved that the real problem in inside her mind. She was at least happy sometimes when she was drinking. Now it’s never.

  • Lori

    Laura, I think it takes some time before the ‘meanness’ to get out of their system. I used to drink – A lot. More than what people think. One day I realized I really didn’t like myself and figured out it was the alcohol making me such an idiot. It hurts when I look at some of these stories knowing that I too was like that for a long time. Now my husband is an alcoholic – actually he has been for a very long time. Since I have stopped drinking I’ve noticed what a complete ass he really is. This past year my husband has done so many things to hurt me – like cheating on me, lying to me, flirting with other women in front of me, touching other women innappropriately in front of me, yelling at me and accusing me of things that are his fault, etc… I am ready to leave…AGAIN. I am just waiting for the next blow out to leave. I have for warned my 19 & 16 year old kids. I got myself better by reminding myself that I am a good person and people WANT to forgive, but I have to forgive myself first, which I have done. I try to be positive and not critical and whenever my husband starts to put down other people, I really try to make him look at things a different way – or just not give in to his negativity. Except for my mother-in-law. She is a terrible person who would never believe any of her children would have a substance abuse problem (and by the way, my brother-in-law died 10 years ago due to drugs), but according to my mother-in-law, it was his girlfriend or friends or the hospital that killed him – not the fact that he was a user. Anyway, so my mother-in-law is also very kniving. She is an enabler for my husband. And because she has alienated herself to most people, my husband is the only one who will listen to her now. Her grandkids don’t even like her. So basically if he doesn’t have any thing nice to say about his mother, I usually agree. :-). Laura – I have found just trying to be positive with EVERYTHING helps tremedously. It rubs off. Remind him to be positive as well. This will help you in your decision whether you want to stay or go. I have stayed for the sake of my kids and just because I am so very confused right now. But I am getting stronger and stronger and my husband is making me sicker and sicker making it an easier decision to leave. Rick – I feel for you. My husband also thinks everyone is out to screw him over – like me. I really believe him and his mother are plotting something behind my back because he knows he is this terrible person and doesn’t deserve me – but in his sick mind – I am the bad guy here. I guess it is all a matter of what we all can take. I really hope my 2 younger kids never get married… I am already too late with my oldest and I really really hopes it works out.

  • Mike

    Alcoholism is not just an addiction of the body, but one of the mind and soul.
    An alcoholic might physically stop, but the mind is still addicted and will seek any way to cheat and lie.
    With real diseases, one may have a physical illness, but still live an honest life.
    In alcoholism, the body may seem well, but the whole self is still possessed by personal demons.
    Places like AA treat the physical, but forget the mental and spiritual.
    Living with an alcoholic, I see this happening.
    Long ignored demons are what keep addiction alive.
    40 years of AA, ignoring those demons, or ridding the demons?
    Drinkers did not just wake up as addicts.

  • Ross

    Hi Laura, I have shared this information on here before and do not recall if I ever have with you.Excuse me if I did.

    The alcoholic can go through a rough healing period of the brain up till 2 yrs.You would probably agree that what was done to their body, its a wonder their here.
    This is called P.A.W.S.Please look it up.
    We need recovery because we have been affected.(if you havent been in recovery-i highly suggest it.)

  • Ross

    …also, it is not enough to expect others to do right and straighten up and get educated about their issues.
    We also play a part.We must learn how to protect ourselves mentally, physically, spiritually with people.
    Learning how to set a boundary in case we are being affected by someones actions, words, etc..when it needed.
    We need to learn tools to help us do that.And tools to help us heal.
    In recovery, I learned that…”Our” best thinking got us here…'(something to that affect)
    This shows me that I am not a helpless victim, or shouldnt be.We have choices.More than we know.
    I say that, as, I can NOW learn a better way.One that empowers me to take care of myself, if need be, with people who do not make good choices that are affecting me.I can choose to look out for me and do what i need to do to keep from being torn down and damaged by another person.We all need to know these things.I am still learning, but know I am not where I used to be.For that I am grateful.

  • Laura

    JC, thank you for posting my story…and for your advice.
    Rick, Lori, Mike, and Ross, thank you for sharing your stories and advice as well. I’m sorry you all have gone through, or are going through right now what I am going through. My prayers are with you all!

    Since I wrote my post, my fiance left and has been staying at his shop (for the last 2 mo.). Over the past week he has finally started to at least communicate with me. He said he does realize that he needs to see the dr. about bipolar and get on some medicine, he realizes how bad he really is. He said he has been trying to sort things out and get his life in order, including getting his business back on track (since all of the problems from when he was drinking). He hasn’t and isn’t cheating on me, but his issue is he is a workaholic as well. That is basically “all” he does…his brain never stops, and he pushes himself with work too far most of the time. But one positive is, he’s still not drinking.
    As you have all said….mine too, thinks only of himself most of the time. He wasn’t like that “before” he started drinking again. When we met 3 yrs ago, he wasn’t drinking at all and hadn’t for over a year. But when his daughter was having a very bad drug addiction problem…it triggered him to start drinking again! Then EVERYTHING changed.

    My problem is, I love him SO much…that I just can not find it in me to let go…no matter what! I don’t know if my heart is too big, or if I am just an idiot sometimes…but it is what it is, and I am just trying to take one day at a time. I was just recently diagnosed with RA and Fibromyalgia which also comes with depression, and other side effects, and taking medicine that isn’t too enjoyable either…so that isn’t helping. I guess I will know when or if I need to end things for good. I still find myself wanting him to come home and part of me is glad that he knew he needed to be alone to find peace within himself, because he knew how bad he was and we would have just been arguing and making things worse. But it doesn’t make it any easier, because I love him with all my heart!
    I’m doing better than I was, and have been taking care of myself as well…but my heart still hurts so much! If I didn’t have a relationship with God, I know I would not even be functioning right now…and I thank Him for that EVERY day! He’s gotten me through so much in my life already, I shouldn’t doubt I will get through this as well!
    I just continue to try and remember…ONE day at a time!

    I also know so many out there are going through SOOO much more than I am and try to just focus on all of the blessings that I DO have, and know that it could be worse.

    Thank you to all of you who took the time to respond to my post and share your personal life and suggestions. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart! As I said, I will keep all of you in my prayers! Blessings to you all!

    Laura

  • Carol

    As I read through these comments, I realize that most of us have a problem with letting go. We are so accustomed to helping, sorting this out and other behaviors that allow our Alcoholic loved ones from facing the consequences of their actions. It has taken me a long time to see that mine has lied to me over and over……she has been lying to herself…..denial or whatever. Any way I am trying to let go…let God and realize that I am not responsible for anyone but me. Blessings to all who work through these tough issues.

  • Pj

    Laura,
    Doesn’t matter whether an A is drinking or not they will always be obsessed with something. If they are in AA they will attend every meeting (if they are serious), if they have a hobbie or sport or a cause, they will be involved 24 hours a day to the exclusion of those around them. Obsession is the key word, obsessed with drinking alcohol or obsessed with finding ways of avoiding it, either way you lose.
    If they are in AA they will need to socialise with different people who dont drink or if they are drinking they will seek out people who encourage them in their madness. There is no middle ground for an A and you need to decide if you want to change your whole social life to suit them and can you cope with the upheaval if the wheels fall off and they head back to the bar.
    If you have no ties then I would strongly advise you to leave and find a “normal” person rather than get sucked into the topsy turvey world of an A. They all realise they have to change but they NEVER find peace with themselves, changing means swapping one obsession for another and I can tell you from nearly 30 years experience it will never be any different.
    And I am sorry, nothing in your life will make you start drinking again if you dont want to, that is the excuse every A looks for to justify what they are doing. Already you are in codependency.

  • Ann

    my alcoholic is mean now that he is sober. Or maybe he’s not sober. I really don’t know now. I’ve experienced a “come here” now “go away” attitude that has just killed my self esteem. I was so happy to see things might be getting better only to have him blind side me with “I don’t care about you anymore”. I can’t erase all the memories and the complete confusion feels overwhelming. He is supposed to be sober but now wants to be alone and the meaness towards me is unreal. He is not in treatment or AA. Just three months sober. He wasn’t this mean when drinking but he could be an jerk. Is this normal for being three months sober?

  • Laura

    Ann, I am going through something very similar to what you are. I could see the stress building right before he left (see story above, I started this one. 😉 He never “said” I don’t care about you anymore, but that’s what it felt like.
    He didn’t want to even talk after he left. I would say since he left 2 mo. ago we talked 3 times, texted 15 times, and saw each other zero. UP until about 2 weeks ago. He explained in his texts that he just needed to “fix” his life (ie. some things he messed up financially while he was drinking, and to forgive “himself” for all that happened during that time…and even things from a long time ago growing up, he even told me he realized how bipolar he really is and is going to the dr. for it).
    Luckily, about a month ago I began to realize why he needed to leave, that he does still love me, and he meant what he was saying. I started enjoying peace, and “myself” again. I did things for “me”, I prayed a LOT, and asked God to make me strong in mind and body again. Well, He answered my prayers, I feel myself again, I’m positive, and I’m happy. Yesterday my boyfriend/fiance and I even sat down in person together and just talked for about 45 minutes. He looks SO much better, DEFINITELY not drinking, getting his things corrected, we didn’t have one disagreement, I could tell he was happy to see me, and he even quit smoking for the last 10 days!! He tried the vapor thing, and it is working! This is HUGE, as he was up to 2-3 packs a day! Soon we are going to start going to church together again!
    Our time apart has been a Godsend! We are both better because of it, and seeing and talking with him yesterday once again confirmed….”Let go and Let God”. As soon as I “truly” did that a little over a month ago…EVERYTHING changed. I knew in my heart I was not supposed to give up on him, and also knew I had to change my co-dependent ways.
    Only you know how you feel about him, whether you feel you are meant to be together or not. But I will say, there is ALWAYS hope…if you give it to God. I believe by the end of October, we will be back together in a better way than we have EVER been since we met 3 years ago!
    I will keep you in my prayers! Have faith, try to “let him be”, separate if you haven’t already, and worry about “YOU” right now, and let him come to terms with “himself” so he can love “himself” again. I hope things work out the way you want them to…just “Let go and let God”! It’s a wonderful “freeing” feeling!

    Blessings,
    Laura

  • Laura

    Also Ann, if he has really not been drinking, and you KNOW that he isn’t…he’s not angry with you right now, he’s angry with “himself”. My af even told me that yesterday. He said, “I know now things that have happened were my fault, and that’s why I was mean to you because I didn’t like myself…it really wasn’t you at all, it was me.”
    Maybe if you think of that, when those mean things are happening…just know it’s NOT you!! 😉
    Hugs!

  • Ann

    Laura,
    Thank you for your encouraging words. I am so happy to hear things are going better for you. It was when. I read your story above that I could truly relate to someone. I have felt like I am crazy. I have only seen my AF three times since June. And only brief email or text a couple of times. We used to talk or see each other daily. Three weeks ago we finally talked and it went well and did for a couple of days and then a week ago he told me he didn’t care. And that he needs space and that he wants to be alone. I feel like I have done something wrong in all of this but I don’t know what. And when the other person won’t talk to you it leaves you feeling hopeless. I don’t know how to have hope anymore. Most days I question whether I will live thru this as life doesn’t feel worth living. I don’t know how I got this low. Again it is so encouraging to hear your story. I hope things continue to get better for you. I know how bad you have felt and you deserve to feel good. I will keep you in my thoughts also. Thank you again.:)

  • Laura

    Ann,
    You absolutely did not do anything wrong, please do not believe that you did. Ann, life “is” worth living…please don’t let one man, not talking to you, or that says mean things to you make you feel hopeless. Let him go for now and think only of yourself for a while, believe that he needs space right now to get better…but also know that even if he doesn’t get better, by then you will be stronger “because” you thought of yourself, and you will be able to handle things in a more positive way. I know there is always a chance my AF and I could end up not getting back together, but because I “let go”…I know if we were meant to be together, we will be…and God will “make” it happen. If He doesn’t…it just means there is something even better ahead.
    Thank you for your kind words, I just will not allow myself to obsess anymore over “why” he goes without talking to me, “why” he’s acting like he is…and I’ve noticed things between us have improved in a HUGE way, by truly realizing it isn’t me. I think “anyone” would rather be around us when we’re happy, healthy, and confident…than when we’re sad, negative, and crying all the time. Especially them, if they’re trying to get better themselves. Try to only think of “Ann” right now. You might be pleasantly surprised with the results! But most of all, have strong FAITH! And if you don’t have any…just pray for it. 😉
    Take care! You can do this!! 😉

    Laura

  • Ann

    Thank you Laura. I needed those words. I keep rereading your post. Today is particularly hard. I’ve tried to get ahold of him and am just being ignored. I don t know what is worse his being mean or being ignored. Its as if I don’t matter. I get hurt and angry. But I guess if you ignore it then it really doesn’t exist. Being treated so coldly by someone you’ve loved so dearly cuts like a knife. I wonder if they know that? I am curious how you were able to let go? That is the one thing I can’t seem to get into my head. I can’t seem to let it go and let him go and hope and have faith that someone is watching over us both. How do. You get to that point? What changed for you the day you decided that? Again, thank you for writing back. I’ve lost so many friends over this and I can’t take any more negativity.

  • Laura

    Ann, I am so happy to hear that I could help in some way, and make you feel a little better. I felt very hurt, and angry just like you’re feeling…and then I realized handling things the way I was (wanting to text him or call him, etc.), was definitely not working, and only made things worse. I realized I needed to keep focus on “me” and stay strong because besides the stress from all of this…I was recently diagnosed with RA and Fibromyalgia and trying to deal with that. But most of all I think, is that in my heart and soul I know that if we were meant to be together…that God will make it so. Over the last 6 years my faith has gotten me through more than I can say. So many things in my life make sense now, years later, and through it all…I’ve seen God do some amazing things, and I know He wants the very best for all of us. When things happen to us that are “not” so good, I look at it as a test…of how I am going to handle the situation, and how soon I rely on my faith and hand everything over to Him. This time, about a month ago…I did it sooner than I ever had, and it’s been wonderful! I feel better, physically and mentally, I’m enjoying my “alone” time and I’m concentrating on me, for a change! You had said that you wondered if the A knows how bad they are hurting us…and I believe that they do, maybe not right at the moment they’re doing it, but eventually they do. I think that’s part of why they do isolate themselves, or leave suddenly like they do…they start feeling guilty and ashamed of what they’ve done and said…after they’ve been sober for a while. It took mine about 4 mo. to get to the point of needing to be alone and needing “his space” after he quit drinking. I will say, the way I’ve handled things this time…has definitely made a difference! We were even joking back and forth texting today! I truly believe it’s because when we talked in person on Friday, he saw me stronger, that I was taking care of myself, and I wasn’t crying and begging him to come home. I even told him I “understood” what he was needing to do, and I know that meant a lot to him. But we’ll see what happens, I know God has my back and knows what’s best for me, of course I pray it’s that everything works out between us, but if it’s not, I know I’ll be OK! This is all just part of my journey in this life and I believe this to the core of my soul…that EVERYTHING happens for a reason, even the people that come into our lives, for ALL of us, and it’s what we do with and how we handle what is thrown at us in life that makes each of us who we are.
    As I said before…you CAN do this! I’m a VERY emotional person, I was a good enabler too, and when I love, I love hard! So…if I can do it, ANYONE can do it! lol
    Ann, just believe and trust with all your heart that God has “got this”. Stop contacting him, pretend he’s on a trip or something, just something that will help you stop obsessing that he’s not there with you…and enjoy getting to know “you” again. I promise you will be so happy that you did! I will be praying for you, and for your faith to become strong enough to let go, so both of you can heal.
    Love and Hugs,
    Laura

  • Laura

    Also Ann…remember, if you don’t call him, or text him…you’re not setting yourself up for rejection, hurt, or anger…and if you do, you’re setting “yourself” up for the pain. I thought of that one day, and it helped me.
    That could be one of the reasons why they leave for a while after becoming sober…to “keep” from hurting us. Then when we try and “make” them talk to us, we end up pushing them even further away! Take care and stay strong!

    Laura

  • Debbi

    Ann:
    Please remember that anything you might have done wrong is miniscule to all the wrongs he did to you. JC once said he looked back at his journals and realized how he forgot all the things that were done to him. If you kept a journal read back through it and you will see it was not you. We all make mistakes but apologize and correct them but the A’s in our life rarely apologize for their actions unless they feel they have something to lose. You, I’m sure apologized quickly to him if you felt you did something wrong, don’t forget that because that makes you the better person. Laura had some great advice and words for you also so please believe we all know that feeling of what we did wrong and it will linger for awhile but Laura made it, I’m still working on it but getting better and you will too. Keep the focus on you, just like Laura said.

  • Laura

    I wanted to post this poem that I really love…thought it might bring you some peace, and help you to “let go”, and “let God”. 😉

    The Weaver

    My life is but a weaving
    Between my Lord and me;
    I cannot choose the colours,
    He worketh steadily.

    Oft-times He weaveth sorrow,
    And I, in foolish pride
    forget He sees the upper,
    And I the under side.

    Not till the loom is silent
    And the shuttles cease to fly,
    Shall God unroll the canvas
    And explain the reason why.

    The dark threads are as needful,
    In the Weaver’s skillful hand,
    As the threads of gold and silver
    In the pattern he has planned.

    He knows, He loves, He cares –
    Nothing this truth can dim;
    He gives the very best to those
    Who leave the choice with Him.

    Unknown.

  • Laura

    Ann, I thought of you when I saw this quote earlier today, I really liked it and thought I would share…

    “There is a blessing hidden in every trial in
    life, but you have to be willing to open your
    heart to see them.”

    JC, thank you for your kind words written in your email today! 😉

    Here is a prayer for all of us…

    When your spirit has been broken and abused, it is full of cracks that allow in fear…. the fear grows into insecurities that destroy us and keeps us from being who we were meant to be, they keep us from trusting and loving and growing… I pray to God to heal our Spirit and fill us with His love to make us whole again. Lord, block out the insecurities and fears that keep us from becoming who You made us to be… beautiful and amazing souls each like no other.

    Hugs!
    Laura

  • Ann

    Debbi ~ thank you for your thoughts. My rational mind knows I do not deserve the treatment I am getting or being treated like I no longer exist. Sometimes I start to think of the things that he’s done and I wonder how I ever let that happen. It all happens very slowly. I too hope we all can get to the point where Laura is.
    Laura ~ thank you so much. Your thoughts are truly the messages I need. I think your story is very similar to mine. I know I set myself up for pain by contacting him. I think letting go and knowing whatever happens is what is supposed to happen is the hardest thing for me to grasp. I have moments that I know I am strong and that I am confident in myself and know this isn’t the end of the story whether it works out for he and I or not. Its just very hard sometimes to wrap my head around being pushed away. That feels like the cruelest thing. I too am a very emotional person. I get a lot of negativity about that so a lot of times I won’t show it. I truly believe that life is too short and I don’t want the people I care about to ever doubt that. I think that’s partly why I am afraid to let go. That he will forget me and how much I care about him. Its silly I know. But I keep reading your posts and its really the sound advice I need to hear and think about when I get weak. Thank you so much.

  • Pez

    Well, I know the pain of being “pushed away” or Cut off is more like it when My XAB Jumped with another woman when I gave the ultimatum 2wice. Some people don’t deserve a second chance! It’s extremely painful but time heals. I don’t fully agree this is the way it was meant to be. People have a choice and my XAB made his! He Chose Alcohol and an enabling low-class woman! To go the way of destruction. But I do believe God will bless us in whatever path we must go because of these things. It’s not our fault. Like my Aunt said, “in one year you will have moved on from this Hell, and he will be exactly in the same place or worse”.
    Look forward, look ahead to the future. Yes, it’s sad and tragic, but we can’t save them.

  • Debbi

    To Laura–Thank you for posting your poems and prayers–good words for today.

    To Ann: Maybe you had the same thing as me-my exAH would treat me horribly, put me at the bottom of his priority list but never to his family, friends. So, that made me feel it was something with me–maybe the same things happened to you and so that’s why we ask “what did I do wrong?”. but, know this, he will never forget you. Also, no contact right now for you will mean no new hurts and that is important because your wounds are too raw to take any more of his words. So do your best to keep no contact right now. Remember: in the war of words, silence is the winning hand. That silence will cause no new hurts for you and display to him that you are strong and moving on. Use the quiet time to focus on you with all the support you can get from every place right now–you need that to get your strength back and then you can make decisions. You are in my thoughts.

  • Ann

    Thank you Debbi. I really need to remember what you and Laura both said about contacting him. It does just open me up and set myself up for more hurt. I was weak and I did it again yesterday only to be ignored. That ruined my whole day. Back to the thoughts that there must be something wrong with me if he doesn’t want to talk to me. I’m hoping with everyday I can get it thru my head to leave him alone and let whatever will be happen. Sometimes being alone with your thoughts can be a very terrible thing.

  • Maggie

    Haven’t posted for a good few weeks but in a dark place at the moment. My 68yr old husband has been addicted to strong lager and the secret drinking of it for some 40yrs Heated arguments are now in the past in the main but when they occur it is always our relationship is at fault He fails to take responsibility telling my son and I to go our way and he will go his —that’s his only solution in his efforts to support the love of his life–strong lager He can no longer express a point of view merely mimicking anything I say or agreeing with anything I know I m wasting my energy when within minutes he starts laughing at a programme on TV and asks if I want some food He is just not normal Please try to enlighten me. Is this the continued effects of the daily lager speaking or has his brain become addelled over the years.

  • Debbi

    Maggie:
    I will try to help you if I can. My neurosurgeon told me that after only drinking one-8 ounce drink per day for 5 years damage to the neurons & nerve endings can be seen on a brain scan. My exA starting drinking at about age 14 & now he’s 59. Yes, they push you away, mine threatened me with divorce many times, always during a disagreement–they don’t handle stress well and their answer to everything is to walk away, then because the alcohol causes memory issues they may forget what they just said to you moments before. So it is the continued effects of drinking AND he is physically and pyschologically addicted now. Have you seen any blackouts? This was one I wasn’t sure about but there were a few times he would do some very strange things in the evening after drinking and he would have this bizarre glazed look in his eyes and completely deny the event took place the next day. I think if you review some of his behaviors you might have seen this also. I came home from my doctor’s one time with a horrible diagnosis and I needed to talk to my ex–I needed support and needed to plan for a major surgery. I explained the situation to my ex and he looked at me and said “let’s go get my new cell phone now–I want to get it tonight” The next day he never remembered any of the entire conversation. Also, mine had some hallucinations which he would tell people it’s because he’s clairvoyant but in reality he was at this point mixing drugs with the alcohol. So Maggie, watch his habits, count the amount he drinks for awhile, look for any drugs around in hiding places. You will start to see a pattern–it is affecting his brain. I know I sure could not drink every day and not have it affect me–alcohol in early times was used as a drug to dull affects of pain. Hang in there Maggie, once you watch and see what is going on it will start to make sense–I’m divorced now and still putting the puzzle pieces together. Hang in there!

  • Debbi

    Ann:
    Yep, someone left me alone with my thoughts today too and I ended up going down that same road of guilt and how can he just pick up with another one and throw me to the curb. It hurts, no 2 ways about it. So today I gave into the hurt. Yep, he stopped caring about me probably about 6 years into the marriage and soon after was looking for my replacement. It hurts. But I loved my husband all the way, my vows very important so I tell myself if alcohol & this other woman make him happy then okay I have to live with it. But I remind myself, while he was still living with me, dating her he also used escorts & the like so she’s not keeping him happy either. So Ann, yours is probably not in happy place right now either. Who knows, maybe he’s working on sobriety and remorse is starting to hit him and he just can’t talk with you now because of guilt. Either way, do what ever you have to not to contact him–slap a rubber band on your wrist or make yourself do pushups every time your mind wanders there, clean out a drawer. It’s hard but tell yourself, I will only think about him from 6PM to 7PM or any time and make your mind wait until that time & one day maybe that time will come and go and poof–it will be gone. You’re in my thoughts–you can do this–we are strong women, coming from great women before us who endured much more hardship than we can even imagine. You too can do this!

  • Maggie

    Thanks Debbie. What a life u have endured and still able to help others! You suggest I monitor his drinking and wait for a behavioral pattern to emerge That’s it—part of the addiction is strong lager must be drunk in secret and in front of ANYONE. He is the best builder in the area,regularly goes to church and Masonic meetings. To the outside world he is the ideal husband and father –it doesn’t matter that most days I have higher standard of conversation with my 4yr old grand daughter. So he drinks lager in his van,whilst taking dog for walks up the mountain etc—disposing of cans in bins skips etc. As a result I just don’t know amount he is drinking or times of day even though afternoon he speaks little and repeats himself. I ask myself is he an alcoholic when he can walk past all spirits etc but rehab and AA sessions say otherwise. The last 6yrs have been particularly horrendous and has caused untold damage to the family. Our son can’t stand to be in the same room as him and rarely visits. The future holds what. Let go. Let God. Without my spiritual beliefs and friends I wouldn’t survive. Please how do I cope with a childlike husband From where do I get respect and patience to show towards him

  • Debbi

    Maggie:
    I will try to offer what worked for me & sorry if this is long. . .take what you like and discard the rest.

    1. Most support groups tell you not to monitor their drinking but in the beginning I think you actually need to monitor it to see what you are dealing with. So, try to determine his drinking habits–what time of day, how much, what kind, where, where is he purchasing it, is he driving while drinking, where he keeps it. Find the hiding places in house, vehicle, outside and monitor the levels of the alcohol. Knowledge is power. By doing this, I got an eye opener. I thought he only drank in evenings-boy was I wrong, drinking & driving. I thought it was only a couple of beers in the evening–oh no found he hid whiskey, vodka and rum in places in the house. Found it hidden in a bucket in the back of his truck so maybe drinking at work & then of course driving. The empty’s confused me because only a few would end in the trash can, where were the rest going? I still have no answer to that one.

    2. Okay, now I started to see the extent of this (and this did not even occur until divorce process with me was started which is now 15 years into my marriage). So now when I know what he drinks & then I watch for signs on his face (red nose), signs in his eyes (glazed over) and tried to match what he was drinking with the outward signs and what he looked like when abstaining. This helped me avoid him when I knew he would be too drunk to hear me, or in the stage of ego where he could do no wrong, or in the stage of needing alcohol and not enough in his system and that’s when the mean awful things came out of his mouth. So this helped me with physically distancing myself during those periods by looking at his face, hands etc. I did not need to see the actual drinking now to be able to determine which phase he was in. All of them are different so you need to learn the patterns of your A.

    3. Next step, start making plans to separate. Get your financial house in order so to speak with options of where to go in a hurry if things get bad fast. Consult with attorney’s and the like to find your options. If you share assets get all the documents on these. This step does not mean you are leaving but you will be ready if that day comes. This step helped me find out my ex had forged my name to sell off assets and used marital money for prostitutes and bailing his brother out of jail (another alcoholic in the family)

    4. Next step, get support & fast. Support groups, friends, family members and the like. Only those you can totally trust with your feelings and the truth. You may need to enlist their help and the support groups will help you realize you are not the only one going through this ordeal and they help you with solutions to all the problems. It is so important for support groups and counseling please go.

    5. Next step and this one is the hardest. You have been able to separate a little physically when you know the outcome will not be good and you are getting help and getting ready to leave if necessary but in the meantime you need now to separate emotionally from this person (and you said it–he is an emotional child right now). Here are things that worked for me: when I could tell what phase of drinking he was in by watching him then I know when to stay in another room to avoid an argument. If I was followed I would find an excuse to exit. I learned by watching his behavior and physical symptoms when to exit to avoid confrontations. Every time I would tear up or get upset over my circumstances I snapped a rubber band on my wrist. Then a friend of mine who grew up with an older brother who was an addict gave me this tip: Make a game out of everything. For example, I would come home from work and so it would take a few minutes to determine what kind of mood I would encounter. So first I would (don’t laugh!) pause at the front door and tell myself okay Deb it is time for the CRAZY BOZO show. I would pretend to myself that as I walked in the house I was turning on the television and just watching someone else’s life. So I would be an observer in order to keep my emotions out of it. I walked in every night with a smile on my face because I played this game. I was able to stop when I saw his behavior and very easily smile. The next game I played was a reward system. At the end of the day for every time that I did not get involved in an argument with him even when catching him in lies I rewarded myself. For me it was a money reward because he took more than half his pay every week and spent & spent while all my money had to go in to pay the bills. So I would withdraw a certain amount every day for each time I did a good job & I built up quite a savings–you’d be surprised this reward system really does work. The worst was when I knew on certain nights he was out with escorts and I would fret so instead I made a race out of it. I would count the hours he was out and each time he broke the record and stayed out later I would reward myself. One night he didn’t come home at all (boy did I give myself a good reward that night). I know this may sound silly but it really did work for me because instead of focusing on all the feelings of hurt he was causing I was forcing my brain to recognize but not respond to all his bad behavior and reward myself for it.

    But the ultimate when you get to this point is now to get the focus on you and do what you like to do, find things you like to do and that’s when you will be ready to decide if it is okay to continue to live like this or you want something better. I know it hurts. . .boy do I know that hurt. I had everything done to me. He walked out of the marriage started divorce which he know would cause me to lose my health insurance and so I am struggling. It was so hard on my heart to realize that this man who I thought loved me was willing to walk away knowing it could have caused my death. So you can bet I realized I did not want to stay with someone who wanted me dead. You will come to your own decisions. I am sorry to be so long but I can only offer what worked for me and funny as it sounds making a game out of it and reward system was the best thing that helped me survive the last 8 months in the house with him during our divorce. Focus on you Maggie–it is your turn now! Try everything to see what works best for you to protect your heart!

  • Maggie

    Debbie thank u so much for giving me so much of your time in your effort to help me. I have indeed extracted the relevant parts for myself. 2points. Are u referring to shaking of the hands as a physical sign? Why a rubber band. ? Such good advice! I shall be 65 in 3mths and I am so fear of making a life on my own However I have been on my own emotionally for many yrs of marriage I suppose. May our guides and angels look after all of us here

  • Debbi

    Maggie:
    Like I said, sorry to be long but thought you wanted to know how I got through that first year towards my divorce. The shaking of the hands I’ve been told occurs when they are going through withdrawal–haven’t had a drink in awhile and the BAC level has dropped. I noticed mine always spilled the sugar he was putting in his coffee (due to his hands shaking) first thing in the morning but then later on he did not have this symptom. So I realized he was definitely addicted and his body showing signs of withdrawal & then I knew why the severe grouchy mood in the morning until he could get a drink–but also, this is the time he’s actually sober and can hear and remember what I say so this is when I approached him from that point forward. The idea of this is to get a pattern of when the A generally is not drinking so that is when you need to have those conversations. I fully understand your fear of starting over. I’m younger but not by much 56 but I reminded myself my father passed away and my mother had to do it & still lives on a great life and she’s coming up on 90–I am so proud of her! So you need to get that financial house in order for yourself, whether you leave or stay because sorry to say even if you stay women outlive men and so you will be alone most likely eventually. So prepare for each scenario and that way his threats will be meaningless because you will have a plan in place. Just having a plan and everything ready will give you peace but it also gives you a sense of power. Take care Maggie–I’ll keep you in my thoughts today.

  • Maggie

    Thanks Debbie for ur advice. My son has come up with a solution As a family we tacitly accept my AH will always daily find ways of drinking his super strength lager so we make no comments about his drinking but refuse to allow him to drive any of the family anywhere as we never know when he has been drinking. He is never blindingly drunk–he is a maintenance alcoholic who becomes feeble- minded. Help needed please

  • Debbi

    Maggie:
    The goal is to realize you can’t control him and he must suffer the consequences but in the same breath you have to protect yourself. So if he is doing something that is going to greatly affect you, then you need to step in. For example I took the spare key to ex’s truck and searched it. He figured it out, got the key back and kept the vehicle completely locked up. Now, keep in mind, vehicle titled in my name. I need to protect myself. I cannot stop him from driving and possibly while under the influence but an accident in a vehicle titled to me could make me liable. So, solution–got my name off the title and I pulled my name off the insurance and got a separate policy. So, if he indeed causes an accident insurance or others involved can only go after the parties whose names are titled on the vehicle and/or whose names on the policy. In effect they now could not come after my house which was owned jointly because the truck no longer was associated with me. Good advice I received by seeking counsel while still married to him. This is why I repeat look into all your options financial & legal until you leave or even if you decide to stay. Stay protected but stay out of his life and let him and him alone suffer the consequences of his actions while still protecting yourself–& get support and counseling from everywhere!

  • Ann

    I’ve been thinking about Laura and wondering how things are progressing. I’m hoping it is all still positive. My situation has not gotten better but hearing at least some hope that there can be a recovery with a good outcome is encouraging. I’ve been learning to let go and it is the hardest thing to do.

  • Laura

    Awww, thank you Ann, that’s very sweet of you! Actually, things are going really very well! We’re taking things slowly, he’s agreed he definitely sees that he’s bipolar, he realizes that alcohol was the root of almost every one of our problems (and his own)and that he will NEVER touch alcohol ever again no matter what stressful things happen because he sees how it just makes everything worse. The awesome thing about it is, I KNOW this time that he’s not just telling me what I want to hear and he means what he said, because he’s proving he means what he’s saying by his “actions”…and not just blowing hot air like before when he was drinking.
    I also wanted to share with you a conversation he and I just had the other day. “He” brought up how he noticed the difference in me from the time he left back in November of last year (last time, I did all of the things I shouldn’t have done, ie. call him, text him a LOT, got so depressed, let myself go etc.) and this time when he left in July (this time, I did the things I “should”). He said it was different this time, I left him alone, and didn’t get depressed, and act crazy…and he is right! The difference is that I took care of “myself”, I did not call or text him…and if for some reason I did need to text him I only said what needed to be said, or asked, I didn’t tell him I missed him, or wanted him to come home…I didn’t even say I love you….because I knew he already knew that. I would just say at the end of my text…I hope you’re doing well, keeping you in my prayers as always, and that’s it. Him mentioning that told me that reacting the way we all do in these situations when they hurt us DOES make a difference!!

    But the main thing, the one thing that made me “able” to do those things was, this time I truly let everything go, and gave it all to God! I finally realize that God is in total control, and crying, being depressed, and repeatedly trying to get through to him was just a waste of time, and wouldn’t do anything…except make me look needy and pathetic. And to be honest with you…I was finally sick, and tired of saying the SAME things OVER and OVER again! I knew if we were meant to be together that we would be…maybe not exactly “when” I wanted it to be, but when God knew it was “right” for us to be….if at all! I am SO much better now, and even to the point that “if” things don’t work out with us after all, I am in a place right now that I know I will be able to handle it…because I am stronger, I know what I deserve, but more importantly…I also know what I “don’t” deserve! I pray that things will continue to go well as they are now, we do still have “moments” but we are handling them much better than before and now he’s able to actually talk about it…but most importantly he is “listening”, which he NEVER did when he was drinking! That in itself is a miracle!! 😉 I’m sure everyone that has dealt with an alcoholic knows what I mean…trying to get them to “listen” is pretty much impossible when they’re drinking!

    Ann, if you ever want to talk privately, you are welcome to email me at laurafrey2000@yahoo.com – if I can help you stay strong, and get through what you are going through…I would be happy to! Hang in there, and ask God for strength…He WILL give it to you, I promise! I know in my heart that He is the ONLY reason I have gotten through all that I have. Thank you for thinking of me, I really do appreciate it very much!
    Stay strong! Hugs

    Laura

  • Mike

    Laura, thank you for that letter.
    I was at the end of hope and letting everything go out of my life.
    I love my wife dearly and I know I cannot leave her and must be by her.
    Your letter came at the perfect time, I mean PERFECT time.
    Thank you

  • Laura

    Hi Mike,
    Knowing something that I wrote really helped you, and I hope Ann as well, makes my heart so happy! To me…that is what life is all about, helping each other!
    I don’t know what you’re going through, but I will keep you in my prayers Mike. God never said life would be easy…and it surrrrre isn’t sometimes. But just remember it will not always be that way. I truly believe that we go through the things we do, only to make us stronger. I know that because I look back at myself 20 yrs. ago, 10 yrs. ago, and even the last 5 yrs., how much I have grown, changed for the better, and how much better I handle bumps in the road in everyday life…even after going through hell, and allowing my spirit to be broken, more than once. I realize now that when I have fallen, and things got so bad…I have always picked myself back up, things got better, life went on and something REALLY good would happen. I see now, that it’s a cycle…to help us grow and become stronger, so we can better handle the ups and downs in our journey of life.
    I hope things will get better for you very soon, and like I told Ann, if you ever need an ear (or I should say “eyes”):) you are welcome to email me at my address above. Take care, and again…I’m glad my post came at the perfect time for you. That has happened many times for me too on this website!
    JC did a great thing starting this website! Thank you JC!
    Sorry this turned out so LONG…lol I got carried away. 🙂

    Laura

  • Ana G

    Hi, I need some kind of support, have been reading the posts here and sounds so familiar. I met my husband through internet, he went to visit, I came to visit and then stayed. Got married five months after… I came here for him and only him. Well, he drank.. everyday.. but only some days too much.. but always treated me with love and assuring us as a couple. The drinking got worse over time, with ups and downs, but now after two years and a half, he finally decided to stop drinking. It has only been a week and everything I say its like I am his biggest pain in the b… he gets so anoying by my presence.. today he told me that he needs to find himself.. that all decisions he has made in his life he has made them under the influence of alcohol. What I got from that.. even the decision to marry me is being questioned… got nobody to talk with.. cant involve family or friends from my home country because i know what they would say. I am lost.. I love him.. just need some guidance…

  • Ann

    Ana,
    I know that feeling. After my alcoholic got sober he cut me out of his life. The little that he did talk to me it was like I am the worst person in the world. He talked to me like I was stupid and everything I did annoyed him. It has been 9 mos now and things are better for me but only a little. And that is mostly because I can’t cry about it any more. 9 mos later, I still feel like he had to be drunk to like me, to find me attractive, to feel anything for me and now that he’s sober I am nothing. That is what it feels like. So I know how bad you feel. Believe me. It’s not true. And your husband being that way to you is all about him. Sadly, yes, all decisions he made he did make drunk. But you were sober and us sober ones are the ones that get hurt. I know you love him but you have to love yourself more. I don’t know where you live or where you came from but if you have any way to communicate with your family or friends at home please do. Yes, they may say I told you so but the more isolated you are here the worse his problems will be on you. I can tell you, I lost the majority of my “friends” over my relationship with an alcoholic. If you can in any way, salvage your friends and family please turn to them. The road you are on with your husband is not a fun one. Things only get worse and maybe they will get better but I think those are the exceptions and not the rule. I wouldn’t wish the roller coaster ride of being with an alcoholic on anyone. I know people can judge from the outside and wonder how you got involved and didn’t know. I can tell you, it really is easy to not “know” at first until you are too emotionally involved. So, yes, while your friends and family may have told you so, no one has the right to judge you and if they truly care about you they will help you. Please hang in there and for your sake, please try to take steps to get out of that situation. Continue to post on here. There are lots of people here that will give you advice and tell you what they have been through.

  • Maggie

    I have been given the advice that my reaction to my AH needs to change as this will be far easier than trying to change him Good advice but putting into practise is not so easy He secretly drinks mornings/afternoons and then I am constantly in the company of a 68yrs man who constantly repeats himself and who has the conversation of a 4yrs child before he goes to bed by 8pm I am finding it almost impossible to show him respect etc as his behaviour is beyond My family and I have tried everything in the book to help him but to no avail. I’ve read so many books attended Al Anon. This site is my greatest comfort as at 65yrs I am daily living a hellish life

  • Karen

    I’m so thankful I have found this group. My boyfriend and I dated for 5 years in high school and college. He was even an alcoholic back then. We went our separate ways, both married other people, both divorced after 10-15 years. We met again and it was great. But I live in NC and he in LA. We have maintained a long distance relationship for almost 5 years again now. He even attempted to move to NC Bc he wanted to be with me but mostly he wanted to escape his environment and become sober. He’s always asked me to not “quit him” Bc everyone in his life, he feels, has. I didn’t. I was unable to live with him in NC Bc the plan to become sober ended poorly to say the least. It was a HARD breakup but I still never quit him. 3 months ago he FINALLY decided to join AA. Things are looking so exciting for him and for us. The last week I was down visiting everything was really great. I LOVED seeing him smile and watching him change almost before my eyes. I came back to visit on Wed last week…on Thurs he breaks up with me telling me he doesn’t feel it, he hasn’t in a long time, he doesn’t see me “that way”, he can’t give me what I need in this relationship, he leaves me but it’s NOT THERE!!!!

    After ALL I have done for him I’m beyond devistated and angry! I struggle through all his crap and his wreck of a life, emotionally detached, leaving me always feeling unwanted (but NEEDED…anything to make his life easier)…I’ve been so lonely throughout all of this but I put him first! I did what he had asked so many times I cannot count …”just love me through it)! So I love him through for him to turn his anger on me and just toss me aside like I do not matter at all. He never meets a stranger and is so very kind to everyone and anyone…but with me…I can’t complete one sentence without him focusing on one insignificant word and ignore the reasons I’m TRYING to talk to him. I need him to be kind to me for again. Just simply spend one moment of thinking how I may feel and what he is throwing away. We could have an amazing life together. In fact I had thought we would. I have EVERYTHING in this man. My whole being is for the life I know we would enjoy together again. I’ve never loved anyone as deeply as I do him. I cannot explain it. It’s a deep and committed love. No, I don’t chase butterflies in my stomach but I love his very soul…which is missing now and has been for a while. I don’t know what to do. My heart hurts. I angry beyond measure. I’m NOT being rational or handling this well at all. I’ve gone to such a dark place. I don’t understand why I’m not enough anymore, why he had shut me out for so long, why I don’t deserve something good after all this time., why am I his sacrifice, why doesn’t he appreciate me, why won’t he forgive me….ALL of them things he’d do for a stranger passing by….but now…”IT’S NOT THERE!”

    Like a post I read above I have few friends, no family close to me and he was my everything. NO, he’s no where near perfect. There are countless things about him that I don’t like or drive me insane, but I chose to love him and I’ve never faltered on that…even throughout my 15 yr marriage to my now ex husband. My A was always THE ONE in my heart. I choose to focus on the good in him and what more I know is in there somewhere. I don’t feel he should be making a decision like this only 3 months in. I don’t feel it’s fair to not give us a chance…which he says he has been doing for a long time…if he has he’s been doing it drunk and never with a clear head. I don’t know if he knows what he feels. But I know him. Because of the distance between us which is a lot of work on me and would take some work on his part…he will sacrifice what we could have and never look back. He’s busied himself so very much…everything AA. I am so pleased with this but I’m the one who’s lived the hell with him. The one who’s loved him through. I’m the one that never gave up on him, had faith in him and stood up and by him always! Not ONE of these new people have experienced one day of what I’ve lived with and what I’ve lived without. How can he be such a hate filled person but only to ME!

    I don’t know what to do. I know in my heart he is making a terrible decision fueled by anger, a lack of forgiveness, selfishness and at a time when he has no idea what emotions are. I’ve seen him love me. And it was strong enough to break through the clouds of alcoholism. It’s in there. If I’d never seen, I would not care at all. But in his mind…it’s gone.

    I’ve done some shameful things this week through my hurt (the heartache is physical and the worst pain I’ve ever felt). I’ve stooped so low as the beg this man to not throw us away…etc. I’ve said mean things out of hurt. It’s ironic bc he has been one of
    The most evil people I’ve ever met at times and I have forgiven him each time. He is incapable of forgiving me. I don’t u d’état and why he will allow me back in and walk this journey with him. I’ve fought so hard and loved so unconditionally in hope of this very things happening. SOBRIETY!

    Sobriety that has stripped me of the man I love more than drinking ever did

    How can I NOT be enough or NOT have the chance to be there once the fog lifts and he works his way through this maze. I shouldn’t be his sacrifice. I’m hurting so bad. I’ve prayed for this for so long….how did I get left out of the encore!??

  • Karen

    I pray Laura is still on here. I am thankful for the prayer she posted on 9-17-13….which just happens to be my birthday. I hope and pray I’ve found THE right place for me.

  • Pez

    Oh dear Karen, I feel your pain as myself and many others here have been through the same sacrifice as you have. Loving putting up with sacrificing Our Lives to save someone we love. to try to leave them to sobriety. Karen if I may say I am not sure he is serious about getting sober to be able to do this to you and blame you. or it could be to just too difficult for him right now if he is truly seeking sobriety. but I would have my doubts. just remember when someone is drinking all the time and drunk their life is a daze. they are not in their right mind. they say and do things so they are not alone and that they can keep you on the line. I know this will be hard to accept but it is the truth. Seek help from a support group that is in person or from a counselor to work through all this pain. and I know it is excruciating because I’ve been through it and am now past it! you will get past this Karen. but it will be a hard Road. you’re in my prayers.

  • Karen

    Thank you so much Pez. It seems he is very committed to his sobriety and other AA members. He’s forming new friendships…people that know nothing about me, is or really him for that matter yet. I’m so so angry. How he can walk around doing all the AA goodness (which I gratel to respect) but it seems all for show Bc he sure hasn’t shown me.

    It’s as if a light bulb went off and he changed just like that. I don’t know what to do. I’ve begged all I care to admit. It’s shameful. But I’ve invested so much in this, in him I can’t see just throwing it all away. But he’s still selfish and angry. He’s trying to hide it…but he is. I believe he will eventually explode from trying to be one way and hide what suits him. I’m just lost!

  • JC

    Karen, I read your story. I understand what you are going through. I wish I could give you a friendly hug and tell you that you are going to be okay.

    Many people on this site point people to Al-anon. You will find support there from people who understand what you are going through and can physically give you a hug. Find a meeting in your area here: http://al-anon.org/find-a-meeting

    In many of the articles on this site encourage people to make a list of things they enjoy doing and do some of them, without the alcoholic.

    It’s wonderful that your partner has found sobriety, now it’s time for you to get well. You’ve been enmeshed with the alcoholic for so long that you’ve lost your “self” worth. Don’t let how you are being treated by your alcoholic define who you are. With or without him, you are a beautiful person.

    These are good articles:

    After They Get Sober
    http://alcoholicsfriend.com/2013/08/after-alcoholic-quits-drinking/

    Alcoholics Make Us Feel Worthless
    http://alcoholicsfriend.com/2012/09/alcoholic-make-you-feel-worthless/

    Choose To Be Happy
    http://alcoholicsfriend.com/2011/10/choose-happy-alcoholic/

  • Jan

    Karen,
    This is simply my opinion. He is still in the infancy of sobriety. It’s a whole new world for him….right now that is. People are supporting him, telling him he’s a winner, filling him with confidence, and just generally making him feel good. Who wouldn’t want to totally immerse themselves in that environment? But remember this, it’s like so many other things that are new. We jump in and go hog wild….for a while. Then the newness wears off. Eventually we come back down to earth a bit. We return some of our focus on things and people we put aside while we were so preoccupied with our new adventure. If this happens in your case, and you choose to, by all means be there for him. Until that happens, what if you make yourself less available? What if you let him know what it’s like to NOT have you at his beckoned call. Disconnect from him use that time to get yourself in a healthy, good place. He might then be able to really see what his life would be without you. If in the end he chooses that life, at least you will have focused on getting yourself right, that you might even decide that you deserve better! Hang in there! You will come through no matter what…

  • Laurie

    I remember before joining Al-Anon that I thought my problem was someone else’s drinking and that when they stopped drinking everything would be perfect. That is not true. My problem is that i am codependent and i allow other people’s problems to become my own. The drinkers problem is not the drink, thats the solution to his problem. The problem of the alcoholic is themselves. Take away the drink and they are still left with the behaviour and themselves. Until i stopped focusing all my energy on trying to fix and change someone else and started to change myself, nothing changed.

    The other thing is recovery must come first. We complain when they drink and we complain when they are trying to stop and better the situation. We cant have it both ways. I accepted i will not be anyones 1st priority and to be honest i am my own priority i dont need anyone else to do that.

  • Debra

    You are way more than enough – He is a narcissist

  • Tina

    I think all alcoholics are narcissist.

  • tom russell

    I practiced free jan , and now am in free may . During this time I have seen the ego centeredness of several heavy drinkers. YOu have to figure out what you are to them , a bandaid , a patsy , a loan. It is hard to unravel these twists and occasions, but in the long run you have to take care of your interests , possibly even your children, to settle out the ups and downs of the other persons attempts at sobriety. LOok out for you .

  • Paula g

    Karen,
    Look at his new found sobriety as a vacation, who knows how long it will last. Use this time to rediscover who you are when you don’t have to babysit. Go out and be active, do stuff with friends. If he sees that you are independent, this will make him rethink which box or pigeon hole he has been putting you in. Let this time be also your time to heal and redefine what you want. God willing he remains sober for a long time, well if this does happen, now is the time to redefine your relationship, and claim what you want out of life. It is very common for the newly sober to be angry and not affectionate, have patience and pray to God, and try to lead by example. You define your relationship and how one talks to you, with the way you talk and respond. In my relationship our phrase to describe when we are too involved in each others lives is “living in each others pockets”, we take a step back and do stuff on our own for as long as it takes before we feel like hanging out again, no hard feelings. Good luck sister

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