Recovering alcoholic relationship advice

posted 7 months ago in Emotional
Post # 2
Member
269 posts
Helper bee

Getting sober is hard. My fiancé is a recovering alcoholic, and I can tell you that the right person will understand that you’re struggling and appreciate that you’re doing therapy etc. 

It sounds like your partner is resentful about the control freak tendencies and would appreciate more compromise. You may need to make a really conscious effort for this or explore couples therapy if compromise gives you anxiety or isn’t something easy to do.

it sounds like you’ve got a wonderful partner who is loving and patient – continue focusing on your recovery and self care. As long as you show appreciation for him and try to communicate, it sounds like you guys will work through this <3

Post # 3
Member
793 posts
Busy bee

Big props to you for being so self-aware and for your sobriety. How do you make things easier on your partner? By continuing on your own self-improvement journey. By commitment steadfastly to your own healing. By continuing to be introspective and by showing kindness and gratitude to your partner through your behavior and actions. You mess up, you acknowledge it and apologize and most importantly, you correct the behavior going forward. Sending good energy your way ❤️

Post # 4
Member
171 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016 - Tennessee

First of all, congratulations on your sobriety. Whatever frustration you might feel about it, your doing great for 1) staying sober 2) admitting when you are wrong 3) wanting to improve and make it better and asking for advice. As with any big changes in life, they take time to adjust. This will all take time but it sounds like the two of you have a strong and loving relationship. Has he went with you to any meetings or anything like that? Maybe if he could sit in on one or two he could listen and understand the changes that come with sobriety. It’s just a thought. I hope everything gets better with it and sounds like you are really trying. Don’t give up 😉

Post # 5
Member
249 posts
Helper bee

My boyfriend is a recovering alcoholic, a little over 4 years sober. He likens sobriety as learning himself and feeling things he had never felt.  He has become sensitive to a lot.  I have found that the key to a lot of the obstacles we face is that he apologizes almost right away after he gets irritable, and that he lets me communicate how he made me feel and then let’s me know what went through his mind.  I also went to an AA meeting on my own and being in the room listening to other people explain their alcoholism and recovery journey is an experience I will never forget.

its just so brave and admirable how you are working on yourself and taking ownership of your actions and who you are.  And that you care about how it impacts those around you.  I’d say just keep on communicating…there’s no road map for this as it is all so individual, but just being open to discuss every thing that comes up is so crucial.  A big part of his journey has been coming to terms with the person he was while he was drinking and the fall out of people who don’t really support his new lifestyle.  I am not sure if that is something you are going through, but being open and communicating about that as well is so helpful for your partner.

overall he loves you for you and wants to be there for you.  Congratulations on your sobriety❤️

Post # 6
Member
1304 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

annaliseis1 :  Congratulations on your sobriety! An achievement like that can never ever be understated. What’s more, you’re actively recognising these issues within yourself and trying to be better. I take off my hat to you for that.

I have neither been, nor am in very close proximity to, a recovering alcoholic. Alcoholics? Yes. But none of them have taken the steps to get sober.

But my cousin’s husband was (unfortunately, it’s not the case anymore) in recovery for about 12 months and what she said will stick with me because it’s kind of changed my thought pattern about approaching those in recovery:

“He had to figure out how to be an adult again”. I was like huh? Just because he drank it didn’t mean he just stopped being a grown up. But as she went in to it – in his case, it kind of did. Since he was a teenager the way he dealt with anything – positive, negative, was to drink. It was a constant in his life. So he could never let the good or bad in, he just let the numbness in. He never really felt anything.

He was never able to process regular human emotions, because he never let himself feel them. He never responded to a difficult situation sober, so found it difficult to measure his responses to difficulties once they arose in recover. He had to learn to be socially decent again from scratch. He had to learn how to recognise behaviours he never thought to recognise before. So it was tough to start with – the blind leading the blind between the two of them, as neither had the understanding of what to do in these situations.

Blew my mind.

She said the first 6 months of recovery was the hardest on her, because she couldn’t grasp why some things seemed so difficult to him. So, she made the decision to start seeing someone. A therapist walked her through the deeper aspects of recovery that no one ever talks about. The emotional difficulty of recovery is staggering. Because there’s so much of life you missed out on, or used a crutch to deal with, thus never really learned from.

I can’t say if your recovery story is similar to his – no two stories ever really are. I can just go off what I’ve learned. But, for what it’s worth, I would encourage him to speak to either your therapist, or one of his own. Just so he can get some more perspective on what you’re going through from an emotional standpoint, not just a “how many days sober are you?”. So you can both be on this journey together on the very same page and you can both understand exactly why things may be said/not said/why some things may be a bit more difficult.

Again. Recovery takes guts, and a resolve so few of us ever have to tap in to. It’s not just the chemical dependency, but the emotional dependency too. You are a Queen! And it sounds like your partner (even if you might sometimes push a little hard) isn’t going anywhere. You’re very lucky to have someone with you all the way on this journey 🙂 🙂

 

Post # 7
Member
580 posts
Busy bee

Just stopping by to say hang in there. I just celebrated yesterday, 2 years. It’s been hell on my partner as well. I didn’t read everyone’s comments but you should be going to therapy to help with your moods and make sure your sharing at the meetings, get a commitment, most importantly get a sponsor. 

 

Post # 8
Member
1087 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

Forty-plus years sober. It gets a lot easier as time goes by, esp. after the first year.

Work on your controllingness in therapy, and hang in there.

Great work on eight months sober! Everything–everything–else depends on that.

Post # 9
Member
77 posts
Worker bee

Congratulations on your sobriety!  The most important thing is to GET A SPONSOR and WORK ALL OF THOSE 12 STEPS!!!! Find a sponsor that is the same gender as you with MANY, MANY years of sobriety whose alcohol/addiction experience sounds similar to yours and you can relate to.  Because, they’ve been there, done that, and they did recover, and they can help you recover too. If you have trouble finding a sponsor in your hometown then you can attend the online video meetings (intherooms dot com) and you will find people who will temporarily sponsor you until you are able to find a sponsor locally. The Steps will help you with your character defects and how to relate with your fiance, your family, and the world around you. It’s not enough to just be a Meeting Maker.  Also, it will help very much so if he goes to Al-Anon and he finds a sponsor and works the Steps too.  Delving deep into the Steps and thoroughly working them with a Sponsor, is so important, they will clear up this situation and other situations before they even get to this point.  It works if you work it! Keep coming back!

Post # 11
Member
11204 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

annaliseis1 :  

Congratulations, Bee!

What a remarkable achievement, and so much more to come.

What about Al Anon for your partner?

Wishing you all the best in your continuing recovery and brand new life.

 

Post # 12
Member
871 posts
Busy bee

annaliseis1 : You sound very self-aware and genuine, major kudos for your sobriety and your willingness to actively particpate in therapy and take responsibility. 

If you’re experiencing mood swings and panic attacks, is it possible the reason you turned to alcohol in the first place was to self-medicate in an effort to deal with these? That’s not uncommon. And now that you’re sober and in therapy, you will be better equipped to find more positive coping skills- it’s a learning process and you sound like you’re working so hard and well on your way. 

It’s also possible that your need to control things is a product of your anxiety, when you have generalized anxiety it can be quite a frightening, out of control feeling- so we often seek comfort in trying to control more concrete things around us in an effort to fight the feelings of anxiety and loss of control. I’m speaking from my own experience, but you say you’ve become more controlling since becoming sober and maybe this is because your anxiety is no longer being numbed by alcohol (which is a good thing) so you need to find new ways with your therapist to deal with your anxiety. 

I wish you all the best Bee. 

Post # 13
Member
1316 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

Partner of a recovering addict here.

A HUGE congratulations to you on your sobriety! It is not easy. Also major props to your partner for supporting you on your recovery journey, because I know first-hand how hard that can be as well.

You are obviously self-aware and are willing to work on yourself. You may find speaking to an individual therapist to be helpful in learning new ways to handle the control and the fears that drive that. Couples therapy may also be helpful as both of you learn to navigate this stage of your recovery together. Keep up the open communication with your partner about this, so they know you are actively taking steps to work on it.

In terms of support for your partner – do they have their own therapist and support network? I found the most helpful people to speak with were other spouses of addicts, as it’s a very different role than other family members and often spouses/kids are the only other people directly affected making it a unique situation. It always nice for the supporting partner to hear that they are appreciated.

Keep up the good work and I wish you both all the best!

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