How to Get and Stay Sober When Your Partner or Husband Drinks

Sobriety, for me, was about moving forward. There was nothing left to address in the past. But since my alcoholic apologies came with a guarantee for more pain in the future, Sheri had deflected them, pushed the pain deep down inside and tried to move on. Assigning the hope of possible change to my apologies could only end in additional pain. Hope and vulnerability are not options for the spouse of an active alcoholic.

The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life. You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better, you’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course. The clear lines of communication spouses established during those early years of sobriety have borne fruit. When conflict comes up, both partners are able to express themselves clearly and concisely and come to a resolution.

Letting go is hard, but staying stuck here is far more painful.

And you can bet that we’ll spending the money we save on the bottle of wine by splurging on all our favorite foods, because we still know how to indulge, after all. With all of your focus on your partner’s recovery, it can be easy to forget to look after your own needs. You won’t be any good as a partner in their recovery if you are not in a good place yourself. Remember that it is okay to get angry and express your emotions with your partner. It can also be very helpful to have someone else to talk to about your experiences.

  • It’s better now than it’s ever been, and that’s almost exclusively due to the fact that neither of us drink anymore.
  • What will life look like sober and single?
  • About nine months later, staring down the hallway into my son’s room, I had a moment of clarity.
  • When things were good, we celebrated with a drink.

But if your partner thinks you did, or was reading between the lines, that’s their reality. You know, sometimes couples will say things like Well, I wish we had a videotape of this interaction, you know, then you can see what you said. And the thing that’s interesting about the Gottman research is that they actually did that they filmed their interactions, and they still see different things. See, look what you did right there.

Every day was a big, stressful mess.

We often view marriage as an equal partnership. But, when your spouse was struggling with their addiction, they likely weren’t equally contributing to your home life. Drinking alcoholically means a backlog of real-life, adult problems build up. Arguing with your spouse, getting shit-faced, and venting to your friends, then waking up the next day pretending it didn’t happen is no longer an option. We were supposed to go to counseling, but then it turns into a fight before it’s time to go.

The first year of sobriety will be the hardest but also the most rewarding, and it will help you feel like a new person in a new world of possibility. I believe the one-year mark was when I began to truly discover who I am as a person. I embraced my new sober identity, and I lived through events I never thought I could endure without drinking.

Navigating Marriage After Sobriety

This was the first time I’d really committed to sobriety and my husband needed a chance to come to terms with the fact that he could trust me and rely on me as much as I could him. I was irrational and, often, my insecurities weighed out over reason, which meant he tip-toed around me and couldn’t be open with his feelings. I would rage over little things like not receiving a phone call or text message in what I thought was a timely manner. I spent too much money and had nothing to show for it so he had to hide money to make sure the bills got paid. I neglected my child and him so he sought support elsewhere. I lied frequently because I was ashamed of the truth, so he didn’t trust me.

marriage changes after sobriety

Codependency keeps people from having healthy relationships, so unless this dynamic is changed, sobriety may not be enough to keep the cycle from continuing. In a relationship affected by substance use, it’s likely that trust has been broken many times. The supportive partner may have learned to walk on eggshells in an attempt to retain peace in the relationship. But for most couples experiencing substance use, life after sobriety isn’t so smooth.

Deciding You Need To Change Your Drinking

In addition, you’ll have built a support system through counseling, 12-step meetings or other recovery groups. Achieving one year of sobriety gives you hope that you can have continued success in your new, sober life. The recovering addict’s partner is also reluctant to “rock the boat,” since the mere fact of sobriety seems (at Selecting the Most Suitable Sober House for Addiction Recovery first, anyway) like a dream come true. Fear of upsetting the newly-sober loved one, and perhaps jeopardizing his sobriety, looms large, which makes it difficult to speak openly about feelings and reactions. Don’t overestimate your ability to withstand the emotional stress after your partner returns home from detox treatment.

marriage changes after sobriety