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Post Info TOPIC: DH newly sober (yea!) - yet his behavior makes me worried...


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DH newly sober (yea!) - yet his behavior makes me worried...

Hello everyone!

I'm looking for supportive stories about new sobriety as I am working through some challenging emotions and situations.

My DH and I are poly and have a closed triad with our partner (m).  DH has struggled with alcohol addiction for many years and recently received his second DUI (first was 6 years ago.)  Thankfully this was a huge wake-up call and he is taking getting sober seriously - we visited a doctor and got a referral to the local addiction recovery center.  He's taking all the appropriate steps to get and stay sober and hasn't had a drink since the night of his DUI almost 3 weeks ago.  (background info:  his drink of choice has always been beer and in the recent years has been drinking 15-20 light beers a day.)

At the beginning, he was going through many feelings of shame and embarrassment, but our partner and I have been super supportive, positive and he was talking to us.  Our partner and I have also stopped drinking at the house or around DH (even though DH said it was fine for us to have a drink, we choose not to in support of his journey).  Over the past week or so DH has become increasingly distant and is prone to outbursts of anger at the smallest issue.  He now barely makes eye contact with me and hasn't been showing any physical affection to either our partner or myself.  When I try to offer affection or physical contact he often just pushes me away.  Yesterday he was going to the store and asked about things we might need.  I started talking about a dinner idea and he just walked away from me, when I was mid sentence, without any word.

He was always extremely interested in sex and hasn't engaged with either or both of us (me and partner) despite our attempts to initiate.  This is very very off behavior for him.

I'm worried - he won't talk to us about what he's going through and all we want to do is support him.  It feels like he doesn't even want us around anymore and it's making me feel like he doesn't even like who I am as a person.

Please help me understand what is going on... I don't know how to get him to talk to either of us.  Yesterday he had his fist visit to the recovery center and he only said they made him take a drug test.  When I asked how it went he snapped that he didn't want to talk about it and when our partner messaged him separately to check in, he said he was all done talking.  Obviously I can't even understand what he's going through, but I want to support him and communication would really help our partnership... right now it's non-existent.

He can get inside his own head really fast and I'm worried he's spiraling without leaning on his support system for help.

BTW, DH is not into the 12-step AA with all the prayer and god stuff.  He's more pragmatic and believe in therapy practices over higher powers.  

Any ideas or stories are appreciated and helpful!

Thank you!  All the love, GardenLady

**Edit to add - I'm also seeking out support from a therapist right now, just waiting for a call back to schedule a first appt. :)

-- Edited by GardenLady on Wednesday 7th of September 2022 08:59:03 AM


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 915

Welcome GardenLady to MIP!

I do not have anything, from experience to offer you, but highly recommend that you speak to

your support therapist about the issues you are experiencing. Let us all know how you are doing.


"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart". ~ unknown


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 2674

A second welcome GardenLady to MIP! When I was reading your share what came to mind was: Be careful what you wish for! I have been waiting at least 15 yrs for my A to get treatment and I don't think it will ever happen. It's so sad to watch someone destroy themself. I'm aware from MIP that just because someone gets sober does not mean all is well. For the person trying sobriety it's a tremendous challenge filled with a myriad of emotions, and of course that spills onto the family.

I can only relate to quitting cigarettes about 30 years ago. OMG what a struggle. I tried so many times and failed. And when I was without my nicotine I was SO angry, depressed and in despair, lashed out without thinking, and didn't think I could really have a life without smoking. I was miserable even though a part of me wanted not to smoke--the smell, the cost, the health issues.

There is a great deal of wisdom here on this message board. Alanon in general is a tremendous help, any part of it you can fit in your schedule. And personal therapy can be a great adjunct activity. Please keep coming back and best of luck.



~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 5663

Hi Garden Lady,

I've been in alanon and AA, but I know from experience that when someone has been drinking that amount daily for a long time, they often drink themselves out of many to most coping skills. Even though the person knows how to communicate and do certain things and was even doing them to and extent while drinking, they might feel awkward or have challenges doing those things sober. Also the amount of stimuli and daily challenges (which are really just daily living tasks) seem monuments to someone that's been literally sedating themselves constantly for years. A person might not know or may have forgotten how to initiate and enjoy sober sex. A person may also be so stressed out by challenges of early sobriety and the roller coaster the mind (and moods) are on that they can't relax enough to get into intimacy. There are many things that could be happening.

Basically, it's helpful for you to know that if he does stay sober, he's going to find his way in recovery somehow and it doesn't depend on what you do or don't do. You can't really "make" him open up and start communicating. There are no promises even on what someone will want or how they will relate to you after they've been sick and actively drinking (in the throws of addiction for so long). I'm not saying set him free or forget about him, but I am telling you that the energy is best spent on yourself, figuring out what you will do if you don't worry about him so much or feel responsible for him, and just being okay no matter how things turn out. In the meanwhile...probably best to give someone space when they are asking for it but of course be loving and let them know you are there for them to talk when they want or feel ready.

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