living with a recovering alcoholic

my husband has been sober for four months now. we have been married almost 27 years and he's always been an alcoholic. I really had a feeling that he was one when we were first together but wouldn't/couldn't admit it to myself. my father was an alcoholic and so was my grandfather. you would think i would know the signs and run in the opposite direction, but i ran right into his arms. don't get me wrong, he made me feel good, special, loved, pretty, intelligent and i really loved him. when he drank too much and made a fool out of himself i made excuses and so did he. then we had children and i started to feel like i was trapped. i still loved him but i couldn't stand when he drank (almost every day), when he slurred his words, when he started to grope me and thought he was just being loving and sexy, when he got mad and threw things over the deck, or screamed and made his eyes bug out. i tried to talk to him when he was sober and he would get very angry and defensive...we'd have a big fight and he'd stop talking and even looking at me for days. then he started not talking or looking at me for all different reasons and it could last for a week or a month. he would just say the littlest he'd have to just to keep up appearances and to make it seem like everything was ok to our kids and friends. it got worse through out the years but somehow i always kept in the back of my mind that i still loved him and that it was the alcohol making him behave this way. one of the problems was that i began to dissappear. it happened slowly. i would be very quiet when he'd drink and try not to attract any attention to myself, not because he'd hit me but because he wanted to get intimate and i was revolted by the very thought. i was so ashamed that i could feel this way. how can i feel this way about someone i love and have children with? then i'd go into another room and read or watch tv while he hung out by himself usually on the computer. through the years i've told him that he was ruining our relationship/marriage with the drinking but it never seemed to get through to him. i told him and told him. well, 4 months ago i really got through to him, i told him our marriaged was damaged and i didn't know if we'd be able to repair it. he's been sober 4 months now. he's very angry. he thinks that i should just be the wife i was 27 years ago. i should be making advances to him in bed, i should just hug him and want to snuggle, i should want to hang out w/him when he's home. i should, i should, i should. i'm lacking. i'm empty. where am i?? i don't fit anymore. i'm so confused. i don't know how to get me back.

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You have suffered from this disease for years as well. That means that this is a recovery process for you, too. I'm a recovering alcoholic (11 years) who needs a program (AA) to help me through. You might want to give Al-anon a shot. Although my drinking preceded my marriage, my wife attends al-anon and swears by it. Also, in the book Alcoholics Anonymous there is a chapter called To Wives that you might find informative and helpful. Hang in there and don't blame yourself.

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I just read your story even thought it was 3 months ago, I felt like I was reading mine. I have been married for 21 years to an alcoholic he has been sober now for 3 years. The first year was the absolute hardest and it hasn't gotten much easier for me. I am exactly where you are; I don't know how to get me back. My husband thinks I'm crazy, I should be grateful he is sober and my kids are great and etc etc etc and he's probably right but somedays I just can't. In fact felt like I was going out of my mind here recently. But it is getting a little better because he is finally beginning to understand that I didn't get the advantage of "round the clock" counseling, like he did. Nobody went in and fixed my situation like they did his. That understanding in itself has been a big help, but I do know how you feel, so when you figure out how to get yourself back and figure out what you are about, let me know the secret.

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What you are going through is completely normal. It does not happen to everyone, but it does to most. . . whether it is the alcoholic or the non. I, myself, am an alcoholic. Someone above mentioned al-anon to you. . . . .I would HIGHLY suggest this. Is your husband in AA? If not, he needs to be. I am still trying to get over all the anger built up inside me. You have to remember, his disease is what causes the anger, NOT YOU. Talk to him. If he get in AA, you will see the biggest change, all for the better. If he already is in AA, then he is probably not working the steps just yet, which take time. For you, the best is Al-Anon which you can call your local drug and alcohol recovery, listed in the phone book, for times and locations. I wish you all the best. If you need to, my email is I am willing to help in any way. . . .even though I am a female, my fiance is going through some of the same things. . . . good luck

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He may be not drinking but he is not sober. He needs to change the person that was drinking or his “not drinking” will be temporary. He needs to surrender to his faults and get into the 12 steps of AA seriously!! (He drank because he was afraid and to get away from his feeling) If you don’t see this happening then kick him out and tell him you love him but he has to do the whole thing. Its hard work but well worth it. Ask him if he knows how long you put up with his drinking and insanity. It’s going to take a long time for you to be that person of 27 years ago and it will never happen if he just stops drinking. The drinking is just result of an inner problem. You should be in ALANON. Find a sponsor and connect with woman in the group and stay away from the men. The relationship between men and men and woman and woman is very important to your husbands recover and yours. If you have kids I guarantee they have been damaged do to the illness of alcoholism and should be in ALA Teen or in some kind of counseling.

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