Sobriety and Marriage: What’s Happening?

Before I decided to get sober I believe the universe was lining things up so I didn’t end up with yet another Day 1, or 2, and if I was lucky 3.  I finally learned about podcasts (yes, I’m 50 and had no idea what that icon was on my phone) and stumbled upon The Bubble Hour, Oprah’s Soul Seekers, 10% Happier, etc. I have about a 35 minute drive to and from work so I started listening and learning. Growing and stretching, and in those minutes to and from work I became stronger and learned that I was not alone! I finally stepped into a yoga studio, and I began to find myself. I downloaded Calm and Headspace, and began to meditate. For months I’ve been arming myself for the beginning of a life of sobriety. And now at Day 10 I am proud, I feel healthy, I feel enlightened. But my marriage is drowning, and now through clear eyes I’m being forced to look closely at my husband, I’m being forced to confront my feelings. And I’m afraid of what I’m seeing and feeling. From my online support group’s feedback I don’t think I’m alone,

My husband has been my drinking buddy, my best friend, and partner in raising my 3 children that are not biologically his. Almost every night as I come home from work he is there, ready to share a drink with me. We sit outside on our deck, sip our drinks, smoke cigarettes, (we both consider ourselves to be non smokers, unless of course we are drinking 🙂 ) and we talk. We talk about our jobs, our day, the kids, the dog. We don’t talk about dreams, plans, wants or needs. We numb ourselves through the night as we drink, smoke, cook dinner. My youngest son comes and sits to talk with us and we listen, give foggy advice, and pretend we are a happy family. This has been the only way I’ve been getting through the evenings. This is how I’ve been managing my marriage and life.

10 days sober and I’m learning more about myself, and becoming who I am. My husband has been drinking every night, pouring himself a cocktail as he waits to see if today is the day I’m going to break, and we can resume our drinking life. I watch him as he watches me. When he hears the clink of ice hitting the glass he looks up quickly and waits for my next move. I pick up a bottle of club soda, I pick up the cranberry juice, and I squeeze a lime into the glass. He doesn’t say a word, and neither do I as I mix my drink. We try to sit outside with each other and we try to talk as he sips his drink and I sip mine. The words stumble out of our mouths and do not connect. There’s emotion missing, and my words are clearly just busy noise, trying to drown out the awkwardness. I don’t know how to tell him how proud I am, and how hard this is and how much I’m beginning to understand so many things. I want him to want the best for me, but I don’t think he does. I think he just wants things back the way they were, and I think he knows that as I grow stronger and grow into myself that he is at risk of losing me because he will not be able to meet me where I am going. We are 2 different people my husband and I. He is content with how things are and has no desire to ever work hard to improve situations. He will sit stagnant on business deals, relationships, and personal problems. He is not interested in growing, and all I want to do is grow.

I tell myself to be patient. To not be too judging because maybe this new sobriety is messing with my feelings, that I will feel differently after the newness wears off and I settle into myself. We will see. But for now I’m not going to gloss over my feelings and I’m not going to drink them away. I’m going to let them sink in, and I’m going to give them validation while they are here.

 

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