Help from recovering drinkers (long)

I found scott evil’s thread very moving, not only for the wonderful year that he’s had, but because I have a more personal connection.

About 2 years ago, my drinking got seriously out of hand. My husband and I both drank publicly and at home, but I started having a secret stash of my own.
As so often happens, the secret drinks began to get more frequent and larger until the inevitable happened and my husband found the stash. I swore I’d quit and did, for a couple of weeks, then I started drinking again. Well, he caught me again and confronted me–he hadn’t found any actual booze this time, but he was pretty sure I’d started drinking again. I lied, then broke down and promised to stop. This pattern repeated itself a few times with anything from about a week to three months in between.

Then about six months ago, I changed. Before, a part of me had not been able to let go of drinking. I liked it and wanted to keep doing it and just tried to get sneakier and figure out ways to hide it better, which obviously never really worked. So I asked myself what pleasure I was really getting out of it. How much time and mental energy was I wasting trying to hide my drinking and–even more–worrrying about getting caught, and wouldn’t life be a lot better if I didn’t have to spend time doing that. So I stopped. I hadn’t really been physically dependent on it so that wasn’t an issue. I just had to quit buying and drinking the stuff. So I did.

Well, maybe the more experienced and astute of you see where this is going. This morning at 5 a.m. my husband got me up and informed my that he was “100% sure” that I had been drinking last night. The problem is, I hadn’t. Not last night and not any nights in the previous six months.

What do I do now? I can’t drink less than nothing. He told me early on in the whole process that he wouldn’t tell me how he “knows” when I’ve been drinking, because he doesn’t want me to get better at hiding it. So I don’t even know what I did. I understand why he thinks he needs to defend himself this way. I told a lot of lies. He’s being loving and supportive–he just called to tell me so. But he doesn’t believe me when I tell him I didn’t drink last night. I’m not sure how to face an indefinite future of accusations to which I have no defense. How do you fight the ghosts of old lies?

I’d appreciate insight from anyone, but especially those who’ve been through something like this, from either side.

He’d benefit from Al-Anon. It helped me tremendously (my ex-wife is an alcoholic 5 years into her recovery). He needs to learn that your sobriety is YOUR sobriety - it only involves him in that he’s married to someone with a drinking problem. He’s got to learn to trust that you’re working whatever program you’ve got for yourself and to support you in your efforts.

Of course, it also sounds like he’s got a bit of work to do on himself re: control issues.

Congratulations on your sobriety, BTW.

I’ve been in your husband’s situation.

It takes time to rebuild the trust. All you can do is keeping showing him you’re not drinking any more. But even then, your husband is going to wonder from time to time.

I don’t have advice, but since you’re a local gal and you rarely post, I generally check out threads you start.

I hope that he will come to see the truth and that you continue to be strong in this. Good luck and hope is about all I can offer.


Thanks, plnnr, I might suggest that he look into it when things cool off. Part of the problem is that he’s really stretched right now. He just passed his first performance review in an new job and he’s taking a night course. I feel like I hardly see him, and suggesting that he add something else to his schedule…well.

I know what you’re saying is absolutely true, ivylass. I’m feeling pretty naive and helpless about it, though. As far as I know, I didn’t do anything different last night, so it’s hard to know how to show him I’m not drinking. I literally have no clue why this happened today.

I guess it’s sort of like a car accident or any other trauma. You can repair the physical stuff, but there is still a lot of damage inside that may never heal.

Thank you, too, scout1222. Part of the motivation that made this attempt successful was the pleasure of not having mornings like this one. Fortunately I have other sources of motivation now. Drinking won’t help this. I just hope we can figure out what will.

Are you going to AA or counseling? I’m coming up on 2 years of sobriety and there’s no way I could have done it without counseling. It will take a long time for your husband to trust you again–alcoholics are liars, they hide how much they drink and hide the mere fact they’re drinking–it’s just that simple. Committing to AA or counseling is a big step and might help your husband realize how committed you are to being sober.

Good luck and stick with it–my life has totally changed for the better since I stopped drinking.