Advice for supporting my sober fiancé?

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Advice for supporting my sober fiancé?

Postby Juniper » Fri May 13, 2016 7:46 am

Good morning everyone!

I have been together with my soon-to-be husband for two years. We have been engaged since last November. He has been sober for five years. During most of that time, his line of work has put him in very close proximity with alcohol (restaurant/service work). His self-control is beyond compare; it is one of his many wonderful qualities. As for myself, I drink on occasion, but I never become drunk, and I have never felt that I was an alcoholic. I will make the occasional happy hour visit with friends after work, or have a glass of wine on a special occasion, but I do not drink regularly with meals, and I do not like feeling out of control OR wasting money on booze.

We get along great; I respect his strength and his request that we do not keep alcohol at all in our home. Until recently, he never reproached me for my occasional and moderate use of alcohol. Only in the last month, he seems visibly upset when I have had a drink (two occasions), to the point that I don't even have to ask whether or why he's upset - he withdraws, makes snarky comments, and does not want to be around me, which of course makes me feel terrible, like I am being punished for something I didn't know or think was wrong.

The most recent incidence of this was last night. I would like to address this with him, but I came here to ask for wisdom and advice first. Would anyone be willing to offer insight on our situation? Why does it seem that my occasional drinking bothers him now, when it did not before? Is it possible that he feels more vulnerable in his recovery than he wanted to tell me, and that being around me after I have had a drink makes him feel negative? Would I support him best by not drinking at all? I don't drink often, and alcohol is certainly not a necessary or important part of my life, so if that is what's going to make him and us strongest, it's a no-brainer. Right now I just would appreciate any kind of insight, experience, words of wisdom, whatever you can spare! I am feeling sad and guilty and want to do what is best.

Thank you.
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Re: Advice for supporting my sober fiancé?

Postby Spirit Flower » Fri May 13, 2016 7:55 am

Actually, it sounds to me like this is a control issue; not an alcohol issue. That is one person having power over another by acting snarky. I'm not sure if this is called passive aggressive, but certainly an attempt to control you instead of being open and honest. You in turn are acting classic co-dependent by trying to change yourself instead of calling a spade a spade.
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Re: Advice for supporting my sober fiancé?

Postby Brock » Fri May 13, 2016 10:03 am

Welcome here Juniper. What you didn't say is if he is just not drinking, or not drinking with the help of the AA program. If it's the latter I am sure he would have spoken about AA, and probably go to meetings now and again. If he is just doing it on his own then you are right in congratulating him on his self control, we in AA don't do that, we actually don't feel to drink due to the program we follow, because our self control failed us entirely. And when we did try to practice self control, we were irritable and basically unhappy.

I have been sober about a year and a half longer than him, it doesn’t bother me if my wife has a drink or two, but I must admit that on those occasions I don't get very close to her, I just hate the smell of alcohol, maybe he does as well. We keep drink in the house but some folks don't, it's just that I am very comfortable in my sobriety thanks to AA.

Not sure if Spirit Flower is right about the control issue, but if your fiance tries to control what you do in things other than drinking, then that is something you should consider. For us in AA, we think the fact that we were once selfish and self centered is our biggest drawback, and make every effort to do the opposite, from his actions you will know if he is a part of this program or not. I wish you all the best in resolving this, so you may both have a happy outcome.
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Re: Advice for supporting my sober fiancé?

Postby ezdzit247 » Fri May 13, 2016 11:07 am

Hi Juniper and welcome.

I agree with Spirit Flower's view on what you've described as your situation. It sounds like your fiance is talking AT you instead of TO you and that's never a healthy sign for any relationship. You both could probably benefit from learning some communication techniques and a few sessions with an experienced marriage and family counselor would probably help both of you.

You didn't mention whether or not your fiance was a member of AA. Regardless of whether or not he is, you may find Alanon, a 12 Step program for friends and family members of alcoholics, a very helpful support group as these men and women have a wealth of experience, strength, and hope to offer anyone who is in a relationship with an alcoholic.

Glad you found this forum. Good luck!
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Re: Advice for supporting my sober fiancé?

Postby Juniper » Fri May 13, 2016 12:10 pm

Everyone, thank you for your thoughtful responses. Yes, my fiancé was able to get into recovery with the help of AA. He goes to meetings between two and four times per month.

The grumpiness and unwillingness to communicate in a direct way are out of character for him, which makes me think there may be something about his feelings he is not totally open to sharing. Thank you all again for the kind welcomes!
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Re: Advice for supporting my sober fiancé?

Postby avaneesh912 » Fri May 13, 2016 12:43 pm

Without knowing too much about the situation, I have seen people who have not fully understanding the what alcoholism tend to classify everybody as a potential alcoholic. That could be one issue. The other issue could be he is jealous of you being able to get away with drinking couple of drinks occasionally and not have an issue with it.

You mentioned that your husband goes to few meetings a month, that aside, do you know if he has a sponsor and has he worked the 12 steps of Alcoholics anonymous? Perhaps he is dealing with some un-treated alcoholism, spiritual malady some people call it which is currently making him thirsty?
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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