AA Couple- Spouse 2nd Relapse

Some alcoholics still have families when they get to AA. This is a place to ask questions and share experiences about relating to family members sober, especially when newly sober. (If you are not an alcoholic, please use the "Our Friends and Families" forum.)
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AA Couple- Spouse 2nd Relapse

Post by CrystalAnne516 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:59 am

Without telling every detail, I've been sober for four and a half years. I've been in the program since 2008, but came in and out for my first three and a half years. I was in my early twenties and just didn't get it yet. That being said, I met my spouse in my third month of sobriety. He had three weeks.
We met. Fell in love. Moved in. Got engaged. Had a baby. Got a house. Got married this past summer.

Three weeks before my 4 year sobriety date (which means he had 3 years and 9 months sober), he relapsed in early August 2015. He drank secretly for two weeks, and I knew deep down what was happening, but I ignored it. The night it came to a head, he lied to me about where he was, drank so heavily he blacked out, went to a local bar, then went home with a woman. We may never know if he cheated, but we know something happened. I assume the worst.

He immediately called our friends in AA, got back into step work and things were looking up. I worked with my sponsor so I wouldn't harbor resentment and I kept up on my meetings and have done my all to stay spiritually fit. He is my husband, I love him, I understand alcoholism and his disease. My phrase of choice is, "Just because I forgive you does not mean it's not still affecting me."

Two nights ago, I was having a really hard time. I was thinking about the woman he was with that night six months ago and wishing I could be the child for once- I was sitting on the pity-pot wishing I could be the one that did whatever I wanted with no regard for my spouse or family. I told my husband I needed to tell him what was happening in my brain. I had to get it out- we needed to work through it together. And then he confessed that he had drank again, the very night before. He wasn't going to tell me, but the universe made my mind go squirrelly to give him the opportunity to come clean to me (at least that's how I'm viewing it). It is not my job to keep him sober- I am sober for myself and myself alone. And I'm not going to let someone else take away what I've worked really hard for...

I have never felt the fire of staying sober burn hotter than in this moment. I do not want to drink, and I am glad. I do not want to run away from this, I know God is making me stronger and will walk me through these troubles. Without sobriety, I have nothing- and I am so grateful to have worked the program in the way I needed to work it and to have had the capacity to be as honest with myself that was needed in order for me to gather the tools to keep me sober through something so terrible and heartbreaking like my AA husband drinking and cheating, and then relapsing for a second time. Better him than me, and that may sound selfish, but this is a selfish program.


Now I am concerned for our three year old daughter, and also for the baby that might be growing this moment. We had started trying to have our second child. I'm trying not to get sucked into 'what ifs' and time traveling. I'm trying to stay in today. I don't know where to draw the line of being there for him as one AA to another and being his wife.

I tell you what, being on the other side of this- being the spouse watching the other go down in flames-is worse. We have our own demons to deal with as alcoholics, but what this man is doing to me on an emotional level, I am honestly afraid that I'm handling this so well because I'm unknowingly burying the emotions. And if I've learned anything about myself in the last four and a half years, that is a very 'me-thing' to do and it's going to come back around and try to destroy me.

I stayed sober. That's what matters.
Now I just need to do what's best for me and let go of the rest. That's scary, because there's a lot of unknown out there... but why wouldn't I want to let God have it? I've let Him have everything else over the years and things have really turned out great on my end for me. Fear is a natural response... but I'm not going to let it paralyze me from my everyday life. Yes, I'm afraid he won't stay sober and he'll put our daughter through what I went through with my father. Yes, I'm afraid of the heaping amount of paperwork and time and effort it's going to take if I ever decide to leave. But why am I thinking about those things? They aren't here yet, and might not ever arrive.

Let go and let God.
I really just needed to get my thoughts out of me and work through this. Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave your experience.

One more day sober, thank you universe.

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Re: AA Couple- Spouse 2nd Relapse

Post by clouds » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:59 pm

Wow, Crystalann, I'm really sorry to hear this. My story is different than yours. My first husband and I drank together from when we met and then we married and had two children. After about four yearsof marraige, I found AA, got a sponsor, did the steps and got sober. He didn't until about 5 years after I did. He also had another addiction that he never got free from. He left us about 3 years after he got sober from alcohol.
I went to three meetings a week, did the steps, sponsored other women in AA after my first year and especially talked to my sponsor on a rgular basis about the trouble you described of knowing what alcoholism is and yet not knowing what to do for him because its in your own family, your husband. She, my sponsor, suggested a path of completely letting go of any expectations for his sobriety. Alanon can help with detaching and going on with your life rgardless of what he does. We are powerless over the alcoholic, and the alcohol others drink.
Your sobriety is the best thing he has right now to give him hope. If he wants sobriety, since he has been in AA before, he can get back to the steps and recover. Has he a sponsor? Is he making any attempt to go to meetings?
Your safety and your children's safety is so important. Hopefully he'll find sobriety again.
As for infidelity, this is one of the hardest things to get over. Trust is broken and it may never return.
Your AA steps and the spiritual life it has given you is going to be golden now, it can and will keep you safe and sober as long as you keep spiritually fit on a daily basis. Keep close to your AA friends and sponsor, keep doing steps 10, 11 and 12 daily.
Take more interest in newcomers and your sponsees, this can really be a life saver at this difficult time.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.

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Re: AA Couple- Spouse 2nd Relapse

Post by CrystalAnne516 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:37 pm

He did attend a meeting tonight and for the first time ever he admitted to being only a few days sober. He is choosing to find a new home group hoping to find a sponsor. At our home group, the pickings are slim for sponsorship, chairpersons, etc. I'm glad he's taken a step toward going to any length.
Thank you for sharing your experience and words of kindness and wisdom with me...
I like how you reminded me of service work. I am so stuck in my own hole of me-me-me-me, I agree that working with a newcomer might be exactly what my heart craves right now.

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