My husband gets angry when I "detach" if I feel like he's been drinking - anyone else deal with this?

recovery
self-care
alcohol

#1

My husband is in the road of recovery. He is been “alcohol free” for almost 3 weeks now, but some days (like today) I get the hint or more like a “feeling” that he drank. I have had those feeling before and all of them or the majority of them have turned out right. He says now he is more serious about giving up alcohol, and as I see it, it seems that way. He is going to counseling and keeps himself busy. Still he stopped going to AA like he used to go regularly. I’ve talk about it, saying it might be good to go back a few times or at least once a week, for support and keep going up. But he stopped going around 2 weeks now. But the counseling (personal) is been going on every week as is supposed to. When I came back home he acted a little odd, and after a while I smelled a hint of alcohol (like a few times). He also smokes those vapes so I can be confusing the smell but I am not sure. And I rather be suspicious than fooled again. I cannot pretend that I am happy or ok if I feel anxious or worried. I cannot keep doing that to myself any longer. So I decided to be a little bit distant. He noticed and we talked. I explained my suspicions and that we have already discussed this. That I wanted him to take a medication that would help me reassure that he is not drinking but he chose not to. Which I understood and respected even if I wasn’t happy about it. But I also explained to him that my reactions or decision on the matter should also be respected. Like my reaction today to be distant, since is my way to protect me and deal with the situation. Well he is not happy about it, he tried to discuss it a little more and made enfasis that he won’t take the medicine. I said again that I understood and respected it, but this also means that he has to respect my reactions to situations that I feel. He said why just believing him wasn’t enough and I was clear to say that my trust won’t come back in a day or 3 weeks, maybe will take months because of how many times he lied and broke it.
I don’t know if Im handling the situation right but I don’t want to cheat myself or act like everything is peaches and roses when it isn’t for me. Getting a little bit of distance makes me feel safer and also makes me think about what to do, how to react if it’s true or at least what to do for myself. It sounds mean and even cold by my part, and I’ve probably hurted him. But i don’t want any more lies. I’m not fighting, i’m not denying him or ignoring him. I’m acting a little more distant, with precaution.
Hope what I’m doing is alright.
(it’s more like a vent than a question… but anyone has done the same or deal with this kind of situation differently?.. I cannot be happy or act happy if I don’t feel it, even if that means avoiding a fight… It hurts me more to lie to myself.)


#2

Hi there. I do not have any answers for you unfortunately, but I did want to let you know I’m currently going through the exact same situation. Our situations are actually extremely similar! I’ve been with my boyfriend a few years, and he says he’s been “sober” for a month, but every once in awhile I’ll think I smell alcohol (he also vapes, so I totally understand the confusion there) and he’ll be acting odd, and my suspicions come back. There was one time i was absolutely positive he wasn’t sober (he has a very obvious tell, and my instincts have never been wrong), and he denied it the whole night and was acting super offended.
When this happens I try to ignore it and “detach”, but he always follows me into the other room and won’t leave me alone until I talk to him, and then gets mad when I tell him how I feel.
He rarely goes to A.A. meetings, doesn’t speak to his sponsor at all, and doesn’t listen when I try to suggest getting more involved.
I just wanted you to know that I completely understand how you’re feeling, and I know how hard it is to deal with.


#3

@jfh Let me start out by saying I feel you’re handling all of this pretty darn good. You’re respecting his choices to not take the medication and also respecting his choice to not go to meeting anymore. It’s great that he is doing the therapy sessions and that might just be enough for him. I’m confused when you say you’re being distant. How are you being distant? I can relate to you being suspicious and not wanting to be fooled again. And you should have your radar up. Just try to avoid blaming and accusatory statements and questions. Having our radar up can be done without making them feel like they’re doing something they’re not.


#4

@jfh I agree with @p_dewey that you are thinking in all the right ways! You want to be able to be supportive of your partner’s recovery but also prioritizing your emotional safety. I am also wondering what you mean when you say you are being distant?
Some distance is healthy, some can create more problems. It seems like the distance you’re taking is doing some justice for you in terms of allowing you your emotional safety and a place to think, but it might be causing you some anxiety because it gets your partner anxious and upset. Whenever it comes down to creating healthy boundaries, it’s important to discuss specific boundaries and why they are important. The best way to take some distance from your loved one is to put a time stamp on it— give a certain amount of time you will be taking that distance and specify how you will be doing it. For example, you can say that when you feel anxious about him using, say you’re going to take the rest of the night to yourself and will not want to have any contact with him that night until the next day so you can gather your thoughts. This way, he will understand the reasoning why you are taking some space and will feel less anxious about not knowing how long the distance will last. Specifying the when, why, and how of taking space will respect each of your needs <3


#5

Yes - my husband is drinking un-healthily right now and he is resistant to talk about it with me.

He told me he is trying to cut back / cut it out. And wants to try this week. He just wanted to inform me of this. He said if he can’t get it under control this week then I can step in.

We’ll see. It’s frustrating to watch and know I can help but he doesn’t want it and that some of the things I could do to help would put me out - right when I’m trying to get my groove back!

It’s not a major issue right now so I’m letting it play out.

I think the bristling is because we’re hitting a nerve when we want to talk about it. I’ve found that saying something like ‘I want us to talk about this when you’re ready’ and in our case waiting a week or 5 days to have a conversation and asking for permission to have it (so picking a time they’re open to it) has been helpful for having conversations. Often right in the aftermath of a slip-up my husband is very closed down. And when he’s drinking it’s hard to talk to him.

Sending <3


#10

Thank you for the answers! actually they have helped a lot! specially @ashleykm3, thank you. The specific boundaries helped greatly and things have gone better and smoothly :). For now everything has been working out, he is keeping sober and going to therapy but not much to AA, which i will bring up in a loving/healthy way so he doesn’t feel pressure. I want him to get all the support he might need even if is “not needed”. I believe that there is no such thing as “too much help” on this situation.
Again thank you so much for the support and advice on the matter.


#6

There is nothing wrong with asking for help, or having a outside source. Im a recovery coach and advocate and there are many times where the family just need to step back and allow someone who doesn’t have the heart strings, and is able to speak in a way that typically is very straight forward. It can take a few conversations but it usually helps . Always here,
don’t be afraid to ask, <3
Kris
Recovery Coach and Advocate
Ambrosia Treatment Center


#7

Thank you for the answers! actually they have helped a lot! specially @ashleykm3, thank you. The specific boundaries helped greatly and things have gone better and smoothly :). For now everything has been working out, he is keeping sober and going to therapy but not much to AA, which i will bring up in a loving/healthy way so he doesn’t feel pressure. I want him to get all the support he might need even if is “not needed”. I believe that there is no such thing as “too much help” on this situation.
Again thank you so much for the support and advice on the matter.


#8

Yeah if I suspect my fiance has used and is lying to me about it I always get distant. It’s hard not too, it’s hurts, it feels like alittle bit of a betrayal of trust. But yeah she does get upset when I do, she’ll ask why I’m being distant or not being all lovey. In my mind when she asks that it feels unfair to ask that of me while you’re keeping the secret of having used from me.


#9

Totally makes sense that it feels unfair in your mind! I’m wondering, how do you respond to her out loud when she asks why you’re distant/not lovey?!