Sobreity is destroying my marriage - Talk About Marriage
Relationships and Addiction Whether it's drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, or anything else, addictions can be detrimental to the health of a relationship.

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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Sobreity is destroying my marriage

I have been with my wife for 11 years and married for 6. We have two children, ages 6 and 2. We met in college and drank like normal collage kids do. That drinking followed us into marriage and into parenthood. For the most part we were responsible about it. About a year and a half ago my wife started having issues with drinking. She would drink way too much and get black out drunk. It was embarrassing for me and it made me angry. I would talk down to her as a way to try to get her to stop ( I realize now this was a terrible idea.) She would stop for 3-4 weeks at a time and then just lose control for a few days. About 8 weeks ago it got really bad, to the point that our children could have been put in serious danger had I not stepped in. She entered a one week detox and then followed it up with a 2 week stay in treatment. During that time I also quit drinking and have not drank since. On day one out of treatment she proclaimed she did not want to be married to me anymore. 4 weeks later she filed for divorce. Her reasoning was that I had been cutting her down emotionally for the last couple of years and she no longer loved me. She keeps saying it’s not fair to me that she stays married because she cannot give me what I need. She is “setting me free.” I don’t feel like I am being set free at all. I love her more than anything in the world and am willing to take a backseat to her sobriety, just to stay married to her. We are going to counseling, but she is still 100% sure she wants a divorce. Admittedly, I was selfish for the last few years of our marriage, and I did cut her down (mostly because she embarrassed me in front of friends and family while drinking), but we did have MANY great times, that I know she truly enjoyed. As she looks back now she just says that she was hiding the way she really felt about me and was scarred to say anything because she didn’t think getting a divorce was right for the kids. I am working on myself…becoming a better me. It’s just very hard to do under the shadow of divorce. I just don’t get it. She’s not willing to give me a second chance. It’s upsetting and it angers me that she is just so willing to break our family apart. They stressed in treatment not to make any rash decisions in the first year, but she doesn’t care. Will she come around at some point? It’s just very hard to imagine that happening, because she sounds so sure that this is what she wants. As a side note, she is doing great in sobriety, and I have no doubt she will ever go back to drinking. I am truly proud of her for that.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 02:19 PM
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Re: Sobreity is destroying my marriage

She met someone in rehab. I guarantee it.

People don't get a free pass to cheat just because their marriage sucks.


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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Sobreity is destroying my marriage

She did connect with a 24 year old heroin addict who is currently serving 10 months in jail for felonious assault. He was calling her phone almost daily from jail. She stated she has feelings for him, and I asked her to stop while our divorce is pending. Her therapist told her she needed to end it as well, and I believe she did. I made clear to her that if she ever dated this man in the future I would file for full custody of the children, as they have no business being around someone with that record. I think she got the picture, but yes, you are right, she did meet someone. I thought that by putting a stop to it, it would give me a better shot at her noticing my change...Or maybe it did the opposite. I don't know.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Sobreity is destroying my marriage

Also, I do want to make clear. That just painted a very bad picture of who she is, and who I am. She is a highly educated, highly paid person in the medical field. Falling for a criminal is not who she has ever been. Its crazy.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 02:26 PM
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Re: Sobreity is destroying my marriage

I agree, she has her eyes on someone else. Time to start digging and see what you are up against. If you want to fight for this marriage, which it sounds like you definitely do, you need to knock her out of the affair fog. Get a hold of her phone, view her cell phone bill, get on her facebook account, get on her email account. You'll find it.

The odds of her not going back to the bottle aren't good. Hopefully she is sober, but statistics don't lie.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Sobreity is destroying my marriage

See my two notes above. You are correct. I have identified the person, I think, and luckily he is incarcerated...Im not sure if forcing her to stop communicating with him helped or hurt me.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 02:47 PM
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Re: Sobreity is destroying my marriage

First off, I'm sorry this is happening to you. This is not your fault.

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See my two notes above. You are correct. I have identified the person, I think, and luckily he is incarcerated...Im not sure if forcing her to stop communicating with him helped or hurt me.
It certainly didn't hurt you. Having another man between you is not helpful in the slightest. How she reacted to that isn't the problem.

You are taking way too much responsibility for the issues in your relationship and your wife isn't taking enough. She has a long way to go in resolving her issues and it sounds like she is just blame shifting her problems onto you and you're right there to take the hits as the scape goat. Being weak isn't going to resolve your marriage problems. It is weak to take the blame and let her walk all over you.

Sobriety isn't what is causing these marriage problems. What is causing them is the issues your wife is unwilling to face, so she either drinks or blame shifts. Right now she's blame shifting.


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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Sobreity is destroying my marriage

Thank You Cynthia, that makes sense. I just don't really know how to proceed. If I call her out on anything or tell her that she is being ridiculous. I get the "see this is why I'm divorcing you, because you cut me down all the time and say my feelings don't matter" reply. I don't know. I'm at a loss. Right now I'm just being the best me I can be. I feel like she got out of treatment on one end of the spectrum, while I was on the other end. Although I feel like I've stayed strong, I find myself almost on the complete other end of the spectrum, and she hasn't moved an inch.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 03:14 PM
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Re: Sobreity is destroying my marriage

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Thank You Cynthia, that makes sense. I just don't really know how to proceed. If I call her out on anything or tell her that she is being ridiculous. I get the "see this is why I'm divorcing you, because you cut me down all the time and say my feelings don't matter" reply. I don't know. I'm at a loss. Right now I'm just being the best me I can be. I feel like she got out of treatment on one end of the spectrum, while I was on the other end. Although I feel like I've stayed strong, I find myself almost on the complete other end of the spectrum, and she hasn't moved an inch.
There are ways of being supportive and understanding without being condescending, insulting and even verbally abusive.

It sounds to me, that due to your understandable frustration with her drinking problem, you came down on her rather hard, and she lost her trust and attraction for you. She was in a weak and vulnerable state, so she found a partner, an understanding, supportive guy who happens to be a recovering heroin addict who will likely abuse the living crap out of her if she hooks up with her but no one will be able to convince her to drop him and never look back because he fills her needs at this time.

I can't even begin to try to tell you how to approach her, and the situation in general other than to say use kid gloves and try to get her into therapy, if she won't go at least find one for yourself that can perhaps better coach you in dealing with this miserable situation.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 03:18 PM
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Re: Sobreity is destroying my marriage

Do you give her the silent treatment? You sound like a beta male, who would use passive aggressive techniques instead of taking action. You didn't even admit in your original post she was talking to (actually banging) a 24 year recovering drug addict until the first two posts called you out. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I doubt.

You need to man up and work on yourself. She might be too far gone. She doesn't need your money. What are you offering to her that another guy can't?
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 03:40 PM
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Re: Sobreity is destroying my marriage

OP, It isn't the sobriety that is destroying your marriage... the sobriety just happened around the same time. What's going on with your wife and this incarcerated, 24-yo recovering heroin addict is exactly why programs like AA strongly discourage people from starting new relationships within a year of getting sober. She's transferred her addiction from alcohol to this person, and that's a very unhealthy behavior.

Unfortunately, you can't make another person do anything. You can't make her commit to going to counseling or working on your (plural) issues. You can't make her stay with you. You can't make her fall in love with you again. You can't control another person's actions, you can only control yourself.

Listen, I know you love her, but your wife clearly has some serious problems that's she's not willing to address. As much as it hurts, this may be better for you. If she wants out of the marriage, why not give it to her? I know, I know... you love her and you don't want the marriage to end. I get that, I totally get that. But if she's determined to end the marriage, it's going to end whether you like it or not, whether you agree or not. Because you can't control another person.

If she wants to end the marriage, tell her she can move out of the house. Expose her emotional affair (because that's what it is) to her friends and family; make sure they know that she has decided to leave her husband and family for this other man. Do the 180. I would also strongly encourage you to look into going to Al-Anon meetings. The two of you may have also developed a co-dependent relationship without realizing it--I recommend reading Co-Dependent No More.

Focus on taking care of yourself and your kids, both emotionally and physically. This is going to be hard for your kids, and they need a dad who has his sh!t together. If you can make them your priority, and see that caring for yourself is the best way you can prioritize them, that might help.

I'm not saying that you are blameless in this situation. You may have been horrible to her, and you are right to regret that; you should examine that behavior and why you did it, and look at how you can improve yourself so you don't repeat this bad behavior. But she's the one who decided to blow up your marriage without trying to fix things first, and you're not responsible for her behavior.

However, there is one question I am compelled to ask: Did she ever talk to you about the way that you treated you? Did she ever communicate to you that your behavior was hurting her? Did you listen to her, or did you sweep it under the rug? She may have been communicating to you all along that your marriage was in trouble... and when she felt like she wasn't being heard, she began drinking more. Rehab may have finally given her the strength to do something about. it.

Just some food for thought.

~Happily un-married since December 9, 2013~
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 03:41 PM
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Re: Sobreity is destroying my marriage

So she seems unhappily married and may have stress from work and kids. Drinking was her coping mechanism/self-medication.

Therapy can make you see that and she won't give up her kids, probably won't give up her job so what's left to change except herself? Marriage status. My guess would be that she really wanted out for a while but could not and therefore drank.

Therapy is also a rather intimate setting with people getting emotional and talking about their fears, desires and problems and you throw in a needy younger bad boy that feeds her motherly/helping instincts and therefore she wants to help and change him for the better and you are toast.

P.S.
It may well be that divorcing you is the right choice for her (and you) but in any case one addict is enough in your kids life, so at least do everything to minimize any contact this dude may ever have with your kids. And minimizing means NO CONTACT. He already is a convicted felon, if she wants to be dragged down, that's her decision. Protect your kids.

P.P.S.
Sobriety did not destroy your marriage. And if you think about it, it would mean that you M only worked because at least one of you was an addict. Not a good foundation.

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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 03:55 PM
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Re: Sobreity is destroying my marriage

Do what's RIGHT - for your CHILDREN!

choose happiness
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 08:42 PM
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Re: Sobreity is destroying my marriage

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Thank You Cynthia, that makes sense. I just don't really know how to proceed. If I call her out on anything or tell her that she is being ridiculous. I get the "see this is why I'm divorcing you, because you cut me down all the time and say my feelings don't matter" reply. I don't know. I'm at a loss. Right now I'm just being the best me I can be. I feel like she got out of treatment on one end of the spectrum, while I was on the other end. Although I feel like I've stayed strong, I find myself almost on the complete other end of the spectrum, and she hasn't moved an inch.
Telling someone they are being ridiculous doesn't actually help them get clarity. It just makes them angry.
You are right to be the best you that you can be, but don't do it for your wife. Do it because that's who you want to be. I recommend you get to the gym and get into shape. That can help you feel a lot better overall. It will likely give you more energy and you will physically feel better. I know personally that when I am eating right and working out that I feel much better in all apsects of my life.
Nothing that you do is going to make your wife see your point of view unless she wants to see it. You can only control youself and you can only change yourself. Treat her as you would want to be treated in the same circumstances, but respect her decision to leave. That is her decision to make. Don't wait around for her. Get on with life.
I'm sorry to tell you that there is no true formula for getting a wayward spouse back. There is not trick, no magic, no plan that works. It really about relationship and whether both parties are able to make a good relationship together.


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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 08:29 AM
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Re: Sobreity is destroying my marriage

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Telling someone they are being ridiculous doesn't actually help them get clarity. It just makes them angry.
And defensive. Not conducive to fixing what's broken.
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