OK, you have prayed for this, begged for this, maybe ruined your life all for the cause of a sober husband. Then it happened. If your story is like mine the sober moment happened out of crisis all of a sudden. Wham! Your husband is sober. Your prayers worked! Now what? Sit on your hands?
Reviewing Your Life During the “Crazy Time” of Addiction
Living with an addicted loved one caused you trauma. No kidding, you may be saying in your head. I am not just talking about the possible lack of money, the angry blow-ups, irresponsibility, affairs, or mood swings of your now sober husband.
I am talking about all the ways you developed to cope with an addicted husband. The drug and alcohol use may have started as fun weekends for both of you. Things often change when one partner moves to daily use, then the daily habit becomes a debilitating addiction.
To cope with my non-emotionally present spouse, I began:
- Friendships that did not include my husband
- Stopped making joint financial decisions
- Planned activities that did not include him
- Whined and complained a lot about him to others
- Single handily cared for the children
- Made all the childcare and educational decisions
- Tried to avoid issues that created tension
- Omitted the truth
- Hid my feelings
- Ran away to friend’s houses and closed him out physically and emotionally
By the time sobriety came to my house, my husband and I lived very separate lives. He and I could barely tolerate being in the same room for an hour.
Working opposite schedules, bottled resentments, and total lack of respect for each other, kept us from any type of civil communication.
Be Honest With Yourself
It may help to write down all the behaviors you hope will end with sobriety. Now write down all the behaviors you did to cope with the addicted loved one.
Use my list above if you get stuck.
Why a person chooses to use drugs is deep within them. Why you choose to marry or stay in a marriage with an addict is deep within you.
If your man is willing to stay sober and work on himself and the marriage, are you?
Are you willing to work through the trauma you experienced and your own hurts, habits, and hang-ups to heal yourself and your marriage?
Sobriety is Often the Breaking Point for Marriages
Isn’t that strange? Most divorces happen after the addicted partner gets sober. Nuts, right! Why after years of nagging, begging, crying and praying would you divorce your now sober husband?
There are no simple answers but several causes:
- He may not be using, but is continuing the dry drunk behavior. Are you married to a Dry Drunk?
- This sober husband is not living up to your standards.
- After so many years of “going it alone,” you just can’t handle sharing the control and decision making with your husband.
- Your sober husband is not the man you married and you are unwilling to see who this new person is.
- The trauma of addiction left too many scars and not enough trust to try again.
- You are unwilling or unable to release all the old coping skills and develop new ones.
- Demanding that your husband change “now” not willing to make changes in increments one day at a time.
- Still parenting the now sober adult in your life as if he were a child.
Sober Husband To Do List
Look at yourself.
What do you need? Want or desire for this new place in your marriage relationship?
Maybe a prayer for your husband is all you can do now. Maybe like us you are unable to speak or repair the damage at this moment. (More on our story.) That is all I could manage at the time. I have put together a 14-day prayer sequence. Super short 30 second prayers to say for your husband in this time of recovery. Your Heavenly Father knows and loves you both. Let him do the heavy lifting. Join me today in praying for your marriage and your life.
Why do you think marriages fail after a spouse gets sober? It is truly a curious occurrence. Please share your thoughts in the comments.