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Addiction to Alcohol/Living with an alcoholic

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Question
My husband is a recovering alcoholic (1 year, five months) and has done well attending recovery group meetings and therapist sessions.  He has also joined a Christian Church and volunteers. We have been married fourteen years but lately, I feel like I am married to a different person. My husband is an only child from an upper middle class, educated family and is therefore, pampered.  His moods swing from being content to irritable in a matter of minutes. I am seeing a therapist my self for Co-Dependant issues.  My question is, are recovering alcoholics moody and what is it like to live as an alcoholic?  Thank you.

Answer
Patti,
    Thank you for your questions and some explanation of your relationship situation.  The answer to the first is yes, alcoholics are typically moody.  The Big Book of AA says that we can find ourselves "restless, irritable, and discontent," and this can occur at almost anytime anywhere for any reason on any day.  Since he has embraced the program of AA and seems to be doing very well, this should be more of an opportunity for some exciting discoveries about himself rather than a detriment.  Not knowing his demeanor before quitting and after, this may or may not be his experience and certainly may not be what you would have expected in sobriety.
    As for living as an alcoholic, we lived our earlier life as a "false self" for a variety of reasons, all very particular to each alcoholic.  When we are blessed with sobriety we begin to find our "true selves."  This is what you are seeing in your husband.  Unfortunately, many marriages do not survive as the changes in the recovering person are so dramatic that it is as of the person once there is dead and another has taken their place.  It can be startling and unsettling.
    Since you, too, are seeking counseling and support, you will also be prone to discoveries you could not imagine in your unhealth.  He is possibly seeing differences in you as well.
    My suggestion is to sit back, enjoy the ride, and marvel at this new human being you have in your midst.  As you are able, be sure to keep up the dialogue with him and make changes in yourself as appropriate to be you and allow him to be who he is becoming.
    I hope this may have helped.
Grace and Peace,
Clyde

Addiction to Alcohol

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Clyde

Expertise

I can answer questions on the recovery from alcohol addiction as I am a recovering alcoholic with 22 years of sobriety. I can also address the spiritual aspects of the 12-Step program as I have a Master of Divinity degree; serve as a pastor in the Quaker church; and, serve as a hospice chaplain. I have also served as a prison chaplain for one year and currently volunteer as a mentor once a week, working with two inmates one-on-one as they work towards reentry into society as free persons.

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I am a recovering alcoholic with 22 years of continuous sobriety.

Education/Credentials
Master of Divinity awarded in 2000 from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

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