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husband is a "dry drunk" i am strugglingI'll in

(15 Posts)
rumblefish Thu 29-Aug-13 22:57:14

After reading about CZJ and Michael Douglas I can see similarities with me and my husband. He is in AA but has rages and obsessions. He told me last week me can't have sexual relations with me as he has to deal with addition with lust!! He has been sober 13 years I didn't speak to him for 2 days. He kept asking me what is wrong. I am struggling to deal with his problems and I have no one to speak to.

Hi rumble. I found your OP a little confusing.

What I think is, he was actively drinking/using but hasn't for 13 years. He is now saying he has an addiction to 'lust' and can't have sex with you as a result. This led to you not speaking to him for 2 days.

He additionally has anger and obsession issues.

Is that right?

If so, I have a couple of questions. Did he get sober just with AA or ever do rehab? Were you with him when he was drinking/using? Do you think there is someone else?

WhiteandGreen Fri 30-Aug-13 00:58:29

Not sure what you mean by dry drunk?

Dry drunks are people who are alcoholics who have stopped drinking (dry) but are still behaving in the selfish, destructive, abusive ways they did while drinking (drunks).

CinnabarRed Fri 30-Aug-13 05:09:19

I don't think that's quite right, Mrs TP. I've always understood "dry drunks" to be a recognition that alcoholics will always have a problem with alcohol even though they are now sober.

My DF has been dry for more than 20 years, but still describes himself as a non-drinking alcoholic because he knows (because it has happened) that if he has one sip of alcohol even socially then he'll be back on 2 bottles of vodka per day within the week.

And you couldn't find a gentler, kinder person than my DF now he's dry!

StUmbrageinSkelt Fri 30-Aug-13 05:51:09

I've always understood dry drunk the same way as Mrs TP

calmingtea Fri 30-Aug-13 07:00:48

Dry drunk describes the behaviour MrsTP talks about. Cross addiction is common too. OP the people I have known who have cross addicted with a long period of substance sobriety have been very distressed once they realised what was going on.

Perhaps you should encourage him to speak to an addiction counsellor and think about how to deal with it.

For you I would think about Al Anon or a therapist, so you can speak about your experiences with someone who has experience of it. I can understand your anger, as you have supported him in sobriety and now he is letting you down. You are still allowed boundaries too. He doesn't have to have carte blanche to behave exactly they way he wants, or to reject you physically. Sounds draining.

calmingtea Fri 30-Aug-13 07:03:31

Also he is in AA, but has he spoken about what is going on in meetings or with his sponsor? If he really is having lust issues, perhaps he could go to SLAA or CoDA meetings and deal with the people-side of his addictions? Given he is following the 12 step model anyway.

tribpot Fri 30-Aug-13 07:09:18

A dry drunk is definitely not the same as a sober alcoholic. Cinnabar your DF is definitely in the latter category - he's come to terms with his addiction and understands he can never drink again. The dry drunk is the opposite - raging against the addiction and the rest of the world for stopping him/her doing the one thing he/she really wants to do, which is drink.

OP, I agree - you need to speak to Al Anon and he needs to speak to an addiction counsellor. If he's been a dry drunk for 13 years I cannot imagine why you've stuck by him, to be honest. Rages and obsessions - leave him to it.

calmingtea Fri 30-Aug-13 07:25:15

I understand why OP has stayed, that sheer utter relief that the active drinking has stopped, and codependent thinking that OP now owes him. But if you think from an outsiders perspective, his behaviour - anger, obsession etc, is actually not on in a healthy relationship. But all too common in non drinking-drinkers. To me it does say that he is not 100% recovered, obviously not that he is actively drinking, but that stuff behind the booze is still there.

Lweji Fri 30-Aug-13 08:14:28

Dry drunks are people who are alcoholics who have stopped drinking (dry) but are still behaving in the selfish, destructive, abusive ways they did while drinking (drunks).

It seems that they are simply twats and abusive people with the excuse of the addiction.

As in it's not the drink, it's them. So, LTB.

I'd suspect drinking gave them an excuse to mistreat people, because "it was the drink causing it".

What are you doing with this man, OP?

Let him sort himself out on his own time before he destroys you.

ageofgrandillusion Fri 30-Aug-13 08:40:11

Lweji - took the words right out of my mouth. Leave this selfish, self absorbed, prick.

What do you get out of this relationship now?. What keeps you within this?.

CinnabarRed Fri 30-Aug-13 09:05:51

Oh! I'd better tell DF to stop calling himself a dry drunk in case people get the wrong idea! Thank you.

CinnarbarRed your DF has earned the right to call himself whatever he wants! But sober alcoholic might be more accurate.

Where I've seen this behaviour is people who stopped drinking but did no work on the issues underlying it. Often abuse in childhood. They white-knuckle through the cravings but don't learn why there is the urge to be abusive both to themselves and others.

He WILL NOT change unless he decides to and it won't be you that convinces him.

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