{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "How to deal with a spouse that has had it with my relapses. Overall doing great. Used to drink daily to excess for about ten years. Now I have a lapse about once every two years and my spouse hates me and refuses to speak with me. I honestly feel I have come along in leaps and bounds and some slack would be great, I am not perfect but a million miles better than I was. Are they being unfair or am I still a selfish drug addict that needs to give more empathy?", "post_id": "6175e853fd66cf003622fe4e", "reply_count": 5, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "5c72ee1905e86a001b59b82f", "bowl_name": "Addiction & Sobriety" }

How to deal with a spouse that has had it with my relapses. Overall doing great. Used to drink daily to excess for about ten years. Now I have a lapse about once every two years and my spouse hates me and refuses to speak with me. I honestly feel I have come along in leaps and bounds and some slack would be great, I am not perfect but a million miles better than I was. Are they being unfair or am I still a selfish drug addict that needs to give more empathy?

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Likely that your spouse is traumatized by your past use. What would be “not a big deal” in a vacuum is actually a huge deal in the context of your relationship.

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Relapse is a very real and relatable part of any addiction whether the drug of choice is alcohol, heroin, love, shopping, etc etc… So yes, while I agree that we should be encouraging our spouse for progress and always assume progress over perfection. So giving grace to relapse should be given. There is also something very real to a spouse dealing with an alcoholic cycle about how triggered they are and whether their own stress level can handle another unknown of the next relapse. Generally speaking, if you’re using the terms relapse then you’re acknowledging that the drinking had a negative impact on your life somehow. Does that negative impact only occur when drinking daily? If the only negative impact was the cost of purchasing that much alcohol than fine. But if the impact of your drinking is felt regardless of the frequency then your spouse being fed up with the relapses may have very genuine and logical perspective. Best of luck to you and your spouse. Cutting back and changing the habit from daily to far less frequent is a commendable expression of self discipline. If that goal was what you were after, you should feel proud of that progress. Maybe it’s time to discuss why the relapse happens and what the impact is on your life with your spouse. Working out the answers to that with your spouse could help you guys stop this cycle and assess what’s the best path towards continued progress.

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One little drink. One little relapse. One little DUI. One little affair. One little vehicular manslaughter. One little jail time. The problem with one little drink is that for an addict it is truly a game of Russian roulette. For the spouse of an addict I imagine knowing that the game has been played again is the ultimate source of fear and frustration. When I drank I was the most selfish creature on earth. I didn’t know I was an alcoholic at the time, but now that I know, a relapse could constitute the ultimate betrayal. It’s why I work a 12 step program to the best of my ability. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

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Have you asked her why she gets so mad? And what do you do during these lapses? For example, if every two years you feel like you have things well in hand and get a little loose and drink socially at a party or two, I could see someone getting mad about that

SAS said the same thing as me but way better. Listen to them

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