Husband Belittles Her Sobriety
Q: I just joined a twelve-step program to stop drinking. My husband and I have always been heavy drinkers, and most of our friends and social events revolve around drinking. I'm finally at the point where I can be around them while they drink and feel okay about it. However, I really feel like my relationship with my husband and our friends is changing, and it makes me sad. My husband has also gotten jealous over my new friends from the program and makes jokes about my sober friends. I think he needs to stop drinking, but mainly I want to educate him on my recovery and get the support I need. What are the first steps in doing this? -Loretta, 37
Dr. Anna: You have made tremendous progress here, especially in the face of such little support at home. When someone makes any big change, it can feel threatening to the people they are close to. Have you tried talking to him about the things you've noticed? Sometimes sitting down with someone to have a calm and honest conversation can be a good starting point. "I've noticed you make jokes about my sober friends. Why?" can be a good opener, if you both can manage to stay open and not defensive. He may be able to talk about his fears about your new sobriety and its impact on your marriage. Giving him some space to talk about how your changes have been affecting him may help bring him over to your side. It's okay to tell him you'd like to be on the same team and tell him some specific ways he can support your recovery.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.