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Ask Amy: Alcoholic wants support to regain sobriety

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I’m an alcoholic. Three years ago, my husband gave me an ultimatum: Either get sober, or I will divorce you.

I got sober and it lasted almost six months.

Since then, I’ve been drinking but I’ve hid it very well. He has no idea I’ve continued to drink.

Now I’ve come to a point where I truly want to get sober again, but I don’t think I can do it without his help.

How do I tell him I’ve betrayed him for so long and then ask him to forgive me for it and stand by me in quitting drinking again?

– Still Drinking

 

Dear Drinking: Your husband has already supported your sobriety by delivering a clear boundary and consequence as a way to compel you toward recovery – and that seems to have worked for a time.

But being shocked into sobriety to save your marriage might not be a sufficiently compelling reason for you to stay sober. Your sobriety should be about you making a choice every single day to commit to your own health and well-being. You are not getting sober for him, but for you, in order to bravely experience the fullness of your own life.

Relapse is extremely common, and it doesn’t mean that you have failed – but that your sobriety will be a lifelong commitment.

Drinking puts you into the shadows. Honesty and transparency should be part of your recovery.

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