by Jennifer
(Baton Rouge, LA, USA)

I am a recovering alcoholic. I have only been sober for 4 months. Should I be offended if my husband accuses me of drinking sometimes when I actually have not been? I don't know how to handle the issue other than sounding like a child. I know in my heart that I have not been and I know it is me that is the only one that can control that. How do I convince him I am sober today?

Hi Jen,
Thanks for writing in with your question - it's a very good one. This is something I dealt with quite a bit when I first got clean/sober. I think the first reaction to an accusation like this may be to feel offended, but try to remember what your husban has been through and try to realize he may have reasons not to believe you.

I know that before I got sober, no one could believe a word I said. I lied and I manipulated everyone around me. Then I got sober and instantly wanted everyone to trust me and believe me. My husband and my parents questioned my sobriety and my honest for months. I have been sober for a little more than 17 months and my husband still asks me sometimes if I am sober. This happens VERY rarely, but every now and then he has a bad feeling so he asks.

At this point, he takes my word for it because I've shown over the last 17+ months that I can be trusted and that I am dedicated to saying sober. I try not to get mad at him and I try not to get offended. The best way for me to do this is to remember what he has been through and to realize that he is here supporting me and just wants the best for me.

It might help for you to sit down and have a conversation with your husband. Why does he sometimes think you are drinking? Is it anything you can change? What can you do to help reassure him? The truth is it just takes time. When an
addict or alcoholic wants to get clean/sober, usually they have been making empty promises and telling lies for a very long time.

For me, the only way to get people to trust me and to stop questioning me was to show them I could be trusted, not just tell them. You know you are sober and for now, that needs to be enough for you. Be proud of your 4 months because that is amazing. If you continue to work hard and stay sober, your husband will see that and probably won't feel the need to question you.

When I was very early in recovery and my husband would question me, I would offer to take a drug test. They sell them over the counter in drug stores and can screen for drugs and alcohol. They cost about $40, so obviously we weren't going to do it every night. That would be a lot of money and eventually my husband would just need to trust me. But in the beginning, this was honestly really helpful for both of us. My husband got to know for sure I wasn't lying and that I was clean, and I got to prove to him and show him that I was telling the truth.

It can be annoying - I wanted him to trust me. I didn't want to be controlled and to be told to take a drug test. But it was honestly helpful for both of us and if that's something you would consider, maybe your husband would appreciate that. Now if my husband is worried, he simply takes my word for it.

Try to find ways to make your husband feel better about your sobriety, as long as it is something you are comfortable with as well.

I can promise you that if you stay sober long enough, this situation will get better. Don't let this discourage you. Don't think that your sobriety is pointless if he doesn't believe it anyway. Just keep working hard, stay sober, and that trust will come back.

Congratulations on 4 months - that truly is amazing! I hope I could help.. Take care!

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