Husband Cannot Relate to Me as a Sober Person

Hey all,
I’m 61 days sober. Today will be day 62. I am so proud of myself, I can’t even explain. My whole life I feel is stretched out before me.

My husband recently got home from a year long military deployment. I entered therapy after Xmas and got sober at the end of May. Aside from my physical transformation (I’m down 23 pounds, working out regularly, eating clean), he is unsure how to relate to my mental one as well. He’s used to scraping me off the floor (emotionally) because of my terrible anxiety and depression (largely from the booze), so I’m more level headed now, calm (ish) and less in need of him “saving” me from myself. This is a case of “be careful what you wish for” as he’s always said he wants me to look after myself etc but now that I do, it’s like his role as primary emotional caregiver is gone. He’s been back less than a week so I’m trying to be gracious and patient, but I feel the push and pull of his emotional distance and I’m trying not to let it push me away, though I am in a lot of pain.
Can anyone relate? Advice?


Congratualtions on your success. I suppose you both are at different time levels as he has just came back and needs to catch up. Just be patient and he will eventually come round and see that you are a stronger person, but still needs his support but now not under the influence with drink.


Congratulations both on your 62 days sober (yeah!!!) and your husband being home safe!!

It sounds like a lot of settling in for both of you is needed and some honest discussions. Maybe wait a bit to settle in as @Bluebell suggests. You will reconnect with some time and yes, it will take adjusting for both of you. If you approach the adjustments with love and understanding and honesty, you will move thru this. Maybe in the meantime start journaling some to get your feelings out. It is is okay to not know how to proceed or what lies ahead or to feel off kilter…I imagine it is a challenge for you both. Honestly discussing with love how to move forward together in this new healthy way will hopefully expand your marriage in positive ways. Keep us posted!! :heart:


I was in the Army and deployed 4 times myself (9 months, 2x 12 months, and 15 months). I can honestly say one of the most difficult adjustments/realizations is that life goes on at home and changes occur while you are gone. When deployed your mind kind of remembers the way things were at home when you left and unfortunately you mentally kind of expect to be able to “pick up where you left off” so to speak. It is a common issue and his unit should also offer reintegration training that addresses this if the deployment was long.

As for advice, I would say MAINTAIN PATIENCE during reintegration, it is a difficult process on both ends and both parties need to remember to be patient and work together. As far as a role change, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps you have found some new hobbies or passions that you can share with him? Maybe he has found some new things he wants to do as well? Try to enjoy the new energy and explore new things together to redefine your roles and reintegrate yourselves into a new and better situation! I can honestly say that after every deployment it was almost like restarting my relationship…not in a full restart way, but relearning each other including passions/interests and challenges because we all change over time. If you both support each other in your changes/adjustments, open up good communication lines, and take time/have patience…your relationship will come out amazing.

I hope this makes sense and if you have any questions for me etc, feel free to tag me or message or whatever your preferred method is.

Good luck!


I love all the advice others have given this far.

Another thought is that perhaps couples therapy might help the two of you adjust. Also he may need reassurance that you still need him but he may not feel comfortable saying so or he may not know how to put how he feels in words. It can be had for someone to figure out their new role in this kind of situation. He also may not know the pain that you’re in, especially if you two haven’t had an open and honest discussion about it. Being able to intuit someone else’s feelings is not generally a strong point of a lot of males. Their natural talents often lie elsewhere. Seeing a marriage counselor may help with having the needed conversations. Good luck and congratulations on your success. 61 days is great!

1 Like