In it for the kids

Unwittingly I pushed my wife away with my drinking over the years. The incoherent conversations, passing out wherever I had my last drink, lack of sex because I was not “there”, stumbling and falling in public. Generally being a jackass. She put up with it over the years and it became a wedge between us. Sure it got out of hand and my trials and tribulations never amounted to significant progress towards my sobriety. Until now. I’ve been going to AA for a few months (181 days drink free) and the support and companionship has filled a void in my life. I don’t know now — in my sober state — I’m finally realizing that I’ve fallen out of love with my wife or if finding a lady friend at AA is stirring feelings inside that I haven’t felt in a while. We have two teenage kids and I’m wondering if I should just be honest with her and tell her I’ve fallen out of love (in the clarity of my soberness) or stick it out like most couples do … for the kids and keep pretending all’s well. It’s a tough situation because I genuinely love her but Im developing an emotional bond with this other women. My wife never understood that battle with booze so it’s nice to talk to someone who does get it. I never though sobriety would give me even more conflict!


You need to do this for yourself. Your kids will benefit from that. If you dont do it for yourself and do it for your kids .they could turn on you or resent you as they grow up and you feel like all this trying wasnt worth it . You can only help guide and be the best parent you can be. Family n blood isnt perfect…you will sadly relapse being hard on yourself or accepting you made no headway. If you do it for yourself then no matter what you did you know yourself you tried and did your best. You still have to continue living the best life you can from here on out sober…

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Well done on the 181 days sober. Good solid work.
They do say 2 things about the situation you find yourself in.
1 Don’t make any life changing decisions in the first year of sobriety.
2 it’s best not to start a relationship with anyone in your recovery meetings.


Thanks. It hasn’t been easy but the much needed support got me here. I’m not exactly looking for a relationship and I know the ground rules. Recovery can mess with your head. You reasses your life. I’m at that point. There’s a mutual attraction but at arms length.

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What I did was to give it a year in my unhappy relationship with my sobriety and I watched what happened as well as what changed. In early sobriety, our emotions can run high and everything changes as we navigate a new normal. When we spend so long not feeling much, when you do feel things it’s overwhelming and exaggerated so I had to go through the long process of observing and questioning it all honestly, with no expectations of the outcome.

I’m just over a year in and feel exactly the same as I did then but with more resolve to change everything. But, I know now my decisions are for sure the best course for me. It would not have been in my best interest in early sobriety to change everything so now I have set a solid foundation up for MYSELF this last year to put me where I am today, which allows me to change things without major complications. Everything I have done is now for ME and that was my focus in sobriety for the very first time in my entire life. So, with that, the things that are right for me are staying and the wrong things are still going.

Wish you luck and patience my friend!


No question she hated my drinking. But after being sober and sticking with it for longer than a week she’s coming around. But it may be too late. I’m conflicted like I said. Maybe the numbness from my DOC blinded me all these years.

I personally don’t believe in “staying together for the kids” but I would be very leery of thinking anything with this AA meeting is real. You are both in a stressful situation right now and while leaning on each other is good it can bring up confusing emotions. This is one of the reasons why they suggest opposite sexes don’t sponsor each other (assuming the people involved are cis hereto…if not then same sex could be an issue I guess). I would seriously step back and take it SUPER slow. All of your emotions (both with your wife and this other woman) confusing and muddled right now.


Hello, like @MandiH I decided to not make any bigger changes for the first year in regards to my relationship. I have two kids with my husband, they are 10 & 7.

Have you tried talking with your wife about what you’re going through? Have you tried to reconnect with her now that you are sober? I would imagine there is probably a pretty big wall up with her due to your drinking for so many years, it’s going to take a little work to bring it down… How to do that, maybe seeing a couples therapist or just doing the things you used to do together. This is where I don’t have much advice but I know it’s out there.

As for this other person in AA, why don’t you “play the tape out” with this one? Where do you see yourself if you decided to leave your wife (for them)? Where does that leave you with this person? If things didn’t work out with them, would you still be happy with your decision?


You really ought to look at this from your wife’s POV. How incredibly unfair that she got stuck with someone like you (no offense), and then when you finally start gaining control, when your relationship should be reaching another level, you jump ship. If i were her, I’d just think that I put up with shenanigans for years and then got slapped in the face at the end.

Not trying to be rude, just trying to open up the perspective.


Hey @Lionfish. And @MandiH Thanks for your thoughts. Yes we communicate and are trying to make it work. I’m seeing a therapist and so is she. But we’re not ready for couples therapy. At least we think we can work it out without couples therapy for now. I don’t plan on making any drastic changes to my life particularly since my sobriety is in its infancy. I know I need to figure things out. Play out the tap with this friendly woman. It may go nowhere. I’m taking it one day at a time. But I do know that I’m going through the motions with my wife. Although we vowed to be faithful — and I have — I just have this gnawing feeling with my sobriety that I want a new life. Terrible? Yes because of what I put her through over the years. She put up with a lot of my shit albeit not gracefully at times nonetheless she has stuck it out with me. Does anyone else feel like a veil had been lifted in your life and you desperately want to change?? But afraid to make it and to replay the hurt that has plagued our marriage for the past 13 years.

I would say maybe give your wife some credit here. She’s stuck by you whilst you were a drunken bumb. ( No offense) She could have to thrown the towel in and then where would you be? Probably on the streets yeah?
I know I’ve been a total shit to my wife, for pretty much all of the 28 years we’ve been together. But she has stayed and loved me (maybe) all the way through.
The grass is not always greener on the other side my friend.


I totally understand the feelings of wanting a new life. I feel that too. I struggle with wanting to leave my husband. I can only promise that right now this other woman is not the answer. If you do choose to separate you really should be 100% alone for a while so you can work on yourself and figure out what you really want and need.


It’s hard to face up to our crap and the crap we put our family thru when we were drinking. There is a lot to feel shame and pain from. I was blessed with a husband who put up with me when I was at my darkest and it has been a HUGE transition for both of us since I got sober. I know at first I wondered if our marriage was worth keeping, but I also know that I will just bring my issues with me wherever I go, so I might as well REALLY WORK ON ME NOW with my loyal, human husband. For me, having to look at the mess I made in my relationship was and is important. That’s just my relationship, only you know if you have give 100% to your marriage. Tho it sounds like you are giving intimacy somewhere else…and not turning toward your wife. We get what we give has been my experience. Usually we have a lot to make up for and it is easier to not do that work than it is to prove we are healing. I don’t mean to sound harsh, only you know the truth of your marriage. I would however suggest you allow the person you are catching feelings for their freedom, as you are currently not available. Just my humble opinion.


Well I think it’s not that strange to develop special feelings for someone who is going through more or less the same as you do. I think what you want and need, like everyone else is to feel really connected with someone. You have made so many changes now, and your wife probably not, so you have to find each other again and make a new connection. I heard a couples therapist once say that a marriage consist of multiple marriages. Because each develops in different ways and at different times so you have to see where the other is and vice versa and look where you two can feel the spark again. I found that very helpful to look at a relationship that way. Then I am married 4 times with the same guy. (He did not asked me yet, but I assume he will this year).

But maybe you’ll find out that there is no connection anymore in the end and, maybe that’s fine too, right?