Advice needed, third relapse in 4 months of sobriety


My husband is an alcoholic. He has been “sober” for 4 months. However in the 4 months has had three alip ups. Once he went and bought seltzer’s I can home and can visually tell with him. After hours of fighting he admitted it. Second time he stole cough syrup from his dads house and chugged the bottle because he said he had promised he wouldn’t drink alcohol and couldn’t help it. I didn’t know about this until he fessed you before a court ordered ua. Third was last night. His car ran out of gas( because I don’t like him making stops at the gas station he said) so he had to walk and go get gas and then bought alchol while there. Didn’t tel me but I could tell and then I see the receipt on the counter and it shows what he bought!!! I’m so infuriated so disappointed and I feel like I’m just about to lose it. I give so much, I work and support him and our children and only ask he takes his classes for sobriety and stay healthy(sober). He has the nerve as to remind me we took vows for better for worse. But I have not put him through worse. How do I deal with the continuous lies. I’m doing counseling but in the end, I still feel like he is going to lie and slip up. I love him dearly, he is my husband but how can this be life?!!


Hi @Ontheverge. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

I’ve asked myself that question so many times, with every slip. It gets so exhausting and what helped me through each slip was holding on to the truth in the moment. For example, if he was able to tell me the truth about the slip instead of continually lying about it. Because for a long time, he wouldn’t admit to using unless I was literally holding the needles in his face. So admitting he used was a big step.

Four months is still very early on in recovery, so what might seem like a little thing - admitting to a slip - is actually a very big thing. We can’t control the slips, but we can control our reactions to them. Once I was fully working on my own behaviors and able to find peace whether he was using or not, once I was able to remember that it’s Progress, not Perfection, once I was able to look back and know that even if he slipped, we were still in a better place than we had been months before - that’s when I was able to react more calmly. And when I reacted more calmly to his slips, he was more honest with me and felt safer being truthful.

Frequent slips often signal that is something is missing or not working in the current recovery plan. Keep in mind that these are huge life changes that we’re asking of our loved ones, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Recovery is a change in the way we live our daily lives, both our loved ones and ourselves.

I’m glad you’re seeking help through counseling. How is that going? Have you considered taking the Course? Have you checked out any Al-Anon meetings in your area?

My husband’s recovery started about five years ago. This past year was the first that he was able to go the entire year without a single slip. It took five years. But within that five years, we have both grown so much. Slips will happen. Recovery is not a straight line - it’s a messy jumble but it does get better with work, patience, compassion, openness, communication, and daily practice of self care and gratitude.

Wishing you the best! Please reach out if you want to talk more.