Dealing with mistreatment in early recovery



My husband is 2 weeks sober. I am proud of him for that. However, he has been treating me very badly since he got home from detox. He yells at me and says very mean things to me over the smallest things. I am starting to feel traumatized by his behavior. Should I try to overlook it and chalk it up to his brain chemicals adjusting or should I confront him about it or should I leave our house when he mistreats me?


Hello person,
There’s a different answer for everybody, but I think you might jot down a quick list of what “treating you very badly” means and start there. Your physical safety is always the most important thing- seek help if you are in harm. Once you have established that you are safe, you can think about what was really going on by thinking about your list like Sherlock Holmes solving a rubrick’s cube.


Be gentle,calm, and concise but tell him how hurt he’s making you feel. Letting him get away with bad behavior is precisely what makes us enablers so for the sake of your sanity and his sobriety tell him how you feel just like you expressed yourself here. Chemicals or no hes an adult and should not mistreat you. Maybe also ask him if there’s something bothering him that he needs to confront. Most of the emotions are residual and have nothing to do with you but its hard not to take it personal when youre the person. Thoughts are with you. You got this girl!


I told him I was mad as he’ll at the way he has been treating me lately and he actually said sorry. He has been much nicer the past few days. Usually he turns it back around on me, that it is my fault. I am hopeful that he will start taking responsibility for his behavior.


Ms AD1983,
You told him how you felt and he responded positively to that. You must have said it with a kind delivery because he was nicer for a few subsequent days. So, I’d recommend the shampoo method… and repeat.
Merry Christmas, Boxing Day, and anon…go 2021! You’ve got this. You can be kind and still take no bull…


I’ve had the same thing really. It’s horrible because I was told that everything would be amazing from people that had actually gone through the same process :cold_sweat:

Glad you got to talk it through with him, I’m literally to scared to bring it up with my other half at the moment .


early recovery sucks, but I guess it is normal. Everyone I hear says it is even harder than active addiction. It takes a lot of patience!


It is tough. my S/O other is in early recovery for the third time this year. honestly, i’ve been so sensitive to everything this week. I think it’s more me than him. my S/O tends to be mean when he’s drunk and very gentle when he’s sober. But sometimes there’s almost a slight passive aggressiveness when he’s sober that’s hard to pinpoint. Like i can feel a sense of agitation or irritation, but sober him bottles it up and it comes out in minute ways that are difficult for me to really wrap my head around. and maybe it’s just me too. Also, i’m always on high alert because when he starts getting irritable a relapse could be around the corner. This week i’ve been constantly getting way too much in my own head, analyzing every little thing he says or does. I really need to stop. But then again, i don’t want to walk on eggshells every time he gets to me or does something that bothers me. I want to be able to talk to him without worrying about how he’ll react.

But I agree with all the above. great job stating how you feel. i’m on a struggle bus with that lately because I don’t want me expressing myself to cause him to relapse. So then I sit and stir or assume things that may or may not be true or think the worst is about to come.

And yes, I think early recovery can be just as hard. For me it’s because I enjoy our time together when he is sober snd I never want it to end and it always seems to eventually. and my past traumas have my mind in constant motion. It’s tough to calm it sometimes.

I know this wasn’t much help. I just wanted to let you know I can totally relate and to say great job with stating how you feel.


Wow, Jess. That would ve so hard to have the up and down of getting sober and then relapsing 3 times in a year! It makes perfect sense that you would feel worried about upsetting your s/o. I have been going to online chat al anon meetings and reading the literature, and although I disagree with some of their ideas, it does help. When I watched a youtube video that explained PAWS(Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome), that helped me to not take things so personally. Be kind to yourself! You are going through a very tough time.


This was actually a good year. despite the three relapses he’s been sober more than drunk in 2020 than any other year. We had a lot of great moments, but it’s never easy. Alanon helps me too. i just need to stick with it more consistently. i’ll have e to check out the PAWS info. Thanks! Good luck to you too.