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Any of you dealing with a dry drunk?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by Momma9, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. Momma9

    Momma9 Community Champion

    My husband has been sober for about 1 1/2 years. He had about 2 days in that time he drank, but that is it. I find that he still seems to cycle through moods; almost as bad as when he was drinking! He will be OK for a few days, then gradually get angrier and angrier over the smallest things for a few days, until he has a major blow up and almost psychotic episode, then he is back to being somewhat normal. The cycle lasts a couple of weeks.

    It is so hard on the children and I. He denies that he is ever different and says it is all me. I know that is not true because the children are upset by it too. Has anyone else dealt with this? I am at a loss as to what to do!
  2. henry

    henry Community Champion

    No, I haven't been in your situation, but I know that your husband needs some kind of counseling or therapy, because there's obviously something psychological going on. I believe it's the best way to deal with the problem. Try to convince him to go.
  3. Mara

    Mara Community Champion

    Prolonged abuse of alcohol can have adverse effects on the person and that includes his behavior and mental stability. I suggest that you consult a professional regarding this matter and ask for the necessary steps that you can take. He is in denial that there is a problem with his behavior. Make him join AA meetings or have him see a counselor before his behavior turn for the worse.
  4. ejorman1010

    ejorman1010 Senior Contributor

    I have not been around a dry drunk, but it could possibly be mental withdrawal behavior. A counselor may help with relieving his anger issues, which is likely due to not being able to drink. He may feel restricted and he has to understand it's about his health and not about restricting his freedom.
  5. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    Since my husband stopped drinking he had his moment were he comes frustrated or angry but it is usually only short lived and he is over it. It is much better then the way he would act when he was drinking. I also think maybe your husband needs counselling or somebody to talk to about his underlying problems. It is hard for you and your children to love that way and you shouldn't have to.
  6. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    I think your husband does need some professional help to deal with the anger he is feeling. It sounds as if he is struggling with some issues that are bottled up inside, and if he won't talk to you about them, he probably needs to talk to a therapist. I wish you the best of luck.
  7. Jack Wallace

    Jack Wallace Senior Contributor

    Thе dry drunk whо is nоt mаking prоgrеss with thеir rесоvеry will соntinuе tо rаtiоnаlizе аnd justify tо prоtесt thеir еgо. Thеy hаvе vеry littlе оr nо sеlf-еstееm аnd gеt thrоugh lifе оn соnfidеnсе, whiсh is а lеаrnеd skill, аnd thеir оvеr-inflаtеd еgо. This оftеn tаkеs thе fоrm оf bеing highly сritiсаl оf thе bеhаviоr аnd аttitudеs оf fаmily, friеnds аnd еmplоyеrs. By putting оthеrs dоwn, thеy аrе аblе tо bоlstеr thеir оwn еgо. Whilе а dry drunk is bеing supеr сritiсаl оf оthеrs thеy аrе thеy оftеn сlаim thаt оthеrs аrе tоо сritiсаl оf thеm. This is аn аttеmpt tо rid thе sеlf оf intоlеrаblе fееlings аnd mоtivеs by rесоgnising thеm in оthеrs аnd pоinting thеm оut tо оthеrs. This is оftеn а prеludе tо а drinking bingе.
    Momma9 likes this.
  8. djolem

    djolem Senior Contributor

    If he acts similar or same as when he drank it might be that it was never about drinking. Some people are just like that. I guess you know the man and you should be the best judge of that. I just say that it sounds like him quitting drinking didn't change his behaviour so it comes to me that that is who he is.
  9. Momma9

    Momma9 Community Champion

    Thanks, everyone, for you thoughts! I think @Jack Wallace and @djolem really explained it perfectly! I agree that he needs help, but will not even admit there is a problem. He is turning 60 this month and has been drinking on and off since he was a teen. We met and married when he had been sober for 6 years. His grown children have nothing to do with him. Sadly, I am proceeding with divorce, for the sake of our children. His anger and outbursts are often at them and they are too young to understand and protect themselves.
  10. aimeep80

    aimeep80 Senior Contributor

    Certainly have dealt with it. I think it has to do with the dopamine and seratonin levels in their brains trying to return to normal. Obviously the addiction is trying to take over too. But I firmly believe my husband has some type of mood disorder..be it bipolar disorder or borderline personality.

    The only thing is..no doctor will diagnose him if he is not 100 percent sober and abstains from alcohol for a year. At least that's what we were told. But he never went back to the doctor to see. He takes anti depressants that do seem to help some though. It is very expensive but it really seems to help. But I feel it's just a band aid covering up the wound. He needs deep counseling and therapy because he has some issues. So sorry your husband deals with this too and I'm sorry that it puts you and the children through it. Hugs to you.
  11. Momma9

    Momma9 Community Champion

    Thanks @aimeep80. A band aid is better than nothing! My husband would never even admit he has a problem. I suspect he is borderline too. Reading books on dealing with that has helped some, but I finally realized I can only do so much myself. If he won't or can't do anything to improve the situation, it will never get better.
  12. Joethefirst

    Joethefirst Community Champion

    I really think that your husband should get angerment therapy. The problem that might have made him drink in the past might not have been completely solved.
    Momma9 likes this.
  13. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    So sorry to hear you are going through this, sadly he is never likely to ever admit this to you :( It sounds to me like he has some unresolved issues he needs to work on. I know because something similar is happening to me lately, I'm dealing with extreme anxiety and depression like in a cycle. Writing in my diary helps... odds are he needs to vent as well, or someone to talk to about everything he might be feeling. I can tell he has a lot bottled feelings inside...
  14. Momma9

    Momma9 Community Champion

    I am sorry to hear you are struggling @Tremmie. I hope you get to feeling better soon! At least you can acknowledge that you are having problems and are making efforts to do something about it. That is the first step to healing. Sadly my husband claims there is nothing wrong with him. It breaks my heart. He did go to AA last week and plans to go again tomorrow. That is better than doing nothing at all!