Control Issues

I have a tendency to worry about things that I have no control over. I want desperately to be in control of everything in my life, but of course that can and never will happen. I have been reading more about being an ‘Adult Child of Alcoholism’ and control issues are par for the course, it seems.

For instance, this morning my husband and I had a conversation about the future and whether or not he plans to resume drinking booze at some point. He thinks that he might want to drink moderately in the future. Someday in the future…maybe after a few more months of abstinence. A little background- my husband quit drinking to support me and hasn’t appeared to have much of a problem giving it up so far.

The thought of him drinking ‘someday’ practically gave me an anxiety attack. I began worrying about the ways that our lives would be different if he were to become a drinker again, how there would be alcohol in our house, how we would TOTALLY grow apart, how our son would be exposed to people drinking, and on and on until I was positive that we will 100% end up divorced if he has a few drinks.

So…maybe my worrying spiraled a little bit out of control? We are referring to something that has not even happened yet, and that might not EVER happen. What about crossing that bridge when we get to it? I am SO BAD at that. I go down this wormhole into the future, and it is negative and bad and exists only in my mind.

I can’t control my husband’s decisions on this subject, but I want to. Boy, do I ever want to. I want to tell him “No. We are not drinkers anymore. That is the way it is.” I don’t want to do this alone. The fact of the matter, however, is that we are always doing this alone. Living a sober life is a personal choice. I cannot control his decision, and in reality I don’t want to control his decision. I don’t respect people that I can boss around. My problem is not his problem. 

Maybe some of my worries will happen down the line, but they probably won’t. If problems arise we can handle them as they come up. I need to let go of control and let life happen…live and let live. I think AA uses the Serenity Prayer and the idea of ‘Let Go and Let God’ to help with control issues. I like those. Any other ideas? Or how do those ideas help you?

5 thoughts on “Control Issues

  1. My wife drinks. On occassion, and maybe no more than two drinks. We sometimes keep wine at home, but it’s no big deal for me or her. I never asked her to support me on my own sobriety, but I know at first she adjusted. If there was wine at home, she would dispose of the bottle herself, after dumping what was left down the drain…lol. But that doesn’t happen now.

    But I mention this because like you, there is nothing I can do to control my partner. Sounds like hubby is a social drinker, so it’s not a problem for him. In the end, our problem is not theirs as you put it so well. And that goes in all parts of my life. I do not take on what is mine either. In the spirit of “live and let live” and “let go and let God”, I don’t take what isn’t mine. It’s a matter of being free of the drama, issues, and emotional baggage of others. Does NOT mean I don’t care – I *do* care, very much, but I don’t carry other people’s baggage, as much as I wouldn’t expect them to take on mine. We can support one another, help one another, be concerned, etc. but in the end I worry about my spiritual and emotional well being. Because if I am not in a good place, it’s hard for me to be in a good place to help others.

    And when I get wrapped up in my head, spinning away, like your example there, I will catch myself, and usually out loud, I will say “Okay, Paul. That’s enough.” and will thank that part of my brain for sharing, then focus on the what I am doing that moment – washing dishes, walking, petting the dog, etc. Switch gears, say the Serenity Prayer, whatever.

    Anyway, I like where you went with this…good insight.


    • Yeah, the more I thought about it the more I realized that I was being irrational about the whole thing. I am trying to simply feel gratitude for the fact that my husband has been so kind and helpful so far by staying sober and keeping alcohol out of our house. I like how the baggage piece relates with it all…something interesting to think about. I think I will reread what you said a few times to let it fully sink in. Thanks and best wishes.

  2. My husband drinks every night during the witching hour. Initially i had to leave the kitchen, he did all the food prep and cooking and I did the dishes. It was hard at first. Now it doesn’t bother me, there is wine in the house, now I’m not tempted, in the beginning I couldn’t even look at it. Today I’m ok with his drinking as long as he doesn’t over do, when he does I get resentful and bitchy. he needs to join me, knows he does but he’s just not ready yet. He’s very supportive and encouraging but won’t give it up. What I want I can’t have because I can’t control him, only me. Big points for your husband for not drinking when you started your journey.

    • I worry that it will make me feel more tempted when he drinks because we used to have fun drinking together, but I think I can manage to be strong like you are! I think I would get annoyed at him overdoing it, too. It’s pretty annoying to be around drunk people now in general. I know that I am very lucky that my husband has been so supportive by not drinking…there are a lot of people who get sober in much tougher situations. Good for you for doing it with him still drinking! That takes guts! xx

  3. That is the issue I’m having with my husband now – he has stopped drinking in support of my decision – well my need to stop. He will drink eventually, I know it, he can control it, but it makes me think when he does we will be different people. I won’t want to be around him and other people drunk off their faces – it makes me sad and it makes me angry. We will have different interests, different friends .. slowly move apart because I’ll get angry at him for drinking, for not supporting me like a husband should when his wife needs him. I know it’s not his problem (the alcohol) it’s mine but when I’m upset that logic just goes out the window. I feel like I’m trying so hard to do this, for us, for our family, for me but just feel all alone sometimes and so scared of what the future holds

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