When one of your loved ones is a recovering addict, you may feel like you have to take extra precautions around them to avoid any potential triggers.
But in this particular couple's case, the wife was more triggered by the steps her husband was choosing to take in his recovery.
The husband in this situation is a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for nine months after attending his AA meetings twice per week throughout his journey.
While shopping at Costco, he was looking for a new bottle of maple syrup and discovered a very interesting option. It was an all-natural maple syrup that had been made in bourbon casks, which meant it had no alcohol in it, but it carried with it the bourbon flavor. The bottle also, instead of being in the traditional shape of a maple syrup bottle, was made to look like a classic bottle of bourbon.
But when his wife saw his purchase in the cupboard, she was immensely triggered and ended up dumping the bottle out.
Reddit user "watkinobe" posted to the "Am I The A$hole" subReddit, to see if people agreed with his feeling that his wife was overreacting to his choice of maple syrup.
You can read the full story here:
Reddit was wholeheartedly divided on the matter. Some understood the man's interest in maple syrup itself and agreed that his wife overreacted.
Most saw the selection moreso as an opportunity for a "dry drunk" to continue enjoying alcoholic flavor, thus not fully committing to the process of staying sober.
"I've heard that just the flavor alone can trigger a relapse, so it is careful grounds to climb. You have a wife who obviously loves you to the moon and back and is looking out for your best interests, despite her over-zealous manner in which it was done."
"A piece of unsolicited advice - go to her and thank her for looking out for you as well as she is, and apologize for not realizing to what extent you put her through. Hopefully she will soften up. Trust, once broken, is hard to rebuild." - ActofEncouragement
"Yes the syrup won't have the effect of alcohol. However, you clearly enjoy it and it could be one of the best parts of your day (sometimes the day just goes downhill from the start). That pleasant association with something that tastes of bourbon- that's a realistic threat to your sobriety. At this point why risk it."
"Apologize to her, take a bunch of flowers and buy regular syrup and her favorite sweet treat. Yes she should trust you, but trust has to be re-established. She obviously loves you. Congratulations on your progress, do your best to protect it- good luck" - abrookman1987
More sympathized with the man's wife, explaining how she was clearly triggered in this situation after the drinking that nearly broke up their marriage.
"ESH, but softly. I'm not sure how long you were an actively drinking alcoholic, but it was obviously long enough that your wife is a short step away from being %100 done with your s**t. She was clearly triggered by this, and overreacted."
"But you're really under-reacting to how traumatic and infuriating it is to love an alcoholic, especially if this is not the first shot at recovery you've had. You both need to communicate better. If that means you have to buy non-bourbon flavored maple syrup then that's probably what you should do." - deathoftheotter
"It may have looked to the wife that OP wasn't seriously committed to long-term sobriety; that he'd gone to AA to placate her and keep his life from completely unraveling, but is now starting to look for loopholes and subtle ways to go back to his old ways without technically breaking the rules, and that this was going to be the first in a long series of boundary-pushing."
"Maybe that's a stretch, maybe that didn't go through her head at all, but it wouldn't have surprised me if that's at least a part of why she was so upset." - 2_headed_cat
In the end, the husband returned to his post and added a "thank you" note at the end for all who had commented, and stated he would be more sensitive to his wife's needs during their journey together going forward.
While it's understandable why he may have wanted to try a new product from the store, it's also completely understandable how this could be a slippery slope for someone struggling with their alcoholism, and how one of their loved ones could be triggered by such a choice.