Repairing Your Marriage After Substance Abuse Treatment

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Your spouse’s drug and alcohol addiction is not your fault. However, their addiction will affect you and the other members of your family because addiction is duplicitous in every way imaginable. Your fear about change is a typical concern because you are correct in understanding that everything will change, including your relationship. Cessation from drugs and alcohol is a process, and your job is to encourage and support, not criticize or push them. Once they are sober, there will be ups and downs that your relationship will encounter, but you can manage them if you trust the process of recovery. When long-awaited sobriety finally arrives, partners expect their past relationship problems will disappear. Often, there is a “honeymoon” period when they’re on their best behavior and reaffirm their love and commitment. After all that they’ve been through together, they have high hopes for a rosy future and easier times ahead. Yet, sobriety destabilizes the status quo, offering opportunities for positive change.

Others find the burden is too heavy and decide to end their relationships. A marriage in recovery means volunteering to go through that backlog together. Some people, frankly, don’t have the stomach for it. Even though he drank with me, my husband wasn’t (and isn’t) an alcoholic. Here I was busting my ass every day working an impossible job while he stayed home, and he was out there living his best life, making friends while I got fat and miserable on the balcony.

Can Marriage Survive Sobriety—What It Looks Like in the Long Term

When family members disagree about the best way to deal with someone who has an addiction issue, conflict ensues, and the person with the addiction is left to continue drinking or using drugs. At the same time, the discussion or arguing goes on. The addict realizes that as long as the family is in turmoil, they’ll be able to feed their addiction relatively undisturbed. They will not allow anything to get in the way of feeding the addiction. When one person in the family develops a substance abuse issue, it doesn’t solely affect them. No matter their drug of choice, their addiction is a family disease, causing stress to the people living in the family home and those closest to the addict. In many instances, it can be very helpful if each spouse participates in individual therapy as well. This can provide a healthy outlet to express emotions like anger, frustration, and hurt as each person deals with the challenges of living life with a recovering addict. It is also a great way to address codependency issues.

  • I really appreciated all of the compassion, support and understanding I received at Casa Palmera.
  • Counseling can really help in these situations.
  • I was still forced to pretend everything was okay when it wasn’t.
  • A marriage in recovery means volunteering to go through that backlog together.
  • So, if you have a problem with drinking or drug use, it is worth it to enter treatment, not only for you, but also for your partner, children, friends, and others.
  • To ensure that they keep a steady supply of their drug of choice, they are prepared to lie, cheat and steal if it means they can get their next fix or drink.

As he asked me to toss the still closed Coors banquet cans I knew we were going to make it; we were going to be okay. We would save our marriage because he was getting sober. We would save our marriage because he finally had a desire to save himself. When he’s drunk, her reaction is to reproach him for his behavior, and that’s the very worst time to attempt to communicate with him.

How To Get Your Life And Sobriety Back After Relapse

And I was resentful, not of his healing but of the fact nothing had changed. I was still forced to keep it together while he took time to take care of himself. I was still forced to play second fiddle to my daughter and him, my feelings never good enough or worth enough. I was still forced to coddle him—or so I thought—and support him, knowing he hadn’t (and wouldn’t) do the same for me. I was still forced to pretend everything was okay when it wasn’t. Stress – Recovering addicts are more susceptible to stress and may be tempted to use drugs and alcohol to deal with stressful life situations in recovery.

The staff was caring, professional, and knowledgeable. I came in hopeless and left hopeful, with a treasure chest full of “good” coping tools. Casa Palmera gave me a second chance at “Living the Life” I’ve always wanted. Balance, sobriety, health and a mindful approach for a lasting recovery. I really appreciated all of the compassion, support marriage after sobriety and understanding I received at Casa Palmera. The therapists, counselors, nursing staff, front desk, make you feel confident that you are in good hands abd that they really do care and make it easier to see through the darkness in a storm. First Steps Recovery is part of the Sirona Behavioral Health network of addiction treatment providers.

But What About Our Relationship?

I knew AA had a higher success rate ending marriages than it did keeping its members sober. I knew this early on and so I fought, determined not to become another statistic. I read every bit of AA-related literature I could. I tried to be active in his life, but not pushy. I tried to take control of my life, but not too much (turning most stuff toward a God I didn’t believe in). But I quickly realized Al-Anon was not for me, and not for the “God reason” I assumed it would be. Instead, I couldn’t live a life where I replayed my past; I couldn’t live a life that focused on victimization. If he is drinking, her constant protective watchfulness makes it easy for him to sidestep getting help. She convinces herself that she’s doing her very best for him; she hasn’t learned, as she would in Al‑Anon, that shielding him from the consequences of his drinking only prolongs its course.
There are healthy ways to deal with conflicts that don’t end up with someone feeling as though they need to tune out by using drugs or having a drink. It can take time for a family to realize that they are dealing with a loved one who has developed an addiction to drugs or alcohol.The early stages of the disease can be subtle. Addicts can be very good at persuading family members that an episode where they were under the influence was an isolated one and that it will never happen again. Unfortunately, it always happens again in the case of someone living with an addiction. Tulip Hill is a family-owned rehabilitation center near in Murfreesboro, TN with first-hand experience in addiction recovery. We believe a dual diagnosis approach that treats the mental health conditions underlying addiction is the best route to long-term sobriety. While your spouse is in drug rehab, he or she may live at our rehab center for several weeks or live at home while attending IOP. During this time, we provide an intensive family program for the family members of addicts in recovery who are enrolled in our inpatient program. Every person in recovery needs a relapse prevention plan, but this need also extends to the spouses of addicts in recovery. If your husband or wife has a lapse, it’s important that you both have a plan for how you will handle the situation.

Drinking alcoholically means a backlog of real-life, adult problems builds up. Arguing with your spouse, getting shit-faced and venting to your friends, then waking up the next day pretending it didn’t happen is no longer an option. I don’t think my husband and I ever really knew each other until I got sober. My pregnancy added an additional challenge to the recovery process. It is very easy to hold onto the ways addiction hurt your marriage, but doing so can inhibit the healing process. Try to distance your thoughts of what your marriage was before your spouse sought treatment, and focus on the ways you can grow and build your marriage going forward. When you’re in a relationship — dating, married, or otherwise — with a person who struggles with addiction, you know the strain that it puts on the two of you. The negative impact their addiction has had on your relationship can leave you wondering if what the two of you have is salvageable, even after they receive treatment. When we aren’t posting here, we build programs to help people quit drinking.

In addition to worrying about a slip, a recovering addict has anxiety that the substance abuse has masked. Drugs smoothed over difficult feelings and situations that now must be faced “on the natch.” Anxiety may be covering deeper feelings of depression, shame, and emptiness. Childhood trauma can drive these feelings, but early sobriety is not the time to address it. Moreover, if substance abuse started before the addict was an independent, self-sustaining adult, then new skills need to be learned. It’s said that maturity stops when addiction begins. Hopefully, the addict is getting support from a 12-Step program and an experienced sponsor or counselor. CAP, ICADC, CHC CEO and President at The Shores Treatment & Recovery of Florida. He is an ordained pastor and International Crisis Response Chaplain, is certified in CISM.
marriage after sobriety
I didn’t understand why my wife, Sheri, was still mad at me. I gave up the other love of my life, my beer and whiskey, because I thought that’s what needed to happen to repair my marriage. Sheri had felt like the second most important thing in my life for years. Offering to stop cheating on her with my liquid lover wouldn’t do anything to fix the pain of the years of betrayal. For the vast majority of people who are addicted to alcohol, the first big decision they must make is to become willing to seek treatment for their addiction.

The culture shock, strains of a new marriage, being so far removed from family and familiarity, and the job… oh my God, the job. Sure, the hangovers sucked and made working life increasingly difficult, but it seemed like a small price to pay for grabbing life by the horns. At first, we were having the time of our lives. Contact us Sober Home todayfor more information or to speak to one of our addiction counselors. It’s not lost on me, though, that without my sobriety and without both of us possessing the willingness to put in the work, what we have wouldn’t exist. My relationship couldn’t be fixed by me because it wasn’t just about me — another person was involved.

Our marriage was reborn through the power of resentments forgiven. I heard the pain of years old transgressions oozing from my wife as though the wounds were wide open. My wife, on the other hand, was incapable of forgiveness because my apologies were so meaningless. They festered and metastasized and wreaked havoc on our marriage. The past had come back for vengeance on the present, and the only way forward for my relationship was to fully resurrect the pain and tell my wife how sorry I was all over again. Self-preservation does not afford the luxury of trust. In a relationship, sobriety isn’t the end of anything. It is only the beginning of a long, arduous, rarely successful trudge to save the marriage. It is up to us to roll up our sleeves and do the work of repentance and rebuilding. Address the hell into which my disease had transformed her life.
marriage after sobriety
And most of all, the recovery program is powerful, educational, thorough, and thoughtfully designed. When we landed in marriage counseling, we’d been together for around six years (with that whole nine-month break in the middle) and I’d only been sober a third of that time. Running away from what caused mental and emotional pain — whether it be a dead-end job or a relationship at the crest of its honeymoon phase — was the only way I knew how to cope. No amount of love is going to fix what you succinctly pointed out—”we have totally different personalities.” You’ve grown, and he no longer fits.
Eco Sober House
Although these support groups are there to support you, you and your spouse could consider attending counseling either separately or together to rebuild your marriage. When you make a commitment or promise marriage after sobriety to your spouse, it is essential to follow it through. Without this dedication, it will be tough to regain their trust. Without trust, it may be challenging to rebuild your marriage after rehab.
I was irrational and, often, my insecurities weighed out over reason, which meant he tip-toed around me and couldn’t be open with his feelings. I would rage over little things like not receiving a phone call or text message in what I thought was a timely manner. I spent too much money and had nothing to show for it so he had to hide money to make sure the bills got paid. I neglected my child and him so he sought support elsewhere. I lied frequently because I was ashamed of the truth, so he didn’t trust me. If a couple has used the tools to grow a healthy relationship, they could find themselves in a thriving marriage.

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