I don’t know of a single relationship problem that was solved by drinking. But recovery means you have to take responsibility for your life. And because I’d been drinking heavily for so long, it meant I, too, had a lot of growing up to do. Even though he drank with me, my husband wasn’t (and isn’t) an alcoholic. I ate when I had to, sometimes drinking until 11 or 12 at night. My husband would hang in there for a few hours, but would opt to give his lungs and liver a break, and go inside to watch TV on the couch – like a normal person. He didn’t have a job and was struggling to find one because the country where we live is a bit tricky for job-seeking male spouses.
The rough, as well as the smooth, are all normal parts of recovery. If you’re committed to living with an addicted spouse, you can take the following steps to help them get help. Of course, studies have also shown that substance abuse and marital unhappiness can feed off one another, causing a cycle that will continue unless someone makes hard choices. Alcoholism is one of the more common substance abuse disorders. All statistics are taken from the National Institute on Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Numbers marriage changes after sobriety reported are as of 2013, the most recent year figures are available. Headlands is an inpatient rehab center that provides comprehensive services including detox, addiction, medicine, various therapies, and outpatient follow-up. Headlands will customize a plan suited to your needs. We provide a full spectrum of addiction services and can recommend relationship counseling for you and your spouse. When a spouse is struggling with addiction, it is common for their partner to want to be supportive.
How To Handle Loved Ones Who Don’t Support Your Sobriety
Codependency is similar to enabling, but codependent individuals often get involved in relationships that are one-sided. They may feel overwhelmed by their partner’s needs but have an overwhelming sense to take care of that person. If your partner is lying about abusing drugs, it’s understandable to form trust issues due to the perceived lack of respect, honesty, and dedication from your partner. If a man married a woman because she’s shy, timid and submissive, he unconsciously chose a wife who would satisfy his need to dominate. If she turns out to be an alcoholic, he will have the complete dependent he wants, no matter how desperately he thinks he wants her sober. He, too, will cover up her drinking, protect her from public disgrace, and assume all the responsibilities which should be hers.
- Addiction recovery is about far more than simply not using.
- Born and raised in Kaufman, TX, she has been bringing value to the Burning Tree team since 2017.
- Jennifer Boofer serves as Neurofeedback Technician at Burning Tree Ranch.
- Constantly giving in to someone and helping them may only worsen an addiction problem.
Is your spouse ready to go into recovery but doesn’t know where to begin? Contact Casa Palmera today, where our compassionate and experienced team can help you and your partner get the help you—and your marriage—need. It’s a rocky transition in the marriage or relationship that presents many challenges. 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 spouse will be treated like an individual at 12 Keys.
But What About Our Relationship?
You came to a point where you had enough and told your spouse to seek treatment, or else the marriage could not continue. Now, your main worry is how your marriage will survive after treatment. You are afraid the dynamics will marriage changes after sobriety change due to their recovery and inevitably change your partner. Addicts usually have guilt and shame about their past behavior, while their mates harbor resentment, often for things about which the addict has no recollection.
So while I taught local girls during the day, he stayed home and tried to figure out what to do with himself. 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. In the middle of my alcoholism, I couldn’t see either of these points. I could see that I had changed, and I could Sober Home see that I wanted things to work with my husband, but I couldn’t figure out how to bridge the gap. Getting sober was indeed necessary to address the problems in my relationship but it wasn’t a cure-all. I’d done too much damage in those four years that we were together before I stopped drinking. I was, quite honestly, devastated that I didn’t know how to fix my relationship even as a sober woman.
Every day was a big, stressful mess.
In some ways, re-establishing a marriage in the wake of addiction is like dating and getting to know someone new, so it can be helpful to connect on specific date nights. It is vital for couples to have outside support during this time. Couples counseling can create a safe space to air out feelings and emotions and set concrete relationship goals to move forward. Each spouse should also be attending 12-step support groups. Hopefully, the partner has also been in a 12-Step program, such as Nar-Anon or Al-Anon. New sobriety leaves a void, which formerly was filled with all the mental and physical activity of trying to control and manipulate the addiction and substance abuser. Being a codependent caretaker hid their inner emptiness. Feelings of anxiety, anger, loss, boredom, and depression may arise. The spouse is now “out of a job” of watching, enabling, and checking up on the addict and taking over his or her responsibilities.
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. My husband and I had never spent more than a couple weeks physically together before he moved halfway across the world to be with, and marry, me. My relationship couldn’t be fixed by me because it wasn’t just about me — another person was involved. Nothing was fixable unless we both wanted to work things out.
A marriage in recovery
Marriage counseling can also occur at any stage of marriage, whether early on or after a couple has been together for years. Marriage counseling involves when partners meet with a therapist to discuss issues and resolve conflicts. Here’s an idea of how a relationship counseling session may play out. Sarah serves as a dedicated Admissions Specialist for Burning Tree Programs. Known for her compassionate and insightful nature, Sarah is often one of the first friendly voices a client or family member will engage.