Helping Your Husband Through Addiction Recovery
When your husband is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, it can take an emotional toll on the entire family. Enrolling and participating in an alcohol and/or drug rehab program is an important step in the right direction. Be that as it may, you should know that addiction recovery is only part of the process and even upon completion, living a sober life will have its challenges. One question that I’m sure runs through your mind is how in the world do you help them through this? Below are a few crucial bits of advice:
Allow the Program to Work
While he is in men's rehab getting the help that he needs, your husband will need as much emotional support as possible. There may be periods where he has to put himself first and even times when he’s unable to speak with you so he can heal. It is imperative that you don’t become jealous, upset, or feel neglected. This can make his road to recovery much harder if he’s focusing on issues of the relationship.
Take Care of You
The first thing you should know is that you’re no good to your husband if you are in bad shape yourself. While he is in recovery you need to take this time to tend to your own physical, mental, and emotional needs. Make sure that you’re eating properly, exercising, going to counseling and surrounding yourself with a plethora of your own support to get you through this time. While it may seem selfish, it is okay to do things that make you smile while he is away getting the care he needs. At the end of the day, he will rely on your strength and support to get him through sober living, and if you’re both drained the process is much more challenging.
Participate in Offered Therapies
There may come a time when families and spouses are invited in for therapy. While you may feel like the addiction is your husband’s issue and not your own, the truth is it is a family disease that has had some impact on everyone. Participate in the therapy sessions, truly listen to what he has to say and, more importantly, take heed to any advice the therapist offers you to help support him and repair the relationship.
While he’s in rehab, he has the support of other addicts, therapists, and program staff to get him through. However, once the program is completed, he will rely on his family and the tools he’s learned to get him through each day. By educating yourself on life after rehab and ways to support your spouse, you can be a pivotal tool in helping him succeed by leaps and bounds. If you don’t know where to get your sources of information from, it is always best to talk with the rehab program he’s participating in to find reliable sources.
Expect Things to Change
Your spouse is going to need to essentially create an entirely new identity after leaving rehab. He will need to surround himself with better friends, find a place of employment, and stay active in order to prevent relapsing. You’ll need to anticipate the positive changes in him and understand that he is not trying to outshine you or abandon your relationship, but simply trying to remain sober so that he does not go back to the man he used to be.
The recovery process is a long road. There will be days when he seems like the man you fell in love with all those years ago, but there will also be days where you have no idea who he is. You need to be prepared but also remain patient as he goes through the process. Eventually, things will balance out, but it will take some time.
You’ve watched your husband change from one extreme to the next. First, he may have been a depressed and isolated man. Now, he’s upbeat, positive, and trying to reclaim his life one step at a time. As long as you take care of yourself, and support him where you can, you will find a way to be happy in every phase of his recovery.