The very fact that your spouse opted to receive treatment for their addiction is something to be proud of. Be that as it may, it is important for you to understand that after rehab and recovery, there is still a lot that needs to happen in order for your loved one to stay sober and life a more productive life. Seeing as how you and your spouse live under one roof, learning how to cope and rebuild your strained marriage will be imperative to the recovery process.
The Prescott House, a rehab facility for men, points out that one of the most common reasons that recovering addicts relapse is due to unresolved relationship issues early on during the recovery process. As such, to help your spouse get back to some sense of normalcy, it will be important for you to try and be a supportive partner. Here are some suggestions on how to begin mending the fences that were ruined by addiction in your household:
Understand That These Things Take Time
Though mending the fences is recommended for helping a spouse who is recovering from addiction, it does not have to be instantaneous. There was a lot that went on during the time that they were suffering from addiction and it may take time to resolve all the feelings involved in that. Though you will start to make leaps and strides towards the success of your relationship, it is important to prepare for setbacks and bumps in the road.
As a recovering addict learns to adapt to new ways of life setting goals and having routines will be a pivotal part in their ability to live a happy and sober life. Therefore, when it comes to repairing the relationship you guys have, you want to sit down as a couple and set up goals and how you’re going to accomplish them. If the issue before the addiction was finances, you might come up with a way to get the bills under control so that it is not a stress trigger. If the issue was infidelity, you might work at finding ways to “spice up” the marriage and communicate more effectively to prevent the problem going forward.
Don’t Get Pulled In
One mistake that can be made once your spouse comes home from recovery is assuming that they’re completely “healed”. Though they may have received treatment for the last 90 days, a lot of their character flaws and ways of thinking are still in them. You may find in the early stages that they’re a bit more impatient and moody at times as they learn to utilize the methods they learned in rehab. As their spouse it is important not to get pulled into their emotional roller coaster. Empathizing with them is fine but don’t feel the need to walk around on eggshells or keep your emotions bottled in for fear that they will react. You have to continue helping them to grow by carrying on as normally as possible.
Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself
As a supportive spouse, you want nothing more than to be able to take care of your loved one’s every need. However, in the process, it is important to not get so wrapped up in caring for and supporting them that you forget to take care of yourself. The only way you’re going to be able to remain strong enough to get through this transition and healing period is to be physically and mentally prepared. Getting a good night’s sleep, exercising, eating the right foods, and even the possibility of seeing a therapist for yourself are all great solutions to caring for yourself throughout this process.
There is no denying the fact that rebuilding a relationship with a spouse who was once suffering from addiction can be a roller coaster of events. However, by taking it one day at a time, setting goals, preparing for setbacks, and staying true to yourself, you can ultimately help to repair the damage to your marriage so that you can get back to your “new normal” way of living. The road certainly won’t be easy, but with a plan in place such as the one described above, you will find that it is a lot easier to get through each day learning to love your spouse all over again.