Substance use disorder (SUD) can have a profound effect on the family, including one’s spouse. Drug and alcohol treatment is essential for those struggling with addiction to mend the relationships they cherish effectively. Confessing your addiction to loved ones can be difficult, but it is possible to repair and even improve the relationship after treatment. It will take time, effort, and commitment from both parties, but with the right approach, you can rebuild trust, communicate effectively, and strengthen your emotional connection. At Buena Vista Health and Recovery Center, healthy relationships are as precious to us as they are to our clients. This article will explore some of the things you can do to repair your relationship with your wife after drug and alcohol treatment.
Communication Is Key: Establishing a New Dynamic After Drug and Alcohol Treatment
Effective communication is the foundation of any healthy relationship. It’s essential when it comes to repairing a relationship after addiction. Open and honest communication can help you and your wife understand each other’s feelings and needs. This can happen in thousands of little ways. It can be as simple as drinking your coffee in the morning and expressing feelings about the day ahead. However, it can also involve more substantial actions.
One is arranging for the big “talk” session. These can be scary or uncomfortable to dive into, but they are necessary to have on occasion, especially at first. This involves sitting down and deliberately talking about your true feelings and needs. Allow each party to talk about those things that bother them. Only by looking at these painful things directly will you know what adjustments need to be made to improve things. If the talk is successful, you will inevitably need to make changes in the relationship dynamic.
After Drug and Alcohol Treatment: Minding the Gap in Recent Experience
One prevalent mistake for people returning home from drug and alcohol treatment is trying to talk to their spouse with the terminology and insights gained from treatment. Without appreciating the gap in the experience that has just occurred, you can wind up frustrating everybody. For you, the last 28-90 days may have been a roller coaster ride of emotions, withdrawal symptoms, and clinical therapy. When treatment is successful, you’ve had numerous personal revelations and shifts in perspective regarding yourself, your disease, and life. You may want to talk using all the terms you’ve learned during treatment, but it’s important to remember your spouse is still living the fractured life of before, waiting to see what will happen.
Listen to your wife’s feelings and needs. Appreciate what she is going through. Your addiction has likely caused much pain and hurt, and your wife needs to express these emotions. Allow her to speak her mind without judgment, and try to empathize with her feelings. Validate her emotions and show her you’re committed to making things right.
Rebuild Trust: Shifting From Control to Disclosure
Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship. When addiction is involved, trust is often one of the first casualties. Every couple is different regarding how to open up to a spouse about their substance use. However, with almost all relationships, the spouse in active addiction operates with the intent to hide their true self. It just becomes second nature. Someone they love knowing the full extent of their problem threatens their addiction, and the habit must be protected.
Even in relationships where the actual use is done openly, the user is often drinking or using to bury their true feelings. A critical component that people prone to substance use struggle with is the need to control. This includes how they feel, what others do, and how others see them. A need to control manifests itself in relationships as a tendency to hide the way things are.
In marriage and sobriety, you must switch from control to disclosure and surrender. You must be honest about thoughts and feelings to build trust. This does not mean you can mend things with your wife immediately. You may have lied, broken promises, and hid your addiction from your loved ones. Trust can be rebuilt, but it takes time.
What Trust Looks Like
One of the best ways to rebuild trust is to be consistent. Do what you say you will do. Show up when you say you will, and be reliable. Trust is built over time, and consistency is vital. It’s also important to be transparent. Let your wife know where you’re going, who you’re with, and what you’re doing. This can help ease her anxiety and rebuild trust.
Another way to rebuild trust is to by being accountable. Take responsibility for your actions and apologize for any pain you’ve caused. Show your wife you’re committed to making things right, and you are willing to do the work. Attend therapy and support groups, and be open and honest about your struggles and successes.
Allow Your Wife to Heal
Your addiction has likely caused some pain and trauma for your wife. It’s essential to allow her to heal from these emotions. This means giving her space when she needs it, being patient with her healing process, and acknowledging the impact of your addiction on her life. Don’t rush her healing process or pressure her into forgiveness. Instead, focus on being supportive and understanding.
After Drug and Alcohol Treatment: Services to Help You Repair Your Relationship
Buena Vista Health and Recovery Center offers services to help repair relationships after addiction. This includes individual and group therapy and aftercare plans that rebuild the foundation for relationships. They prioritize open and honest communication, rebuilding trust, and allowing you and your wife to heal. Resources like The Big Book by Alcoholics Anonymous have helpful advice on how to approach your spouse. With the proper support and dedication, you can repair your relationship and build a strong, healthy, and fulfilling life in recovery.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, don’t wait to seek help. Buena Vista Health and Recovery Center offers a wide range of personalized treatment options to help you or your loved one overcome addiction and start on the path toward a healthier, happier life. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing compassionate care and support, and our state-of-the-art facility offers a safe and comfortable environment for healing. Don’t let addiction control your life any longer. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment programs and take the first step toward a brighter future. Open the door to the rest of your life. Call now at (480) 741-9414.