Alcohol addiction put many people’s relationships under a strain. Mostly, as a person becomes more addicted to alcohol, the addiction tends to dominate any aspect of their life, especially their relationship, because as time goes for example in a case of an alcoholic husband, every interaction between him and his wife will become under the influence of the alcohol.
A wife usually convinces her alcoholic husband to attend rehab at least for a month or two, or even a year, because rehabilitation is a magic cure and many wives believe that if their alcoholic husband returns from rehab, their relationship will improve. But the truth is, recovery is a long process, that usually changes that person sometimes daily, oftentimes, recovery change a person’s behavior, expectations, and even personality, which in turn can cause changes in marital life, because it will force the couples to confront underlying issues that were masked by addiction.
And another challenge that most wives face is knowing what to do, mostly they want to help but don’t know where to start from, or after they helped, they don’t know how to get rid of that awkwardness to continue living happily. Although every addiction is different, there are general guidelines on how to live with a recovering alcoholic husband.
Ask for help
It is not bad to seek help on how to live with a recovering alcoholic husband. Seek help from trusted family members or even nonrelated people, what matters is if you trust them, you can seek help from your family physicians to get addiction counseling and recovery resources locally. You are not supposed to suffer in silence, as said above, it is not bad to seek help. Since your husband has taken the step of getting treatment, you need to endure living with him. You need to have a strong mind to deal with the daily mental and physical upheaval.
Take care of yourself
Living with an alcoholic husband can be exhausting because mostly, your emotional needs cannot be met. So when your husband is in his recovery process, you need to take care of yourself. Put in your mind that everything is about to come to an end but all you need is patience. While patiently waiting, make sure you have a support system to take care of your needs, such as a therapist who you can turn to for advice whenever things did not work the way you are planning or whenever something unexpected happens. So whatever is happening, make sure to take care of yourself.
Learn about addiction
Many wives feel that their husband turns to drugs and alcohol because he finds them unattractive or something similar which causes them to feel unwanted and unattended. But when you understand about addiction, you will understand how cravings are powerful and psychological factors that lead to addiction and the brain usually changes with behavior, and it’s not about them. This will help you to endure whatever stress might happen during your partner’s recovery period. And the more you learn about it, the more supportive you become. As stated early, all you need is patience.
You have been anxious for your partner to change, although change often takes place gradually. And usually, when they change, it is not easy to live with them because they might look or behave foreign to you before they come back to their normal behavior. So in this period, you need to cultivate patience. This will help you to realize how they too are trying in the recovery process, and you won’t feel stressed out compared if you are not patient. Because lack of patience has many disadvantages, you might feel you want to quit the marriage which might be a wrong move. So when you cultivate patience you won’t have any negative feelings in your mind, and even if they chipped in, you can be able to get rid of them.
Let them work on their program
The recovery process most of the time is a long journey. So in this period, allow your husband to work on his program, attend meetings, be with a sponsor, and many more. Just be supportive in this and don’t get too much involved. Your husband might feel left out or jealous when they are trying to work things out and you are overdoing them. Just watch them do their program, he will share everything with you if he wants. And if they don’t want to talk to you about how their program is going, don’t take it personally, just support and encourage him, eventually, things will go back to the way they were.
Build common ground
It usually takes time to heal those wounds, and build trust again. So consider spending time doing things together, this will serve as medicine to those past hurts. Find activities that you and your husband can engage in doing together, and make sure they are things that make you two happy. For example, you can plan a recovery type of date night, watch movies together, read books together, and do many other pairs activities. And if you have children, don’t leave them aside, find a family day that all of you will go out and have fun. As you enjoy these things with your husband, it will help him with the adjustments that come with recovery. And they can eventually heal all the past wounds and struggles.
Don’t isolate yourself or avoid communicating with your spouse in this period. Allow them to talk to you whenever they feel like it. And don’t put pressure on them to talk about the painful experience, if they are not comfortable talking about it. Give them room to talk about everything themselves. This will give them confidence and you will get a better understanding of what they are feeling.
Avoid placing blame
Your husband might make some mistakes during this recovery period. Passing judgment will not be beneficial to their recovery process. Since he is trying to heal from his experience, shaking them or being judgemental could be detrimental to their recovery. Avoid placing him on guilt also, so the best thing is to focus on the recovery process instead of looking for who to blame.
Read the health benefits of carrots https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/carrots
Don’t have drugs or alcohol in the house
It does not mean you should not have a glass of alcohol when you are out with your friends, but it will be easier for your husband when you keep all these drugs and their associates from your home because they might be tempted if they are seeing the drugs closed to them. You may even need to take precautions with every drug in the house, be in charge of their medicine and beware of yours.
Encourage him to try new hobbies and passions
Check what your husband is interested in doing, is it writing novels, photography or is he interested in taking an online course, or does he want to go back to school and pursue their desired program. Whatever he wants to do, encourage him to do it because this is the best thing to do at the moment. Since addiction might steal their hobbies, encourage them to not give up.
When you pass all these periods, you will be happy and understand that healthy relationships and a sober husband have outweighed all problems that came with the recovery process. Get ready for all the ups and downs and be supportive and encouraging as they work through their recovery process. Put in your mind that is not only your husband that is on this journey, people are recovering from the disease every day. When you are supportive of your husband, you will save your relationship and continue living happily. All those hopelessness-, and sadness will be replaced with joy and trust.