You and your partner have been waiting for long but finally, sobriety at last. What follows is a grace period where everyone is in their best behavior, and you renew your love and commitment vows. The future looks bright but will it last? What will happen to your marriage after rehab?
The Person With the Substance Use Disorder
Sobriety carries several emotional challenges. The person has a hard time fending off urges to re-indulge in substance abuse daily. There is anxiety that the person with the substance use disorder used to cover and avoid a slip. Some people use drugs to hide difficult feelings and go through a difficult situations. And this time, the person will have to go through these situations rock sober. Anxiety might be a cover for stress, emptiness, depression, and shame.
Some of these feelings may have been caused by childhood trauma or marriage failures, but this is not time to address them; otherwise, the marriage will fail. The person with substance use disorder will have to learn maturity, which stopped with addiction. He/she will have to learn new skills to face those difficult situations and adulting. Those close to them, such as the wives, mothers, and friends, should give the recovering persona the support needed if the marriage after rehab is to work.
Loss of trust
Possibly there were times when the person with the substance abuse disorder promised their spouses they are done with drugs only to relapse sometime later. If this was repeated severally, the spouse lost all trust and have difficulty trusting the now sober guy again. They wonder what makes this time different, treading the relationship with fear as they did previously, fearing triggering an argument or a slip.
The person who has just recovered from substance abuse disorder will have to put in efforts to rebuild the lost trust. It is a process and takes time. The survival of the marriage will depend on whether both of them are reading from the same page and are willing to make amends and offer support whenever possible.
New sobriety leaves a hole that needs to be filled in the partner. Remember, all partner’s physical and mental efforts were geared towards manipulating the person with the substance abuse disorder and controlling the addiction. The responsible partner may go into depression, anxiety, anger, boredom, and loss since they are now “jobless.” They no longer check-up, control enable and assume roles and responsibilities of their partners with substance and drug abuse disorder.
They feel they are not enough or wanted once the former addict becomes a full functioning independent adult and may walk out of the marriage. Hopefully, there are recovery marriage after rehab programs for them.
Depending on how long the habit has persisted, some patterns have already become entrenched. New or inverted roles have been formed due to one partner abandoning some functions and the other adopting those roles. The person with the substance abuse disorder has become dependent and unreliable while the other is the super fixer.
One is selfish, needy, vulnerable, and used to being given, while the other is over-responsible self-sufficient, and loves by providing. Sobriety topples these roles, and the partners realize they don’t even know how to talk to each other. Blame games start with every partner feeling sorry for themselves, shame, and guilt. If this trend continues, divorce is inevitable.
Both will have to learn how to speak to each other all over again. The over-responsible partner will have to relinquish some of the powers they had acquired during the addiction period. They will also have to encourage their partners to take on the new roles. However, there’s going to be some friction, and that’s when family therapy comes in handy.
Call Us for Help Today!
You need help to make the marriage work after rehab, and we are here for you. First Steps Recovery is an addiction treatment center that offers high-quality care for people in Central California. Our addiction treatment center is located in Fresno, California. 844-489-0836 .