When I was finished with my luxury detox and subsequent rehab treatment, I was really unsure of how to reconnect with my husband. I was extremely intimidated by this task of explaining what my life was going to be like in recovery. Of course, I needed to get sober in order to save the marriage but I remember that before I entered the luxury detox facility, my husband didn’t make any guarantees to me that our marriage could survive upon my return.
I knew that I had made a lot of mistakes in our life together, mistakes that I could never take back. A lot of words had been exchanged that would always hang between us; now, we had to decided whether we were willing let those words evaporate with age or whether we would hold on to them and part ways. After I completed the luxury detox phase of my treatment I began the actual rehab stage of treatment. During this phase II stage of treatment I did a lot of work with their therapists who really helped me the most to do what was necessary to heal my marriage. I really identified with a book they chose specifically for me to read called Stage II Relationships: Love Beyond Addiction. Especially the passage about healthy relationships “it takes both parties being willing and able to function – in a healthy relationship. And that loving and making a relationship work are two totally different things; relationships take skills, not just good will.” While that is such an uncomplicated statement, it is not entirely obvious. I have found that what others have told me about recovery is often that: simple but true.
Often times, the significant other is not only a codependent in the addiction cycle of their loved one but also addicted themselves. Luckily, my husband does not suffer from any addictions – besides dealing with yours truly, I suppose. My suggestion to anyone trying to mend their marriage, after they have completed luxury alcohol and drug treatment, is to encourage your partner to attend open NA or AA meetings. Attending meetings will give them more of a sense of what you are going through. After all, the partners of substance abusers have their own essential journey of recovery to make. Once your partner is open and willing to understand that he or she has his or her own journey too, the relationship will balance itself naturally. It is never healthy, even in recovery, to bear every burden oneself. Of course it is important to take ownerships of your personal mistakes but that does not mean that your partner gets a free pass from everything that needs work in your relationship.
If it is applicable, it is important for your partner to recognize that they themselves are a codependent and have a very real role in your addiction. Another therapist that really helped me during my treatment told me about her own story of addiction and recovery in her marriage. She told me that her husband had an online sex addiction (as I am writing this right now I can’t help but think of Anthony Weiner because of all the news coverage). As a result of her husband’s addiction she too had to deal with the constant broken promises before he agreed to go for treatment.
Because of his treatment they are still together today and I am very happy to say, so are my husband and I. Looking back now having the therapist share her own personal story, that was so similar to my own, was very inspiring and cathartic for me. It helped me realize: there are many obstacles in recovery but as long as we meet them with patience and humility there can always be room for healing.