Author: James Anderson

Rebuilding a Relationship after Your Partner Gets Clean and Sober

marriage after sobriety

It’s recommended that the supportive partner seeks their own support during the recovery process. You may consider individual therapy or a peer-led support program like Al-Anon. There are over 40 million people in the U.S. alone living with substance use disorder. SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

  1. Some couples can thrive immediately after the addicted partner becomes sober.
  2. It’s part of the sobriety package, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
  3. Being patient will be key in getting your marriage back on track, whether you’re living with an alcoholic/drug addict in recovery or you are an alcoholic/drug addict in recovery.
  4. If the partner living with SUD hasn’t found healthy ways to cope with the trauma or PTSD, then it could begin to affect them in negative ways.
  5. Former alcoholics often feel guilty and ashamed of how they behaved and treated their families during their addiction.
  6. Addiction often leads to financial problems, communication difficulties, and even infidelity.

It was my jumping-off point into a life I knew I had buried inside of me. I got out of debt, started a company that provides digital recovery, launched a podcast, and am in the middle of writing a book. To support recovery and build hope for the future, it‘s important for the person in recovery to try to repair the damage done to relationships. Navigating relationships while in recovery can be challenging, but you can rebuild trust and repair bonds. At the same time, don’t give up hope—if both of you are truly committed to saving your marriage, building a new and healthy relationship is possible. Being patient will be key in getting your marriage back on track, whether you’re living with an alcoholic/drug addict in recovery or you are an alcoholic/drug addict in recovery.

The recovering addict needs to focus on sobriety and may not always be able to prioritize the relationship, and his or her spouse must understand this. Of course, the addict’s ability to maintain sobriety will be essential to your ability to maintain the marriage as well. My wife, Sheri, and I, have recorded Untoxicated Podcast episodes about our relationship struggles, and they have both been downloaded over 400% more than our third top rated episode. Couples are hurting, and marriages are dying at the hands of this ferocious disease. Al-Anon is a great resource, but just like AA is not a good fit for everyone, couples need options in the ways they find help recovering their marriages from alcoholism. Living with someone who has substance use disorder can be difficult, and also create changes in your relationship.

Building Trust – One Day at a Time

CAP, ICADC, CHC CEO and President at The Shores Treatment & Recovery of Florida. He is an ordained pastor and International Crisis Response Chaplain, is certified in CISM. He is the Lead Pastor at the Recovery Church Treasure Coast – PSL and heads up the 501c3 ministry of Mont Sinai Ministries Bayonnais, serving orphans and widows in Bayonnais Haiti. He is currently finishing his PhD in Pastoral Counseling.Lyle started his journey working in treatment by entering a program for his own addiction in the 90s. His first experience in treatment was as a cash-pay client in a high-end residential facility that “graduated” him as soon as his money ran out. About 3 months after being sent to a ¾-way home that was overrun with drugs, he relapsed and felt hopeless.

marriage after sobriety

Getting sober after years or decades of alcoholism was like promising not to pour gasoline on the charred remains of our house after I burned it to the ground. After I crushed my spouse’s soul, I asked for loving support in exchange for promising to not crush it again. Codependency can continue to affect marriages even after your partner has become sober. Some couples can thrive immediately after the addicted partner becomes sober. Codependency can also cause the non-addicted partner to unwittingly enable unhealthy behaviors, which may encourage substance use and addiction.

When you focus on marriage and sobriety, you can often become bogged down. If you become codependent on your spouse, it’s important to seek help from a therapist or counselor who can help you learn how to set boundaries and take care of yourself. One of the biggest challenges of having a spouse who is not sober is that you may feel like you’re always walking on eggshells.

Aftercare planning is a significant part of addiction treatment. During this part of recovery, counselors will develop a plan for staying sober while rebuilding life. Another big challenge of being married to someone who is not sober is avoiding codependency. When one spouse is struggling with addiction, it’s easy for the other spouse to become overly involved in their recovery. This can lead to codependency, which is when one person becomes too reliant on another for their emotional needs.

Addiction and relationships

In other words, it continues even when the substance use has stopped. So now I’m sober, and I have zero choice but to be me in all situations. I urge affected others to avail themselves of the wealth of good literature and support accessible through 12 step programs like Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, Adult Children of Alcoholics and others. Your SUD recovery may benefit from the social support and closeness, too. In addition, you can visit The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), a domestic violence prevention advocacy group with a list of resources for relationship abuse help.

marriage after sobriety

It’s about our struggles to survive alcoholism recovery and hold our marriage together. A Spouse’s Guide to Alcoholism Recovery, Sheri and I worked together to write our new ebook from her perspective. It is her story of learning to love me again, and it covers topics we never imagined we would face when I got sober and started on the path to beating my disease. Even if your partner stops using drugs and alcohol, if the codependency itself isn’t addressed, this dynamic will continue to affect the relationship. In a relationship affected by substance use, it’s likely that trust has been broken many times. The supportive partner may have learned to walk on eggshells in an attempt to retain peace in the relationship.

Addiction Treatment Services

Fortunately, a family friend found him a bed at a center for homeless men with addictions. After graduating a year-long program, Lyle felt compelled to give back and began doing service work. Quickly this turned into a passion to help others that led to study the treatment industry top to bottom. He learned state statutes and regulations, and studied counseling practices from several angles.

Recovery can also sometimes uncover underlying mental health conditions that have contributed to substance use disorder. For example, up to half of people with substance use disorder have also experienced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But for most couples experiencing substance use, life after sobriety isn’t so smooth. This is because of the way long-term substance use has affected both partners as well as the relationship itself. If your partner is recovering from addiction, the process can come with challenges, and it may take time to cope with those challenges, but you’re not alone. Ask any sober person whether they want to go to a cocktail party or stay in with a pack of La Croix, The Crown, and a bathrobe.

After the addict has recovered, however, repairing the relationship is possible. Although rebuilding trust and intimacy will be difficult, you can put your marriage back together using the tips below. That’s why we wrote a new ebook that we are announcing today.