You and your spouse may be going through a hard time right now in your marriage. You may be in the early stages of healing from addiction, or you may be on your way to recovery but feeling stuck. Whatever challenges you and your spouse are facing, it’s never too early or too late to heal your marriage. This blog post is your roadmap to healing your marriage after addiction. We’ll take a look at the most important things you need to know in order to get your marriage back on track. Read on to learn more about how addiction affects your marriage, how to get started, and how to navigate your way through the process.
1. Understanding How Addiction Affects Your Marriage
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the steps you and your spouse can take to get your marriage back on track, it’s important to understand how addiction affects your relationship. With any type of addiction, you’re likely to feel shame and guilt as you begin to realize just how much your actions have impacted your spouse and family. This can make it hard to explain to your spouse exactly why you acted the way you did, and it can also make it difficult to receive genuine empathy. It can be particularly difficult to open up and communicate with your spouse when you’re in the midst of an addiction.
2. Start by Recognizing What You’re Going Through
If you have a problem with alcohol or drug addiction, then it’s likely that you don’t yet recognize that you have a problem. It’s also likely that you and your spouse are going through a lot of the same feelings and challenges that an addicted spouse goes through. It can be difficult to recognize these feelings because we don’t feel them as frequently as we used to.
We don’t want to acknowledge that we’re experiencing withdrawal, let alone ask for help. With each passing day, though, you and your spouse are growing further and further apart. You may feel like you’re at each other’s throats more than usual. You may even begin to wonder if your marriage can survive. Before you make any drastic decisions, though, it’s important that you take the time to get your head right.
3. Your First Step to Healing as a Couple
The first step to healing your relationship as a couple is to take an honest inventory of the damage that addiction has done. This damage can include bitterness, resentment, and anger toward your spouse. It can also include feelings of regret and shame. If you’re having a hard time identifying these negative emotions, that’s okay. It’s human to feel a wide range of emotions as you go through this process. The important thing is to recognize them for what they are so that you can name them and begin to let them go. Once you’ve identified the negative emotions that are holding you back, you can start to work on healing.
4. Set Clear Goals for Your Marriage
At the very least, you should have a specific goal in mind for how much healthier your relationship will be when you’re done healing. Be as specific as possible. For example, if one of your goals is to spend more time together, how much time do you want to spend together each day? What activities do you want to do? What should your schedule look like?
For your spouse, write down what kind of relationship you want to have with him or her by the end of the year. Are there certain things you want to see him or her doing? You can’t truly make a plan or achieve a goal if you don’t have any goals, so make sure you clarify what your goals are so that you’re both on the same page.
5. Do the hard work to overcome your codependency
As we discussed in the introduction, codependency is a hard pattern to break. If you’re going to work on your relationship with your spouse, you have to first work on your relationship with yourself. This means that you have to overcome your codependency and begin to take care of yourself.
You have to learn to say no to people and situations that are toxic. You have to get out of a cycle of relying on other people for your happiness. You have to start being more independent because true intimacy is about building a relationship with someone based on mutual respect and love. Codependency is a learned behavior and the only way to break the cycle is to stop participating in it.
6. Learn to Communicate
Communication is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship and it’s especially important in a marriage. If you and your spouse aren’t communicating well, it’s incredibly difficult to have a healthy relationship. You have to be willing to communicate with one another about what you do and don’t like in order to create a healthy home environment for your children.
You have to communicate about money, household responsibilities, and expectations for behavior. You also have to communicate about what’s going on in your lives outside of the home. If one of you is keeping things to yourself or being less open than you usually would be, it’s important that you speak up so that your spouse knows how things are going in your life.
Asheville Recovery Center Can Help
Getting your marriage back on track after addiction is no easy feat, but it’s certainly possible. If you and your spouse are willing to work hard, it’s possible to overcome the challenges that come with healing your relationship. It just takes a little bit of effort on both your parts.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it is important to get treatment. At Asheville Recovery Center treatment specialists utilize a 12-step program and practice holistic rehabilitation.
Services at the center include:
Partial Hospitalization Program – At Asheville Recovery Center we offer a partial hospitalization program for clients who need post-residential treatment as well as for clients who need primary treatment but are unable to enroll in inpatient programs. Our PHP track offers a variety of therapeutic services and benefits to individuals in early recovery from substance addiction.
Outpatient Rehabilitation – During intensive outpatient treatment (IOP), clients live at home or in a sober living residence while completing an addiction treatment program. IOP is a place where clients can process their experiences in twelve-step fellowships and support one another in those individual journeys.
Addiction is difficult to overcome alone. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call and speak with an addiction expert today.