Marriage is a beautiful thing, but it’s not always easy. In the United States, divorce rates are between 40 and 50 percent and even higher for subsequent marriages.
Some of the most common reasons for divorce are well-known and include conflict and arguing, infidelity, lack of commitment, and financial problems. But were you aware that substance abuse is an issue as well? In fact, in this survey, substance abuse was cited as an issue for 34.6 percent of couples.
If you are currently going through addiction treatment and in a committed relationship, you’re probably wondering what you can do to keep your marriage strong. Below are some tips to help you stay connected throughout your recovery.
Maintain Open Communication
Communication is one of the most important components of a healthy marriage. You’ve already made the initial steps to communicate and turn your life around, including admitting your problem and seeking drug rehab in Agoura Hills. But this same open, honest communication must continue, even as you face bumps in the road.
Within a few weeks or months of recovery, we generally see couples take a turn for the better. Instead of the addict looking at their spouse as the enemy, they begin to see them as an ally. Hopefully you are reaching this point with your spouse as well. It takes time, so be patient.
Be Honest about Your Weaknesses
No one is perfect. However, right now the focus is on you and your recovery, so your weaknesses are getting all the attention. It might seem like you’re being attacked at times, but try to approach things with a different perspective. Rather than getting defensive, know that your spouse is on your side. They can help with your weaknesses while building up your strengths.
For example, if you've never been good with the finances, it may be time to let your spouse manage the bills. If you have a hard time being honest, seeing a marriage therapist can help. Even though admitting your shortcomings is difficult, it is part of the healing process.
Celebrate Your Milestones
Recovery is tough work, so we believe in celebrating recovery milestones. These small celebrations are a great way to remind yourself of how far you’ve come and why the hard work is worth it. Involve your spouse in your celebrations so that you can strengthen your connections and spend time together.
How should you celebrate? It’s up to you! Go out for a nice dinner, snuggle up on the couch with Chinese food and a movie or save up money to buy something special.
Keep Realistic Expectations
Every marriage has its problems, so you can’t expect perfection, even with sobriety. Mistakes will happen, but what’s most important is how you handle them. For example, if you do relapse, tell your spouse right away. Hiding your slip up and lying about it is far worse than coming clean.
Also be prepared to admit your mistakes and take responsibility for them. This should get easier as you work the steps and learn more about the importance of forgiveness and personal responsibility.
Attend Marriage Counseling
Finally, make sure that you are receiving some type of outside help. Many drug rehabs in Agoura, including Awakenings Treatment Center, offer family therapy to support the family unit. Once treatment is complete, you’ll likely benefit from seeing a marriage counselor who can help you rebuild your life as a couple.
Support groups for spouses are also helpful because they give you a chance to connect with others who are facing similar struggles. You can listen to their stories, learn from their experiences and share your own obstacles. It’s incredibly helpful to know you’re not alone.
Family and Marriage Support at Awakenings
Awakenings Treatment Center in Agoura Hills, CA recognizes that addiction is not an individual disease - it is a family disease. We offer family therapy once a week, as well as monthly family days. We firmly believe that rebuilding and strengthening the family unit is a critical part of a healthy recovery. To learn more about our outpatient treatment center, contact us today.