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2019 research suggests that women with substance-dependent spouses endure significant psychological fluctuations, leading to distressing emotions such as anger, frustration, and anxiety. Giddens tells us that how we communicate and interact with one another is fundamental to our newer ideas about marriage. Paying attention to the changes in your marriage so you can manage them well will support and enhance your relationship. This is the well-known stage theory of marriage in which change occurs developmentally in qualitatively different phases that occur with the time in the marriage. You will find different ways of describing the stages and how many married people go through.

Find Sober Fun

Make sure your expectations for their recovery are realistic. Try not to enable their substance use behaviors, but also try to release expectations of perfection. It’s suggested that you’re careful of these behaviors, as they can lead to a codependent dynamic. That’s because codependency is a relationship trait and condition that’s independent of the substance use itself.

Strategies on How to Support a Recovering Alcoholic Spouse

marriage changes after sobriety

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. The decision to pursue sobriety is major and life-changing, both for the addict and for the spouse. It can take a toll physically, as the person in recovery is going through withdrawal symptoms that can be very intense. It may be impossible for a spouse to care for a partner who is experiencing nausea and vomiting, fatigue, lethargy, lack of appetite, and excessive sweating and bodily shaking. “In sickness and in health.” Those words are a familiar part of a marriage vow, when a couple commits to staying together no matter what.

Outpatient Treatment

marriage changes after sobriety

I knew that without it, he would eventually destroy our relationship and his life. We had a clear vision of our life together that had been interrupted by his substance use disorder. I was eager, at times perhaps too much, to get us back on track. Without the cornerstone of Bill’s recovery, none of this would be possible again. Addiction to drugs or alcohol is often experienced by one partner in a marriage.

Put Your Feelings in Writing

A sobriety birthday is the date on which someone decides to stop using drugs or alcohol. You can celebrate it with your partner yearly to keep track of the length of their sobriety journey. This is because the road to sobriety can be long and hard. For others, it takes a lifetime of continuous support, guidance, and conscious choice to abstain from alcohol. Success is not overnight, so it takes patience from the recovering adult and the supportive partner.

Your New Life Starts Here

During your treatment, trained rehabilitation professionals can address your individual detox and healing needs. If you date too early in recovery, you may choose partners similar to unhealthy partners you dated in the past. Dating later in recovery gives you time to build self-esteem and confidence to choose partners who will support your recovery and treat you with respect.

Honest communication is crucial to any relationship, but it is especially essential for individuals in recovery. Honesty is one of the most important factors in the recovery process, and being honest with dating partners can help you stay sober. Being honest in a romantic relationship also helps your partner understand your boundaries so you can avoid triggering places and activities. Checking in regularly when supporting a partner toward sober living means constant communication, consistent assessment, and accountability.

I don’t want to think about the small mortgage we pissed away on alcohol and cigarettes. In this country, getting wasted is a staple of Western expat life and we were eager participants. But still, we didn’t really know each other the way you’re traditionally meant to before you go and marry a person.

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