Will My Marriage Survive In Sobriety?


So, if you have a problem with drinking or drug use, it is worth it to enter treatment, not only for you, but also for your partner, children, friends, and others. If your partner has a problem with drugs or alcohol, getting him or her to enter treatment may be one of the best things you can do for him and your relationship. That is likely to mean that drinking and drug use will need to stop and the problems in the relationship will need to be identified and addressed. If you or your partner are showing signs of having a problem with drugs or alcohol and there are problems in the relationship, it is common to hope these things will take care of themselves over time. The better thing to do is to get treatment as soon as possible, or at least call and ask about treatments that may be available to you.

My sponsor, all of my friends, and everyone says I just need to let it go and go through with the divorce. We either try to work it out, or maybe I’m one of the stories in the book that the marriage can’t make it through my sobriety. I just read one of your stories, and I really need some advice. I’m three years sober, and I am now separated from my husband. It’s been eight months, and we are at the turning point. That “how do other people know how to do this” part really hit home for me. But that’s true of life whether you try to drink it away or not.

You may also face difficulty recovering finances from the cost of acquiring drugs and alcohol to feed the addiction, outside scorn, or the fallout of exposing your children to addiction. When one partner is an active addict, a healthy marriage or relationship is virtually impossible. Addiction shatters some of the most important components of a strong marriage, including trust, intimacy, and communication.

Compare these numbers to the number of married couples in the United States during the same time period. The majority who have an alcohol abuse disorder are men, with 10.8 million men suffering from alcohol abuse disorder. 7 percent of adults ages 18 and older have an alcohol abuse disorder. Call today for an appointment or to discuss how AAPA can help you or your loved ones. If anyone will ask you about your drinking or push you into drinking, that is 100% about them, not you. People will either support you, cheer for you or distance themselves you from, and either way, you will be a-okay. You don’t have a problem, please remind yourself why you want to stay sober.

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Therapy can make a big impact on repairing your marriage after addiction treatment. Not only can family therapy help loved ones better understand how addiction affected you, but couples therapy can help you be more open with your spouse and work through your problems more effectively. Lauren Juvers serves as National Business Development Representative for Burning Tree Programs. The truth is, juggling https://ecosoberhouse.com/ addiction and relationships is a truth many loved ones must face. If you have cause to suspect a substance abuse problem, you should confront your partner without judgment or a tone of confrontation. This will give them an opportunity to come clean before submitting to professional treatment. Sometimes, couples are surprised to find that they’re still fighting after the substance abuse has stopped.

Removing the addictive substance won’t cure your spouse of their character defects completely. You both may see their recovery as a life-altering change, but it also comes with its share of challenges. Explore the following tips for spouses who are married to an addict in recovery to better support yourself and their recovery process.

Codependent People:

In a short couple of years, I’d paid off most of my debts, found a job I liked, gone back to school, and been present for my son. Sobriety was the answer, and it would fix all of my problems. Friendly, caring staff that do their best to make treatment as pleasant and successful as possible. Casa Palmera has an amazing staff and really turned my life around.

So, at just shy of two years sober and two weeks into our newly minted marriage, my husband and I sat on the stiff, gray couch in our new therapist’s office. Six months into my sobriety, I realized that my son’s father was right. He, in fact, was who I wanted to be with for the long haul, I just couldn’t see that from within the stormy clouds of alcoholism. Running away from what caused mental and emotional pain — whether it be a dead-end job or a relationship at the crest of its honeymoon phase — was the only way I knew how to cope. After multiple treatment centers, I entered Casa and feel like a switch clicked.

How Marriage Changes After Sobriety

Finally, Smith suggests, communicate with those in your recovery network. Talk to your sponsor and your support system, about the relationship itself and the issues that will inevitably arise when you embark on a new emotional adventure. It’s important to rely on those you trust to help you see what you can’t, provide a sounding board for problems and call you out when you can’t see how you may be in the wrong. It is very easy to hold onto the ways addiction hurt your marriage, but doing so can inhibit the healing process.

The First Thing To Do If Youre Stuck In A Rut With Your Partner

It may be only after you’re married that you realize your partner has a substance abuse problem, and then all your attention goes to helping your addicted spouse. The important point here is substance abuse by a partner causes damage to the marriage or relationship and these problems need to be treated, too.

Yes, there are going to be some difficult conversations, fights, and emotions you don’t know how to tactfully articulate. There are things you’ll get miserably wrong and words you’ll want to take back. If your marriage was strained at all when you drank it will likely be strained in recovery. He didn’t know how to support me, which is what made his support so helpful. I had to be honest about what I needed, and he did his best to provide it. Neither of us pretended to know the right way forward. After surviving 45 minutes of near misses, potential fender benders, and wannabe F1 drivers barreling in and out of slow-moving lanes and up the shoulder, I arrived to hallways filled with screaming children.

Only when that happens can a relationship be reconstructed with two healthy partners. Drunkenly talking shit on the patio whilst chain smoking cigarettes used to be my favourite thing to do. I really appreciate the way you mentioned that these were really fun times, but irresponsible. I moved overseas three years ago, and within my first year realised I was drinking alcoholically as I terribly missed my family and friends back home.

Try to distance your thoughts of what your marriage was before your spouse sought treatment, and focus on the ways you can grow and build your marriage going forward. Because of this, you’ll need to be patient, take care of yourself, and have firm boundaries. Remember, you are never obligated to stay in your marriage, especially, if you aren’t happy. Aim to be communicative with your partner, but realize that they need to learn how to regulate their own moods, actions, and behaviors. This is where the AA phrase, “Alcohol was but a symptom” can be most understood. The problems that led your loved one to their addiction likely still exist without their substance. This could be trauma, mental illness, or negative thinking patterns.


With a 30-year background in behavioral health, Sheila assists our clients in developing the needed life skills to support a full life in recovery. Blending kindness with practicality, Shelia demonstrates the virtues of personal responsibility by helping our clients coordinate their chores, weekly food shopping, supplies inventory, and menu planning. Known across the entire United States for her country fried chicken, Sheila joined Burning Tree Ranch in 2006. A native of Kaufman, TX she has two grown children and six beautiful grandchildren. Anthony Marengo serves as Chief Marketing Officer for Burning Tree Programs. With over 15 years of treatment industry experience, Anthony’s commitment to his own personal recovery has afforded him the opportunity to help countless individuals.

  • Don’t be surprised if they’re in deep denial or defensive when it comes to their addiction.
  • People who cannot trust are not willing, or are too scared, to take even the small risks involved in moving towards friendship and intimacy.
  • Typically, addiction recovery works best when both the person with the addiction and the partner work on caring for themselves as a top priority.
  • We offer treatment for chemical dependencies such as cocaine addiction, drug addiction and alcoholism.
  • Tools and skills to be able to transition to a life of sobriety.

Partners of alcoholics may also become socially withdrawn, avoiding friends and family out of shame or embarrassment. They may find their own health deteriorates as they spend more time and attention on their spouse.

Find Recovery, Not Just Sobriety

In more practical terms, be certain you have a sound backup plan for social situations and other scenarios that are triggers for you. Likewise, know what you will and will not accept in terms of your partner’s behavior. Some people in addiction recovery can live with a partner who engages in low-risk drinking, and others cannot. No one, however, should be willing to put up with abusive behavior by their partner.

  • There is a reason that many relationships don’t work after one partner gets sober.
  • That may mean each spouse initially talking over things with their sponsor or therapist rather than confronting one other, except when it comes to abuse, which should be addressed.
  • As your loved one is in treatment, there are also support groups that can offer solace during this difficult time.
  • My ex has quite the temper, and I didn’t handle it very well.

And I was resentful, not of his healing but of the fact nothing had changed. I was still forced to keep it together while he took time to take care of himself. I was still forced to play second fiddle to my daughter and him, my feelings never good enough or worth enough. I was still forced to coddle him—or so I thought—and support him, knowing he hadn’t (and wouldn’t) do the same for me.

The hope is that being in treatment will allow your significant other the opportunity to get and stay sober. With any marriage, there is a commitment to be upheld every single day to keep the relationship joyful and healthy. Your fear about change is a typical concern because you are correct in understanding that everything will change, including your relationship. Cessation from drugs and alcohol is a process, and your job is to encourage and support, not criticize or push them.

Aapa Clinical Staff

Early in recovery, people tend to have high expectations of others without thinking about what they themselves are bringing to the table. Only when people know who they are and what they have to offer can they find a mate who is an appropriate match for their values, interests and goals. Desloover also advises newly recovering women to attend women-only 12-Step meetings during that first year. The focus of the first year in recovery should be on working your program, practicing the 12 Steps and meeting with your sponsor, counsels Desloover, not on the distraction of relationships. The staff is amazing and I couldn’t ask for a better place to just be ME.” -Tiffany W. It’s nice to have people who genuinely care about their clients…” -Robert D. Through rebuilding my life, I discovered my talents and strengths.

While the science of biological activity and behavior are her specialty, Jennifer also helps manage Burning Tree’s state licensing and compliance standards. A Texas native, Jennifer joined Burning Tree in 2007. She is happily married with two children and ten beautiful grandchildren. Cody Odom serves as Director of Finance for Burning Tree Programs.

Your partner may need plenty of time to attend recovery meetings or talk to sponsors or program friends. It’s natural for the non-addicted partner to feel left out or even jealous. Depending on what type of addiction your partner struggles with, they may need to enter a detox program. During detox, people are monitored to make sure their health remains safe while their bodies rid themselves of drugs and alcohol. Many spouses say they feel like a single parent when their partner turns to drugs or alcohol. One of the hardest things to bear while your loved one is using is the undue burden it puts on you to run the household while your partner struggles with their disease. It doesn’t matter how your partner got where they are today.


There are many reasons a person chooses to stay with an alcoholic significant other, but it often boils down to fear. People may be fearful of living without their significant other or subjecting children to their parents’ separation. Although the fear may be there, it’s no reason to stay in a relationship that makes you unhappy or puts you in danger. Although it may not feel like your place, it’s not unreasonable to ask your significant other to get help for their addiction.

Addiction And Relationships: The Hard Truth About The Impact Of Addiction

Until your partner feels like they can safely handle being around this triggering environment, it’s best that they avoid them altogether. Doing so may require both of you to alter your lifestyles in order to prioritize your relationship and your partner’s recovery. — As much as you want life to return to normal after your addicted spouse stops drinking, it will not. Instead, refocus your attention on giving yourself time to heal and rebuilding your relationship with your partner. A life in recovery will be challenging for both of you, but you’ll only achieve success by working together towards the common goal of a healthy and sober marriage. An outpatient program can be especially helpful as couples navigate their relationship during this newfound phase of sobriety.

I Tell My Children Its Good To Cry, But I Find It Hard Myself

As long as I kept drinking, my wife knew I would get drunk and do it all again. I didn’t understand why my wife, Sheri, was still mad at me. I gave up the other love of my life, my beer and whiskey, because I thought that’s what needed to happen to repair my marriage. Sheri had felt like the second most important thing in my life for How Marriage Changes After Sobriety years. Offering to stop cheating on her with my liquid lover wouldn’t do anything to fix the pain of the years of betrayal. We were supposed to go to counseling, but then it turns into a fight before it’s time to go. His last text to me on Friday was that he was done letting my sponsor come first and for me to go on with my life.