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My Husband is Graduating from a 3 Month Addiction Treatment Program. How Do We Handle His Coming Home?

by Barbara
(Ontario, Canada)

My husband entered a local addiction treatment program and has been there 3 months. He has received the help he needed for addiction to pain killers as well as to gambling. Our daughter is 19 and she is the one that faced his addiction head on by writing a note and leaving home.

My husband awoke to find the note in the kitchen stating that she had to leave the "sickness" in the house and could no longer be an enabler. She addressed the fact that I should also see that I was enabling my husband and to make a long story short he became suicidal and spent 2 weeks in the psychiatric ward at the local hospital before going to the treatment centre.

My deep concern is that our daughter is not ready for him to come home and his graduation is coming up. My husband says that he is coming home, no matter what, and I am very confused and not sure what to do because I am in the middle. She has not spoken to, nor seen her father in the last 3 months.

She is receiving help with a counsellor and she is set to meet my husband's counsellor so she can hear from him, that her Dad has changed. She will only believe him, not me or anyone else who has gone to visit him. Do you have any suggestions how to handle my husband returning home? Should our daughter move out again? I just pray that this can be resolved before September 25. Thank you so much for your help....Regards, Barbara


Hi Barbara

Your daughter's trust in her father has understandably been damaged - and there is nothing anyone can say that will totally reassure her.

Your husband has to regain her confidence and earn her trust again, not in what he says, but in how he acts. If your daughter can see for herself that your husband has changed and is committed to turning his life around, given time and patience, I'm sure their relationship can be repaired.

But it's up to your husband to prove himself now. So I think while you need to be fully supportive of his recovery - you need to make it clear to him before he comes home what the boundaries are and the work he's especially going to have to do to regain your daughter's trust.

And I think you should also sit down and have a conversation with your daughter where you explain to her that you don't expect her to suddenly pretend that everything is okay with her dad - and that it's up to him to prove himself and make amends. But since he has gone through an intensive addiction treatment program - you as his wife will support him so long as he stays committed to changing and working hard at his recovery.

So I think your daughter just needs to understand that it's up to your husband to prove himself and time will tell whether he is in fact a changed man. Hopefully that will be the case - but if not you'll deal with that when it happens. Your daughter's a very brave and mature girl for dealing with the situation the way she has - so give her the freedom to work through this in her own way.

Good Luck and Take Care

Comments for My Husband is Graduating from a 3 Month Addiction Treatment Program. How Do We Handle His Coming Home?

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Sep 15, 2010
Re Boundaries
by: Anonymous

I think your daughter also needs to know what you will do if your husband doesn't stay on track and regresses to old ways. She needs to know you won't let the sickness continue and what the boundaries are for your husband if you're going to give him another chance. If she knows you'll intervene swiftly if things start going wrong, it might give her comfort knowing that you'll never let things get that bad at home again.

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