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My Wife’s Almost Out of Rehab for Her Alcoholism. How Do I Handle Things Once She’s Out?

by Ian

My wife gets out of Rehab next week after 4 weeks of being treated for alcoholism. We’ve tread a rocky road, especially the last 3 years, and it’s such a relief that she’s finally being treated for her addiction.

It wasn’t easy, mind, to get her to treatment. We as a family had to do an intervention to get her there, and even though she was extremely angry and resistant at first, she did relent after a couple of days in agreeing to get help.

I know the first week of rehab was really tough for her, and every evening when we spoke she said how much she hated it and wanted to come home. But I think by the end of the first week, her attitude shifted, and I think that’s when she realised she actually wanted sobriety for herself, and she became more open to receiving help and doing the things suggested.

Now that her treatment is almost at an end, she seems much more positive and ready to face a new life of sobriety. But that has left me wondering what approach I need to adopt so that I can support her in the best possible way?



Hi Ian

I’m glad to hear that your wife is making such excellent progress and has come to the realisation that she wants this for herself. That’s a crucial turning point and makes all the difference in successful recovery from alcoholism.

I always believe the best thing to do is ask. Ask her what she needs and wants from you to support her in her recovery. But realise it’s her journey and something you have no control over. So don’t be alarmed or take it personally if she says that she wants the space and freedom to focus on her recovery, even if it means paying less attention to your marriage for the time being. Because in recovery, especially during the early days, one often needs to adopt ‘selfish’, single-minded approach to get you through.

I would suggest, and assuming your wife goes to AA, that you also go to Al Anon, which is for family members of alcoholics. That way your understanding of how to deal with being the spouse of an alcoholic will grow, and I’m sure your wife will appreciate the effort you’re also putting in by going to your own meetings.

There is unfortunately no secret formula. So stay open-minded, work at communication, take ownership of your own ‘stuff’ and I’m sure everything will work out for the best.

Good Luck.

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Comments for My Wife’s Almost Out of Rehab for Her Alcoholism. How Do I Handle Things Once She’s Out?

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Sep 14, 2009
by: Ian

I know I've got to give her space and let her figure things out for herself. Isn't always easy though. I hope she makes it. Signs are good so that's the main thing.

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