Alcohol plays a complicated role in many relationships. While you and your spouse might have once shared a bottle of wine to commemorate a special occasion, things have now taken a far more darker turn. Sadly, many people struggle with alcoholism, and it is common for people to realize that sheer willpower alone is not enough to turn their habits around. As the spouse of an alcoholic, you may also have suffered as you watched your loved one harm their health and even damage your relationship. Naturally, you should expect for your preferred Ohio alcohol rehab to offer relationship counseling for your alcoholic spouse and you.
The process of getting your spouse to recognize that they need to go to rehab is often long and full of challenges. Your spouse may still be in denial about their problem and just going along with your plans. Alternatively, you might be willing to give rehab a try if they think that it will save your marriage. Either way, your active involvement helps your spouse to enjoy the most benefits from their treatment.
How Treating Addiction Helps Mend Relationships
Alcoholism is marked by many changes in a person’s behavior that are often hard to understand. You may have even come to the realization that your spouse no longer resembles the person that you once married. Over time, people who struggle with alcohol addiction are known to engage in the following behaviors that harm relationships.
- stealing or misusing shared funds
- hiding alcohol
- engaging in other reckless acts such as infidelity
- becoming emotionally or physically abusive
- getting in trouble with the law
Whether your spouse engages in only one of these behaviors or all of them, they each can chip away at your relationship over time. Most spouses of alcoholics have found themselves wanting to leave the marriage but holding back out of love. You may also worry about whether or not you are enabling your spouse’s behavior. Quality rehab programs are designed to help with all of these issues, and you should expect to be invited to participate in family therapy sessions that help you find the best ways to heal together.
How to Make Relationship Counseling Work
Going to counseling sessions in rehab can feel a little different from what you might expect. In rehab, there are several different types of counseling that are offered. For example, you may go to couples counseling where just you and your spouse will talk to a professional counselor about the issues that affect your relationship. You may also have the opportunity to attend group sessions with other spouses of alcoholics who understand what you are going through. Your spouse may also go through individual counseling where they can open up about how they feel their actions have affected your marriage.
In each type of counseling, you really do get back what you put into it. Try to be open in your counseling sessions. There may be times when you have to talk about things that are painful or difficult. These are the times when you truly need to pay attention and keep an open mind. While your spouse’s drinking habits may be their own decisions, they often reveal underlying problems in their life that can include things that are occurring in your marriage. Be willing to acknowledge your role in any issues and remember that the counselors are there to help you figure out healthy solutions to each one.
How to Support Your Spouse During and After Rehab
Your desire to go to relationship counseling shows that you are already a supportive spouse. You can also help to support your spouse by working with them on finding a quality rehab program that has a proven track record of helping people to overcome alcoholism. Once you spouse finds the right rehab program, help them to prepare for their stay. You can help them pick out the items that they want and need to bring along. You can also work together to make decisions about how you will manage the household while they are away.
The healing process for your relationship continues after your loved one’s stay at rehab. You may need to encourage them to continue to go to aftercare therapy, and this may even include additional relationship counseling to help you both work together through their transition into sobriety. Continue to provide support, and remember that getting sober is a long-term process that requires continuous attention to avoid falling back into old habits.
You don’t have to watch helplessly as your spouse’s alcohol addiction wrecks your marriage. Are you ready to work with them to mend your relationship? Give us a call today at 440-252-3565!