Marriage Changes and Rules After Sobriety
Alcoholism is the biggest problem of our time. It is a severe chronic disease formed based on physical and mental dependence. A person suffering from substance addiction destroys his whole life — he loses friends, work, family and marriage. Even if the person is now sober, he should care about his life — make it up for his loved ones, for people who cared about him.
However, when a period comes when a person has become wholly sober and abstains from alcohol, some partners believe relationship problems will evaporate. Of course, in the first months, everything is fine. The partners are happy to be with each other and behave better than before. Nevertheless, this is also a somewhat vulnerable period to both partners. Each of the couples feels anxiety and is not sure about their future. Yet, there are numerous marriage changes after sobriety — this is a new springboard in a relationship. It will help move to a new stage.
How to behave with person who suffered from addiction
Do not underestimate the situation has developed in people who have long been sober or abstaining. They cope with and experience several psychological problems and difficulties. The partner should be sympathetic to the fact now this sober person is hard — it may be difficult to go days without drinking alcohol and diving into the world of pleasure. A recovering alcoholic may often worry about his possible relapses. Nevertheless, he also experiences moments of anxiety and panic attacks. Anxiety indicates a person has big problems associated with deep feelings of depression, shame, and inner emptiness. It is important to be sympathetic, offer a helping hand, and provide the necessary psychological support to your sober partner.
Through the eyes of a partner
A partner is also understood — you never know whether this is the final period of sobriety and whether their sober partner has more breakdowns. You might continue to walk on thin ice and be afraid that your partner stops, makes a mistake, and falls into the alcohol pit again. Trust is difficult to earn, and this is one of the problems of many partners who help their partners through the problems of transition to absolute sobriety.
Partners are also those who have suffered to some extent from the addiction of their loved ones. Nevertheless, it is worth remembering that they are powerless before recovery — they only help their sober partner get on the right track and continue to stay sober. Still, the responsibility for sobriety lies only with the person who drinks alcohol.
Partners often experience shame, anxiety, emptiness, and depression. In addition to the fact that the fear of relapse also dominates the partner, there is also anxiety about the relationship. They are easy to keep if you are supportive and always there. It is essential to fill the life of a former alcoholic with pleasant things, to try to help him not to make mistakes again. When a person, suffering from alcoholism, is already on the road to recovery, it will be an easy transition to a steady and stable relationship. Still, it requires a lot of work on both sides.
What will happen to the relationship?
There is a rule of thumb: the longer partners are together, the stronger their patterns become fixed. When a new period begins, when one of the partners who suffered from alcoholism is finally sober, there is a good chance the couple will not even know how to talk to each other. It might be because, to the couple, their former roles are still valid, and they are used to them. You can draw an analogy that a dependent person feels a sense of vulnerability in the past. He needs a lot, but he is irresponsible and selfish. His partner is always hyper responsible and self-sufficient. All these roles are pretty popular, and couples in these roles suffer: they feel shame, pity, and blame each other. In the case, the couple also feels guilty: the addict feels blameworthy for needing help, and his partner feels guilty for not offering help.
In the past, during addiction, the partner was supportive and pulled the marriage on himself. However, it is worth remembering: people who have recently become sober and have given up alcohol have many problems. It is challenging to remain in the state and take on the responsibilities for a marriage.
Living with a sober person
Former alcoholics often feel guilty and ashamed of how they behaved and treated their families during their addiction. Nevertheless, their partners might resent a sober partner for things he may not even remember in the same case. When a recovering alcoholic most needs support and forgiveness, the partner may want to start talking about these grievances, but be aware it leads to relapse, and the person might relapse.
Former alcoholics are also not happy about their dependence on a spouse. Often, feelings are accompanied by a sense they are under someone else’s control. Partners, in turn, try not to lose control. It might be a problem to shift the focus on themselves and their needs. To avoid it, the couple needs to be more emotionally independent. There should be more autonomy in the relationship — it helps save the marriage and increases intimacy. You try to discuss your problems with a therapist first, instead of having a conflict with a partner, and then talk to any person.
An independent spouse might want to regain intimacy which has been lost, this often leads to the fact the partner is disappointed — desires do not materialize so quickly. Moreover, when it comes to sexual intimacy, both spouses feel high anxiety and vulnerability. Sexual intimacy usually reflects a lack of emotional intimacy, especially with alcoholism and drug use. It takes a lot of time to regain trust and confidence.
What can help?
Here are some helpful steps to help one partner support the other on their new sobriety journey:
- Awareness of reality is not always an easy process. Sometimes the most challenging part is admitting to yourself how terrible the situation is. It may happen that those around you have long understood what all your sufferings are, although you would have continued to hide your head in the sand from shame and guilt.
- Trying to pretend that you do not notice the truth does not save the situation. Giving up false hopes that things get better by themselves is a crucial step to take to improve your own life and the lives of those around you.
- Do not hide or lie on his behalf. Don’t make excuses because of his behavior. Let him take responsibility for his actions.
- If you decide that you no longer try to please others at any cost, it leads to frustration, frustration, and anger. It would be best to learn to experience discomfort and fear while remaining true to yourself. By confidently expressing your feelings and thoughts and setting boundaries, you no longer sustain addiction.
- You should not submit to his manipulations if a loved one is angry and starts issuing ultimatums. The more you allow yourself to be controlled, the more controlling your loved one becomes. If you stick to certain boundaries, his behavior also changes.
- Talk to people who also play an essential role in the addict’s life — family, friends, colleagues, etc. Together, agree on boundaries and how to communicate with an addicted person. You discuss the problem with the dependent person. Be sure to avoid accusations. Talk to him about situations where his drinking has affected you and caused problems.
- Making promises is easy. Keeping promises is much more complicated. You should not so easily believe the promises of an addict. Draw conclusions based on his actions.
To save a family, it is essential to take control of your life, receive treatment and get rid of addiction. Ecosoberhouse.com will help, where professionals help you find the desire to become sober and take care of your family. Visit the center and get help to save your marriage and family.