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Developing a Relationship with a Spouse While in Drug Rehab

Although most people enter drug rehab to work on their drug addiction, it is important to recognize that your relationships are damaged by the drug addiction as well. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug abuse is extremely damaging to all relationships, particularly to those that are closest to you. Some of what you will do in rehab is to repair and develop your relationships with your loved ones, particularly your spouse. In rehab, you will need to develop your relationship with your spouse without the crutch of the drugs.

Show them you Want to Change

Some of your rehab experience is working on your relationships with other people. Most addicts hurt their relationships with others by:

  • lying to them about drugs and promising that you are going to stop,
  • abuse, many addicts become abusive particularly when they are questioned about their drug use,
  • loss of trust, and
  • loss of intimacy.
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Creating rituals can help restore your relationship with your spouse.

All of these things happened while you were on an addictive substance. Your spouse is hurt and possibly confused. The first step to developing your relationship with your spouse is showing them that you are changing. This does not happen quickly, once you are in rehab for awhile and visitation starts you can explain the program and how you are changing.

Where to Start

Once your spouse sees that you want to change, there are a few things that can improve your relationship. You have to remember that you are essentially starting over, so some of the things that you can try are:

  • become friends again – spend some time examining interests and values. Make sure that you still share the same goals. Some relationships start while one person is on drugs or alcohol. These relationships can survive but they need to be reexamined.
  • create rituals – this is something you can do both on your own and while your spouse is visiting. These rituals can consist of saying certain things to each other or reaffirming your love.
  • take stock of your relationship – analyze your relationship to make sure you are still on the same page.
  • talk to each other – this is an important part of recovering both yourself and your relationship. When you talk to each other make sure you are listening to your spouse. Remember they’ve heard your promises and excuses before listen to what they want and what they need.
  • encourage them to seek counseling as well – you are not the only one that benefits from counseling. Family counseling and individual counseling for yourself and your spouse is a positive step towards recovery.
  • don’t expect too much – remember that your spouse is likely angry, hurt, and discouraged by your drug use. Relationships take a lot of time.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, your spouse can help you in your recovery if you redevelop that relationship. Many people think that once they enter rehab, their relationship is over. This is not necessarily true. A breakdown can be prevented if you work on developing the relationship with your spouse while in rehab. For more information on relationship issues and rehab call use at 800-481-6320.

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