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Old 05-17-2019, 05:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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She checked into recovery this morning.....


After a terrifying withdraw seizure on Saturday and a three day stay in the hospital my AW checked into a recovery center this morning. She seemed to be super positive and ready to make a change in her life. The recovery center is one of the best in the state and very highly rated. Iím am sad but hopeful at the same time.

My question is ......What should I expect? Or what should I not expect? This is our first rodeo. After 5 years of struggling with this disease this is our first and l pray last rehab. I have to researched Al-Anon meetings in my area and plan on attending the next meeting and many more.

I just want to be as ready as possible for our first visit and for her trip home. Thanks
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Been thinking good thoughts for you, Imissmywife
Glad to hear a positive step happened... how long is the program?

My only suggestion: be positive, yet realistic in terms of her sobriety. Don't expect too much change. It's still a long road ahead. Take the time to focus on yourself! Al-Anon is a great option. Also think of outlets for your daughter as well. If this process is overwhelming for adults, imagine how it is for children.

I'm really glad you posted an update & vent here anytime.
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm glad to hear she's upbeat about going, & looking forward to a new life.
I haven't been to a recovery center, so can't really share anything helpful. I hope you'll continue to let us know how it's going for you & your family.
Al-anon meetings are a very good idea, as LifeChange said.
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LifeChangeNYC View Post
Been thinking good thoughts for you, Imissmywife
Glad to hear a positive step happened... how long is the program?

My only suggestion: be positive, yet realistic in terms of her sobriety. Don't expect too much change. It's still a long road ahead. Take the time to focus on yourself! Al-Anon is a great option. Also think of outlets for your daughter as well. If this process is overwhelming for adults, imagine how it is for children.

I'm really glad you posted an update & vent here anytime.
Thanks,
Its a 4 to 6 week program.
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Immw…..I tend to agree with LifeChange….don't expect too much change...and, be aware that, sober, she might be very different than when drinking....
I think that there is a tendency for the loved one to think that, if the aloholic is sober, that the "problems" in the relationship will be over and things will be like they were in the first days of the relationship...
Also, there is the issue of resentments that the loved one might harbor from the years of chaos and pain they they may have suffered.....and, expect that they alcoholic will be full of gratitude and begin to make up for their bad behaviors.....
The reality is, that, in early recovery, the alcoholic may have difficulty just making it from day to day....and, have difficulty coping with their emotions without their "old friend"...the alcohol....
This can last for quite a long time...as, it takes about 6 months for the brain to return to a more normal function....
If, in rehab, the alcoholic has gained enough knowledge and tools to use....she will need to be very "selfish" about putting her sobriety as the very first priority, in her life. Typically, she will have to attend a lot of meetings, and spend a lot of time with her sponsor and other AA members...as well as attend her individual therapy....
This can, sometimes, be problematic for the loved one....as they may feel displaced, in the relationship, for a while....
I think that the best thing that the loved one can do is to just not be obstructive....and, otherwise, not get involved in the treatment of the alcoholic...This can be seen as an intursion...no matter how well meant...and, may come back to bite you....
While a positive attitude is fine...I suggest to refrain from showering praise and becoming her cheerleader....she will have pleanty of other people that she should depend on, for that.....her sponsor, her therapist, and her other AA members....
I think that just being yourself and just be the husband is the best thing....
I cannot emphasize enough, that you will need a program of recovery, for yourself...because, just as she will be changing, over time...so will you need to make your own changes.....
As it pretains to recovery, she will need to tend to her side of the street and you will need to attend to yours.....
If you have been tending to her for the past several years, and, possibly enabling her (even if you did not intend to), it might be hard for you to "Step back", at first....
While alcoholism is very predictable....every person is different, and there is no way to predict exactly how things will go...
The future has not, yet, been written....
You will need to prepare yourself to face whatever happens....both of you will be challenged to live life on life's terms.....
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I suggest you follow up on the Al-anon meetings where you'll meet people who've experienced dealing with an A. Concentrate on yourself, because you've been through the mill just as much as she has. If you can, see a therapist so you can vent; makes a big difference.

It might help to give your marriage and relationship 12 months before you assess where you go next. This will help you avoid high expectations during the early months. I found this very effective in giving up drinking because my mindset was on a future goal.

Many relationships go through a rough patch after rehab, especially if the a comes home determined to make it work. Maybe come up with some strategies for dealing with hostility or difficult behaviour. You don't have to engage, but also don't have to become a doormat.

It's promising that she's ready and willing to go to rehab. Best wishes to you both.
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My XRAH was sent to rehab and did not have a choice unless he wanted to risk losing his job. I had given him an ultimatum and he quit that day. He later admitted that it only worked because he had gotten to the point himself that he felt he could no longer go on like that. I told him he needed treatment this time (had stopped several times in the years we were together and basically been an alcoholic since his teens).
I think we were both under the impression that if could just stop drinking all would be well and we could carry on like we had....which when you think about it is silly because it was not a very functional relationship in retrospect. We did not expect him to get sent to rehab, that was a total shocker, after all he had quit on his own . But once he was in we realized he really needed that. Quitting alcohol is only a small part of addiction. They need to learn to be sober and learn new coping skills to deal with life. My ex having been an alcoholic for close to 40 years had a lot of learning to do. Initially they told him 30 days but after 2 weeks they told him he had to stay for 90 days, he was pissed but he needed it, it took half of that time to realize his manipulative ways. His counselor told me “to say that he is challenging is an understatement”. And my ex is a well respected professional in our community that hid is problem like an expert.
I don’t know where your relationship is at at the moment, I was ready to walk when I confronted him but wanted to give it one last chance if he got treatment. And they tell you not to make any big life changes that first year. I don’t want to scare you and I am sure it isn’t like this for everyone but in our case I feel like rehab made things a lot worse between us. Early on we had very limited contact, just enough to get into an argument before having to hang up. Every weekend we had to do a 3 hour round trip to go see him for a couple of hours. Our already strained relationship became even worse. I started to learn a lot about myself and addiction. I got into counseling myself and slowly but surely finally realized my codependent ways, how unhappy I had really been but had kept up appearances because that is what a cpgood codependent spouse does etc. I was not ready for him to come home after 30 days. Honestly I had liked being home alone. He had pondered getting an apartment but I had also told him if he did that I think we were done, not because I wanted him home so badly but because it would be too easy to continue to avoid each other. Not sure if that was a good or bad decision but I honestly think I was too far gone already. We made it another 15 months after rehab with counseling trying to work on things but I just could not get over it. Lots of resentment certainly but I also learned a lot about myself and learned tomfisnly be honest with myself and worry about what I think for once. And I think I just was afraid to admit that I did not love him anymore and probably had not for a good while. But it was a second marriage for both, our kid was 6 when all this went down and we had a 16 y/o niece at home whom we were raising due to her having addicted parents. So I felt like I had to just buck up and provide a stable home for them. My ex also changed a lot. He had to, he had no choice if he wanted to stay sober. He improved a lot behavior wise but still has his mood swings and moment pas of manipulation and honestly he was no longer the person I fell in love with. I think too much had happened for too long and his sobriety came 2 years too late for me.

So don’t expect miracles, one month of rehab is just the beginning and may not even be enough. If they really continue to work a program rehab will just have been the tip of the recovery iceberg. They will change a lot that first year if they take their recovery serious. And you will need to change a lot as well so that you don’t fall back into the same dysfunctional relationship you have had until now. It was/is a big fear of mine. If they have family week at the rehab I would strongly suggest you go. You learn a lot and you meet other families that get what you are going through. Your wife will likely be a rollercoaster of emotions and likely have mood swings. Rehab is really hard on them because they are being confronted with everything they have done and what it has done to their relationships, we had to write a cost letter. A letter I (or anyone else affected but in my case only I was the one that knew what was going on) wrote to explain to him how his addiction had affected me and the family. I tend to be wordy (as you can tell from this post ) and it was 7 pages single spaced.....I was brutally honest but fair and did not tear him to pieces. He even admitted that. The kicker is that he had to read the letter in front of a big group, not knowing what was in the letter beforehand. I can only imagine how hard that was for him. I mean I know it was because he said so in marriage counseling. They go to a lot of meetings and have individual counseling as well. They also will get a psych evaluation more than likely.
I am really glad that my ex went to rehab. I think it would have taken him years to make the progress he made in 90 days, and maybe he would not have even made
all that progress. I am glad he is sober because I can trust him with our kid now, but it was really tough on us. But like I said I was ready to walk if he had not agreed to quit and seek help so I really had hit my rock bottom.
5 year relapse rates are fairly high for a lot of people partially because a lot of people cannot keep doing intense therapy etc once they go home (either lack of insurance or means or even the right therapist). My ex is being followed very closely by his professional organization. Soberink 4 x a day, random drug tests and he he has to go to a certain number of meeting (although it isn’t very much). He is doing well and partially because he is being followed very closely and his job is at stake if he relapses.
Once she gets out of rehab I strongly suggest marriage counseling as well as (continued) individual therapy for you (her too obviously)
Someone mentioned not to be too involved in their program, not to cheer them on too much and I agree. That is what group is for for them. You need to stay out of it for the most part, be supportive but mostly passive support I guess. I probably was not very supportive at all other than I brought the kids every weekend. But I had my own struggles that I needed to deal with in addition to keeping the family going and stay strong for them and keep life as normal as possible. So honestly I did not have it in me to be very supportive whereas he had a lot of support at rehab and had no other worries than just to focus on himself 100%. That actually did not bother me because that is obviously what he was there for and needed to do that to recover ( and truthfully I had basically been living as a single parent already for the most part even when he was at home) but it did mean I had very little in me to show a lot of support to him. In addition to keep life going at home I needed to focus on me and my own recovery. He actually admitted later that that was actually a good thing in a way because it forced him to really focus on what he was doing.
I will also add that social life also changed a lot. All of our social events include alcohol and it made him really uncomfortable at first. A lot of times he ended up bringing his own drinks because a lot of times no one would really think about having non alcoholic drinks. And when we would drink and get a little less inhibited he did not like that either. And I will be honest, I had no intention of giving up alcohol just because he could no longer drink. I don’t drink at home at all but when we go out to dinner or to parties I will have 2-3 drinks usually. But it changes our social life dynamic as well,
Try to think positive but don’t expect miracles. One month is just a start, repertoire is a long process and that first year can be very tumultuous and you both will change a lot more than likely. Your relationship will never be the same again because it can’t be. It will be tough for both of you. Plenty of marriages do survive but unfortunately mine wasn’t one of them and largely because I had gone through several relapses and I had gotten to my rock bottom. Had he done this 2 years before that when I had confronted him (but no ultimatum at that time) I think we could’ve survived but he had said alter that had I given an ultimatum at that time it would not have worked. But the last 2 years is what did us in, or me at least (we had been together 14 years when he went to rehab) .
Hopefully your relationship is not that far gone and things will work out for you two if she can stay sober but the first year will not be easy and ipwill take a lot of work on both ends,
Glad she is in rehab and seems positive about it this time, that is a good start. I just want you to be cautiously optimistic however. Good luck, take care of you while she is gone. You have several weeks where for once you don’t have to worry about if she is drinking or what she is doing when she is drinking, I remember that being a very weird sensation. But use that time to take care of yourself and focus on you and selfcare for you. Check out alanon, go do something nice for yourself. Get a massage and let rehab worry about your wife for now because that part is completely out of your hands. You deserve to take time for you.
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Old 05-18-2019, 04:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm happy to hear that your wife has entered rehab and seems to have a willing spirit! That's great news and I hope it continues

Really, any relationship requires that both individuals work to become the best versions of themselves so that they can bring that to the relationship. She has her work, you have your work, then you can work together as a team.

I agree with what others have said in that I hope you take this time to heal yourself a bit after living with active alcoholism for a number of years. Please take good care!
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