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Old 10-04-2015, 01:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question for the partners who have stayed?


I have a question for those of us who are the partners/spouses of loved ones in recovery.

If you made the decision to stay after a relapse/slip, did you go to couples counseling with your spouse to address whatever happened during the relapse, or what lead up to the relapse? Or did you just leave the relapse in the past and move forward, focusing on the recovery?

Thank you for sharing your stories. I'm so grateful for this community.
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i personally have never been involved in couples counseling....

both hank and i were crack addicts.....i was ready to quit WAY before he was.....that made for some really challenging times.....he did grudgingly come around with some rough patches...i have always held the "leaving" card in my back pocket.....tricky as we share a mortgage....but thru his actions he DID show that he was ready to live a different way.....that didn't make everything all sunshine and roses.......still isn't. but crack is no longer a part of our lives......

had he continued to use, unremittingly, that would have written a different chapter, with a different ending.
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Old 10-04-2015, 04:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Individual counseling has been vitally important to me, same with nar anon. My recovery is up to me, I don't count on him to be a participant
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopepraylove View Post
I have a question for those of us who are the partners/spouses of loved ones in recovery.

If you made the decision to stay after a relapse/slip, did you go to couples counseling with your spouse to address whatever happened during the relapse, or what lead up to the relapse? Or did you just leave the relapse in the past and move forward, focusing on the recovery?

Thank you for sharing your stories. I'm so grateful for this community.
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Originally Posted by Falseclaimsact View Post
Individual counseling has been vitally important to me, same with nar anon. My recovery is up to me, I don't count on him to be a participant

I should mention that I participate in Al anon and go to individual counseling. This question was specifically to get some idea of whether or not it has been beneficial in addition to solo work.
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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So does this mean you let him / are considering letting him back in your life
this early in recovery?
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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So does this mean you let him / are considering letting him back in your life
this early in recovery?
no, not at the moment. I've been discussing it with my sponsor, but I agree with him that it's too early right now. If anything, it would be later down the line. The question was more to just gain insight.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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His recovery/his relapse/his problem to find a solution for, in my opinion.

I don't expect to talk through all of my Codie mistakes/growth points during a mutual counseling session because they don't require anything on his part - that's all me. He's still impacted, but it's MY problem to fix.

I fail to see how couples counseling would be beneficial for something that comes down to individual accountability & control. One of my favorite SR quotes is something like, "going to couples counseling with an active addict is sort of like brushing your teeth while eating oreos" Counterproductive.
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopepraylove View Post
I have a question for those of us who are the partners/spouses of loved ones in recovery.

If you made the decision to stay after a relapse/slip, did you go to couples counseling with your spouse to address whatever happened during the relapse, or what lead up to the relapse? Or did you just leave the relapse in the past and move forward, focusing on the recovery?

Thank you for sharing your stories. I'm so grateful for this community.
For me and my AH, the only answers we have found are time and space. I mean huge amounts of time and space. He went to jail at the end of 2013. He has only been out for 2 months. We still don't live together. I just recently told him that I won't be ready to cohabitate anytime before September of next year. We are both in recovery for substance abuse. He got clean a few months before I did.

He had to lay down the law with me. I remember it clear as day. He lovingly told me he would remove me from his visit list if I didn't straighten out. He didn't call me for 3 months. He was not necessarily angry, but needed to protect himself, and me.

Couples counselling isn't about addiction. We are both in couples counselling now, and our use/sobriety hasn't been a topic of discussion yet. We talk about goals, beliefs, and behaviors. What are his goals? What are mine? How are they the same? How are they different? Wash rinse and repeat these same questions concerning priorities, boundaries, finances, and spiritual beliefs.

The purpose of our couples counselling has never ever ever been about relapse. That is what our own individual relapse prevention classes are for. Relapse does not always involve using... Although it usually ends up there... It doesn't start there at all.

We both have individual counsellors we go to to work on our own resentments about the others past behavior.

Like I said though... Couples counselling wasn't even in the cards for us until we were both at a minimum of 1 year clean time. A year is a very long time. A lot can change.

It is difficult to "leave a relapse in the past" when there hasn't been enough time to prove that it really was a one time slip. It is a paradox I guess, because the beast is always there... Hibernating forever and ever. Addiction is immortal, it is a vampire or a dragon that cannot be slayed, only tranquilized.
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Old 10-07-2015, 12:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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In my experience the handful of attempts at couples counselling were a joke as there has never been much traction in actual recovery to address any issues outside of the addiction.
It seemed to me that all other issues aside from the drug addiction ( affairs, deception etc) were minimized or rug swept with the primary focus being his recovery & of course how I as a supposed loved one could support that recovery attempt. Looking back it seemed to add weight somehow to the ridiculous idea that any behaviour is acceptable in addiction/early recovery and somehow became something to hide behind if any other issue was raised that wasn't within the comfort zone.

Individual counselling for me has been way more productive.
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My fiancÚ is currently in rehab...a year-long program (he's been in for 2 1/2 months so far), and he can't have any contact of any kind at all (no phone calls, physical contact, or even letters) with anyone he's ever known.

So I have no idea what's going to happen at the end of all of this. We're in love, have a strong bond, and before he entered the rehab we talked about counseling together as a couple after he gets out of rehab, but we would also have individual counseling.

As of right now, since I am living as a single mother and this whole experience was a huge crazy shock, I'm just focusing on myself with Al-Anon meetings and I am looking for counseling as well. I definitely plan on still having couples counseling with him...some aspects of the relapse don't need to be repeated and beaten to death, but there are definitely some aspects that I feel need to be addressed for our relationship's health.

I personally think counseling together and separately would be good for you and your relationship...at least try it and see how it helps.
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Old 10-15-2015, 02:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I stayed for a while after the relapses - I continued to work on my own recovery (Al-Anon) and improving my self ~ he continued on the downward spiral. . . there would be brief times of sobriety but he seemed to always go back to the disease. We both attended meetings, he AA & me Al-Anon, tried counseling, but due to his disease, he was unable to be honest in counseling so there was no need to go.

Then it became evident that he was not going to stay sober, I found it was healthier for me to walk away with dignity & self-respect.

From my experience, if both parties are willing to go to any lengths for sobriety & for their relationship to be healthy - counseling, meetings & recovery can help in mending the brokenness.

Wishing you the best
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