I had no idea that life after my wife’s addiction rehab would be harder on me than on her.
We had only been married 5 years, and her addiction was so sneaky and progressed so slowly that I had no idea she was in trouble. When she first revealed she had a problem with alcohol, I thought she was blowing things out of proportion. It wasn’t until 4 months later and with the help of her friend that I realized she was in serious trouble. She went into a residential treatment facility for 3 months. I was encouraged to go to Al-Anon meetings, but I was too busy.
I thought life after rehab would look something like this:
- Wife goes to rehab and gets ‘fixed.’
- Husband (me) shows her more attention and love than before.
- Wife and husband put this situation behind them and live happily ever after.
I needed a serious wake-up call.
When my wife got home from treatment, things seemed different, and it was a little uncomfortable. I didn’t know how to act. Can you believe I missed how she would call me after a business meeting to pick her up because she drank too much? I missed the arguments we would get into when I would find alcohol bottles hidden in the garage. I even became jealous of her AA time, thinking that I should have been her first priority. I had no idea what codependency was and that I was suffering from it. Life after rehab wasn’t happening according to my plan. I felt like I wasn’t needed anymore, and I became resentful and jealous. That’s when I decided to go to Al-Anon.
Al-Anon taught me how to be happy and full of life – regardless of whether my wife remained sober or not.
I’ve learned that my wife’s sobriety and her life after rehab is just that – HERS and not mine. I’ve learned that things don’t always go the way I think they should go. I’ve also learned that snooping, getting resentful, and getting jealous are big signs for me to get back in my square and live my life.