So, my boyfriend has struggled with drugs over half of his life. Started mild and eventually he was struggling with heroin and then the methadone then the heroin again. He hated it, though, and has wanted off of everything since before I met him. So I found a great rehab facility and got everything arranged and paid for so he could have a real chance at recovery like he’d wanted. I love him and just want him to be ok. Problem is, now that he’s away without his phone and barely even a phone call in a week, my anxiety is getting the best of me. And I keep reading all of these scary stories about couples separating or rehab romances and as selfish as it sounds, I am terrified of losing him. He swore it wouldn’t happen that I was part of his inspiration to go in the first place because I gave him hope he could do it this time. But now I’ve gotten one 10 minute phone call and that’s it. I know he’s focusing on himself and his recovery, but is it possible for a relationship to survive rehab and after rehab? I’m sorry if this is a silly question, I just don’t know a lot about this stuff and what little information I have found makes me scared for him and for us.
Hi @MindyMarie - It can definitely be a stressful time when our loved ones are in rehab. Very little connection and so many unknowns. The answer to your question is Yes, it is completely possible for a relationship to survive during and after rehab. My marriage survived after my husband was in rehab for heroin addiction, and after he got back and relapsed two days later, then was back in rehab. Then slipped multiple times after that and got right back into recovery. We’re still married. Our relationship is stronger than ever.
It takes work, for everyone involved. If you want your relationship to survive, it’s important to look inward. Once I started loving myself more, I really understood how to love my husband, and what our love really meant. While your loved one is in rehab, what are some ways that you can focus on your own recovery? Because as girlfriends, spouses, siblings, parents, friends of people struggling with addiction, we’re recovering as well. It can be a traumatic experience that changes our own behaviors.
There is always hope, @MindyMarie. It just all depends on how you look at the situation. Be present, practice gratitude, and communicate with your boyfriend. Sending you lots of love.
@MindyMarie this community has many members whose relationships have survived rehab, myself included. My husband is in early recovery so I vividly remember how scary of a time it can be when our loved ones are receiving treatment. I echo everything @momentsandlight said, especially about taking care of ourselves. Improving my self-care was the number one thing that has helped my anxiety, which can still be a real struggle. It is amazing to me how much loved ones are able to withstand while in crisis and completely forget about our own needs. This time apart may be just the time to focus on your needs and your healing. Your relationship will likely look different after treatment (I was a little taken aback initially at how much time recovery took up!) so this is a good chance to devote time to yourself and your well-being.
Also, it might be helpful to contact the facility and see if they do any couples sessions prior to discharge. This was very helpful for me to know what to expect and get out some of the tough things in a safe space. It might help you to feel more connected to the process as well, which for me, helped a lot.