How do stay positive while my husband is in rehab?



I’m trying to hold it together while my husband is in rehab. We’re 2 weeks in on a 30 day program. Each day seems to get harder. I’m trying to staying positive and reach for some kind of calmness. I don’t have anyone to talk to because I don’t want people to know. I could really use some advice on how one stays strong and positive. Especially when I just want to be angry. This has brought so many anxiety and sad feelings. I lost all trust for him and I keep thinking he is cheating and doesn’t love me. Is this normal and how to do I control these thoughts with out taking it out one him.


That is great advice, and support thank you!! I’m doing better I focus on what I can control like being postive and fun for our two boys. and trying to stop thinking so much about the stuff I can’t. I’m trying to trust and stop thinking of they what if’s. It’s just been a really bad month. I lost my job on the 12th of June, so I feel 100 percent useless, we checked my husband in on the 15th. I have a scheduled approach with a therapist next weekend.
Thank you so much for asking how I’m doing that goes a long way. I also Lost two best friends today. Who don’t understand why I can make a planned vacation.


@Shelly4b I’m glad to hear you’re able to see a therapist. That was one of my first steps in my own recovery process. It helps to talk to someone without fear of judgement, someone who is committed to your healing process and focuses on how you can grow. I went into this whole thing thinking - I just need help dealing with how his behaviors have affected me, and quickly learned that I have my own unhealthy behaviors that I need to work on.


Hi:smiling_face_with_three_hearts:My husband and daughter both struggle with addiction. My husband quick drinking 3 yrs ago (however never did the 12 steps) and my daughter is currently in sober living and almost 6 months sober. It has been brutally hard. What I do first is realize I need to take care of me one day at a time. Try not to look at the big picture. I go to therapy, Do yoga, meditate,listen to podcasts about addiction. I educated myself to understand their brains. Most importantly, go to Alanon so you can feel supported by people who get it and get you. All the emotions you feel are real and normal. In one of my podcasts they said… dont lose your sense of self. This is so important to stay strong. This shit will beat you down. Try some of each techniques. I wish you the best of luck. :angel:


So I have been to rehab for 8 months for benzodiazepines, methamphetamine, and alcohol use disorder. I will be four years sober on July 1st, 2020.

Since going to rehab, I worked in the kitchen at that same rehab, then worked in detox there, then as a counselor at a different rehab, and currently as a case manager at the same rehab. I have dealt with close to 7,000 addicts in some way/for some time.

I will answer your question as best as possible. Many times when family members go to rehab - it creates a lot of uncertainties for the family on the outside and the patient in the rehab. The biggest thing the patient needs from the outside family member is absolute support. What they are doing can be incredibly tough to do in the first place and even harder to stick it out for the full stay.

I would advise you to be strong for your husband and assume he is not cheating on you, at least from the outside. I believe you mean to say that you think he is cheating on you with another girl inside the rehab? If that is the case, I can tell you the most rehabs will kick out or at the VERY LEAST discipline a patient who fraternize(pair up, act too friendly, kiss, hold hands, etc). And of course there is no sex allowed for insurance reasons. Obviously it does happen because people/addicts are incredibly manipulative, smart, and looking for distractions since the drugs are uncommon to show up in a rehab – or at least found quickly if they do. I would advise you to talk to a therapist about the mistrust you feel because this could be a hidden resentment you start feeling if you already felt the need to post this.

As far as staying strong and positive, please remember that your husband did not choose to become an addict. The only choice he has is when he becomes sober and THEN chooses to use again. And even then, there are times when triggers can become overwhelming – the cravings, especially from unforeseen triggers can be difficult to overcome. Your husband has gone to rehab hopefully FIRSTLY for himself. Everything else will fall into place after he can be sane enough to take care of it – family, job, finances, relationships, sex, other health concerns, spirituality, etc. I would HIGHLY advise you to pick up an Alcoholic’s Anonymous and Narcotic’s Anonymous book and read through it or at least the first 164 pages of the AA book as they describe exactly what your husband is going through and have an entire chapter devoted to wives. This will scream exactly what you have been going through.

It is quite normal for loved ones to be angry and more at an addict(alcoholic) through this process. There is likely a co-dependent relationship that has put you through the hell he has been through because of what you end up to doing and putting up with to try and help. It is hard to compare because it can feel like apples and oranges, but I can understand how someone trying to help an addict for so long goes through hell in doing so – and the anger that can come with that.

I would keep in mind that one of the best places to get help for how you are feeling is by going to Al-Anon or Family’s Anonymous meetings which you can look up online. It sucks that most of them are on Zoom meetings right now, but it is better than nothing and you will find direct, instant help, stories, experience, strength, hope, love, compassion, and peace from these people without judgment.

Feel free to call the rehab he is at and talk to his therapist or case manager when you are having these feeling or just want some updates and they will return your call or speak to you then. I do this as much as I have time for when I am working.

I hope these words have helped and ask any other questions if you like.


My post below was directed towards you … please read & reply


Hey … just a little update. Went to the beach with my girlfriends this past weekend & had a blast. Took your advise on a few things & I am feeling much better. There are still hard moments here & there. But for the most part I am much better at month one than I was at week one.

Just to clarify a little, I am more than capable of making decisions concerning this & all relationships & will “peace out” if anything happens like this again. I will not put myself in a position to be on a continuous roller coaster ride with someone who cannot/will not do the work on themselves to stay sober. I only meant in my first response that I was not going to make any decisions the first week he was in rehab. Also the panic attacks were from his drinking … the not knowing if, when, how much he was going to drink & then the first week he was gone not knowing if he was going to go & stay or bail out. I also have healthy boundaries that I apply to family, relationships & friends. Things that are deal breakers. But they are dual boundaries & I do not treat others in such a way as I would not want them to treat me. I am not a “fence strattler” at all. Done is done with me. So no worries about me on that part.

We are at one month. And I received a second letter. He wants me to come this weekend for visitation & every weekend after that, unless I have plans & cannot make it. He does not want me to take away from my self-care for him. His mom & I already discussed this & she & I will not go at the same time. So whichever Sunday(s) she decides to go, I will not go. This affords us both privacy & is not a reflection on our developing relationship (his mom & mine). He also told me that although he has had other trips to rehab, that he is learning things at this place that he never learned before about himself & even though it is the hardest thing he’s ever done (getting truly honest … cleaning house) that it is going to be so worth it. He said he knows he will need every second of this six months to even get to where he needs to be within himself to make a start in the real world when he comes home. His mom told me she has never seen him act this way in the past & that although she always got the “I’m fine, things are great here” letters from his past rehab trips, that there is something different about him this time. Praying this is his final trip.

Honestly this first month has flown by so much faster than I expected. I am super excited (and a little nervous) about seeing him this Sunday, what to expect, what is allowed, etc. I seriously just want to hug the hell out of him … and choke him out at the same time :wink:

Thanks for letting me vent again! This too shall pass & I am just living some times in every moment & nothing farther.


No matter what anyone tells you even tho you wasnt an addict yrself you need to go to counciling for yrself. So you will be able to talk to and deal with the loved one that is coming out of rehab. Addiction just dont hurt the person with the addiction its hurts the whole family. Everyone has to go thru it when you are living with an addict. You need to learn how to help them when they are having a day they are craving drugs or alcohol. Coping skills and to learn the different signs and learn how to fully trust them again. So this just isnt for the one going thru the addiction it envolves everyone . no you might as well go ahead and make you an appointment and tell them you have a loved one in rehab and that you need counciling for yrself. And I wish you the best of luck and the best man you can have on your side and in your life is god and in church. The times now and days is horrible with drugs especially meth that is the hardest one to over come we cant get him off amd keep him off he has to want the help off of it and god in his life will help him and thats it . I have a son a daughter and a sister all still users and all deny to this day they aint on anything . you cant fool me im a recovering addict myself. I wasnt born yesterday . I have tried to educate my mom and dad both on meth but she my sister has them believing everything she says . so I have let it go out of my hands and i have turned it all over to god. He can deal with them way better than I can. I wish you luck on your journey and be calling asap and getting you some counciling you are going to need it to help you thru as well


I felt the same way but I didn’t know that he was in rehab for sue. He is my boyfriend of almost 4 years . So many thoughts came to mind. But God put a friend who had been in rehab herself and she said that the first thing that they are advices is to not contact loved once since that can trigger them to want to get out and go use. They are too busy with schedules of classes and trying to fix themselves. He is fine and loves you. I can assure you that. I heard that if he’s not trying to reach out is a good thing and is focusing in getting better.


Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I started dating my boyfriend 7 months ago. He was very upfront about his recovery from alcohol (first rehab trip) 17 years ago, then opiates (2nd rehab trip) after having surgery a few years back. I suspected early on that maybe he was sneak drinking but wasn’t positive until the middle of March of this year. His drinking became out of control very quickly. I suspect now that he has never really been completely sober during the two years he told everyone he was (prior to meeting me) & that he was dabbling here & there. Fast forward to the end of May & I ended up contacting some of his AA friends & he went in for detox locally & then to a detox facility for 6 more days, came home for 6 days & has been in a long term aftercare program for the past 2 weeks. This program lasts six months.

The first week he was gone I was hit from every direction with people telling me that I should do this or that. That I needed to date while he is gone, dump him, that we will not be able to be together when he gets back in six months because of the 1 year no dating rule, etc. I was about to lose my mind. After the end of the first week I told everyone that I am not making any decisions at this point, that any decisions made about our relationship will be made between my boyfriend & myself, and only he can tell me that we will not see each other if that is what is comes to after this six month period. And if he feels like he does not need to date anyone for a year after coming home I will agree to this if this will keep him sober. Not that I will stick around for a year waiting on him, but I will do whatever is necessary for his sobriety including letting him go. This man was between 24 & 36 hours from dying when he was admitted thru the ER for detox. His BP was at stroke level & his blood alcohol concentration was off the charts. He almost died.

I too have fears that he will come out of this & decide that he doesn’t want to be with me, or worse, that he feels obligated to me because he thinks I saved his life. I definitely do not want a relationship based on obligation.

Week two was a little better. I am no longer having panic attacks. I know he is safe. It is hard not being able to talk (he wrote me one letter letting me know he cannot write until after the first 30 days). And I felt 100 times better just getting a letter & knowing he was happy & liking where he is. I, on the other hand, write almost daily or send a card. Not for myself, but because I want him to stay encouraged. He is my best friend & I miss talking to him.

All I can do is have faith, put an X on the calendar each day, hang out with my friends, read up about his disease & recovery, exercise & take care of me.



It’s definitely hard to stay positive when the future is so uncertain. It’s much easier to get caught up in your own fears, the “what-ifs,” the disappointments. I agree with the advice to take care of yourself, schedule an appointment with a therapist if you are able, or even a coaching call through this community. I love Al-Anon - it’s where I found my people, my spirituality, my strength.

Gratitude lists can help. Focus on what you can be grateful for right now. And know that this is temporary. Life has its ups and downs, and things do get better. Life may not turn out the way you expected it to, but it will be okay. That’s also why letting go of expectations is a huge part of the recovery process for loved ones of addicts. Addiction is a family disease because it affects us all - not just because we’re getting hurt by the addict’s behavior, but because their addiction is changing our behavior, as well. And while you can’t control their behavior, you can control your own. And when you heal, your relationships heal.

How are you doing today? Sending love. I’m glad you found this community. Sometimes it helps just to know we’re not alone. You’re not alone. :pray::sparkles:


I know first-hand what you are feeling, from my relationships with addicts who have been in recovery(or recovered if you prefer that). and second-hand, through watching many couples go through this struggle. I believe this is highly circumstantial and based a lot on your personal/gut feeling.

You may even consider professional help - meaning a therapist’s help to make this decision more clear. I say because you mention a lot of different scenarios and cannot make a decision to the point of panic attacks. Those are awful!

You thought process is what I would call crippling thinking, which is where someone takes the critical thought process and it spins out of control.

To answer your question(s?) on a more experience and personal level, I would tell you that you ought to use these first thirty days similar to how he would use it while he is gone and work on yourself a bit. For instance - learn about boundaries and co-dependency. If you miss him, you need to find something that works for you to deal with that, e.g. a coping skill. I personally would draw him something, write a short letter about how you are feeling, or simply do something that is distracting… a movie does it for me. This is going to be for you to figure out.

As far as when he is able to write, call, etc, you will have to talk to him about how he feels. Some sponsors will advise people not to date for a year and making any big life changes (house, baby, career, etc). Some people do it just fine but it can be considered risky for obvious reasons. My personal feeling is that if he was already with you that wouldn’t apply. I also understand you don’t want him to be with you due to obligation. I just don’t think that most guys would ever feel obligated to be with someone, but anything is possible.

You seem to really care about this guy. And I really loved reading your post because of that.

Lastly, I want to re-iterate, CREATE BOUNDARIES if you choose to move forward with him. Talk to him about it before he comes back if you choose to be with him. It will save you a lot of headaches and heartbreak later on if you can have one conversation on the phone about your personal boundaries. For example: “I want you to know I care/love/etc. about you. If you drink again, you have to go to rehab immediately. If you drink and hide it from me, AT ALL, our relationship will be over.”

As hard as that might be to tell him, it will save you. And if he can’t accept that conversation or gets pissed about it… you’re probably better off without him.


Hello Shelly, I read your question I will say what you are going through and feeling is absolutely normal. I am saying this because I m working with addict people from last years and I m a mental health professional from INDIA.
I think you should join Al-Anon AA group where u can share your d=feelings and listen about others experience also. Then you will know that your not the only person who is suffering from this, there are many more and by sharing your feelings you feel relaxed, light weighted and your anxiety negative feelings will go down and feel better.
How to stay positive while family member is in rehab?
Answer to this question
1- No one is responsible for any ones addiction, the addict person is only responsible for his addiction ans situation. Addiction is a disease, we can’t control disease either we can control it or prevent it before happens.
2- Rehab is not a bad place, most of the people thing its a bad place. Think my loved one is taking treatment and getting better and after some time we living together happily because he is taking the treatment.


Totally agreed, nice suggestion I read your comment after posting my comment, if I saw it first then there is nothing to mention else.


Wow this is exactly how I’m feeling. I’ve just asked a similar question! Its so hard when trust has been broken. My husband is in a mixed rehab facility. Im sure there focus is on recovery and getting back to us and not cheating. However its hard to not suspect being hurt as this has happened already through the addiction process. I wish you all the best for a happy future wirh your husband.x