Who needs to know that my husband is in rehab?


My husband admitted himself into a 30 day rehab for alcohol addiction 3 days ago after his 4th relapse. It all happened very fast and there wasn’t really time for him to call anyone. He asked me to call his employer/best friend, and my family knows since they were there when I found out he was admitting himself. I’ve told his brother, who is familiar with his addiction, who lives across the country. I’m debating whether to tell his father who’s struggling with his own health issues and depression, who also lives across the country. I’m also debating whether to tell his cousin, who also happens to be my best friend (and is familiar with his addiction), BUT there’s a possibility that she might tell the entirety of his mom’s side of the family (his mom passed away 14 years ago)…and do they really need to know he’s in rehab? I just don’t know who should know…my parents think I shouldn’t tell anyone else for fear it could get around to outside circles. Is rehab really shameful thing? What’s the worst thing that could happen if an extended family member found out?

Any suggestions are helpful. Getting through this one day at a time.


Glad you asked @Eliza52585 :slight_smile:

In my view, the more openly we communicate about addiction the better. 1 in 7 Americans will struggle with addiction in their lifetime. It’s pretty normal, and the more we help normalize it through our communication the better it is for everyone struggling out there directly or indirectly (such as the families!)

Another benefit is that in my experience it makes it easier to recover. It’s a lot harder for them to keep up an addiction when tons of people who love them are aware and taking care of them.

We take a lot on when we love someone through addiction, and another responsibility we can step into is educating loved ones about what’s going on and setting the tone.

…Like “Hey, I want to let you know that X is in rehab. It’s fantastic news because he’s really been struggling, and it’s very brave of him to seek help in this kind of way. I could use your support in a, b, c, ways / OR no action from you now but I know it will help him to know you’re supporting him when he transitions out of inpatient later this month. It’s not easy to heal from addiction, it takes a lot of time and effort so we can really use your understanding and support of this process.”

I will caveat that, it’s likely you’ll quickly get to know who are your easy allies and maybe who you’ll keep at a bit more distance. People’s readiness to learn about this stuff varies, and it’s not helpful for you if they cause you more stress! So keep that in mind and create (and edit) your shortlist.

I do always like to look at these things from the lens of “what is the most helpful action here”.


Thank you for your response! I’ve been leaning towards bringing it out in the open. So many people in of our family/his family struggle to understand his alcoholism. It’s viewed as more of “why can’t you just stop/pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality. Him going to rehab is huge progress in my eyes…others who may not be as familiar with his history will probably end up viewing it as a negative. I just don’t want my husband and I to end up as family gossip…which is probably inevitable. Something I can’t control of course!


Hello Eliza,
Rehab it means you are getting back to your old habits that you get forgotten because of the illness.
We can’t predict who will suffer from illness ?
So, don’t ever feel shameless to tell your loved one is in Rehab if some one is making fun of this or hesitate to accept this than the person also need help.
Do not promote it, if some one ask don’t lie.
Although it’s easy to say, hard to do but it’s not impossible.
Thank you.