There is no doubt that alcoholism can ruin a marriage, just like it can ruin other aspects of a person’s life. Some medical professionals have even likened alcoholism to a third person in a marriage, one that drastically changes the personality of the alcoholic and the dynamic of the marriage itself. With that being said, it stands to reason that someone might begin an alcohol rehab program with the hopes of saving their marriage, but can that really be done? Let’s take a look.
Saving A Marriage
If you’re looking for a quick answer to this question, then yes, alcoholism rehab can certainly save a marriage. There have been many times where a couple’s problems stem mainly from alcoholism, and these people have successfully saved their marriage with the right treatment program. However, simply stopping here would do a great disservice to everyone who have other issues that have plagued their marriage. The truth is that alcoholism almost never happens in a vacuum. People often turn to alcohol because of other problems in their lives. These problems are as varied as the people they affect, and they may or may not be related to their marriages, but they need to be addressed. Ignoring these issues and simply treating a physical addiction to alcohol doesn’t help the alcoholic or their spouse, and it won’t save their marriage.
Fortunately, there is more to an alcohol treatment program than simply detoxing and getting over the physical addiction to alcohol. Almost all good alcoholism treatment programs do include counseling, some of which will last for years and involves the patient’s family. This of course will include spouses and will address any marital issues that may have contributed to their drinking.
Why Rehab Doesn’t Always Save Marriages
The problem with alcoholism in regards to marriage is that our society often treats alcoholism as a personal problem. Many experts regard alcoholism and addiction in general as a disease that needs to be treated. In other words, the alcoholic continues to drink because he or she has an illness that needs to be treated. That is an accurate assessment, but alcoholism is also a learned behavior. Yes, there is a physical addiction that often takes over, and there may be a genetic component to alcoholism as well, but there are always circumstances that drive the alcoholic to take their first drink. The problem is that since society does treat alcoholism as a personal problem, many alcoholics feel like it’s their own fault that they drink. Sadly, many people agree with that. Even some treatment programs work on this logic. These programs can work for some people, but they aren’t always ideal for those who are married or in long-term relationships. The individual is treated and may be better off thanks to their treatment, but issues in their relationship that may have contributed to their alcoholism may not be addressed.
Of course, there is also the fact that some relationships simply are not healthy in the first place. That’s a harsh truth for some people to face, but some relationships are toxic enough that the alcoholic is better off not being in a relationship with their spouse after they become sober. It’s even possible that the relationship was an abusive one, and that abuse was partly to blame for their drinking. In these cases, not only is the marriage not saved, but it was in fact part of the reason for the drinking in the first place. Those who undergo alcoholism rehab with the hopes of saving a toxic marriage will only end up causing more problems for themselves.
The bottom line here is that there really isn’t a good answer to whether or not alcoholism rehab can save a marriage. It can and has saved marriages, but you can never assume that it will save all marriages. There are as many issues that threaten marriages as there are married couples in the world, and there is no one solution to all of their problems. Still, a rehab program can never be a bad thing for those who are struggling with alcoholism. It allows people to get healthy and take back their lives. Whether they do that for themselves or their spouses is really up to them.
If you or your spouse is struggling with alcoholism, remember that there is hope. Contact our treatment center today at 844-639-8371 to learn more about our treatment programs and what options are available to you. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day.