When Mandy first called the office, she said that she and her husband Alex were having severe communication issues. However, in our first session, Alex talked about his struggles with alcohol. He acknowledged that his drinking was the primary issue in their relationship. He was working on it the last six months and had a few slips along the way.
For the last couple of months, Mandy was living at her mother’s house with the kids. She was resentful and having difficulty trusting him. When intoxicated, Alex could say some awful things.
Many couples struggling with addiction poorly communicate about their circumstances. My role is to guide them to communicate without accusations and defensiveness. Alcohol was ripping their relationship apart and they needed to have a different conversation to eventually move past it.
Mandy talked about the detrimental impact on her emotional well-being and the debilitating impact on the kids. Alex talked about the additional steps he was taking with each slip, but realized he needed to do more. On their own they decided Alex would go to a 30-day rehabilitation center to get the level of care he really needed. His current plan wasn’t working, and with Mandy at the end of her rope, there was too much to lose.
Alex was a changed man when he returned from his rehabilitation program. He was taking a deeper look at his shortcomings and was more strongly committed to his recovery. By sharing his insights and discoveries with Mandy, they were brought closer together as a couple. Mandy moved back home. Although addiction remained a real lifetime health risk for Alex, they were now hopeful that it could be addressed without eroding all that was good in their relationship.