There have been many studies over the years on the impact of alcoholism on couples and on families, but nobody had ever asked the question: What is normal in family recovery processes? This research has potential implications for all families impacted by any serious mental health, behavioral, or physical disorder.
In my last blog, My Partner Is In Denial: Part 1 The Problem, I address the impact of a partner's denial, When we care about somebody who is in denial, and that denial has an impact on our own wellness, feelings of isolation, anger, resentment, fear, and frustration typically follow. Initial steps should include a focus on self-care, letting go at least initially, of what to do about the partner. In this article, I suggest some strategies to consider in addressing your partner's denial.
Couples impacted by an addictive disorder have a lot to process. However, not getting stuck in the future or in the past does not mean that you do not acknowledge the past, or its consequences.
Jerry and Carol (not their real names) came in for couples therapy. They stated that they had a good marriage, but that they needed a "tune up". Jerry talked about how he felt that stress was impacting their relationship, Carol agreed, but also expressed concern over Jerry's alcohol use and wanted him to better control his drinking, like he used to.