5 Ways to Help Your Spouse Transition Into Family Life From A Sober Living House

Transitioning home from a sober living house doesn’t have to be complicated.

Helping your spouse come to terms with a substance use disorder was just the beginning to a long, and likely bumpy, road ahead of the both of you.

After months, or years, of fighting your spouse’s denial, you felt you are at your wit's end.

Recovery is not just difficult for the person with the substance use disorder, but the spouse might find the months of early recovery complicated as well.

During his time in treatment, he chose to include you and your family in the process as often as possible, especially in the aftercare process. You perhaps feared him coming directly home from the inpatient treatment program. He might be reluctant to wake up in his old bed with old pressures and stress. He will want to be back home, but he also feared the temptations that could be presented so early in his recovery process.

The best solution to help your loved one transition back into his personal and professional life and focus on recovery was to first move him into a sober living home for 3 months. His clinician no doubt explained that while in sober living he’d establish relationships within the recovery community. He would have found support groups which he enjoyed and found helpful to his process, and used the skills he’s learned while in treatment to cope with urges and cravings.

During the first 3 months of sober living, he was able to prepare himself for transition back into his previous lifestyle without the obsession to use.

Sober living staff helps prepare you for the final transition home.

While he is working to create a plan for recovery, you and your family will also be preparing to help make his transition home safe and comfortable.

One of the benefits of your partner's choice to reside at The Lighthouse sober living home in Fairfield County, Connecticut is that our SLH modality includes helping you and your family understand your loved one’s substance use disorder and his plan for recovery.

Addiction is a family disease; which is to say that all members of your family have been affected by the behaviors and actions of your partner's addiction.

Your family will face many challenges. However, it is possible for him to reap the rewards of recovery with the help, love, and support of his family and friends.

When your loved one is ready to transition home from a sober living house, you can create an environment which supports recovery.

It is crucial that you show your loved one what is best for them by aiming to provide loving support, encouragement, and motivation to stay focused upon long-term recovery.

Here are 5 specific ways The Lighthouse will help you and your loved ones and prepare for spouse’s transition to living at home.

•  Education

When you want the best for your spouse or loved one, it is pertinent that you stay informed of the process throughout his transition — educating yourself about his substance use disorder, his current stage of change, the plan he’s created, and has agreed to follow.

You will want to make yourself aware of your loved one’s triggers, urges, cravings, and what causes dangerous situations for him.

Learning how to communicate effectively takes time and practice. Working with our team at The Lighthouse will prepare you to understand your spouse’s emotional state and how to address triggering and destabilizing situations with care and support instead of making these events worse or hurtful.

Seek professional advice on how to address specific circumstances which are delicate, such as how his substance use disorder has made you feel, so you tone and words chosen do not sound hurtful or blaming.

Each of us has different needs and expectations, so it is vital to understand your partner’s BEFORE he transitions home.

• Substance Free Home

Preparing your home for your spouse to return means you’ll likely have to make sacrifices.  It is best for you to remove all alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription narcotics from the household. Staying sober is difficult, especially when temptation is staring you in the face.  If you are entertaining, do not serve alcoholic beverages. Support your loved one's efforts to stay sober by removing all temptations.

•  Motivation and Encouragement

In the past, disagreements with your partner might have ended in anger and frustration.  You might have been quick to bring up his past failures, unmet expectations, and even relapses to unwanted behavior. Most often these arguments were fueled by your spouse’s history of hiding for his substance use disorder.

When your spouse transitions home from sober living you’ll need to keep in mind that words and actions hurt. Comparing current mistakes to your loved one's past actions discourages him from progressing.

Remain positive and do your best to be encouraging at all times.  Maintaining a positive outlook will show him how deeply you care.

The Lighthouse sober living home in Connecticut meets regularly with family members to begin a process of healing and preparation for a loved one’s transition home.  We will also help find you and your family resources in the community to aide in your healing process.

•  Provide a stress-free environment

Stress is a leading cause of substance use disorder.  It is not always possible to eliminate stress, but it can be managed. Prepare your home to help guard your spouse and loved one from unnecessary stress, remove clutter, keep the house organized, be supportive, find time to relax with one another, and communicate.

Communication is vital to removing stress. When you and your partner are allowed to express what is bothering you assertively, you’ll be working to find a mutual resolution. In doing this, you’ll eliminate the possibility of causing stress.

Exercise and outdoor activities such as yard work relieve stress. Perform these activities together.
Find time, to take walks and have fun together.  There is always time to enjoy each other’s company.

• Listen

While living in a sober living home, your spouse had the opportunity to speak with his peers whenever something was bothering him.  Now that he is transitioning home he needs to know that he will have the same support from you and his family.

Early recovery can be scary at times and your spouse might need some extra tender loving care. There will be times when he’s feeling emotional. In early recovery, emotions which have been dulled for years will start to come back quickly. It is common for your spouse to feel like he is on an emotional rollercoaster.

Let him know that it is okay, you are always available to talk with him, and more importantly, sit with him and LISTEN.

Remember: If you or your loved one are suffering from a substance use disorder, The Lighthouse, provides sober living in Connecticut and recovery coaching in Connecticut, New Jersey, and NYC. Contact us to learn how we can help create a plan for you to live sober, happy, and free from obsession.  




John Makohen