How do I deal with family asking questions about my husband being in rehab?


#1

So my husband entered rehab 5 days ago. He has been using meth on and off for 3 years. I reached my limit when he started missing work to use. I said enough is enough I’m calling his boss so we can get him help and into rehab. His boss was so very supportive especially since they have a close relationship. I told my husband you either go to rehab or I divorce and take our son away from him. He was willing to go to rehab and wants to get help. The day he entered rehab he expressed how mad at me he was because I told his boss. I also told him he needed to tell his family since he would be unreachable and that I didn’t want to be the one to have to tell them when they called me if they couldn’t get a hold of him and asking what was going on. He did tell them.I don’t regret getting everyone involved. He needs the support. I feel like I’m not handling the questions from the family very well. I am mad at myself because his family wanted to know everything and I told them when it should’ve been my husband to tell them. I clearly screwed that up so bad. I feel like I have made this situation so much worse. I have felt cornered in this situation with all the questions from everyone. I don’t know what I should or shouldn’t say or do. I have always had a problem telling people to much. I still have some of his family members calling that are just now finding out I haven’t called back because I don’t know how much to tell them. How do I handle this moving forward?


#2

Dear @Bballstar , this situation didn’t just start five days ago, so take a deep breath and believe that it will all turn out. Take time out from all the drama to get centered with yourself and with you and your son. Maybe go to a local alanon meeting to get some support and speak in a neutral space. I highly recommend taking the COURSE to improve your communication skills, and to get as much %^&* in the right columns as you can. You’re NOT alone. There is hope for recovery. It is slowly built - sleep, drink lots of water, be extra pampering to yourself. Good luck and let us know how it goes.


#3

When my husband went into rehab for opiates, I was so uncertain what to tell his friends and co-workers who began to notice him missing and reached out to me. For immediate family who he has a close relationship with, I told them everything. Addiction lives in secret, so shining a light on it enables people to be ready to support (and not judge). For close friends and co-workers, I usually said something like ‘He is OK and will be out for several weeks. He had a health scare and is taking time to address his health. He will be focusing on himself for several weeks and once he returns, he can share with you what he feels is important for you to know’. For friends that have a suspicion of what’s going on, that’s usually enough. For others who are more ‘fringey’ it’s just not their business at this time, and it will be your husbands story to tell.
Honestly, if it’s his family and they are concerned, tell them and don’t hold back. You can’t make the situation worse by telling the truth. It wasn’t your doing. Even if you think he was the one who should tell them, believe me, he will tell them once he’s out, and he’ll tell them ‘his side’. You telling them ‘your side’ is totally justifiable as you are the one who’s been dealing with an addict for years. Addiction affects everyone, not just the user. He was on a path to certain death, so you were left no choice but to make a decision that was the best for everyone. I was in a very similar situation 4 months ago. Came home, found my husband nearly dead from an overdose. That’s when I realized, enough of this shit. Gave the ultimatum, got him in rehab, told the family then spent the next three weeks working on myself, nurturing our child, and getting our home back to a place of peace. Now, my husband is on the other side of things, and a different person than he was. Recovery is a lifetime and he is an infant in his recovery, but he has a clear head and we take it day by day. In rehab they learn accountability, and how to face the tough things. I truly hope your husband will jump into his recovery headfirst, and while he does, you must not beat yourself up by saying ‘you screwed up/made the situation worse’. Focus on establishing some peace in your home, take a breath, enjoy your son, check out Al-anon and know that you are not alone.


#5

Alanon can be beneficial even when it’s hard to hear some of the stories people tell. I think it’s nice to hear others who are in “the same boat” and anyone can quietly take away ideas without disclosing other things until you wish to share.

I have gone on and off to Alanon- it was somewhat helpful, although I experienced kind of “cliquey” members and it made me feel more lonely on some level- but in other ways I learned a lot and that I’m not alone in this disease.


#4

Thank you for the wonderful advice! Thank you for making me feel better about the decisions I made. I wish my husband would have been in rehab longer but sadly our insurance wouldn’t pay claiming him to be a “moderate user”. So basically my husband only spent about 10 days in rehab. I will say this though the rehab center he was at wasn’t providing the care he needed. He was only seeing a therapist 2 maybe 3 times a week. He learned some good things out it, which I’m so glad. He was just hoping for more. We are looking into an outpatient option now. I have had bad anxiety over this and depression and I am constantly living in fear that I’m going to lose him. I have no idea how to control those fears and when they creep up I feel like I can’t control them and I start panicking. I did the same and told him I’m divorcing if it happens again. It’s just scary to think about divorce as a stay at home Mom. I’m so sorry you had to go through that scary time with your husband. I can’t imagine how scared you most have been. I’m so glad he is doing better and is on the good side of things now. That makes me feel hopeful that things can get better it’s just going to take a lot of work for us to get through it. I don’t want to leave my husband especially since he did go and was willing to go to rehab. I need to to support him and also take care of myself. I’ve been going to a therapist and that is definitely helping. She mentioned for me to go to Alan on meetings? Are those beneficial or is it to hard to hear some of the stories people tell?


#6

Hi @Bballstar, it’s been a few months since you posted this - how are things going today? Your situation sounds very familiar. My husband went to rehab for opiates, after I gave a sort of ultimatum and then ended up telling his immediate family. I had shared with one of his family members before that, and my husband wasn’t really okay with it but I did it more for myself. It was so hard to carry it by myself, which is what it felt like at the time.

I hope you are able to take care of yourself, and know that this can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved. It’s not up to you to know exactly the right thing to do or say in this situation. You’re navigating some crazy shit right now and you don’t owe anyone answers or explanations. That’s great you’re going to see a therapist. That was the first step I took and it saved me to just be able to have a safe, non-judgmental space to talk and work through my feelings and behaviors. I eventually found Al-Anon, where I found community, strength, hope, faith. I encourage you to keep leaning into those safe spaces, wherever you find them. And trust your gut, always. Sending love!