Looking for tips on what to expect during my spouse's 28 day rehab stay?



Hi! Just beginning the journey of recovery with my loved one as my spouse begins rehab. Very hard being away from him and not knowing what’s going on, but the resources here are already helping me understand him better. I should have started this earlier!

He finishes detox today (after 3 days). Tomorrow starts the rehab portion (28ish days). It’s hard looking at the calendar and seeing how long he’ll be gone but I’m trying to focus on all the good that will come out of this investment of his time.

One tip I found really helpful in the playbook was focusing on the positive / good in him. It inspired me to write him a letter to him today detailing the wonderful things I see in him and the reasons I fell in love with him. It made me realize how much of that we’ve lost through this whole thing as we became absorbed in the fight around treatment. I wish I had tried that earlier. Because deep down, I know he’s a great person who is hurting and struggling. Sharing in case that inspires someone else.


I have 100% been there @Rachel !

I remember when my husband went into rehab, something I’d been dying for almost a year if not longer, and then I felt completely exhausted and alone! And like, where’s my rehab?

My main pieces of advice to myself looking back on that time would be:

  1. Focus on my own self care (tips here)
    Take it slow, and reconnect with friends and family when and where possible.

  2. Keep in mind that they have heaps of healing to do, don’t get caught up in fear and jealousy during this time, allow them space to heal

  3. 30 days is not enough - they say it takes 6 months to heal the brain functioning just 50% - so be prepared for the long haul (you need all your strength and what that allows us: objectivity)

Couple of related posts might be useful:


I’m such an action oriented person that this is hard for me. I’ve been sending him letters so he knows I’m thinking of him. But I also don’t want to overwhelm him with my feelings - I want to honor the treatment by giving him space to heal for himself and focus on his own recovery. So I’ve been sending silly notes or writing little memories to remind him of good times. Do you think it will be too much for him to keep receiving letters from me (1/day)? It makes me feel better to write and show him I care, but I also want to be mindful of his experience receiving these. And of course I won’t speak with him for another 5 days so I don’t know if he’s appreciating these or overwhelmed by them. Thoughts?


Hi @Rachel! My husband was in rehab a few years ago. It was so hard, and I have a little one which made it much harder to focus on myself while he was out. Support from his family definitely helped - they stepped up as needed to watch my son when I visited my husband, bring dinner to my house, help with car trouble, etc. Please don’t be afraid to ask for support from trusted friends and family nearby. You’ve been through some traumatic experiences and need to recover, as well.

Sending him letters is a great way to let him know you’re thinking of him. If you’re wondering if they’re helping or if he’s feeling overwhelmed - ask him! Talk to him about how his recovery is going and what you can best do (or not do) to support him. Write the letters if they make you feel better and then ask him if he wants them when you see him. If he says no, try not to get offended. At least writing it all out helped you, right? He’s working on some serious things right now and is putting his own recovery first, as he should. Some of the tools that have helped me, my husband and our relationship the most through the entire recovery process have been communication, empathy and perspective.

I know it might be hard, but please do take this time to focus on yourself. What will make YOU feel better while he’s away? :pray::sparkles:


I think if it makes you feel good (and per @momentsandlight you hear he’s open to receiving them) then no harm :slight_smile: love is so healing at this time.

I’d also just caution to keep in mind that this is a huge transformational and can be volatile time for him (so much healing to do!) so week to week things may shift and just stay steady in yourself and your relationship. Give it time :heart: and don’t take too much personally! He’s got to focus on himself and his healing!


Yeah, I’m not one to ask for help normally but this process has shown me that needs to change. My family, his family, and both our friends are stepping up and I’ve been forcing myself to ask for help. We have a little one and I’m pregnant, so lots going on at home. Still trying to take it day-by-day, but also planning activities on the weekends he’ll be gone so that I have help with our little one. I’m going to schedule some “me time” too - I need a haircut, maybe a pedicure, or just some alone time to read / think.

I’m most scared about this pregnancy and his return. I understand the 6 months and the re-wiring of the brain, which makes me anxious because a new baby will be here in 6 months. Not ideal for his recovery, but I guess we’ll just have to make it part of the plan for his return.


Hey @Rachel! I have gone through rehab with my BF a couple of times (he’s currently at rehab right now on his 17th day today), and it does not get any easier. I miss him, just like you are probably missing your husband. Just know he is in the safest environment right now.

First, expect that during first week, you may not hear from him. This always made me frantic , it still does! But, most rehabs want that first week for patients to clear their head of all distractions and in the long run, it is a good thing.

Second, ALWAYS try to get in touch with therapists, care managers, ETC. Introduce yourself and give them a call. This allows you to get an in on how he is doing and what the plan is. It also allows you to be in the know of visitation and call hours, etc. Ask them questions and voice any concerns with them. They are there to help not only him, but you as well.

Third, check to see if they have any family meetings you can attend. I’m not sure if his rehab is locally or in your state. The last rehab my BF was at held a 2 hr meeting every Wednesday for the family to attend. IT WAS AWESOME because it made his time being there a lot easier on both of us. This first hour was just a family meeting w/ other family members of the patients. We got education on addiction and were allowed to ask questions. It was super informational considering it was the 1st time I was going through this. The 2nd half was a an AA-style meeting and I was able to attend with my BF. Not every rehab will have a setup like this, but check to see if they do.

Fourth, practice self-care! I still find this difficult, but it gets easier as the time goes on. Try attending an Al-Anon meeting. Instead of looking at it as “he is just getting treatment” , look at this time as you are recovering too. To recover, you need to address things and heal with yourself. You will find people in similar situations at Al-Anon, and it is a community that is so not judgemental you will feel right at home!

Fifth, realize things don’t happen overnight. My BF’s first rehab journey was almost 50 days!!! Crazy right? He ended up relapsing early on though, and at first it really broke me. But, I had to remind myself that things like this do happen and it was unfair to think he could be “cured” overnight. But, no matter what I supported him and still do because I truly believe recovery is possible. It just takes time, effort, and a lot of go arounds for it to happen. So, set realistic expectations for yourself.

Sixth, have a clear line of communication with your husband. Let him know if something is up, to let you know. This is especially important in early recovery because the addict is super vulnerable and experiencing the world sober. My BF was depressed the first month he came back from rehab, and at first I took personal because he wasn’t clear to me what was happening. I eventually had a sit down with him and we hashed out everything.

Seven, try to be open minded about all kinds of treatment. I didn’t know this till recently, but there is a lot of different kind of treatments out. My BF is currently on suboxone maintenance at the rehab he is at now. I read a lot of great things on this, so I am hoping it is the push he needs to succeed!

Eight, set-up goals for yourself everyday. Keeping your own goals in line is SUPER helpful to get through the difficult times. For instance, I’m studying for 2 Praxis tests right now. Sometimes, I don’t want to study, but when I do I feel accomplished. I also try to do the 10th step every night and put one thing I’m grateful for that day in my grateful jar. It sounds silly when I’m writing it , but I do all of this to keep things in perspective for me. Sometimes I feel like I get so lost in the BIG picture, that I don’t focus on the moments I’m living right now. These small practices help keep me grounded.

I hope some of these tips help you in this journey to recovery! I will add any I can think of later. I wish someone had told me some of these things when we first started on this journey, but you learn as you go. Feel free to message me if you have any other questions or just want to talk!



Keep embracing the support <3 I love your list (I need a haircut too!!)


Wow thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it! It’s helpful to know I’m not alone in what I’m feeling. Definitely going to put these into action.


The facility called me today and told me my husband’s insurance claim was denied. I guess they approved detox but not rehab, which makes no sense. I’m trying to fight this but in the meantime, my husband called with the finance guy to discuss it with me and I told my husband not to worry about the finances, we’ll work through a plan, just get the treatment you need, you’re health is the most important. He responded that he thinks he’ll be ready to leave in 10-14 days not the full 28 days. He thinks he doesn’t need the full 28 days, but he said that’s not due to finances, he’s genuinely feeling better. Anyone else gone through something like this before? Any advice for convincing him to stay the full 28 days?


Such beautiful wisdom @stayhopeful244 - I wish you’d all been around when I was going through this with my husband :heart_decoration: !!


I also forgot to mention this! My BF is under his parents insurance (both are teachers). Before they switched to their current insurance, he was covered everywhere for the longest amounts of time. Now, his detox/ rehab is only covered for 21 days (SERIOUSLY who makes these rules …). I’m happy he is completing the 21 days, but even that isn’t enough in reality.

Your husband needs the full amount of time. Just detoxing alone can take a week, so tacking on another week to it is barely anything. Sadly, because of the insurance, they trick people into thinking that they don’t need treatment for that long. But, in reality, they are only worried about money and not the science behind addiction. In total, it can take 6 months to a year, for the addict’s brain to change it’s current chemistry that was altered. Do you have any idea why it is denied? Has your husband ever been diagnosed w/ a co-occurring disorder ie. depression, bipolar, etc? I would definitely take this up with your insurance and see what their policies are. Maybe he can transfer to another rehab that is covered under your insurance. I know my BF’s parents called their insurance and they told them if someone at the rehab deemed it medically necessary, they would extend his time. It’s worth a shot asking!!


@Rachel agh that is so frustrating! I went thru a similar issue with my husband - he was only in rehab for about a week, then relapsed as soon as he got home and didn’t want to go back. Trying to convince him was pretty painful but he did go back.

I actually just showed my husband this post and asked what he would say. He made a few points:

  • Of course he said he’s feeling better. He just detoxed. He’s feeling the best he has since he started using.
  • Once he’s feeling better, that’s when the real work begins. And he should be doing that work in rehab.
  • It’s way more embarrassing to leave rehab earlier and have to go back than to just spend longer there and take more care of himself the first time.
  • If he already has all the arrangements in place, why not take the time to really focus on himself. In rehab he gets to think about nothing but self care, with no other worries of the outside world. He probably doesn’t want to go back, so make this time count.

I asked my husband if any of these points would’ve convinced him. He said maybe if he would have been convinced before he had the idea in his head that he was going home. I hope that helps. :pray:t4::sparkles:


I know finances are a heavy burden that can weigh on their mind - definitely was a reason for my husband not wanting to get help so avoiding that line of thought is super helpful <3


Thanks to both of you! Really helpful insight. Love the suggestions from your husband @momentsandlight. I called a few friends who have been involved in getting my husband to rehab and they helped strengthen my resolve to stay the course and try to get my husband to stay for 28 days. I’m definitely calling insurance first thing Monday (they are closed for the weekend). Right now, my husband has agreed to 14 days. So I’m going to give it time since I can’t talk to him for a few days anyway and then try to approach gently when we do speak. Like everything else, one day at a time, so if I can get him to stay 15 days instead of 14, that could be a win!


Yes! There you go! Plus, you never know what can happen in those couple days. My BF wanted to leave a rehab he was at in PA (which is 3 hrs away from where we live). The rehab called me urging me not to pick him up and all his family / friends said the same. The rehab had a 24 hr policy before anyone could be discharged. He changed his mind the next day to stay because he talked it out with some of the guys at his house.

So long story short, don’t fret yet! Let him get through the detox portion and clear his head!