If you’re a man with a family, you may be wondering how to balance your home life with recovery. You might be worried that you won’t have time for family responsibilities or that you can’t give your recovery the attention it needs.
Finding a good balance in recovery is essential, but do not be discouraged. With the right tools, mindset, and support, you can find a great balance between family life and your recovery journey.
Be Honest With Your Family
Trust and honesty are essential if you have a family while you are pursuing recovery. While you may feel like you want to hide your struggles with substance use to shield and protect your family, this will only hurt everyone more in the long run.
As the saying goes, “What’s in the dark will come to light.” If your family finds out you’ve been hiding your recovery, it can become extremely difficult to rebuild trust and continue on the path of sobriety.
How to Talk to Your Spouse About Your Recovery
It is likely that your spouse already knows about your battle with substance use. Before you begin treatment, it may be a good idea to discuss your recovery goals and expectations with them as well. It is important that you actively listen to them and allow their input throughout this process.
Let your spouse know about the recovery programs you’re enrolled in and what your daily schedule might look like. You can also have an open conversation about sharing responsibilities, such as picking up the kids or taking them to practice.
It’s also important to spend quality time with your spouse. Try to set aside some time each week that’s dedicated to the two of you. This way, you can continue to strengthen your relationship throughout your recovery.
How to Talk to Your Kids About Your Recovery
Talking to your kids about your recovery may seem frightening. You may be tempted to put off the conversation or even try to hide the truth. Keep in mind that it’s never too early to talk to kids about addiction. Likewise, it’s important to be honest with them about what you’re going through.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “One of the most influential factors during a child’s adolescence is maintaining a strong, open relationship with a parent.” You may not think that your kids are listening, but give them the credit they deserve. You’d be surprised at how understanding a child can be. When you maintain an open and honest connection with them, your bond will only strengthen in the long run.
SAMHSA also states that parents should talk to their children “early and often about alcohol and other drugs.” Having honest conversations can protect your children from high-risk behaviors associated with substance use.
Balancing Family Relationships in Recovery
Just because you’re in recovery doesn’t mean you have to put your family on the back burner. In fact, you will probably have more time to spend with your family now than when you were actively using substances.
Incorporating family time is an important part of your healing journey. Time spent with loved ones will help you rebuild relationships and teach you how to live a fulfilling life without the need for substances.
Having a family comes along with many daily responsibilities. Depending on the age of your kids, you may have to help them with basic routines along with responsibilities of their own. Even though your days may seem busy, it’s still important to set aside time for fun activities.
Some fun family activities to consider include:
- Family movie or TV night
- Park outings
- Attending a play
- Crafts and hobbies
Incorporating fun into your family schedule will give you essential time to bond and unwind. Together, you and your family can make lasting memories as you work on your healing.
Include Family in Your Recovery Journey
Don’t be afraid to involve your family in your recovery journey. Addiction is a disease that often affects the family as a whole. Having your family for support throughout recovery is essential for your lasting sobriety.
Sometimes you may feel ashamed or guilty for your addiction. While these feelings are normal, it’s important to remember that addiction can affect absolutely anyone. Your family loves you and wants to see you succeed. You can ask them to attend treatment sessions or programs with you when you need extra support.
Family therapy is an essential part of many addiction recovery programs. SAMHSA states that families should be “open to the options of support groups or family therapy and counseling, which can improve treatment effectiveness by supporting the whole family.”
When searching for a quality outpatient treatment or recovery program, be sure to understand if it includes a family therapy component. Staff, clinicians, and recovery coaches will be happy to incorporate family therapy into your recovery program.
Outpatient and Other Recovery Programs
If you’re attending outpatient recovery or a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous, ask your family if they would like to attend meetings with you from time to time. Many of these groups have an “open door” policy that allows anyone to attend meetings and get support when they need it.
Addiction recovery is a personal journey. Make sure to set healthy boundaries when needed, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your family can be your greatest pillar of support and help you stay accountable to your long-term recovery goals.
For men with families, it’s important to understand how to find balance with addiction recovery. Being open and honest with your family is essential to finding this balance. Your family can be your greatest pillar of support, so don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance throughout your recovery journey. At Lighthouse Recovery Texas, we employ a “family first” philosophy. We understand that addiction is a disease that can affect the whole family. Our treatment and recovery programs include family therapy and other ways for the family to get involved. Our Recovery Coaching program helps you introduce and balance healthy boundaries into your family system and helps facilitate the rebuilding of familial bonds. Call us at (214) 396-0259.