There are many different alcohol rehab and therapy programs available that promote the idea that alcohol abuse is a family disease and in order to save your marriage you have to treat the disease. However, the truth is that alcohol use or abuse is not a disease but a learned behavior and choice. 12 Step programs enable the user and cripple marriages by promoting the idea of "I'm sick and that is why I drink." They also promote that the only way to achieve success is by total abstinence. The reality is that there is another explanation and another solution, so before seeking a rehab program, you may want to sincerely ask yourself if alcohol rehab can save your marriage.
According to Kenneth Anderson, author of How to Change Your Drinking: A Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol, also known as The HAMS Book; through positive change, whether that is a reduction in alcohol use or abstinence or moderate alcohol use, you can achieve a happy and healthy marriage. It is really a matter of choice.
Similarly, divorce statistics in countries that have a high percentage of drug and alcohol users are also higher. To some people, the solution to lowering the divorce rate would be as simple as not marrying someone who has a problem with alcohol or substance use. However, since many people marry without knowing that a substance use problem exists or since in many cases the substance or alcohol use develops after the marriage; avoiding divorce by not marrying a substance user seems an unlikely scenario.
The idea of a reduction in or moderate alcohol consumption is counter to 12 step programs that advocate total abstinence. However, perhaps it is the hard core approach, which is all or nothing that prevents people from ever completing those programs and achieving success. Is it realistic to demand abstinence when clearly the vast majority do not achieve it? Not according to Anderson who says that while the programs are great for the people who are successful at abstinence, for the rest, some 60 to 95 percent, they are not. A more realistic approach is to the problem is reduction or moderation which is actually achieved by most problem drinkers at some point in their lives.
Data shows that marriages where one or both parties struggle with alcohol use problems are more likely to end in divorce. While the amount of people getting married remains steady, the amount of marriages ending due to alcohol use problems is rising at four times faster than for marriages where alcohol is not an issue. This dynamic is not limited to the U.S., but is a global problem. However, that does not have to be the end of the story. Before you give up the marriage because it looks like the numbers are stacked against you, consider the solutions.
If you consider the divorce statistics and look at the high number of marriages that end in divorce after alcohol rehab and treatment, you can see that attending alcohol rehab is not helpful to marriage. There are a couple reasons for this: one is that the for most alcohol treatment or rehab is unsuccessful; and two, if the rehab and treatment was successful then the outcome such as mandatory attendance at daily meetings, is not acceptable to the spouse.
Remember Anderson's statistics that 60 to 95 percent of the people who enter 12 step programs and rehab are not successful. If the marriage is counting on a successful outcome for its survival, then there might be some disappointment with the results.
The second reason that marriage could end in divorce after treatment is a bit more complicated. If the treatment is successful, and sobriety is achieved, control in the marriage shifts. The once alcohol dependent person may become independent and more assertive, which can alienate the partner. In the case of step programs that advocate a higher power, this can alienate the partner as well when the once alcohol dependent looks to another source for strength.
Still another problem with alcohol rehab and 12 step programs is that those programs require daily support group meetings and in some cases family therapy sessions as a condition to their programs. Some partners are not willing to participate in spilling all the details of their marriage and past to strangers. However, there is an alternative to those programs that has proven success in helping people overcome alcohol overuse and as a result marriages are saved.
The non-treatment program offered at the St. Jude Retreats can help you take back control of your life and help heal the damage in your marriage. We are not a 12 step program that teaches that alcohol abuse is a disease, but rather we know that alcohol use is a choice that all people have the power to change. We offer an education based program that helps our guests realize that they have the power to change their life and to make different choices. As a result of our program, our guests develop a stronger self esteem and see their future full of hope. We have been helping people overcome their alcohol use problems to achieve lasting results for more than 22 years. Call St. Jude Retreats today and let us help as well!