New Life House | A Wife’s Perspective
I believe marriage is meant to be a beautiful gift from God. It was never meant to be easy, but it is not to be a binding contract to suffer through either. The chaos that alcohol addiction brought to our marriage was destructive to many different aspects of our relationship. Thanks to New Life House, and the dedication of my husband to stick with the program, Kyle and I get to celebrate another year of marriage and the hope of many more to come.
I have known Kyle for eleven years. I knew him as a high school boy, a college football player and supported him while he was in the military. Later on in life, I saw him as an alcoholic, but now I get to know him as a recovering alcoholic and my loving husband. From my perspective, his addiction started so slow, and then snowballed into chaos so fast that I felt so hopeless to stop it. I had never known alcoholism and I didn’t understand addiction. This was something I did not grow up around, so the fact that this was happening was confusing and scary. I felt that if I knew what the cause was then I could ‘fix’ it, or at least stop what it was that was triggering the underlying disease of his alcoholism. Whatever the cause, three things became clear; He cannot recover for anyone but himself, I did not have the ability to ‘fix’ this issue, and I needed to find my own recovery and help through Al-Anon.
By the time Kyle got to New Life House, our marriage was running on fumes, and I admit, I was scared this was not going to work because of the failed programs before. I was not completely convinced in his level of commitment to the program or the understanding of his need to be there. A year and a half is a long time to live apart from my husband, but at this point in his alcoholism, he would need time with those who knew what to do. I couldn’t help but to compare this situation to a deployment and the love and support needed during that time. The scariest feeling about loving someone in the military, is knowing there is no guarantee your husband will come home safe and sound, or even at all, from a deployment. The most powerless feeling in sending your husband to recovery is realizing that there is no guarantee he would understand his alcoholism, or put forth the effort to complete the program, and therefore never recover. It is a very humbling reality, but I felt comfortable knowing that he was in an environment to help him recover from alcoholism, and that allowed me to concentrate on my work responsibilities and encouraged me to attend Al-Anon.
It only took a few months in the program to see the results in his demeanor, and in his conversation. After being in the program for a few months, we were able to get to know each other again by enjoying planned dates where another gentleman from the house would accompany us. I was able to see the growing brotherhood of the men who were living together at the New Life House, and the honest support they have for one another. Towards the end of his program, New Life helped make the transition back home as easy as they could and kept me informed on the next steps Kyle would be taking. I was a little nervous because the last memory I had of living with Kyle was not good, but within the first month together I could see hope that time was not wasted.
He attends meetings and has created a new and healthy network of people who are all working on the same goal of sobriety. We are able to enjoy our marriage and even plan for the future. In all honesty, we have a long way to go, and things are far from perfect. But we are now navigating this new lifestyle of sobriety together. Even though it looks a little different than before and compared to other marriages of our age, it is good. We have an overall honest and healthy relationship. I am so thankful for New Life House and those whom we have met. I hope the best for them in their own recovery process.
As a loved one of a man in the military, there is a certain type of love and respect you have for the others that they go to battle with. The Team cares for the life of every member and will always bring your loved one home, and I will always admire that. As the wife of a recovering alcoholic, I see the men that my husband met while at New Life House as brothers fighting a different kind of daily battle. These House Members understand and support the idea that the quality of one’s life is more important than just living, or surviving. For that, I share the same love and respect for them. For all that you have done, Thank you New Life House!