The fact is, there are several threats to the development of young men into good fathers and husbands. One of the biggest threats to this is the use of controlled substances, and those who are most negatively affected by a person’s substance use are their spouse and children.
Being a good dad and husband is one of the most rewarding jobs many men could ask for, but it is also a difficult job – even on the best of days. Men recovering from substance use experience unique challenges in their lives and relationships with wives and children.
Now that you are in recovery, you are probably juggling quite a few balls in the air. You are working on building your new sober life, working, involving yourself in alumni activities, and trying to repair and maintain your relationships with family and friends.
Later on, we will provide some tips on how you can keep your relationships with your spouse and children healthy in recovery. For now, read on as we discuss some of the unique challenges you are facing.
The Important Role of the Dad and Husband
For some of us, the goal of being a good husband and father is as important to our identities as hair or eye color. These are the aspects that define who we are and the person we want to be seen as.
Many of us do not realize the positive impact a dad can have in the life of a family, but the active presence of a father figure in the lives of children can impact their entire lifetime.
Children with a male presence in their lives are often better emotionally and socially adapted. However, having a dad around does not have an impact solely on the emotional and social well-being of children.
Having a second parent to provide financial support for a family helps to create a sense of security in kids’ lives. Having more security, emotional support, and socialization can lessen the incidents of behavior problems in children.
Even though more children today are living in fatherless homes, more children are being raised by fathers as a single parent. On a more positive note, fathers are spending more time with their children than they have in the last twenty years.
A Few Bumps in the Road
Every year, over a million men in the United States enter treatment for substance use. About three in five men in treatment and recovery from substance use are fathers of minor children.
Unfortunately, there has not been a great amount of research devoted to the impacts on families of fathers and husbands who engage in substance use. What we do know is that it has a tremendously negative effect on outcomes for children and families involved.
The reasons why are easier to explain. Fathers and husbands who use controlled substances and seek treatment cannot be there for their families financially, nor be present for their loved ones. These and other factors have an adverse impact on relationships between men and their families.
Now that you are in recovery, you are seeking ways to repair, revisit, or re-engage in strained relationships. Fixing your family is an important part of recovery, and we have answers to some of the questions you may have.
The Health Benefits of Marriage and Family on Men
A man who is present is not only a benefit for his wife and children, but marriage and family have also been demonstrated to have health benefits for men.
Multiple research studies have shown that marriage and family can increase longevity in both men and women. Moreover, the robustness of the marriage relationship is directly correlated to the health benefits. In other words, a happy marriage makes for a healthy life!
Some recent literature also shows that parental marital status has positive health benefits for children in the relationship. Research shows that this may be due to greater stability provided by a nuclear family structure.
Tips for Repairing and Maintaining Your Family Relationships
- Being available to help your kids with their academics may mean the world to them. Helping your children with homework, assisting them with building a volcano for a science fair, or even going to parent-teacher conferences shows your kids that you care.
- Having fun is important, too! Whether you are reading together, playing sports, volunteering, or even gaming, you and your kids can just have a good time together doing things you love.
- Being a provider does not just mean providing financially. Whether you are showing your children you love them by participating in activities with them or showing your wife you love her by being present, doing these things demonstrates that you are a provider for your family.
- If you are no longer the custodial parent of children, making yourself available for visitation and other sanctioned activities is a good way to stay in your children’s lives. Make sure your family knows you can be there for them, too.
- Counseling is essential for both you and your family. Your family needs guidance to work through your recovery just as much as you do.
- Last but not least, working on yourself is one of the best ways you can be your family repairman. Your family needs you to be whole, and that is what you have been working on through treatment and recovery.
Don’t forget to give yourself a break. You are doing great. Keep up the good work.
Being in recovery can be a difficult experience, especially for those of us who have seen the damage addiction has caused to our families. Being a husband and father is another tough job and one that does not take a day off. In recovery, husbands and fathers face unique demands and challenges as they adjust to a new life in and out of treatment. Rebuilding your family ties is now one of your primary focuses, but you might not know how to do it. At Renaissance Ranch, our goal is to help you and your family find unity and restore your relationship health in recovery. Call us today at (801) 308-8898 to learn how we can help.