The odds of salvaging your marriage in the wake of addiction may seem fairly bleak. Couples who struggle with substance abuse in one or both partners have a divorce rate of about half. Statistically, a relationship is more likely to survive the loss of a child.
Outpatient rehabilitation is a multi-billion business in the United States, and tens of thousands of active support groups exist to help people recover from addictions. With such resources available, why is sustaining a marriage post-sobriety such a riddle?
As Christopher Dale discovered, the “ cure” can be as stressful as addiction. Recovery is a life-long process that brings permanent changes to both those battling substance abuse and their long-term partners. Accepting the loss of the marriage they had before his sobriety allowed Christopher and his wife to recommit to a new form of relationship— one based on an honest outlook of recovery.
That journey is documented, in all its trials, traumas and successes, so that other couples who find their connection buckling under the weight of addiction— and recovery— have a path and process to becoming Better Halves.
About the Author
Christopher Dale is an experienced public relations professional, writer, and recovering addict. He has been published in a wide range of prominent outlets, including The Daily Beast, Salon, Parents.com, Dogster, New York Daily News, and Tribune Syndicate. He writes on a wide range of topics, including addiction, mental health, politics, parenting, travel, and rescue dog advocacy.
“This is one of those complicated and serious issues that so many couples experience, and that only someone who has gone through should write about in depth. No one is more equipped to provide insight and suggest solutions than recovering journalist Christopher Dale. While the journey has twists and turns, Mr. Dale always gives it to you straight.”—Leonard Buschel, founder, Writers in Treatment and Editor-in-Chief, Addiction/Recovery eBulletin
"Christopher Dale's ‘marital memoir’ isn't always a pleasure to read—no book with the line ‘my weekly unemployment checks turned into white powder’ could be. But it is a brave and thoughtful look at how sobriety and the brutal honesty it requires can enrich a marriage as surely as addiction can ruin it."—Bill Lueders, editor, The Progressive
“To rebuild something, you must understand how and why it got broken. You must be able to look at the broken thing with curiosity and compassion, to see how its parts go together the same as you see how they came apart. Christopher Dale knows how and why his marriage broke, and the searing honesty, unsparing detail and limitless quest for truth with which he writes Better Halves will be an immeasurable help to those looking at a broken life, a broken love or a broken trust, and who want help understanding how it all goes back together again.”—Gabriel Nathan, Editor-in-Chief, OC87 Recovery Diaries
"Christopher Dale gives us an insightful and meaningful contribution to one of the most under-discussed topics of the addiction crisis: marriage. Better Halves is a well written and prescriptive read for any person or couple navigating the trials and tribulations of addiction and recovery."—Ryan Hampton, national addiction recovery advocate and author of American Fix and Unsettled
"Christopher Dale offers a unique voice and perspective in the recovery memoir space. He is brutally, if not embarrassingly, honest about the depths of his addiction and the lengths to which he went to hide it from his wife. Anyone who has lived with—or suspects they may be living with—an addict or alcoholic will glean insight from this eye-opening work."—Ahbra Schiff, Co-Director, REEL Recovery Film Festival
“In Better Halves, Christopher Dale does the necessary and important work of helping people in relationships make it to the other side of addiction (and recovery) intact. By combining the details of his own personal addiction journey with hard-won and common-sense direction, Dale provides a roadmap for people in relationships to rediscover and heal their underlying bond.”—Allison McCabe, Editor-in-Chief, The Fix
“In Better Halves, Christopher Dale celebrates the ‘mundane miracle’ of rebuilding an honest, mutually supportive relationship after active addiction. He provides practical guidance for restoring balance between partners, walking couples through the uniquely challenging but infinitely rewarding journey of sobriety and long-term recovery. With unflinching honesty, Dale expertly examines the reality of what works—and what doesn’t—when mending a marriage between two people who are equal and imperfect.”—hopetocope.com