When you’re in a romantic relationship with someone in drug or alcohol addiction recovery, it can be difficult to know how to support them without enabling or becoming codependent.
However, there are several healthy ways to support them while they attend addiction treatment and after they leave.
Show Your Support
Being supportive of your significant other’s journey is one of the best things you can do to help them in their recovery.
That can mean making sure they get to their support group meetings or therapy sessions, visiting while they’re in an inpatient drug rehab program, or going to family therapy with them as part of their treatment program.
Help Manage Triggers
Once you learn your addicted partner’s triggers, you can help them stay away from them or be the extra support they need when they face a trigger. Triggers can be parties, certain places, or people they used to drink or do drugs with.
Limit Alcohol Or Drugs In The House
Taking all alcohol and drugs out of the house can also help your partner’s recovery process. This could mean that you don’t allow other people to bring in drugs and alcohol when they visit.
If prescription drugs are an issue, you may need to be in charge of them or put them in a place that’s secured.
This doesn’t mean you can never drink when you go out with friends, but in your shared living space, it’s best to make it completely substance-free for your addicted spouse or partner.
Learn About Addiction Together
Your partner is likely to have plenty of literature to read about their alcohol or drug addiction. Why not read it together? Then you both get to learn about substance use disorder and you can know more about what they’re going through.
After you read, you can discuss your thoughts and feelings together. It’s a great way for you both to feel connected to each other and your partner won’t feel like they’re doing everything by themselves.
Patience really is a virtue when it comes to being a partner or spouse to someone in recovery. There may be relapses or times that are more difficult than others, but that is just as much a part of recovery as the times when they’re sober.
You may feel upset by a relapse, but it’s best to express those feelings in a journal or in a support group like Al-Anon for partners or family members of those struggling with alcohol or drug use.
Avoid Judging Your Partner
Going through recovery is hard; your partner doesn’t need you judging them on top of everything they’re going through.
They may even judge themselves for needing a stay at a treatment center or for not being able to quit alcohol or drugs on their own. They may feel guilt or shame. Judging them is not going to help.
You’re free to be upset about a relapse or feel down about the speed of their recovery, but judging them and imposing certain beliefs on them will not help them feel supported. It may even hinder their recovery. Being there and encouraging them is the best thing you can do.
Recognize Their Progress
It’s also important to recognize their recovery progress. If they’ve been sober for a week, a month, or a year, celebrate that. If they experienced a trigger and got through it, celebrate that as well. Find sober activities and healthy occasions to celebrate their success.
Recognizing and honoring that they are going through a difficult thing and still succeeding can be a great motivator for sober living. They can be proud of themselves, see how proud you are of them, and enjoy the fun activity or the good food.
Take Care Of Yourself Too
While the focus may be on your partner and their recovery, you also want to make sure your own needs are met as well. You don’t want to go down a negative path where your mental health and overall well-being suffer while your spouse is thriving. You want to thrive together.
Take time for yourself. Have a relaxing day at home. Read your favorite book. Go to the spa and get some self-care time. Whatever is going to keep you happy and healthy.
If your loved one continues to struggle with substance abuse, you don’t have to struggle alone. At Recovering Champions, we offer a number of different addiction treatment options including inpatient and outpatient programs, medical detox, medication-assisted treatment, and aftercare.
To learn more about our drug and alcohol rehab center, please call our phone number today.