In previous articles, we discussed how to deal with your partner’s addiction and how you can live with someone who is an addict. It is not easy, because living with an addict, whether a partner, spouse, parent, brother, or sister, can be a daily emotional rollercoaster. With treatment and rehabilitation, there is hope and in this article, we will discuss how you can support your spouse who is in recovery.
When you find out that your spouse has a drug or alcohol addiction, you may find your life shattered and your heart broken. You may come to the realization that the troubles that come with this addiction contribute to the lowest points in your marriage or relationship. As a spouse or partner of an addict, you may feel helplessness, frustration, sadness, anger, blame, and a mix of many other emotions, and not one of them is good.
You get your spouse the support and treatment that he or she needs, and you know that once he or she enters rehab, the battle is still not won. There is hope, though, but there are still challenges down the road as you and your family go through addiction recovery.
So how do you make this work? Here’s two things:
1. Get Support
Addiction is a disease that can have devastating and heartbreaking effects not only to the addicts but to their loved ones as well. That’s why we at Bridges of Hope involve family members in treating your loved ones. We understand that you need support too as you undergo your own version of recovery alongside your loved ones’.
We know that the years of living with an addicted spouse can make family and household life dysfunctional, and you may even become so used to destructive behaviors. You yourself may take on unhealthy roles in the family, like being an enabler, a co-addict, or being indifferent to your spouse. We help you identify your own unhealthy patterns and give you the support you need to get your life back together through family meetings and family therapy.
2. Give Support
You can give support to your spouse while he or she is in rehab by encouraging him and making yourself get better as well. After all, you cannot give away something that you don’t have so the only way you can give adequate support to your spouse is by being armed with insights and having proper support from your end too.
One thing to understand in the early stages of recovery is that the addict may have to be “selfish” in the sense that their main priority is their recovery to build positive behavior and self esteem, as well as keep themselves sober. This may be a hard pill to swallow for you, as many spouses may feel that it is unfair and build resentment for their recovering spouse.
Admittedly, this is a great hurdle and may make or break relationships. However, it is important to note that it is in this stage when your spouse needs you the most. In fact, researchers say that men recovering from addiction are much more likely to relapse if they don’t fee their spouse’s support and are instead critical of them.
Sobriety does not happen overnight, or after your partner leaves the rehab facility. Successful addiction recovery takes a lot of work not only from the recovering addict but from his or her primary support, the spouse. In fact, recovery can even make your marriage deeper and better, as long as you take care of yourself and be the support that your wife and husband badly needs.
If this article strikes a chord in you, or if you need support for your husband or wife battling with addiction or recovery, leave us a comment or talk to our Rehab Specialists: