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Tips for the Spouse of an Addict in Recovery

how to support a spouse in addiction recovery

Being a spouse of an addict in recovery is hard.

While your spouse may have successfully completed a substance abuse program, it doesn’t mean life will always be smooth sailing. The recovery journey has its ups and downs, and this can be especially taxing on a marriage. Supporting a spouse in addiction recovery can be challenging without the proper support or knowledge. As a wife or husband, you play an enormous role in your spouse’s sobriety. Your words and actions hold much weight. While no one is perfect, and problems aren’t always avoidable, there are healthy ways to support your spouse in recovery.

Tips for Supporting a Spouse in Addiction Recovery

As a drug and alcohol rehab in Texas, we want to offer some tips that can be helpful when learning how to support a spouse in addiction recovery.

Knowledge Is Power

While you may understand the general concept of addiction, there are a lot of nuances that you may be unaware of. You may have only seen the nastier side of this disease, like lying, stealing, isolation, or mistreating others, but there’s more to it. Since it is a chronic disease and not a choice, it is not a simple process to just erase the presence of a substance use disorder. By working on your own addiction education, you can better understand your wife’s or husband’s actions during their active addiction. This can also help you forgive them.

Identify Things That Could Potentially Trigger a Relapse

At Banyan Texas, we know that supporting your partner in addiction recovery also involves identifying and avoiding things that could trigger a relapse. For example, if your partner underwent an alcohol detox and addiction treatment, then you should avoid keeping alcohol in the house. While it may seem unfair or frustrating that you need to avoid certain things sometimes, part of learning how to support a spouse in addiction recovery is selflessness. When you love someone, you should be able to make compromises that can help that person and your relationship.

Have a Plan in Place in Case of Relapse

It’s not uncommon for a person to relapse in the early stages of recovery. While this doesn’t happen to everyone, it isn’t always avoidable. That’s why it’s important to have a plan regarding what to do after a relapse. This is something you can sit down and talk about with your spouse and a sponsor.

Join a Support Group

The benefits of group therapy for addiction recovery aren’t limited to recovering addicts. It’s easy to forget that you aren’t alone in this. There are many people out there who also have spouses in recovery. Your wife or husband isn’t the only one who needs support to get through this. It’s important to join a family program or support group for the families of recovering addicts so you can connect with others who are in a similar situation. Not only can you learn from the experiences of others, but you may also be able to motivate someone else.

Go to Couples Therapy

Couples therapy helps address a variety of issues between spouses. Attending couples therapy with your spouse offers a safe and private space where you can talk out your feelings and problems with the guidance of a licensed therapist. This can prevent any conversations at home from escalating into arguments.

Be Honest

Although it’s important to be understanding, you also shouldn’t lie to your partner. This can cause a lot of mistrust, which can do further damage. Addiction is often linked with lying and deception, and it’s important to break that habit of behavior by being honest with your partner. This also keeps them accountable for being honest with you.

Be Patient

You may have already heard this from others, but patience is key to supporting your spouse during recovery. Keep in mind that they’re also going through physical and mental changes that can be distressing. Don’t work against them – work with them. Try to always consider their perspective without enabling their behavior.

Don’t Blame Yourself

It can be easy to put the blame on yourself when your spouse is going through something difficult. You may wonder,What if I had said or done something differently?” At the end of the day, there’s no point in dwelling on things that can’t be changed or reversed. The best thing you can do for yourself and your spouse is work with them in moving forward.

There Is Always a Light at the End of the Tunnel

Addiction is a beast, and not just for the person suffering from it. It can have a devastating effect on the loved ones of the individual, as well as their relationship. Being the spouse of an addict in recovery can seem like an arduous task, but you don’t have to face it alone. That is why Banyan works to provide some of the best Texas addiction treatment in the state. We want to help all those affected heal from this devastating disease and get them all back to the lives they deserve to enjoy.

Addiction treatment is the first step in recovery. If you or a loved one is battling drug or alcohol abuse, call Banyan Treatment Centers Texas today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our different levels of care.

Related Reading:

How a Regular Person Can Make a Difference in Addiction Recovery Activism

Do Marriages Last After Rehab?

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.