Supporting Romantic Partner’s Addiction Recovery
How do I Support a Romantic Partner in Addiction Recovery?
One of the most powerful tools for supporting a partner in recovery is committing to learning about addiction.
This may involve attending family meetings at a rehab center, reading about addiction, and honest communication with your partner.
Many people make the early mistake of hovering over and watching their newly sober partner for any slip-ups.
This pressure, in addition to coping with their new life, can feel suffocating and demoralizing.
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Your Partner’s Old Normal Will Not Do
The other extreme – ignoring the issue and returning to old habits and family roles – is equally as dangerous.
Many families have developed silent agreements and roles that each member plays to keep the peace.
Any disruption to those roles can feel frightening, and there can be a desire to restore “normalcy.” Sometimes, it is this “normalcy” that the initial seeds of addiction stems from.
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The Value of a New Normal
Awareness of old unhealthy habits can open the doors to new ways of living and increased joy in relationships.
Supporting your partner through listening to their concerns, rebuilding faith and trust, and letting go of past roles and mistakes are the first steps towards creating a new and healthy normal.
Understanding How to Help a Recovering Alcoholic Spouse
How to deal with a recovering addict boyfriend or girlfriend can be a challenge, but it is worth it for the ones you love.
Supporting a newly sober spouse is more than having an alcohol-free home. It is embracing a new way of life and learning how addiction has affected you as well. Below are some tips to help a recovering alcoholic spouse:
1. Encourage and allow the addict to attend their support groups.
If addiction has kept your partner from home, it can be disconcerting when they leave the house regularly for meetings. This is understandable. Support groups are a key tool to stay sober, and your support for attendance is crucial for their success. The alcoholic is learning to get comfortable with lots of feelings, which they have likely been ‘numbing’ for a while. They need a lot of support in the beginning, and this commitment will help ensure long-time recovery.
2. Get educated.
Although addiction touches so many people, good education and information can be challenging to find. Information is available if you ask us at Resurgence and seek it out. Education is power and will help everyone be successful. Reach out to us today to help guide you towards high-quality information on addiction. Additional information can be found at this link.
3. Get therapy, if you can.
Sadly, addiction negatively impacts connection and communication in partnerships and families. Sometimes we need to relearn (or learn for the first time) effective ways to communicate our feelings, needs, and desires. Give yourself the gift of allowing a professional to help you through this challenge. Again, you are worth the investment of time so all can be successful in their new journey of recovery.
4. Our secrets keep us sick.
This is an old saying that holds true in the addiction treatment world. It is understandable that you may not want the world to know that your loved one went to treatment. But it is important to connect with trusted people who can support you along this path. Your willingness to be vulnerable may show others the strength to address a problem in their families.
Effects of Addiction and Supporting Recovery
Most people who go to rehab return home intending to abstain from alcohol and all addictive drugs. How to deal with a recovering addict boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse is important for all family members to be aware of during his or her path to recovery. Family members may unintentionally put newfound sobriety at risk without adequate education and commitment to changing family culture.
A loving family member may be the first to offer your partner a drink thinking that “one drink won’t hurt.” Family members can read about why addiction is called a brain disease to begin to understand the need for abstinence.
Treatment centers understand that addiction is best treated with social support and encouragement to attend support groups upon returning home. Typically, they have been exposed to and educated about these groups and their programs while in treatment.
Common Support Groups
You should consider checking these meetings out in your area, as they are a great resource for the family.
Family members have been impacted deeply and need their own support system.
Mental Illness and Addiction
Having a secondary diagnosis is common in alcoholism.
Feelings of depression may be a trigger to begin drinking.
Alcohol can be a crutch that can develop to avoid getting help for the primary issue at hand.
Studies have shown that drinking alcohol does not necessarily cause mental illness.
However, it can hide underlying mental health issues. The National Alliance on Mental Health has estimated that 30% of alcoholic individuals also have an underlying mental health diagnosis.
Both issues, if left untreated, can worsen the other.
This can make reaching out for treatment challenging.
Choosing a rehab facility that is skilled in untangling the layered issues is key to the successful treatment of both.
Many times, if the mental health issue is addressed, the chances for successful recovery is improved.
The most common linked disorders were depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia.
We have staff trained to assess for any issues that may complicate or hinder successful recovery on how to deal with a recovering addict boyfriend or on how to help a recovering alcoholic spouse.
Treatment of Addiction in Families
Addiction is known as a family disease. How to deal with a recovering addict boyfriend or how to help a recovering alcoholic spouse is essential for all family members to know about and help support the individual’s path to recovery.
One family member cannot live with and be emotionally connected to an addict without being impacted by their disease.
Family members struggle with this concept sometimes.
It is completely natural to need some help with insight on the process when a partner or loved one enters treatment and recovery. For more information on alcoholism, click here.
Do not be afraid to ask questions and seek family education and therapy to support your loved one.
Family members often wonder how they can best support their loved one – both during and after treatment.
We can help guide you and your family on the most effective methods to support your loved one in recovery.
Do you want treatment but are worried about how you can pay for it?
We have a team of financial professionals who provide free insurance verification. We will work with you to determine how to move forward with the treatment in a way that works for you and your financial situation.
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How to Get Help
Resurgence Behavioral Health is available to answer questions or discuss options with you.
We have a team of professionals who are dedicated to understanding and healing your addiction.
We give hope back to those who are searching for recovery and stability.