What You Need to Know About Your Spouse in Recovery

What You Need to Know About Your Spouse in Recovery

What You Need to Know About Your Spouse in RecoveryWhat You Need to Know About Your Spouse in Recovery

Addiction is a difficult situation for anyone to go through. As a married couple, your spouse’s addiction could pose a challenging time for you. It may put a strain on your relationship, and the treatment time may be a long process. 

Drug and alcohol use are the most common addictions, but there are others like gambling, pornography and overeating that may need treatment as well. It’s an emotional roller coaster that you both must navigate. Recovery and rehabilitation are steps in the right direction, but there are many more to climb even after that step. 

One of the best things you can do for your spouse is supporting them through this process, as it can help them get rid of their toxic patterns. Here’s what you need to know about your spouse in recovery so you can best advocate for them during it.

Ask for Help When You Need It

The first thing you need to know about your spouse going through recovery is that you will likely need help. Gather a support system of family, friends and other people you trust. You and your spouse do not have to be alone while recovering from addiction.

Additionally, reach out to your family physician or a counselor. You will be going through nearly everything your spouse is going through. You need assistance to do this effectively because it takes a toll on your mental and physical health. 

Take Care of Your Spouse and Yourself

Your spouse will need regular care and attention as they go through recovery. Being with someone who struggles with addiction can be exhausting, but you need to support them through it because you’re the one they trust the most. 

Although your spouse will need direct care, you need to take good care of yourself, too. You can’t adequately provide for your spouse if you don’t have the mental or physical capacity to do so. Have a support system for your own needs, and take a day off if you need it.

Understand Your Spouse’s Addiction

Another thing you need to know and understand is your spouse’s addiction. The more you learn about addiction and your spouse’s particular addiction, the better recovery will be for the both of you. 

Sometimes, spouses of someone with addiction may feel unwanted or unloved. However, when you learn about addiction, you’ll understand that addiction is more about powerful cravings that stem from the brain and behavioral changes. In fact, genetics can account for up to 60% of a person’s addiction. It’s about biology and psychology, not about you. 

Be Patient With Your Spouse

Of course, you want your spouse to change for the better. You want them to get better and recover from addiction. Recovery takes a long time. You will need to cultivate patience with your spouse — the change in behavior doesn’t happen overnight. 

Your spouse may go through a few different recovery plans, and you may feel impatient or frightened that they won’t get better. Practice patience for both you and yourself because this will help achieve the goal and ease the recovery process. If you’re anxious, your spouse might become anxious and be more likely to relapse.

Praise the Progress

Your spouse is working hard to beat addiction. Every time your spouse makes progress in their recovery, praise them. Offering words of encouragement throughout the process will further motivate them to continue working towards sobriety. 

For more significant milestones during their recovery, celebrate in some way. Perhaps you purchase them a small gift or take them out for a nice meal. These are ways for them to remember how far they’ve come to reaching their goals. 

Know That There May Be Setbacks

Even though you want to reach the end goal of recovery, know that there will probably be setbacks along the way. Realize that you and your spouse are human beings. There will be mistakes made and things that maybe one of you could have done better or differently, but it’s all part of the journey. 

There may be hurdles like lying, selfishness and even relapse. Be prepared for these moments. Have someone you can call right away when they occur. To help prevent these, keep your spouse away from triggers and ensure you’re allowing for open communication and honesty, which is an essential part of working towards a new life.

Work on Forgiving Your Spouse

There may be pain and anger that has built up over the years from your spouse’s addiction. Additionally, other emotions may have prevented you from fully forgiving your spouse. Work on forgiving them, though. 

The feelings you experience are valid, but holding onto them may be preventing you both from moving forward. Talk together with a counselor about ways you can learn to forgive so you can fully take on recovery with your spouse. Forgiveness can bring you personal peace that is needed while your spouse recovers.

Recovery Is Worth It

The road to recovery is a long one, but it’s worth it in the end. Remember to take care of yourself and gather a support system. Be a source of encouragement for your spouse. You and your partner will both heal when your partner makes progress. 

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