Relationships and marriage can have their challenges. However, when you add addiction to the mix, marriages can experience a significant strain. Although your spouse might be sober now, a marriage can still feel burdened by recovery and the possibility of relapse. If you want to offer your spouse sober support in recovery, one of the best things you can do is to take good care of yourself. However, that’s not all. There are other steps you can take to encourage sobriety and promote a healthy lifestyle for both you and your spouse.
Above all other steps to take, first take good care of yourself. This might mean getting therapy, attending Al-Anon groups, going for long walks when you need to, taking breaks throughout the day, and enjoying time alone. Getting the support, you need for yourself will be what sustains you as you give support to your spouse.
The ways that you support your spouse in sobriety can vary. Below is a list of supportive tips from Westwind Recovery® for encouraging your spouse’s sobriety:
Communicate with One Another
One commonality among addicts is the belief that their needs and wants don’t matter. When you ask your wife or your husband about what they need, you acknowledge that their needs are important. By communicating your own needs, you validate your own experiences as well. Along with discussing each other’s needs, you might also share your hopes, dreams, expectations, and challenges.
Avoid Blaming One Another
It’s easy to point the finger at others and say they’re responsible for past experiences, including addiction. However, blaming promotes guilty feelings, shame, and irresponsibility. Addiction is not the result of personal failings; it is a disease. Rather than place any blame upon your spouse or yourself, take responsibility for your role in making things better.
Educate Yourself on Addiction and Sober Support
A powerful way to support your spouse is to learn about addiction, recovery, sober support, and relapse. Do your best to understand the challenging journey your spouse has been on. Identify any experiences or challenges that might prevent your spouse from staying sober. Recognize the risks for relapse and how you can eliminate those risks.
Believe in Your Spouse and Praise Your Spouse’s Progress
There’s a good chance that your spouse doesn’t believe in themselves. If you can find a way to the belief that he or she can stay sober, that alone will encourage sobriety. On days when the risks for relapse are present, be patient, and have faith in your spouse’s ability to ignore those cravings and triggers.
When you compliment your wife or husband on how well they’re doing in their recovery, you send the message that you’re paying attention. You communicate that you care. Continue to provide your encouragement and praise.
Don’t Take Setbacks Personally
Any setback that you and your wife experience can be opportunities for learning. Even if there is a relapse, it can be a time for investigating what went wrong and strengthening a commitment to sobriety.
Sober Support at Westwind Recovery®
These are suggestions for supporting your spouse in recovery and encouraging their sobriety. At Westwind Recovery®, we recognize the importance of family and loved ones in helping individuals heal from addiction and make a lasting recovery. Thus, we offer numerous therapeutic options that allow individuals to grow as persons but engage with others like spouses, extended family, friends, peers, and co-workers. For instance, we offer the following therapies:
- Adventure Therapy Program
- Art Therapy
- Family Therapy Program
- Life Skills Training Program
- Music Therapy Program
These and many others in our inpatient, outpatient, and sober living homes programs give individuals the best chance at making sobriety permanent. So reach out to us today at 855.340.8832 to learn more.