Addiction is often seen as a singular problem – a problem for the actual user. However, there is also fallout for those around the user, particularly a spouse or partner. It can be a challenge to get your spouse to see the benefits of enrolling in a rehab facility. However, if you are successful in doing so, and they are able to complete the program, then it is important that you help them maintain a life of sobriety. This isn't easy, but with a few tips that will guide to a supporting role, it is possible.
Tip #1: Go to Counseling.
Your first step in helping your partner is to seek help. While it is true that you are not the one with a drug or alcohol problem, you are the spouse of an individual with that problem. Therefore, you need to be able to understand what they are going through in order to be able to successfully support them. In addition, you will likely have some negative feelings and experience some emotions that you have never felt before after going through what you have with your spouse. It's a traumatic experience even for you, and counseling can help you deal with those emotions rather than bottling them all up, which isn't good for you or your partner who is trying to recover.
Tip #2: Do Not Blame Them for Their Past Mistakes.
It isn't uncommon to have lost something throughout the process of your spouse's addiction. For example, your spouse may have sold off your all of your most expensive jewelry, including the pearls that have been in your family for generations, in order to get money to pay for their alcohol or drugs. It is important that you don't place blame, as this is hurtful and vindictive and can damage the recovery process for your spouse. Your spouse has worked extremely hard to get to the place that they are right now and a guilt trip is the last thing that they need.
Tip #3: Place Trust in Your Spouse.
In order to fully support your spouse and for your partner to feel the support from you, it is vital that you place your trust in them and that they know that you have done so. Your spouse needs to know and feel that you believe in them. Yes, it's true that you will probably always have a slight feeling of doubt in your gut because of past behavior, but you will eventually develop full trust in your partner once they show you that they are serious about their recovery. Your trust in your spouse will help them build their confidence and will also help them in resisting any desires to relapse. Therefore, never forget that your trust is a very important component in their recovery.