How To Support Your Spouse While They Recover From Chemical Dependency
Having a spouse become addicted and go through the recovery process for chemical dependency requires a very dedicated and supportive spouse. The recovery process can be particularly challenging as your spouse goes through withdrawals and rebuilds their life without their addiction present. Here are a few ways that you can be there for your spouse as they recover from their chemical dependency.
#1 Learn About The Recovery Process
In order to successfully make it through the recovery process and maintain their sobriety, your spouse is going to need your help. You can be of the greatest assistance if you understand what your spouse is going through. Sit down with the counselor whom your spouse is working with and learn about the stages of recovery that your spouse is going to go through over the next year or so.
You should also discuss with your spouse and their counselor what their triggers are, how to prevent those triggers, and signs you need to watch out for that their sobriety is at risk. Having this information and knowing what your spouse needs to watch out for and what they need from you will help you be a more supportive spouse.
#2 Keep Talking
The recovery process takes time. It is not going to happen in a day or a week. It is vital that you keep talking with your spouse about their recovery, how they are feeling, and what assistance that they need. Don't stop the conversation because your spouse seems to be handling their recovery well; this is a long-term process that requires constant communication.
Make sure that you also share how you are feeling. Do not completely put yourself to the side during this time. Let your spouse know what you need as well, and recognize that you may need to get supported during this time from friends and family, not just your spouse.
Work with your spouse's counselor to strengthen your communication skills and learn ways to communicate.
#3 Be Prepared For Changes
You also need to be prepared for changes. You and your spouse's relationship may change during this recovery period, and your lifestyle may need to change as well, depending on what your spouse's triggers are.
Your spouse is going to need to avoid some of their triggers, which may mean changing their job, their friends or what they do for fun. They are also going to need to fill the time that they used to dedicate towards their addiction and find other outlets to express the emotions they were putting towards their addiction. This may mean making new friends, trying out new activities, or even switching jobs.
All of these things will impact your marriage. Your marriage may not look the same as it did before your spouse went through the recovery process, but if you work together, you can embrace these changes as a unit.
As your spouse goes through the recovery process for the chemical dependency, learn as much as you can about the recovery process, remember to keep talking and be prepared for your life to change in big and small ways. The recovery process, when successful, is a life-changing process. If you want your marriage to remain strong, you need to make sure that you are there with your spouse and go through this life-changing process together.
For more information, talk to a professional like those at Bridgeway Recovery Services Inc.