Supporting a loved one in recovery to stay sober has many challenges. But it is possible with knowledge and a good understanding of what they are going through. As a loved one, you can provide an environment that helps them stay sober in the long run. Here are ways to support your partner to stay sober through recovery.
1. Be Honest and Emotionally Supportive
Being honest and emotionally supportive is important during any path to recovery. It helps avoid painful episodes when the other person is recovering. The details, good or bad, that you share with your loved ones help them understand what's going on. It also helps them become more conscious of their choices and decisions in a way that gives direction and purpose to staying sober.
2. Know what Triggers your Partner
Knowing your partner's triggers is essential to helping them stay sober through recovery. Ensure sensory reminders such as smell, places, and people are avoided. Closely observe your partner's behavior. Try to figure out what triggers certain behavior and avoid doing or saying them to your partner. This is because you can use these tactics to help keep your triggers at bay. This means that they will have fewer opportunities to drink or use drugs.
Another alternative is considering an addiction treatment program that helps your partner recover from addiction. Gender-specific treatment programs such as women's addiction treatment and men's only rehab are different in approaching addiction.
3. Seek Sober Fun and Activities
You can help your partner stay sober through recovery by supporting healthy activities and having fun together. Look for new activities that are enjoyable together. Plan and go on a camping trip, take walks along the beach and involve yourselves in mind-relaxing activities. Call different organizations in your area and ask if they sponsor sober events.
4. Encourage Your Partner to Talk about their Feelings
If you want to support your partner's recovery and help them stay sober, encourage them to talk about their feelings. If they struggle through something and you encourage them to talk, they will feel more supported. Acknowledge that it is not an easy journey and that there is no right or wrong way to feel. Listen as they talk, without any interruptions or judgments of their opinions or feelings. Recognizing when your partner is struggling is important and always make a safe space for them to talk about it.
5. Be Active in their Recovery
You can help your partner through sobriety by being actively involved. Do they practice yoga, tai chi, or a type of meditation? Help encourage them to stick with it and do those activities with them. It is also important to ensure they get enough sleep and stay healthy. You can support them by making their bedtime earlier, planning healthy meals, and participating in physical activity with them.
6. Practice Patience
Patience is essential in the recovery journey. Sometimes their process may take longer or be more challenging. You can practice patience with their behaviors, choices, and feelings. Remember, it is a period where your partner is learning to manage better the emotions and behaviors connected to addiction.
7. Reduce Friction and Unnecessary Arguments
It is important to keep the turbulence of life outside of recovery. It may be tempting to get angry or frustrated during your partner's recovery, but it is good to stay calm. Fighting or arguing with them can lead to relapse, and they need the support of knowing that you care about them, not their behavior. You can also mitigate arguments by being honest about what is going on in your mind and your feelings.
8. Praise Your Spouse's Progress
Encouraging sobriety and recovery is a lot harder than enforcing it. Remember that you have to do this with love and patience. When your partner is improving their recovery, let them know about it. Praise their progress every day. This will show that you truly care about the successes in their recovery.
Supporting your partner through recovery can be a challenging process. There are many ways to help them stay sober, but each has different levels of effectiveness for individuals in recovery. All aspects of recovery require patience and care, but it is especially important during the beginning stages as you try to find a balance between supporting them and letting them do things their way.