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How To Support Your Loved One When They Are Battling Addiction

April 2nd, 2021

When it comes to supporting a loved one who is battling addiction, there is a fine line between supporting and enabling that can be hard to balance. While they may have successfully completed a rehabilitation program, it doesn’t mean life will always be smooth sailing. The journey that is recovery is not an easy or simple one, and this can be especially taxing on a marriage. Supporting a spouse in addiction recovery can be challenging without the proper support or knowledge. As a wife or husband, you play an enormous role in your spouse’s sobriety.

Addiction can be one of the most difficult situations a married couple faces. Living with an addicted spouse day in and day out can be so difficult that many marriages end in separation or divorce if the person struggling with addiction doesn’t get treatment. According to a recent study, addiction is the seventh most common reason why marriages end in divorce. Although it may be common, it is certainly not inevitable. Let us help offer some helpful tips on how to support your loved one when they are battling addiction.

Educate Yourself

While you have been living with and in a deep relationship with someone battling addiction, there are a lot of nuances to addiction that you may be unaware of. You may have only seen the nastier side of addiction, like lying, stealing, isolation, or mistreating others, but there’s more to it. Addiction is a chronic disease and not a choice. By educating yourself on the subject, you can better understand your loved ones’ actions during the time of their addiction. This can also help you forgive them and move forward on the right note.

Join A Support Group

It is often true that we can’t help others before helping ourselves - think oxygen masks on an airplane. The first step to this really would be the tip mentioned above of educating oneself. The next step would be to ensure that you yourself are supported in this journey as well. It’s easy to forget that you aren’t alone in this. There are many people out there who also have spouses in recovery. It’s important to join a family program or support group for the families of recovering addicts so you can connect with others who are in a similar situation. Not only can you learn from the experiences of others, but you may also be able to motivate someone else.

Work As A Team

In addition to ensuring you have support for yourself, it can also be incredibly helpful to attend a couples therapy as well. It is likely that in the thralls of addiction there were tolls taken on the relationship and if you are looking to build a better one moving forward, couples therapy can be incredibly beneficial to get those building blocks going and healthy conversations taking place.

In addition to you and your spouse, if there are children involved they should feel supporting too. You’ll find there are helpful programs for children of addicts as well. Al-Anon, for instance, helps families of alcoholics with a program that’s similar to the 12 steps of AA. You may find other programs at your local church or through your therapist’s office.

Have A Plan In The Event of A Relapse

No one wants to prepare for their loved one to fail - as if they are expecting it. However, when it comes to battling addiction, relapse is incredibly common and often part of the ultimate road to recovery. That’s why it’s important to have a plan in case relapse does occur - it’ll make things easier on everyone if there is a plan already in place and hopefully get the addicted individual back on track faster.

Be Patient

Recovery is not an easy or straight road. Patience is key to supporting your spouse during recovery. Keep in mind that they’re also going through physical and mental changes that can be distressing. Don’t work against them – work with them. Try to always consider their perspective without enabling their behavior.

Lastly, if your loved one is battling addiction, get them the help they need and deserve. You may not know the right steps to take, but our team at Windmill Wellness Ranch is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our holistic program and our commitment to your loved ones sobriety.