Addiction or substance use disorder recovery is arduous, affecting not only the concerned person but also their close family, friends, co-workers, and others. In fact, it can have a ripple effect in all areas of life. Spreading significantly worldwide, the UK has alcohol misuse as the biggest risk for death, ill-health, and disability among 15-49-year-old.
If you know someone in addiction recovery, you may be aware of the challenges you face to help and support them. And dealing with an alcoholic spouse in recovery can be a roller-coaster ride. Of course, we all know no marriage is perfect and has its own challenges and obstacles, but watching your spouse struggling with alcohol addiction is one of the most challenging experiences to have in life.
It is because you feel powerless, overwhelmed, and even angry when you don’t know where to go and how to help. Also, alcohol rehab is a step in the right direction regarding alcohol addiction treatment, but recovery is not a guaranteed process to achieve success. Hence, today we have gathered a few alcohol intervention tips to help you understand how to support an alcoholic spouse in recovery.
Be Supportive of Their Addiction Recovery Program
Whether your spouse or partner is attending a regular therapy program or a 12-step program, they will spend most of the time doing that, for example, going to meetings, calling a sponsor, listening to songs, going for a stroll, or reading literature. Whatever it is, be encouraging of what they do. Indulge in a hobby or activity with your spouse to make them feel secure, supported, and loved despite their negative aspects.
Also, alcohol addiction treatment can be physically and mentally exhausting for some patients, and all they need is love and support. So, please don’t be jealous, take it personally, or feel neglected when they go out alone, make new friends, or don’t share things from the therapy sessions. It can have a negative response and turn you into a possessive amateur from an understanding partner. Instead, continue trying and supporting your partner as they work their own way to recovery.
Encourage a Sober or Alcohol-free Space
You need a new set of routines to start a new life or control your living space at least. Hence, if your spouse struggles with addiction intervention or early recovery, keeping the house free from alcohol and drugs can be extremely helpful. For example, if you drink alcohol around them, the chances of relapse increase.
An empty bottle of wine can trigger relapse in some people. On the other hand, a few pieces of research have also shown that people achieve sobriety successfully in a sober living environment, especially in the early stages of recovery. Removing all the reminders of alcohol addiction and following complete abstinence as a family will show your partner you are concerned about their health and wellness. As a result, they will learn to take ownership of their actions and sobriety, even if the substances are accessible.
Make Time to Re-Connect or Build a Common Ground
One of the biggest reasons your spouse may have turned to substance use is the lack of affection or love. Hence, every married couple needs to take time to be together and connect. Though it takes time to rebuild trust or to heal those deep-rooted wounds, taking one step at a time can help. For example, spending time together can help your spouse shift the focus from alcohol addiction.
You can go on date nights, have family dinners, or try new activities like ziplining, horseback riding, and water sports. If you have children, plan a family get-together every weekend or every month to enjoy together. Doing these things will help your addicted spouse realise what they are missing in life because of their awful habit and hopefully recover successfully.
Establish Healthy Boundaries
Poor boundaries can easily form during active addiction, which continues to mess up the recovery process. Hence, you must be aware of your actions and identify those that enabled your spouse’s addiction. The enabling type behaviours, such as taking extra tasks that your partner wasn’t completing, giving up meaningful activities to take care of your partner, avoiding conflict of any kind, lying to cover up your partner’s substance use, and continuing to participate in high-risk situations can disturb their pace in alcohol addiction treatment.
Also, this activity isn’t about taking responsibility for your actions, but it can be helpful to identify the behaviours that need to be stopped.
Patience is the Key
Expecting your partner to recover in a blink of an eye is hopeless. No matter if they are your spouse or if it’s them who is at fault for the addiction in the first place, they cannot become the person you hoped they would be right away. It will take time, and you have to be patient.
Addiction recovery is a long-term process, and there may be a lot of adjustments that your spouse will have to make after completing alcohol rehab. And it can be frustrating. Hence, don’t judge them, force them, or set unrealistic expectations for them to meet.
Sobriety is Rewarding
Long-term sobriety is a luxury for people who frequently experience relapse. And After all is said and done, you will discover how a good relationship and a sober spouse skyrocket your relationship. Once your spouse is sober, it will make you forget all the problems and struggles you both have gone through. Hence, be prepared for the initial ups and downs stay patient throughout the journey.
Doing so will help you and your spouse build trust. Also, always remember you are not alone in the journey, and millions of people recover from alcohol addiction every day. Whether it is alcohol rehab or self-help alcohol addiction treatment, assisting your spouse should be your focus. The sense of helplessness, You are filled with apprehension and fear may experience during the addiction intervention and recovery will automatically get Love, joy, and trust have taken their place.