It can be a distressing experience, watching your loved one suffer from an addiction. Addiction is a difficult period which many couples endure; with the partner feeling bewildered by the actions of the user. Many marriages have been damaged and torn apart by addiction; but by offering the right support, they can make a quicker recovery. It is a long road for many, but one worth travelling. Here are some guidelines to help you towards the goal of recovery for you and your spouse
Start a fresh
There may be an element of nostalgia about how content your marriage was before addiction and recovery, but you may not be able to recover that same marriage. After all the hurt, anger and deception, negative feelings can follow. Admitting that this is not closure on your happiness, but a chance to create a new phase in your marriage is key to recovering. If you can reflect on your mistakes, communicate better and become more honest with each other, there is the potential for a renewed relationship.
Seek marriage counselling
It may be difficult to go through treatment and recovery without professional counselling from a healthcare expert. The same principle applies for spouses, who are trying to mend their relationship with their recovering partner. After enduring the trauma together and weathering the storms of recovery, couples need to seek counselling either together, or separately, to work on their issues and repair their union.
Work on Yourself
As you become absorbed in helping your partner to make a full recovery, it is easy to neglect yourself in the process. Make sure that the emphasis is not entirely on your partner; take the time to develop yourself and work on your own issues. Create the space for personal reflection and take the time to pursue your interests. When you’re both feeling positive, you’ll be able to work towards a more successful marriage together.
Forgive the past and be patient
It is easy to recall and hold onto past pains, hurts and betrayal; whilst these are valid emotions, holding onto them will prevent you and your partner from healing and moving forward. Be patient with your partner, healing takes time.
Praise your partner’s progress
you. Don’t get burnt out. If you need help and support, then get it from your networks so that the demands on you are cushioned.
What your recovering partner needs most is to know that they have your support, forgiveness and encouragement. Become their cheerleader and praise them for progression, remind them of their 12-step meetings and encourage them to meet with their sponsors whenever they need to, even if inconvenient for you.
Look after yourself, so that you are in the right mental state to offer the support that may be required.