Learning how to help an alcoholic spouse and watching your spouse move from alcoholism to sobriety can be a challenging obstacle to your relationship. After making a major life decision for their well-being, you might feel forced to do a lifestyle change with them for their sake. However, nothing puts a strain on a relationship more than disingenuous attempts.
Not everyone is always willing to make drastic life changes together with their partner, and that’s okay. What matters more is that you’re eager to give them the support and attention that they need, even if you don’t follow the same way of changing their lives. Learn more about outpatient treatment for alcoholism here.
“What if I can’t give up my drinking for my partner?”
With everyone staying home to avoid the perils of the pandemic, chances are that you’re not alone in your struggles—your support group is facing the same struggle as you are. Try contacting them to set-up e-meetings or just to check-in; that small connection will help you keep strong through these tough times.
Failing that, your family and friends will all be there to support you along the way. A frequent call or text message will be good for your mental health, especially if you live alone. They, in turn, can help keep your addiction in check.
When your partner is taking the road to sobriety, you may find yourself not ready to do the same. Staying sober isn’t a process that you should both take if it’s something that’s forced.
Though it can be a challenging situation, with the right guidance and open dialogue on thoughts and feelings, helping your partner deal with sobriety without forcing yourself to do the same is achievable. To be a responsible partner to a healing alcoholic spouse or partner, here are three tips to follow to strengthen your bond during their recovery process.
1. Be transparent about your drinking
Recovering from an addiction is a personal struggle, but it helps to know that one is around people who can sympathize with their pain. Though it might be difficult to put down at first, especially if you’re fond of drinking yourself, it’s best to be considerate. The last thing that your recovering partner would want you to feel is to be denied the things you like because of their sake.
It’s okay if you want to drink in front of them, but be mindful when there are worse days than usual. It’s a matter of communication and understanding of when it’s a comfortable space to have some alcohol.
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2. Be considerate of your living situation
A crucial part of living together with someone in rehab is to keep alcohol away from them as much as possible. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that you have to deprive yourself of a good drink. An effective way to keep beer and alcohol out of their sight is to buy your own minifridge or cooler. That way, they won’t have to be unintentionally tempted to go back on their vices just from a trip to grab a snack.
A smart way to find alternative solutions is by asking your partner what other ways you can do to make it easier to have an alcohol-free environment, even outside the house. Sometimes it’s not seeing the drink itself that triggers a person in alcohol rehab but the prolonged exposure to someone who drinks. It’s important for you to get a grasp of what bothers your partner and to be there for them in adjusting to their recovery plan.
3. Be open to being going solo
Since you and your partner have different views on drinking, going to social events might prove to be problematic. Sometimes peer pressure can ruin your carefully made couple dynamic and can put a strain not just on your partner’s road to recovery but also to your relationship. Be open to the option of going solo if your partner isn’t comfortable yet to attend social gatherings that have alcohol present.
As their partner, you should be supportive of their decision whether they choose to go or not. If ever they want to come, always have a backup plan in place to immediately remove yourselves from the event if your partner feels a panic attack coming. It’s essential, to be honest with each other to avoid feeling like a burden during this difficult process.
Changing lifestyles for the better is never a simple task, especially for recovering alcoholics. Your partner can sometimes feel that they’re alone in this struggle, but your patience and understanding can be a crucial contributor to getting better.
Need professional help to get your spouse or partner in rehab? We’re here to help. We offer alcohol rehab in Santa Ana, CA, contact us today to see how we can help.