Much has been written about people’s experiences with getting sober and going into recovery. However, research shows that supporting your partner through that process is also incredibly challenging. This is further exacerbated by the relative lack of useful information on how to take care of yourself and your partner. Here are some simple steps you can follow to make life easier for both of you:
Avoid Their Triggers
Recovery is an incredibly challenging process, especially at the early stages. It’s going to be easier for your partner to stick to it if you both do your best to minimize temptation. While they’ll always need to exert their willpower to some extent, try to make it as simple as possible for them. For instance, turn your house into a sober household so that they can feel perfectly relaxed when they’re at home. If that’s not feasible, at least make sure that you don’t keep any alcohol or drug around the house. Similarly, if you’re meeting up with friends who like to drink, make sure you hang out with them on your own. Such interactions can be quite triggering to your partner because of the social pressure they create. Protect their peace by letting them skip events like this.
Enjoy Sober Activities with Them
Now that you’ve cut out all the triggering activities and events, you may worry that your life will become boring and uneventful. Although it may seem that way at first, removing these unhealthy activities actually leaves you a lot of room to build a deeply fulfilling life for yourself and your partner. Many people find that even simple activities like taking a long lunch together or going on a walk on a sunny day can feel incredibly joyful. You may find that your partner is much more engaged with you. Although they might have once been a bit distant, they may now find it easier to find beauty in the mundane. Enjoy these shared moments and allow them to strengthen the bond you have with the person you love.
Don’t Neglect to Take Care of Yourself
Now that things are finally becoming stable in your relationship, you may find that a lot of suppressed emotions bubble up to the surface. For instance, you might feel angry at your partner for the difficult times they’ve put you through or you might feel anxious about the future of your relationship . Whatever the case may be, don’t be tempted to suppress your emotions and focus solely on your partner. Your feelings are just as important as theirs, so you should never feel guilty about focusing on self-care and prioritizing your own wellbeing. You may also benefit from joining a support group for people who have partners in recovery.
Whether your partner is just thinking of getting sober or they’re further along on their journey, we at Baystate Recovery Center are here to offer support at every step on the way. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to answer all of your questions.
Baystate Recovery Center, a clinically Infused 12-Step Treatment Center for Drug and Alcohol Addiction, was founded by two partners in addiction treatment services, John Checchi and Michael Wilson.