Supporting a Spouse in Addiction Recovery: Do’s & Don’ts

If your spouse has recently begun to pursue their sobriety, you might be wondering what you can do to help. View the following “do’s” and “don’ts” to supporting a spouse in addiction recovery to learn how you can best assist your loved one. It’s important to understand what will benefit them and what you need to avoid.

If you or your loved one need a safe space to recover from addiction, contact Myrtle Beach Recovery to learn more about our short- and long-term recovery programs.

How to Support a Spouse in Recovery

Here are some “do’s” for supporting your spouse in recovery:

  • Do lend your ear. It’s important for your spouse to talk openly with you about their sober journey. Simply having someone to discuss their successes and struggles with can be very therapeutic.
  • Do help them find a support group. Talk with your spouse about the idea of joining a support group. Work together to find one that they’re comfortable going to.
  • Do keep a substance-free environment. Ensuring that your home is substance-free eliminates temptation and shows your dedication to their sobriety.
  • Do bond over healthy activities. Explore new, healthy activities that you and your spouse can participate in together. Finding a new hobby is a great way to demonstrate that you can still have fun while sober.
  • Do be aware of triggers. Being aware of your spouse’s relapse triggers can help ensure you don’t place them in stressful situations. Plus, it will help you be more prepared to assist them if they do become triggered.
  • Do prepare in case of relapse. Relapse is a very real possibility in recovery, so you need to be ready in case it happens. Save the phone number of their sponsor, become familiar with the signs of relapse, and keep them safe until the substance wear off or get them medical attention.

How NOT to Support a Spouse in Recovery

These are some major “don’ts” to keep in mind while your spouse is in recovery:

  • Don’t hyper-focus on their sobriety. Not every conversation, action, and activity needs to be about your spouse’s recovery. Hyper-focusing on their sobriety can cause stress and pressure, which could lead to relapse.
  • Don’t enable them. Some enabling behaviors include making excuses for your spouse’s behavior, keeping their addiction a secret, and completing their responsibilities.
  • Don’t over-monitor them. Constantly checking in on your spouse’s behavior will make them feel like you don’t trust them. Remember that their sobriety is ultimately up to them to pursue and complete.
  • Don’t get frustrated. There will be difficult moments throughout this process, but it’s important not to express frustration regarding your spouse’s sobriety. You should never make them feel shame about their addiction.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you have questions about your spouse’s sobriety, don’t feel like you have to walk on eggshells when discussing this topic. They likely will appreciate you wanting to know more about the process so you can help.

Consider Myrtle Beach Recovery

It’s important to remember these “do’s” and “don’ts” when supporting a spouse in addiction recovery. If your loved one is dealing with addiction or struggling to maintain their sobriety, consider reaching out to Myrtle Beach Recovery. We offer short-term and long-term recovery programs, providing a safe place to work through the 12 Steps.

Contact us today to find out how we can help your loved one on their path to sobriety.