Addiction recovery can be just as difficult for a spouse as it is for the addict. We like to think that everything gets better immediately after an addict enters inpatient drug rehab, but the hard truth is that rehab comes with its own set of problems. The early stages of recovery can put a strain on any marriage, and the spouse’s responsibilities in this stage can be overwhelming. You can get through this stage by keeping these tips in mind.
1. No negativity
A recovering addict needs nothing more than positive energy in his or her life. If your spouse is entering this phase, make an effort to end any habits that have in the past led to arguing or bickering, and avoid codependent behaviors as much as possible. Use this time when your spouse is in inpatient drug rehab to take stock of your own approach to the relationship, and try to approach your spouse with a fresh commitment to positivity.
2. Be calm
Emotional turmoil is one of the most common triggers of drug relapses. Your spouse is going to be experiencing a lot of difficult feelings during this time, and it’s your job to remain calm, avoid feeding any negativity, and set a positive example. Any time your spouse seems intent upon dragging you into an argument or a negative codependent state, take yourself out of the situation. Be the calm at the center of the storm.
3. Rely on others
When it becomes too much for you, don’t be afraid to let others take the primary role in supporting your spouse during inpatient drug rehab. Some family and friends might assume that there’s nothing for them to do while your spouse is in full-time inpatient drug rehab, so gently remind them that they’re perfectly welcome to visit, and use these opportunities to take some time for yourself.
4. Don’t let it get out of hand
Any time your partner’s difficulties become too much, don’t be afraid to remove yourself from the situation. It’s your job to be supportive, but this doesn’t mean you need to take abuse of any kind. Make sure your partner knows that there are limits to what you can handle.