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Helping a Spouse Through Addiction: Find Serenity

Being the spouse of an individual in addiction recovery can be challenging. Although completing a substance abuse program marks a significant milestone in the recovery process, life as a couple does not suddenly become smooth sailing. Recovery is often accompanied by ups and downs that can be extremely taxing on a marriage. Understanding the complexities of addiction, as well as the proper support and knowledge to effectively support your spouse in recovery, is essential. To assist in the recovery journey, we provide the following tips that can aid in understanding how to support a spouse in addiction recovery: Acquire Knowledge: It is vital to understand addiction and realize that it is a chronic condition that cannot be eliminated by mere will. Learning more about addiction and how it impacts your spouse's behavior can lead to forgiveness and more understanding. Identify Triggers: Learn to identify and avoid the potential triggers that can lead to a relapse. These can range from items within the home to activities and settings that can evoke the temptation to use substances. This may seem difficult or unfair, but making certain compromises and being selfless can benefit the relationship and sobriety of your partner. Have a Plan: It is not uncommon for a person to experience a relapse in the early stages of recovery, and it's essential to have a plan in place. Creating a plan with your spouse and a sponsor is critical to effective management. Join a Support Group: Support groups can be beneficial to both the recovering and the family of recovering addicts. Joining a family program or support group provides a chance to learn from the experiences of others. It also supports and encourages those who are also facing similar situations. Engage in Couples Therapy: Couples therapy can be an effective tool for addressing various issues between spouses. Working with a licensed therapist in a safe and private environment can prevent conversations from escalating into arguments and offer an open dialogue for both individuals to discuss feelings and concerns. Be Honest: Addiction can be associated with deceit and dishonesty. However, it is essential to remain truthful with your partner. Doing so will create trust, as well as keep them accountable. Be Patient: As the spouse of an individual in addiction recovery, it is necessary to be patient. Remember that your partner is going through physical and mental changes that may be overwhelming, so instead of working against them, work with them and try to consider their perspective. Don't Blame Yourself: Taking the blame is all too common when your partner is in a challenging situation. The thought of "What if I had done something differently?" can linger. You can do nothing to change or reverse what has already happened. Focus on what you can do for both of you to assist in taking the steps necessary for progress. Hope Remains for the Future: Addiction is difficult for all involved, including family and close friends. For the spouse of a recovering addict, this situation can seem particularly difficult. Thankfully, there is assistance. At Serenity House Counseling Services, we strive to provide some of the best addiction treatment in Illinois, allowing those affected to heal and live the life they truly deserve. For those facing substance use addiction, help is available. Please get in touch with Serenity House at 630-620-6616.

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