For some people, the first few months of sobriety can be difficult. The feeling can be celebratory if someone you love has just become sober. It’s understandable to feel afraid and even resentful when a loved one undergoes a sudden outburst. Here are simple ways to support your newly sober partner.
1. Seek Sober Fun and Activities
Addiction to alcohol and drugs can become an issue for a couple. When you are sober, seek out sober ways of having fun together. You can do many things, such as go dancing, camping with the family, go on cruises, and other vacation trips. A sporty activity like surfing or hiking is another way to bond with your partner while staying sober. And it’s a great way of improving your relationship with each other.
2. Pay Attention to What Triggers Your Partner
When someone is sober and working hard to remain that way, it isn’t easy to deal with triggers. Triggers are anything that reminds the person about alcohol or drug use. Help your partner avoid sensory reminders that trigger them to use the drugs.
Don’t be upset when you see your partner withdrawing from certain activities or avoiding places that used to be favorites. It’s normal and should be applauded as a sign of successful recovery.
3. Create an Open Line of Communication
When you feel confused or offended, talk to your partner about it. If your partner is new to the sober lifestyle, help them ask questions or visit a support group together.
Encourage them to talk about their feelings and to do it more often. During this recovery process, schedule regular checkups with a therapist or certified counselor for them. You can’t always make decisions on your own, but having an open line of communication is a great way to stay sober and supportive.
4. Have Patience and Stamina
Recovery has many challenges. It takes a lot of effort and patience to stay sober. During the process, your partner experiences mood changes and has to endure uncomfortable emotions. They may use pills to relieve anxiety and depression because of the withdrawal symptoms. The pills can be addictive if not used as prescribed. If you find that your partner is developing a dependency on their medication, make sure to talk to your doctor about Xanax addiction treatment options for your partner.
Be patient, and don’t expect too much too soon. It will take time, so don’t overwhelm your loved one by being impatient and forceful. Think of how you would feel if you were going through a similar situation and needed support in recovery.
5. Try to Understand and Respect their Decisions
The newly sober person is still learning to deal with life without alcohol or drugs. They will make mistakes, which is normal. Don’t criticize their choices, and if you do, apologize. If you love your partner, remember that recovery is hard for all involved. In this process, both of you are learning how to deal with the challenges of life and relationships together.
6. Keep a Sober Shared Space
A house where drugs are not allowed is a great way to stay sober. Your shared space becomes a place where your partner will be safe from the triggers that tempt them to use again. It’s also a perfect way for them to safely relive memories and talk about these memories without the influence of drugs or alcohol.
7. Keep your Expectations Realistic
It can be difficult to maintain a healthy relationship when someone is recovering. Sobriety is new to them, and they may make mistakes. Don’t expect perfection in recovery too soon. Live with the reality that your partner will be flawed during the process. If you begin to act out of frustration, take a step back and wait for your partner to improve.
Recovery from an addiction is a difficult process. If you take the time to understand the challenges, you can support your partner through their recovery process, and it will, later on, lead to a healthy relationship.