How to Help Your Partner Through Addiction

More people than ever before are suffering from addiction, with problematic relationships with alcohol having become especially prominent since the pandemic.

That can become incredibly difficult for families, for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, there are huge health implications, but it can also damage relationships, cause more arguments and have a significant impact on finances too.

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Nobody likes to see their partner suffering, and helping them through addiction is often the best solution, seeking help from the likes of alcohol rehab UK centres to get their lives and your family unit back on track.

As part of that, you’ll have to play a key role in supporting too, and there are many ways in which you can help them through what is an incredibly difficult challenge…

Educate Yourself

One of the best things you can do is educate yourself around the nature of addiction. This means getting to know the signs, symptoms and consequences, as well as the various treatment options that are available. By gaining this knowledge you will be in a much better place to provide meaningful support.

Encourage Open Communication

A big part of getting through this challenge together is by encouraging each other to be open with one another. That means you actively listen to their concerns and validate their experiences, while you should also provide a reassuring tone that it will be ok and you will get through it together. There are plenty of tips out there to help couples communicate, which can be effective in such scenarios.

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Offer Emotional Support

Addiction can really take its toll on both your partner and yourself and lead to all manner of emotions such as shame, isolation and guilt. By fostering open communication you can also provide words of empathy, understanding and, importantly, encouragement to ensure they don’t feel alone and you’re committed to helping them. Alongside this, patience is also key and will put them at ease when it comes to how fast or slow they progress in treatment and recovery.

Avoid Enabling Behaviours

A common problem in relationships is enabling a partner’s addictive behaviour. It’s an easy trap to fall into but by setting clear and healthy boundaries of what you won’t tolerate, you can get that message across and ensure that your partner takes responsibility and accountability for their actions.

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Encourage Professional Help

Naturally, the best way for them to enter a pathway of recovery is to get professional help. This will provide them with all the tools they need to uncover the root of their addiction problems as well as providing them with coping mechanisms and the skills to manage the likes of stress and cravings when in recovery.

Celebrate Milestones

There will be ups and downs on the journey to recovery, but it’s important to celebrate those milestones to keep your partner determined and encouraged to stay on the right pathway. 

That might be a day of sobriety, it could be a week, it could be going to a first AA meeting or reaching a personal goal. Set achievable milestones and celebrate those as it is a big deal having the grit and determination to get sober.

Finally, Look After Yourself

Lastly, it is just as important to look after yourself. It can be an emotionally draining experience and overwhelming sometimes. Therefore, you need to prioritise your own mental wellbeing at points and practice self care.

That might mean finding time for the activities that bring you joy, making sure you get a good night’s sleep each evening, or that you get help from friends. While it’s important your partner isn’t alone on their journey, nor should you be. Get that right and both you and your partner can help tackle addiction and get back to the family life you know and love.