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Being Supportive Of Your Partner: During Rehab

Debra Wallace, MA.Ed, LPCC-S, LICDC-CS

Medically reviewed by

Debra Wallace, MA.Ed, LPCC-S, LICDC-CS

January 24, 2019

Addiction and rehab can put stress on all aspects of an individual’s life, including personal relationships. Supporting a spouse through rehab can be difficult, fortunately, there are several ways to help them and be the support system that they need.

Questions From A Nervous Heart

Will he get through it? Does he even want to be there? How long before I can expect a relapse? What can I do? You nervously smile as you know that rehabilitation isn’t a bad thing, but you, being the primary witness to the struggle your lover has with drug addiction, have your doubts.

Having doubts is perfectly normal in such a situation and though you worry about your loved one, his life, and his sobriety, so too do you worry about yourself. You wonder about your own life and what will become of your heart if you continue down this path with him. These mental struggles are difficult and they often add more stress to the situation, which you must admit, you’ve chosen to continue experiencing.

What can be said is that: #1. You are not alone in this; #2. You can help; #3. Your relationship can contribute to what helps him get better.

You’re Not Alone

It may feel as if your life and that which you have experienced with your partner is rare and therefore tough to cope with socially. The fact is, there are many individuals struggling with drug addiction, which means that there are many men and women in relationships with them who struggle alongside. Knowing that you’re not alone and that there are easier ways for you to maintain your own life while you are still a part of theirs is rather important.

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As your partner takes that step toward rehabilitation, the first thing you should know and hold tight to is that he is making strides toward becoming a recovered person. This means that he is not in denial, that he is not fighting the idea of cutting drug use out of his life, and that you are very much so important to him. Of course, your partner’s recovery must be first and foremost, for him; this is not to say that he does not consider you as a reason to get sober. Being that you are still a fixture in his life and that he’s pushing himself in a good direction goes to show that you are a basis—to some degree—for his reach toward sobriety.

This being said, it is imperative that you focus on your own life while also knowing that your partner needs your support while he goes through this very difficult time.

You Can Help

When your partner leaves for rehab or enrolls in an outpatient program, it is time for you to start thinking of what life will be like on the other side. If you want for him to continue in his success, you may need to change some things in your own life. This could be anything from where you go together at night to what you keep in your fridge. These things are in the realm of physical changes that will need to take place, but there are also emotional changes that will need to occur from your end if you want to make his success in recovery much less challenging. Putting limits on arguments, stifling any minor and unnecessary complaints, and working at your relationship from YOUR end, is also a good idea. At this dire time in his recovery, there are many things that you cannot expect from him just yet. Those are things to put on the back burner while he is working so hard at making himself healthy.

Helping from your end isn’t over right after rehab. Just as you’ve worried so many times before, there may be times that your partner has trouble following closely to his new life plan. There are many things that you can do to help him when he seems to be veering off course, one of which is not to panic. Reminding your partner of the future and making sure he is taking medication and attending any therapy sessions or meetings is a first step. If you find out he isn’t sticking to his outpatient rehabilitation techniques, it may be wise to contact one of his therapists or doctors. You could also call his sponsor for help.

The main point is, you CAN be your partner’s spotter as he deals with all this weight. You don’t want to be his only source of support, but being his second set of eyes and ears can go quite far and making sure that the very moment something isn’t right is the moment you act in his favor, could be what sets him right back on track before anything gets out of hand.

Your Relationship Does Matter

Sticking with your partner through many nightmarish moments means that you care very much for him, despite all that you’ve endured. As he begins to get healthier and finds purpose in his life again, he will be able to see you and the relationship he has with you as another reason to stay the course.

Remember that someone who uses drugs is not in their right state of mind while inebriated. In addition to this, one who uses commonly has some emotional issues that are need of repair. For the former, it is important to know that most of the issues you’ve dealt with have been side effects to the drug use and do not usually reflect the true personality or choices of the person you’re dating. In terms of the latter, rehabilitation is a wonderful place for emotional and mental illness to be addressed and worked on.

You will find that after your partner’s body is free of drugs, his mind will begin to heal and the ways in which he sees himself, his life, and you, will be through clearer eyes. You’ll know both during and after rehab what a difference it can make in how he approaches life and love. If he sticks to his goals, you will soon see him working toward a routine that shapes his every day. Then, as your partner heals, so too will your relationship. And just as things of this nature display themselves as cyclical, your partner will—through newly opened eyes—know that in being sober, he has you, and that in having you, he remains sober.

Calling Yourself To Action

There will always be more ways in which you can provide a helping hand to your partner while he learns how to be a sober person. It will not always be easy, but as he gets better, it will be easier than it has ever been before. Rehab can help your partner and your relationship, but know that if you ever need more help, you can always contact

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