The Spouse's Role In Substance Abuse Recovery

Some people assume that the road to substance abuse recovery is traveled alone. Yet, for married couples, long-term success involves a joint venture. If you have a spouse who is considering substance abuse treatment or is in the process of this journey — you must know how to be a productive member of the recovery team.

Stay Committed to the Goal

It is important to always keep your mind focused on the goal of the treatment program, which is recovery. The road for your spouse can be lengthy and depending on whether or not they choose an inpatient or outpatient facility, it can create additional stressors or inconveniences for your family dynamic. However, the more you focus on the end goal, the easier it is for you to be a supportive figure. 

Invest in Their Wellness

In addition to committing to the process, you should also be prepared to make your own investment, particularly a time investment. For example, even if your spouse chooses an outpatient program, your spouse may decide to attend recovery sessions on the weekends or the evenings. When you are open to filling in the gaps around the house in their absence, it is incredibly helpful, so commit to investing time where you can.

Be an Active Participant

Many substance abuse treatment centers do an excellent job of working to improve every area of their participant's life, including their family dynamic. As a result, there may be periods when families are asked to participate in counseling sessions and other activities. When you show up to these events, the benefit to your spouse is immeasurable. You are not only telling your spouse you are committed to their recovery, but you are also showing them.

Present Realistic Expectations

The end of a substance abuse recovery program looks different for every person, and as such, your expectations should be realistic based on your specific situation, not that of someone else. During the program, staff members will go over goals with your spouse. It is always better to base your expectations on these goals, rather than create your own. When you create unrealistic goals, you can put undue pressure on your loved one, which can cause issues. 

Although there are plenty of tips to follow that can help you aid your spouse, there is no right or wrong way. Being fully committed to the success of your spouse is true all that matters; be prepared to do your part. Contact a local substance abuse treatment center to get more advice.