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How to Be Supportive to a Recovering Addict Husband

by Melody Causewell, studioD

Addiction can be a daunting issue for individuals and their spouses. While stressful, partner support can go a long way in helping individuals overcome addition. People can effectively assist their spouses on the recovery path by being available to help, providing sober support, making it easy for him to attend recovery meetings and joining family therapy sessions.

Be Available

Recovering addicts who are used to relying on substances or other addicted people to relax will need to find new ways to unwind and cope with stress. By providing a safe place for your spouse to discuss his struggles, you can help him find solutions. You can distract him from negative thoughts or cravings by going to see a movie or engaging in card games, for example. You may also help him to change thoughts from "I can't do this," to "I will be able to stay sober, it is just difficult to start." You can find new ways of coping with stress together, such as exercise or meditation.

Become Part of a Sober Support System

According to Narcotics Anonymous, spending time with individuals who use substances can be detrimental for recovery. Many find that they need a change of scenery, along with a change of social network to one that will support their sobriety. As the spouse of a recovering addict, being sober yourself will assist your spouse in maintaining sobriety. You will also need to be open to exploring new family friends, new groups for socializing and in some cases, leaving old friends behind if you sense that they may hinder the recovery process.

Help Him Get To Meetings

According to a research overview from the National Institute of Health, three or more Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week have the most positive impact on maintaining sobriety, though less frequent meetings can still have positive results. This may mean changing your scheduled plans, being understanding if you have to wait in the car or simply providing encouragement to your husband if he is feeling less motivated to attend.

Get Help For The Whole Family

According to a recent study by the National Institute of Health, the entire family will need to make changes in order to support a recovering member. You and older children or anyone else who lives in your home may benefit from family therapy sessions. These sessions are designed to improve understanding of the issues, teach families how to work together and also help future generations to avoid substance abuse problems.

About the Author

Melody Causewell has been a writer in the mental health field since 2001. She written training manuals and clinical programs for mental health organizations. She has published feature articles "Leaven" magazine and has been published in "Natural Awakenings." She has a degree in psychology, a Masters degree in social work and is a La Leche League leader.

Photo Credits

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