Your relationship is supposed to be a safe space for you and your spouse where you can find comfort and joy in one another. It’s important to support one another in any way you can, but there may be times where you’re not sure how. If your spouse is currently living alcohol-free, you may be unsure of how best to help them through their journey. There are simple ways to be supportive of them, even if you are not sober yourself.
Communication is Key
One of the most important aspects of making a relationship work is communication. Your spouse needs to be able to be open to you about what they’re feeling, especially in social situations. Do they feel pressured? Are they uncomfortable? What are their triggers?
“Although specific topics related to your partner’s recovery may not always be easy to discuss, with patience and consistency, you will settle into a rhythm that feels natural for you both,” licensed marriage and family therapist and addictive behaviors treatment specialist Rebecca Capps explained to Insider.
Strengthen Your Relationship with God
Remember that there is a power greater than you and your partner that can help guide you during these difficult times. Turn to your scriptures in moments when your spouse needs strength. Pray together during times of vulnerability and thank Him when your spouse is able to overcome any struggles on their sobriety journey.
Watch for Triggers
Helping your spouse identify their triggers is one of the most effective ways of preventing relapse. Once you have done that you can create a detailed plan that will help your spouse avoid them. There are times where your spouse may struggle to avoid the triggers, but if you create a good support system for them you can help them from relapsing. Remember to check-in with your partner to see how they’re doing when you know that they’re vulnerable.
Don’t Let Sobriety Become the Main Focus of Your Relationship
Supporting your spouse through an alcohol-free life can become all-consuming for both of you. Sobriety isn’t a race, it’s a marathon. You have to learn to pace yourself and you have to remember to not make sobriety your relationship’s defining feature.
Make Life Adjustments
If your spouse is in early recovery, consider making adjustments to your regular activities. Don’t go to places where they will feel tempted. Considering having friends over instead of going out? Make sure you set up clear boundaries with your friends so that your spouse is able to feel safe and won’t be tempted to break sobriety. It’s also a good idea to find friends who share in your beliefs and will provide your spouse with a positive, faith-based support system.
You may face many trials and tribulations while supporting your spouse who is living alcohol-free, but together, along with God’s strength and love, you can overcome anything.