When an addict relapses, it can often revive or create issues within a relationship. The effort required to repair these relationships can commonly be as or more difficult than maintaining sobriety. As such, an individual who has chosen to be in a relationship with an addict must be loving and supportive while working not to enable the negative behaviors associated with the addiction at hand. In this entry, we will offer up a few tips and tricks to help you through the repair.
1) Be sure to communicate how the relapse has hurt you. This should be done in a non-accusatory fashion, simply stating that you are interested in a healthy and positive relationship with the individual but that it is being prevented by the addiction. Offer your support and love.
2) Determine whether the addiction has reached a point where it is threatening to end the relationship completely. If is has, make sure that your partner is aware of the situation by offering them an ultimatum. A challenge such as this will often inspire a fight towards maintaining sobriety. WARNING: Do NOT offer an ultimatum unless you are truly committed to it. Failing to follow through with these types of threats will only serve in teaching the addict that they are not to be held accountable for their actions.
3) Seek guidance and support from your loved one’s family. These people will know the individual just as well as you, and can offer up insight to help encourage your partner’s continued recovery. Communicate your concerns in regard to your relationship status and ask for ideas on how to better reach your partner. In some instances, the family may be unaware of just how bad the addiction has become.
4) If your options have been exhausted, it may be time to consider an intervention. These positive, calm and loving exercises help friends and family members confront the addiction head-on, while emphasizing the need for treatment. While an intervention may be a painful ordeal for both you and your partner, your relationship will only benefit from the experience long-term.
5) Locate a support group that caters specifically to loved ones of addicts. These forums offer participant the opportunity to alleviate their frustrations, while offering valuable insight into the addiction from others going through similar experiences. There, you will not only gain perspective on the addiction, but the acknowledgement that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
If you are struggling with the addiction of a loved one, help is available to you. Pick up the phone and call one of our Above It All addiction counselors today to educate yourself on available options and drug treatment plans. With support, patience and determination, you will find that hope is never out of reach.