As partners, married couples support each other during all the ups and downs in life. When problems and obstacles arise, such as alcohol or substance addiction, it doesn’t matter who is struggling with the problem since it will affect both individuals. Repairing and rebuilding a marriage during recovery from a drug or alcohol problem takes the effort of both people. Here are 5 ways you and your partner can work together to rebuild your marriage during drug or alcohol recovery.
1. Have open ears and an open mind
The most important thing to do during a rough patch in a relationship is to listen. It is best to put this method into practice early on and make it a habit. However, listening is also something that you may have to continually work on. During this time, you need to hear each other out. Both of you are hurting in different ways and it is necessary that you talk it out, listen to the one another’s suggestions, and be open to what each other has to say.
2. Be honest with each other
Being honest with each other builds trust and at least one, if not both, people in the relationship will need to re-establish trust with the other partner. The best way to establish this trust is to speak about what is on your mind to get it out in the open. This will also allow the both of you to process, recover, and develop a stronger skillset moving forward.
3. Work on being patient
Developing patience is a necessity in any relationship. If patience is a weakness, you will want to work on ways to further strengthen it. Practice things like thinking before you speak, slowing down and remaining calm in tense situations, and practicing active and empathetic listening.
4. Write down your concerns and feelings
Documenting your concerns and feelings may not be something you have done before. This method is good for two reasons. The first reason is you can write down your feelings before saying them aloud, which could potentially prevent you from saying something hurtful. The second reason for writing down your concerns is to be able to look back on them later and see if the matter was resolved and how far your relationship has come since that point.
5. Focus on being better for each other
Recovering from an addiction does not happen overnight. It can be a long process and it’s best to work through it together. At any point in our lives, there is always something we can improve. For you or your partner who is struggling with addiction, the focus is staying clean and not relapsing. For the other partner who is not struggling with addiction is to narrow down what they want to do and communicate that goal to their partner, and work towards holding each other accountable.
Marriage is not always an easy journey. You both vowed to help each other through the good times and the bad. The best way to conquer a tough issue is together and with these 5 tips you both can tackle the struggle with addiction.