When you are in a relationship with someone who has a history of substance abuse, you need to know that there will always be a risk of relapse. Typically, after recovering from addiction, people tend to stay single for a year or more to avoid triggering circumstances, as most relapses result from emotional triggers. But this isn’t always the case. Many people prefer to stay with their partners while recovering from addiction.
If you have a relationship with someone in recovery, it’s extremely important to know how to deal with a situation where they relapse. If you love this person and want nothing but the best for them, you need to know everything to support them and stay sane. Continue reading to learn more.
How to Deal with a Relapsed Partner?
When a loved one battles an addiction, their partner may go through a rollercoaster of emotions. Confusion, hurt, anger, fear – there’s a sea of feelings they have to navigate through when trying to figure out what to do.
These emotions can easily overcloud judgment, and one wrong move can put you and your partner back at square one. Remember that during the recovery process and transition from rehab to daily life, a person undergoes many changes. However, many people can also relapse in the process.
While dealing with relapse is not easy, there are still a few things you can keep in mind to avert the negative situation and help your partner get back on track. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Find a treatment center
The road to recovery is full of thorns and pricks, especially if they haven’t been sober long. The first thing you can do is seek professional help and get your partner into a treatment facility.
Delphi Health Group is a rehabilitation center that offers recovery programs for those who have relapsed. They offer customized treatment programs that teach patients new methods of staying sober after a relapse so they can recover from the effects of drug abuse.
2. React With Empathy
It is possible that when you first checked the relapse prevention strategies, you must have thought to yourself, “I can make sure this doesn’t happen.” So naturally, when the partner relapses, you blame yourself or them for failing. Anger and hurt can be natural emotions at this point. But you need to remind yourself that stopping yourself from getting angry isn’t the only thing you need to do. Rather, you need to react with empathy.
Don’t forget that your partner is fighting a mental illness, and they look up to your support, patience, and love when they fail. Although you are entitled to feel let down, frustrated, and upset, it’s important to ensure that your beloved has the best possible chance of success following a relapse. This can only be accomplished if you empathize with them. Providing support to your loved one will be easier that way. You need to be there for them during this trying time.
3. Having patience is key
You have to understand that recovery doesn’t happen overnight. It is an ongoing process. Even after years of sobriety, an addict can easily relapse with just one emotional trigger.
Recovering from a relapse can be challenging. The individual not only suffers physically but mentally as well. You need to be supportive and patient with your partner during recovery. Showing them kindness throughout the treatment process will let them know that you care even if they make a mistake.
4. Seek Therapy
Mental illness often accompanies substance abuse, making a recovery more difficult. You can help by taking them to therapies, including group therapy, such as The Anonymous Alcoholics or Cognitive-behavioral Therapy.
It is easy to prevent a relapse by being aware of potential triggers. If you choose Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, it aims to modify negative thinking and behaviors conducive to addiction. Once your partner recognizes their symptoms, it will be much easier for them to implement control.
5. Find the Right Support For Them
While your support is essential, you must not stop there. It is also important to seek professional help and find the right additional support. Rehab and Therapy are important, but they may not work in every case. Find the support that is helpful in your case.
For instance, your partner may need to stay in an inpatient treatment facility again, or their symptoms are not that worse, so they need an outpatient facility. Maybe they need to go to an ER if they are severely intoxicated.
Several signs indicate that you need to call 911 support right away:
- Your partner is unconscious
- They are disoriented and can’t recognize you or themselves
- They are constantly throwing up
- They are not breathing
- They are having seizures
In addition to the reasons listed above, many other serious conditions require instant medical attention. It is best to consult a trained medical professional if you are concerned about your partner’s current physical or mental state.
6. Look After Yourself
Relapse affects a person’s loved ones as well as the addict. You must take care of yourself if you intend to support your spouse after a drug relapse. The key to this is sleeping well, eating well, and working out regularly. You need to be able to take care of yourself to take care of your spouse. Setting aside time for relaxation and de-stressing is okay. You will have a harder time managing the situation if you burn yourself out mentally and physically.
7. Set Your Boundaries
When you look after yourself, you can access the situation better. It will also help you set boundaries. While providing support and care to your partner is vital, it does not imply neglecting your own needs.
Subtly setting some boundaries is a good start. If you fail to set boundaries right at the beginning, it is very likely that your partner can end up abusing you both physically and mentally. Setting boundaries with your loved one is not a selfish step; it is important to prevent relapse.
Often, a relapse strains a relationship. It can be emotionally devastating and draining to see your partner struggling with addiction. While you cannot recuperate for them, you can certainly assist them in getting the care they need to become healthy again. Depending on their condition, you must seek professional help right away. In addition, learn how to deal with relapse to prepare for any situation. You must be empathetic and supportive to show your partner they are not alone on their road to recovery.