9 ways to support a partner who is working on their sobriety
When someone you love is working on their sobriety, it can be difficult to figure out the best way to support your partner while still maintaining a healthy relationship with them in a way that helps them on their journey.
Here are some ways you can help to support your partner as they work on their sobriety — even if you’re not sober yourself.
Create an open line of communication.
“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,” Rebecca Capp, licensed marriage and family therapist, wellness coach, and addictive behaviors treatment specialist, told INSIDER.
She adds that it’s important to establish open lines of communication because it reflects that you genuinely care about your partner and want to understand them to the best of your ability.
Pay attention to what triggers your partner.
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Dr. Kevin Gilliland, clinical psychologist and executive director of Innovation360, told INSIDER that a great way to help your partner work on their sobriety is by helping them to avoid their drinking triggers.
Some might be more vulnerable to relapse during good times or bad times. Others may struggle with evenings or during special occasions.
“When you know those answers, you should occasionally check with them and see how they are doing,” said Dr. Gilliland.
Don’t let their recovery be the sole focus of your relationship.
When someone is living a sober life, every day can be a challenge. Because of that, it can be easy to make sobriety the focus of your relationship.
However, that is not a healthy way to live, Dr. Gilliland told INSIDER. Sobriety shouldn’t be your partner or your relationship’s sole identity.
“You are in relationships for a lot of reasons,” he added. “Enjoy those, grow in those, and talk about those.”
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