Help Your Spouse and Family Recover From Your Addiction, Too

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Your addiction history is likely a long, sad, complicated story. Surely it is comprised of nerve-wracking episodes of behavioral and mental trauma as well as physical nightmares. However, this is the time to let bygones be bygones and start fresh. It’s time to leave your history behind and look forward to an addiction-free and happy life ahead.

As you take this journey, it’s important to remember that your spouse, family, friends, and other loved ones have probably suffered a lot along with you. If your physical and mental health has deteriorated, so has theirs. People living in the same house with you have spent their days and nights worrying about you. They’ve seen you struggle, and they have struggled, too.

The Toll That Addiction Takes on Spouses and Families

Spouses, siblings, parents, children, and other family members all suffer in different ways. For instance, some go into a depressive mental state themselves. Some try everything they can to control your behavior. Some turn to enabling out of desperation. One family member might have played the role of caretaker for you, while another took care of young children or others in the home.

Here are some examples of how addiction can impact your spouse and family:

  • Your addiction episodes disturb their life routine as well.
  • They have to be prepared to act immediately if you overdose, which causes a tremendous amount of stress.
  • They are left at the mercy of your moods or behaviors each day.
  • Their own social and personal lives often get left behind or consumed by their loved one’s addiction.
  • Family tensions may be displayed in front of others and in public.
  • Their sleep and work schedules fall apart.
  • They start to question themselves for broken family relationships.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. All in all, their mental health, physical health, professional life, and personal life can be severely affected in many ways. Nevertheless, many family members still stand by their addicted loved one at all times.

Ways to Recover Together

As you face your own battles in recovery, you may wonder how to help your spouse and family members who have struggled beside you recover as well. Here are five essential points to keep in mind as you all recover together.

1. Be willing to learn about their struggles and losses, too.

Talk to them and encourage them to be as open and honest as possible. After all, they deserve your time and attention! Try to understand how their lives were affected over the years, what struggles they are still facing, and how you can all learn to cope better. Family is one of your greatest sources of support, but they need your support now. At Jaywalker Lodge, we are incredibly proud of the work we do to support the families of people struggling with alcoholism or addiction in every way possible.

2. Give them free time for themselves.

They likely devoted a tremendous amount of time to you and your addiction but did not spare a moment of peace for themselves over the years. Give them the time they need to rest and rejuvenate their minds and bodies. As you work the steps and learn how to live life on life’s terms, your spouse and family members can rebuild their lost identity, knowing that you are safe and taking critical steps toward lasting recovery.

3. Lower their stress as you lower yours.

The activities, therapy sessions, service opportunities, and community gatherings planned for you at the Lodge can help relieve you from all the stress, anger, and resentment you have built up over the years. Use your positive experiences and energy to help out your loved ones now. Assure them of a tension-free life ahead.

4. Embrace and encourage family therapy.

The consequences of your addiction surely are visible in the behaviors of your spouse and/or family members. Dealing with addiction can impact how they approach life, work, social events, family gatherings, and more. It’s time for them to attend some kind of therapy as well. Mental trauma over the years can easily dilute a person’s self-confidence and willingness to grow and change. Family therapy is a vital part of the recovery process at Jaywalker Lodge.

5. Take charge and make family plans.

Take the reins and make plans to bring everyone in the family together. You can plan a family meal, fun outing, road trip, or any other activity that encourages family bonding. Certain family members may have developed a habit of being aloof due to addiction-related issues at home. It’s your turn to get the family back together again.

Having your spouse and family members involved in your recovery is an ideal situation, one that can provide you with much-needed support and unconditional love. But what if you could find caring professionals that give equal attention to your family as well? The Jaywalker Lodge is a family-driven center that offers the 12-Step program to men who are ready to take their addiction recovery journey. We understand how consuming and destructive addiction can be for those who struggle with the disease as well as their families. Therefore, our program is designed to cater to the custom needs of individuals along with their families. We encourage the active participation of your family members in this journey of self-discovery and change for all of you, placing a special focus on preparing your loved ones so they can be strong pillars of support throughout your recovery. Your family wants the best for you, and so do we. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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