Staying Sober While Your Spouse Isn’t: Deal With it or Dealbreaker?

If you are working on getting sober, but your partner still drinks or uses a substance, it can cause many challenges in the relationship. Living with someone who continues to use drugs or alcohol while you are in recovery for substance misuse can be triggering. You may wonder whether you should stick with your partner, or if the substance misuse is a dealbreaker.

If your relationship is highly valuable to you, or you have children together, you may decide to stay together even if your partner continues to use. With the right guidance and treatment, you can stay sober.

Communicate Your Needs in Sobriety

When you are committed to your sobriety and your partner does not plan to get sober, it’s important to communicate openly with your loved one why you made this decision. Let your partner know up front that you want to stay sober and that doing so is your main goal.

There are still ways you can connect with your partner while in recovery and maintain your sobriety. Offer some suggestions for activities the two of you can do together that don’t involve drugs or alcohol. A sober date day/night may include:

  • Going to a movie.
  • Breaking a sweat on a hike, bike ride or fitness class
  • Having a game night
  • Visiting museums
  • Cooking together

Having a supportive partner is beneficial because some of the risk factors for relapse are isolation, loneliness, and depression.1

Risk of Relapse

Substance addiction is a chronic and complex condition that affects a person throughout their life.2 It’s essential to work on strategies for relapse prevention, so you can be successful in staying sober.

Therapy and treatment that address relapse head-on will be a key part of recovery.3 Even though some people may relapse, that doesn’t mean they’ve failed.3

One method that helps in preventing relapse is to be aware of risk factors and triggers. When you’re aware of what you may be up against, you can combat it with the appropriate treatment.

Some of the risk factors for relapsing include:1

  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Being around alcohol, drugs, or certain places that remind you of substances.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Strong desire for the positive mood that substances bring.
  • Life problems and stress.
  • A lack of social and emotional support.
  • Cravings.

Your partner can help you stay on the pathway of recovery by attending therapy or Al-Anon meetings with you.

Inpatient Treatment

Since addiction is a chronic condition, people with substance use disorder benefit by making recovery and treatment a part of their life. Just as any other disease must be managed or relapse occurs, so can addiction be managed by continual treatment.

If you get into a situation that leads to a relapse, don’t give up and think that everything is a loss. You can get back on the right track if you seek help right away. Several therapy programs and treatment levels address relapse prevention. Some of these include:3

  • Inpatient treatment programs.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • 12-Step programs.
  • Family therapy.

With the appropriate treatment, you can keep on the right path to sobriety. If you or someone you love is looking for alcohol or drug rehab in New Jersey contact our rehab admissions navigators for help .

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