Addiction causes a lot of damage not only in the life of the person who is addicted, but to the people around them as well. This can be said specifically to the addict’s family and closest friends, the people who care about them the most.
Once the person enters rehab, you as a family member or loved one would start to see a ray of hope when once there was very little. Realistically, though, this is not even half the battle. There’s still so many more challenges ahead once your loved one gets out or rehab and is reintegrated into the “outside” world.
Although this is the time for you to heal together and put back broken relationships, both of you will be experiencing a mix of different emotions, and there will be many changes you have to deal with. Below are some guidelines on how to better deal with you loved one fresh out of rehab and make the most of this journey of everyone’s recovery:
1. Accept your partner as he is. Remember why you got into a relationship with him. He is not a project that you need to fix or straighten out. And although you should not make any demands that must change, you can influence him. Allow him to influence you as well
2. Frequently show your appreciation. Your partner has made a decision to change and acknowledge this. Criticizing your partner constantly is a relationship killer so instead of finding what’s wrong about him, find things that are great about him, and compliment him on the efforts that he is making.
3. Be honest. Be honest while still remaining tactful. Be honest to your partner and allow him to be honest with you too. Communicate with integrity and admit when your partner is right.
4. Learn the art of agreeing to disagree. Explore each other’s differences and learn to make compromises. Accept each other’s views and move to a better resolution without feeling bad about being wrong or gloating that you are right.
5. Support your partner’s goal. His goal is his sobriety and this is the highest priority. This may seem selfish to you but you have to understand that at this point he needs all the support he can get from the people who love him. However, remember to keep a delicate balance and don’t surrender your own needs and desires.
6. Now that he has gone through rehab, this does not mean that he will not make any mistakes anymore. Give him a right to be wrong just as you and anyone else are infallible and can be wrong sometimes too.
7. When you don’t get what you want out of your partner now, remember to think about the long run. You and your partner or family member are taking baby steps and you play a big part in his recovery, so have the same goal in mind.
By encouraging and supporting him to place his recovery at the forefront of his mind, you are both making the most of the moment and setting yourself up for success. It may be very difficult, but in the end, it will be worth it.