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I love him. Now what? (How to support a loved one in recovery.)

Couple holding hands with My Scars are My Armor shirts.

To the spouses and partners of those who are in recovery, I am one of you.


So, what does it look like to be married to someone recovering? There is so much time in service that someone in recovery puts in. Service to self and service to others. Attending meetings, fielding texts and calls at different times of the day and evening, and contemplative time are all parts of our person’s everyday life, that we as spouses don’t get to be a part of. It’s anonymous after all. And we have to honor that, for it to work.


I think it takes a certain amount of empathy and understanding to allow our person to create the space they need, without inserting ourselves into the conversation or situation, or getting “jealous” of the time it takes. After all, this person we love is in recovery and we know that’s the best version of themself. We need to allow them to do what they need to so they can be that person we can in turn depend on. Just know that some days around the house might be a little quieter than others, as he or she works through something. Just be there to create the space when they need you to.


What should you do to balance out the time they need? I think that we have a responsibility to work on ourselves, so we can be the best version of ourselves in turn for them. Attend Al-Anon meetings, learn about the disease, or find your own ways of quiet contemplation that work for you. These are all just my opinions. I am certainly no expert and would never claim to be. But I’m learning…

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