What About Me? Taking Care of Yourself During Your Partner’s Relapse

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The relapse rate for addicts is between 40-60%. Therefore, it’s time to change whatever expectations you may have had for your idea of a relationship or marriage, because the road just got a hell of a lot bumpier. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be worth it. But you may be asking yourself, is the relationship worth pursuing with the relapse rate being so high? That’s up for you to decide. There should be a lot of factors to consider with this, such as the following:

• Your partner generally makes you happy
• You can see yourself growing old with them
• There’s a significant amount of trust between the two of you

More importantly, you need to be empowered with information on how to take care of YOURSELF when your partner relapses. If you’re new to this whole thing (dating an addict), the whole concept of a relapse can be extremely anxiety-provoking. You may find yourself oscillating between fear and resentment, worrying about your partner’s next relapse or feeling rather hopeless about the situation in general.

In life, nothing is guaranteed or 100% predictable. Therefore, you need to get used to tolerating uncomfortable feelings and accept them as being part of life. (And the amazing thing about this is if you master how to do this, you inherently become a leader/role model to your partner). If you’re with this person, chances are you already know all of the risks or bad things that can happen, but you’ve chosen to stay with them nonetheless because you’re deeply in love.

When your partner relapses, it will and should be about “them” for a while. The relapse could be used as an opportunity to explore further triggers or to reflect upon the causes of their drug abuse in the first place. But to be the best possible partner, you need to take care of yourself. What do I mean by this?

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1. Listen and Validate Your Own Feelings. Even if it’s not conducive to express that you’re extremely anxious, frustrated, or disappointed in your partner, it doesn’t mean you should ignore those feelings. Have a confidant you can talk to or journal your feelings, because they’re definitely important too! You should never feel like your own feelings don’t matter, even if you temporarily have to keep them under wraps because your partner is struggling with something bigger. Always make sure to stay tuned into your feelings and accept them for what they are.

2. Make time every day to indulge in a hobby that makes you happy. It’s completely normal for partners to have some separate interests, and you definitely shouldn’t abandon them even if your partner relapses. In fact, sometimes your partner won’t want all your attention on them, so it’s good to have a retreat that will ground you and inspire you to own your own happiness.

3. Don’t neglect your health. Stress can cause us to make some unfavorable decisions, but it’s important to always take care of yourself and make sure you’re eating and exercising enough.

4. Create or buy a relaxation kit. Sometimes, just knowing that you have a small oasis stored in your room can be incredibly uplifting. A relaxation kit should have things that make YOU feel relaxed and pampered. They often come with scented candles, pillows, relaxing music, lavender soap, and more. You can find these homemade relaxation kits on Etsy, or you can consider having some friends over and making some for yourselves!

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