Suggest a local meeting– Most cities in the U.S. have meetings for recovering addicts. Encourage your partner to attend so that they can meet new people that can relate to them and feel inspired.
Get involved in art– Whenever you and your partner have a free afternoon, go to a local art or craft store and stock up on some items. Try allocating a spot in your house where you can just zone out and work on artistic projects together. Having a record player or music player of some sort that plays your favorite music adds on a nice touch.
Make your home a relaxing place– Invest in things that relax your partner…candles, scented soaps, relaxing artwork, and new pillows are good places to start.
Find a local slice of nature in your area and make it a routine to visit– Make an effort to get out in nature with your partner. It’s free and guaranteed to uplift and inspire the two of you.
Begin a workout routine together– Sometimes to kick an old habit, you have to create a new routine. Consider signing up for a gym membership so the two of you can commit to fitness and wellness together.
Revisit old passions and hobbies– Ask your partner what his/her passions were growing up. Maybe they had a knack for photography that became buried as their workload increased. Try to make time for old interests the two of you used to have. You never know where this can lead you!
Create a bucket list– This is a fun thing to do that gets your partner outside of their head and have things to look forward to in the future other than using.
Create a travel fund– Start planning a vacation for next year, even if it’s rather local. Meet your partner’s need for adventure and exploration by booking some tours and really going all out if you can.
Bring the romance back– See my article on things you can do if your flame has flickered with your recovering partner.
Visit a local spa– Spas aren’t always expensive and they’re almost always relaxing. Get you and your partner a package to the spa to unwind after a stressful work week.
The point of doing these things is to literally show your partner that you can find escape and relaxation in other ways other than using drugs.
Consider my experience. When I first found out my ex-boyfriend was addicted to meth (something he admitted after four months of being together), I was incredibly on-edge. I wondered what else he had kept from me in that time of being together and what other dishonesty he was capable of. Because I was still madly in love with him, I made him promise me that if I stayed with him, he would at least be honest with me if he ever relapsed. As a non-drug addict, I saw this as a fair compromise at the time. But wow, did that NEVER ONCE go according to plan.
My experience is not unique. If you’re the sober partner, despite your best attempts of trying to be the calm, receptive person you can be to your addicted partner, often times, they will STILL not confide in you. And after a while, it starts to hurt. Deeply. Why do they still not TRUST you with sharing that aspect of their lives with you after you’ve accepted it but asked for some honesty in return?
After sharing my story with other’s who have been in my shoes, I’ve come to wonder, is there such thing as an “honest” drug addict? Or are you setting yourself up for heartbreak with the constant lying that often accompanies addiction?
I’m currently seeking articles to publish on this topic, so if you have a story or article you’d like to share, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Review the submissions page for more information. Your contribution is valuable!