How To Approach My Addicted Partner About Getting Help

It can be an overwhelming and challenging experience living with a partner who is struggling with an addiction.  At times, your relationship may experience strain as you worry about how to approach your partner about getting help. The fear that approaching them may drive them further into the addiction or away from you often keeps partners from having the conversation.  The truth is that helping them through this difficult time of struggle by investing the time into understanding addiction, the successful methods to approach the conversation, exploring treatment options together, and best practices in supporting their long-term recovery can strengthen the bond with your partner

Understanding Addiction

It may be difficult to understand the core reasoning behind your partner’s addiction. Time spent educating yourself about addiction, its causes, symptoms, and the impact it can have on individuals and their relationships is key. Understanding these factors before initiating the conversation with your partner will improve your understanding as well as for how they may respond.  The time invested will empower you to approach the situation with empathy and understanding and could be the key factor in your partner’s acceptance of getting help.   

Approaching the Conversation

When approaching the conversation with your partner, choosing the right time and place is crucial.  For both partners, this discussion can be very sensitive. Choose a place that is quiet and comfortable where both of you can openly talk without distractions or concerns if the conversation gets emotional or heated.  The last thing that either you or your partner would want is confrontation in a public setting that could distract you from the goal of the conversation – Getting Addiction Treatment Help for your Partner. 

Begin the conversation with your partner by expressing concern with empathy.  Your focus should be on understanding and allowing your partner to share their feelings in this situation. The end goal is to support them and get them the addiction treatment help that they desperately need.  This approach goes beyond showing sympathy, compassion and sorrow; it involves creating a space where the goal is to attempt to understand your partner’s perspective and guide them. 

Some ways to express empathy to your partner is to use “I” statements to express your concern without blaming or criticizing. For example, say, “I’ve noticed that you’ve been struggling, and I’m concerned about your well-being.” This approach helps create a conflict and judgment free space for your partner and expresses to them that it is a safe place and time for them to talk with you about their addiction and future treatment plans. Also, maintaining a non-judgmental tone throughout the conversation is key to minimizing conflict and resistance.  Your supporting role in this conversation is not to accuse your partner, but rather to share your observations, feelings and concerns for their well being. 

Addressing Conflict and Resistance

Addiction and treatment options are sensitive subjects for your partner.  Being aware and prepared for conflict and resistance will help you remain less reactionary and more supportive to your partner’s needs throughout the conversation. Some tips on dealing with conflict in the conversation include:

  • Provide Specific Examples
  • Listen Actively
  • Express your Love and Support
  • Highlight the Positive Aspects of Treatment 
  • Research Treatment Options Together
  • Address Concerns and Fears
  • Set Boundaries and Consequences

Now that you are prepared on how best to approach your partner about getting treatment help, it is time for you to do some basic research on treatment options and long term recovery support.  

Exploring Treatment Options

Prior to talking with your partner, take the time to understand the various addiction treatment center options available to you.  Although you may not fully understand the specifics of your partner’s treatment needs before having a conversation with them; understanding the treatment center options available in your area helps you to jointly select an option that best aligns with your partner’s unique needs.  

One of the biggest decisions to make is whether an Inpatient or Outpatient treatment option is the best fit.  If you have reached this part of the conversation with your partner, it is important to explore the pros and cons of each type of treatment center.  Inpatient programs provide a structured environment, while Outpatient programs offer flexibility. Many addiction recovery centers such as our residential addiction rehab center in Kaysville, provide both inpatient and outpatient treatment options where they offer a range of evidence-based treatment programs designed to meet the unique needs of each individual client.  

The well being and treatment success of your partner not only starts with this conversation, but also is determined by selecting the right type of treatment center that has the resources and expertise to help achieve lasting recovery and wellness.

Supporting Long-Term Recovery

After you and your partner have discussed and determined what type of potential treatment options and centers best fit your partner’s immediate needs, the next step is to consider supporting services for long-term recovery.  At this stage of the conversation, you may feel overwhelmed or fear your partner’s resistance. If this is the case, it is ok to not address long-term recovery in this first conversation.  But, keep this in mind as you both seek to find the best treatment center. During the search for a treatment center, make sure to ask and research available long-term recovery programs. And remember, this is a lifetime journey and approaching your partner is the first of many steps. 

In conclusion, the goal of approaching your addicted partner about getting help is to encourage a collaborative and supportive approach to a treatment solution and foster a sense of shared responsibility for the well-being of both partners. If the conversation becomes too heated or unproductive, it may be time to talk to your partner about considering the guidance of a therapist or counselor to provide additional support and facilitate communication. Knowing the proper way to approach your partner when suggesting help for their addiction and seeking the right guidance is key to your partner’s success and may ultimately lead to a stronger bond between you.