How to Cope When Your Spouse Enters Rehab

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Seeking treatment for addiction can seem like a hard decision when it happens to family and friends, but how do you deal when it is your spouse who is entering rehab?

It can be hard to unpack all of the feelings related to your significant other needing treatment, but not all hope is lost. There are a number of steps and support options put in place for the spouses of addicts. Here are some ways to cope when your spouse enters rehab.

Where do you Start rehab for your spouse?

Many addicts in Orange County, CA choose to go into rehab because of their family and friends. More often, spouses are the catalysts that motivate addicts into treatment. Opiate detox along with alcohol addiction are just some of the reasons couples chose rehab. The encouragement of a spouse can often add an extra layer of uneasiness.

Whatever the case, the rehabilitation process is rarely easy, physically or emotionally. It is best to preemptively prepare yourself and your partner before rehab to ensure the least amount of stress. Here are some ways to ease the tension when a spouse enters rehab:

Learn more:

Do research for either yourself or your loved one. Knowledge often offers peace of mind and can help alleviate a lot of the uncertainty, guilt, and pressure that comes with choosing a rehab.

Withhold judgment:

It is likely that your spouse is already struggling with a lot of shame and guilt. Do your best to avoid the blame game. Instead of passing judgment, try to empathize with their struggle.

Offer support without enabling:

While it may prove trying, remaining supportive often makes the treatment process easier and more successful. Refrain from encouraging or overlooking their addictive behaviors.


While your partner is in treatment or attending meetings, it can be easy to lose touch. Set up a plan ahead of time that keeps the lines of communication open, allowing both partners to feel supported throughout the process.

Don’t take it personally:

Addiction recovery is often an uphill battle full of slips and relapse prevention. Do the best that you can with the tools you are given, and consider outpatient detox programs when necessary.

Be patient:

Nothing about addiction is quick and fast. Try to offer tolerance in the face of struggle, recognizing that getting help is the first and most important step.

Seek support for your spouse:

You can’t pour from an empty cup, and you can’t offer any of the aforementioned actions if you are emotionally depleted. Take care of your own physical and mental health first so you are better equipped to be there for your partner.

support when your spouse goes to rehab

How do I Cope?

Ultimately, your spouse is the one pursuing treatment. As their spouse, all you can do is offer your support. Being there for a loved one who is battling addiction is not always easy, but is often the number one way of making it through the recovery process successfully.

In addition, they will likely need your forgiveness and encouragement. Offering this extra effort will prove harder when you neglect your own needs. Once you and your spouse have successfully decided on treatment, or if your partner is already in rehab, it is time to review your own needs. Here are some successful ways to cope while your partner is in rehab:

  • Set healthy boundaries for yourself
  • Let your spouse take responsibility for their own action
  • Take time for your own health; eat healthy foods and get physical exercise
  • Give yourself permission to enjoy hobbies and stress-relieving activities
  • Pursue your own recovery meetings such as Al-Anon, support groups for relatives and friends of addicts who share your same experiences

Set up a support system, whether a group of family friends or a professional therapist

When do you Seek Help?

Addiction obviously does not just affect the addicted person, but also the spouse and related loved ones. When a spouse goes into rehab, it can be helpful to also seek out a support system for yourself. Many rehabilitation facilities offer additional counseling for spouses, helping to cope with negative feelings, trust issues, and fear of the unknown.

In addition to rehab-related counseling services, there are often community-based resources that you can find with a quick Google search. Your primary health provider can also direct you to the best support group for your needs.

Make sure to do what is right for you and your safety. Be firm and make yourself the priority.

If you and your partner are ready to discuss rehab, there are a number of inpatient and outpatient detox options for men in Orange County. This approach may feel impossible, but tough love with drug addiction exists for a reason. Doing so will show that you are serious about getting them the help they need.

If you or a loved one needs help, call us at 949-625-4019.

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