3 Mistakes Women Make When Their Loved One Gets Sober
3 Mistakes Women Make When Their Loved One Gets Sober
Your loved one has decided to get sober. And you’re feeling relieved, hopeful, grateful, and worried about how long it’s going to last. I get it. The women in our amazing community completely understand exactly how you feel.
So now that your loved one is making an effort to get sober and healthy, how can you make sure you’re supporting them and also taking care of yourself? I’m so glad you asked!
Here are the three most common mistakes women make when our loved one gets sober.
And even if your loved one isn’t yet choosing recovery, these tips will still be helpful to prepare you for the day they do.
1. We forget about the old boundaries and don’t make new ones.
You have done an excellent job establishing boundaries around their addiction. You have been an A+ student of the Love Over Boundaries program and you’ve mastered the technique of how to communicate your boundaries, right?
Now that they are sober, it’s time you establish NEW boundaries around their sobriety. One of the most common mistakes women make is forgetting about their old boundaries and failing to make new ones. Just because they are choosing sobriety today doesn’t mean the work is over. And you know (because I’ve said it many times) boundaries are important at every stage in your life.
So make some time today, get out a pen and paper, take inventory of your existing boundaries, and ask yourself if they need adjusting. Feel free to add or subtract from the list if a boundary is no longer relevant. Getting super clear about our boundaries will help us remember that we are not powerless over this disease. We are in control over our choices, and we get to choose how we react to the chaos addiction brings into our life.
2. We blame ourselves for not trusting right away.
Here’s another mistake women make when their loved one gets sober. We feel guilty when we don’t trust immediately. Listen to me, my courageous and loving sister, be kind to yourself. Treat yourself gently with tender care. Give yourself at least half the time you have been with them to forgive and trust.
So if you’ve been in your relationship for 10 years, give yourself 5 years to completely trust them again. They need to prove to you over and over with their ACTIONS (not just words) that they are dedicated to staying sober this time.
3. We are constantly waiting for the relapse and think we can control it.
When your loved one chooses to get sober, you might feel like you’re walking on eggshells. You watch every sip of the beverage they are drinking, you check up on them to see if they really are where they said they would be, and you second guess them when they promise you they haven’t been drinking or they are not high.
You feel like you’re going a little crazy, right? That’s the residual effect this disease has on us. Addiction isn’t just happening to the ones we love; it happens to us too. So, how do you learn to relax and let go? You don’t. Not right away at least. You don’t put that pressure on yourself right now.
Thinking that you need to act like the past didn’t happen once they decide to get sober is unrealistic.
Drop the misconception that you don’t need your own timeline for healing. Take as much time to heal as you need, my friend. Because the loving truth is that they might relapse. It might happen.
But here’s the good news. If it does, YOU will be okay. I know you might not feel that right now, but I promise you will. You will figure out what to do if or when that happens.
But for today, just promise me that you’re going to stop trying so hard to get over all the pain. Promise me you’re going to forgive yourself for acting like a stalker by checking their phone, sniffing the drinks, or looking for “proof.” For today, that’s okay. This whole sober thing is new.
If they prove to you that it’s permanent, acting like a spy or private investigator will get old. And boring. And one day you’ll wake up and realize it’s not working for you. But today might not be that day. And that’s okay, sister. Grace. Give yourself grace.
If you’re ready to take your healing to the next level and experience a breakthrough in your relationship with someone who drinks too much or struggles with addiction, join me inside the Love Over Addiction program.
Michelle Anderson has over 10 years of personal experience with loving someone who suffers from addiction. She was married to a good man who suffered from addiction to alcohol, illegal drugs, and pornography. She's used her experience to create powerful resources for women in the same circumstance. Using her own personal experience, combined with years of research and studying, she presents ideas, tips, and tools on how to handle this disease, and take care of yourself, and your family.
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