Hello my fiancé has been out of rehab for about a month now but I’m afraid. Today was the first day since he got out of rehab that he went to lunch with a guy he became friends with in rehab. Although he has been clean for 5 months now I’m fearful of him being around someone else who is new to recovery. I don’t want to treat him like a child but I don’t want him to relapse. I’m trying not to keep calling him or texting him while he’s out but I don’t know this person.
Totally fair @jsb145ae I’ve been there myself with my husband’s recovery.
What I’ve found to be useful is to:
- Acknowledge these anxieties that come up for you during their recovery
- Take self care and self soothing actions when they do
- Process the emotions (writing / positive communication exercise can be helpful here)
- Determine if it’s something you need to address/talk about with your partner
- Identify a time that is conducive to discuss, ask their permission to talk about it (eg. “hey, I realized that I felt quite anxious when you met your friend from rehab, do you mind if we chat about it - would now suit or can we agree on a time? It will really help me feel a lot better.”)
- When talking with them about it, talk from your perspective - eg. “I felt anxious because I worried you might be thinking about using” and ask about their experience “how was it for you” and you could ask something of them “in the future/next time, it would really calm my anxiety if you kept in touch every X time period while out with a rehab buddy, do you think you would do that for me? Even just for now, and we can reassess when my anxieties cool off and I’m less on edge about everything.”
In our course one of the cornerstone skills is Positive Communication which builds on the above, it’s a must have for anyone in relationship with someone in addiction or recovery - hope you’ll try it out (free 7 day trial available at HERE)!
Hi @jsb145ae - that’s great to hear your fiance has been sober for 5 months and has made a friend in recovery. I understand your fear - I felt the same way with my husband when he got out of rehab and started hanging out with people he had met there. One friend he made I was especially concerned about… I just had a weird feeling about him. And my feelings were right - the friend ended up helping my husband get drugs and relapse. They were both in a bad place, together. That friend ended up in a coma for weeks and almost died. He got better. They remained friends, they stayed in recovery, and they got sober together. I’m thankful now for the friendship they have because it has helped both of them. And while I didn’t trust the friend before, after getting to know him, I see now what a good person he is, just like my husband. I’m not sure if this story helps you or scares you, but I share it with you to give you some hope. There are ups and downs, ups and downs, over and over in the recovery process. Hold on to hope.
I second everything @Jane says about acknowledging your anxiety, letting it go, and talking about fears and concerns with your partner. Understand that you’re both in recovery - very different recoveries, but still navigating this new space, together. Just as you would want him to tell you his fears, anxieties, triggers, you should express yours with him. So he knows that when you’re calling and texting, it’s because you’re struggling, too.
Sending you love. I’m glad you found this space.