How to Support Your Partner After a Relapse

Drug or alcohol addiction can be a chronic relapsing illness. This means there is a high chance those in recovery will experience at least one relapse in their journey. While drug addiction relapse statistics may seem discouraging, being informed is a great way to prepare yourself and your partner for the future possibility. 

It’s important to know what to say to someone who has relapsed, so that you can help your partner understand that relapse is a part of recovery. It’s not a failure, and it’s still possible to strengthen that resolve to achieve sobriety. But you and your partner should also seek out support. Here are a few tips that should help you offer the support your partner needs after a relapse.

Avoid Placing Blame and Pointing Fingers

It’s natural to wonder why people in recovery relapse when things are good. You should avoid placing blame, pointing fingers, or getting emotional. It doesn’t help either of you move forward if you make accusations or say things you don’t really mean. Calm and collected discussions are often much more productive than a screaming match. 

Remind Them a Momentary Slip Doesn’t Mean They’ve Failed

With such high drug addiction relapse rates, you should always remind your partner that a momentary slip is not a failure. You should have a frank and honest discussion about why it happened and how to prevent it from happening again in the future. You can help your partner to avoid situations and things that you both know are triggers for relapse.

Encourage Them to Reach Out to Their Team or Peers

Sobriety is not a solo journey. Even if your partner has never experienced a relapse, you should immediately encourage them to reach out to a support system. This may consist of a sponsor or mentor, a therapist, or group therapy sessions. Your partner needs an outlet and accountability for the relapse. It’s not possible for you to have all the answers. Reaching out and asking for help is a part of the recovery process.

Prioritize Your Own Safety and Boundaries

Your partner needs your love and support, but you must refrain from enabling. If your partner is not receptive to getting the help they need or you are in danger, you must protect yourself. That may mean that you should remove yourself from the situation for your own mental and physical health. Whether you are in recovery yourself or not, you should also seek out support to help you cope with the recovery process with your partner.

What’s the Next Step: Reach Out to Harbor Village

It’s okay if you don’t know what to say or do when your partner relapses. You can reach out to us today to get the support and guidance you need. We’ll let you know how we can help your partner achieve sobriety at Harbor Village. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options and services.


Harbor Village Recovery treatment specialists are here to help. Tell us a little bit about you or your loved one: