How do I help him to learn new coping skills?



Using drugs and alcohol to cope with daily life, no matter how stressful, is not adapting from the harmful addiction behavior of the past. What has worked with others to encourage new coping skills? It seems obvious to me: meditate, exercise, sleep, eat well. Why is this so hard?


Have you found anything that works here?


Everyone copes in different ways. My husband had to discover this on his own. I make suggestions - write, read, yoga, meditate, sleep better, eat better, etc. - but in the end, it’s his recovery. So my role has been to be as supportive as possible.When he decided to start taking singing lessons because it’s something he’s always wanted to do, I didn’t doubt his abilities or complain about the cost (although I did express concern about pricey lessons and he agreed to cut down a bit). I celebrated the courage it takes to make a big jump like that and turns out he’s really good! I stay at home with the kid with no complaints when he has lessons, if he makes plans with friends, or does any other activity that is helpful to connecting with others and recovering. I have suggested nights where we both do something creative together like painting, writing, coloring (it helps that we’re both creative people and like to express ourselves in these ways). I also keep him in the loop about my own growing interests and we’ve even been able to find new shared interests which has been awesome for our relationship.

I think it’s important to help our loved ones discover what interests them and what healthy habits are realistic, and then support/celebrate/cheer them on as much as possible to follow through. AND it’s important to do the same for OURSELVES. Just as I support my husband’s hobbies and recovery, he gives me the time and support I need for MINE.