What are Daily Check Ins and Why Are They Important
Why Daily Check ins?
Do you ever wonder how your SA spouse is doing? Do they leave you out of the loop about their recovery? I suggest implementing a daily check in. This is a set time that you get together to talk about what is going on and how everything is working out. I think this is important for multiple reasons.
- First it gives you reassurance that there is focus on their recovery being done daily. This is invaluable in the beginning of recovery. You will feel closer, safer, and feel like you can talk more openly to your spouse.
- It demonstrates accountability- you know that they are actually doing something if they have things to talk about daily.
- It demonstrates the intention of openness- Addiction thrives in secret. If they are open to talking to you there is an open line of communication that you have most likely not had before or for a long time.
- It demonstrates honesty- Unless they are caught lying about this they are probably being honest if they are willing to do a daily check in. You will be better able to monitor their mood and progress if it is a daily conversation.
- It demonstrates transparency-This is the heart of Recovery. When you are transparent you no longer are hiding and lying to cover your addiction. This is a freedom your spouse may not even know they need or want but as they progress they will enjoy it.
How Do You Do Daily Check Ins?
- Sit alone together where you won’t be immediately interrupted (Yes I know this may not be easy but it’s worth it).
- Hold hands to anchor each other in that moment.
- You must listen fully.
- Active listening is important here.
What They Could Talk About
- What are they working on in their recovery (they do not have to tell anything they aren’t comfortable with but a general).
- Who they are working with in general terms (sponsor, friend, themselves).
- What steps they are taking to prevent relapse.
- How they are feeling about recovery/addiction/life.
- Any stressors they are worried about.
- Anything they need help with.
- Planning the next day, routine is very important to recovering addicts.
Really this is just a time where they are able to talk about any RECOVERY related information. This is not a time for them to talk about what you aren’t doing, what they don’t want to do, or any negative that is not immediately important to their sobriety. If they use it as a time to berate, argue or attack, you may need to tell them to consult their sponsor or counselor and walk away for now. If this continues, you may need to bring it up to their counselor yourself or some other way to talk about what is appropriate. There should be positive changes in their behavior if they are staying sober and taking recovery seriously.
What You Shouldn’t do
- Do not ask for more information than they are willing to give, you can ask questions but if they are reluctant to answer, don’t push.
- This is not the time to try to make them do anything.
- Do not get upset if they only say a few things the first few times. Most addicts believe we would hate them if we knew them. They may test the waters to see if they will be hurt.
- Do not interrupt unless they are using the time in an inappropriate way.
- Remember if you want honesty you need to provide a safe place to be honest so if they tell you something you didn’t know or that hurts you will need to not get angry.
- If they tell you they relapsed and are looking for help or are otherwise trying to fix it you MUST not become angry, slips happen in almost all recovery. I know we don’t want it to happen but we should know it might.
- They may use this time to try to manipulate if they are new to recovery or they are not in recovery, you must use your best judgment.
When addicts are active in recovery it shows in their lives and will show in their check in. It may take time to get somewhere but if they are in recovery they will slowly become almost different people. During this time a check in will give you an idea of where things are and how they are doing. As time goes by you may want to change it to every other day or weekly, whatever works for you both. You will see growth and change, this will give you a good idea of what is actually going on.