Being in love with someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol can be an incredibly painful experience. In fact, in many cases, addiction can be what ends up tearing two people who truly love one another apart.
It is a tragic reality of our world, and if you are currently married to someone who is struggling with addiction, you are probably looking for ways that you can help. Of course, living with an addiction spouse can lead to stress, despair, depression, anxiety and much more. Just know that you are not alone, let us at The Edge Treatment be your helping hand in this battle against addiction.
Though you may want to send your loved one to a drug rehab center as soon as possible, there are some things that you should keep in mind before and during your attempt to convince your spouse to get the help they need.
First off, if you are worried that your spouse may be struggling with addiction, but you are not entirely sure, here are some signs to keep in mind:
- Your spouse is spending more and more time away from home (going to bars, hanging with friends who have substance abuse issues, etc.)
- Driving while intoxicated despite your please that they don’t
- Prioritizing drug or alcohol abuse over other important responsibilities
- Money is going missing with no explanation
- Putting others at risk due to their intoxication
- Struggling to succeed at work
- General sense of disconnectedness
If you are noticing any of these signs, you can feel fairly confident that you are not imagining things and that your spouse truly is struggling with substance abuse. Now it is up to you to figure out what to do next.
In general, here are some valuable do’s and don’ts of helping your spouse solve their issues with substance abuse.
- Get the help that you need, such as joining Al-Anon or other community support groups.
- Attend marriage counseling or family counseling.
- Actively practice “detaching with love” which is an important skill in which you will be able to show your spouse that you love them without enabling their addiction.
- Educate yourself about addiction as a treatable disease.
- Be clear about your emotions and what you need from them to feel safe and loved.
- Healthfully utilize ultimatums to show your spouse that you are serious about them healthy.
- Cover for your spouse and make excuses for them while they continue to get worse.
- Ignore that there is a problem with your spouse and within your marriage.
- Lie to your spouse about your level of concern regarding their addiction.
- Drink or use drugs alongside them to try to normalize the entire situation.
- Judge or blame your spouse for what they are struggling with.
- Blame yourself for the addiction that your spouse is struggling with.
- Issue ultimatums with your spouse but then not follow through on any of them.
- Bail him or her out of prison if they are there because of their addiction.
- Compromise your own sense of wellbeing due to your spouse’s addiction.
As you can see, it is going to be a hard road ahead. With that being said, you have to do what you can to try to be there for the person you love!