Every married couple goes through tough times at some point in their lives. From financial instability and stressful careers to infidelity and communication issues. However, some married couples might face other difficult situations, such as substance abuse and addiction.
If your spouse is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, it can be tough to know what to do. Sometimes, married couples who are affected by substance abuse end up separating or getting divorced. In fact, substance abuse is one of the leading causes of divorce in the United States.
However, divorce is likely not something you are interested in going through. While protecting your own mental health is extremely important, most people would prefer assisting their addicted spouse in finding professional help.
Being educated on how you can help a spouse with addiction can provide you with the tools you need to motivate them to enter a drug and alcohol rehab program.
Tips for Living With an Addicted Spouse
There are some cases where you must leave the relationship. For example, if your spouse’s addiction is causing them to engage in violence, emotional abuse, or doing illegal substances in your home, you should protect yourself first. However, if your addicted spouse is not putting you in harm’s way, there are some things you can do to make the situation easier for everyone involved.
If you are living with an addicted spouse, you can take the following steps:
- Reach out to family and friends for support
- Try to bring your addicted spouse to individual counseling or couples therapy
- Take care of your own mental health
- Educate yourself on the disease of addiction
- Remain patient and hopeful, as change does not happen overnight
- Set boundaries with your partner to protect your peace
- Do not avoid the issues you are facing while ensuring that you are not blaming, judging, or attacking your addicted spouse’s character
Dealing with an addicted spouse can be incredibly exhausting. This is why you should always ensure to take extra care of yourself while your partner is abusing substances. As the spouse of an addict, you will have to learn a healthy balance of caring for your needs while assisting them in ways that discourage substance abuse.
How to Help a Spouse With Addiction Accept Professional Help
Oftentimes, people who struggle with a substance use disorder avoid receiving professional help. This occurs for a variety of reasons, but usually, it’s related to fear or denial. Thankfully, there are some techniques you can use to convince your addicted spouse to attend rehab.
Before you even consider helping your drug-addicted spouse, you must take care of your own mental health. Addiction has been coined as a family disease because substance abuse affects the individual’s loved ones as well. You might be feeling anxious, depressed, or completely defeated.
Attending therapy can help you gain the tools you need to effectively cope with your spouse’s addiction. Additionally, your spouse may notice that therapy has been helping you feel better, and it could motivate them to attend a few sessions with you or enter treatment on their own.
Talk to Loved Ones
If your partner has managed to hide their addiction from your friends and loved ones, it might be a good idea to open up to them. Oftentimes, having an outside perspective on the situation can help you determine what the best thing to do is. Your spouse’s loved ones might rally with you to convince your spouse to seek the support they need.
It is important to note that if someone in your family has recovered from addiction in the past, you should reach out to them. They might be willing to talk with your spouse to show them what recovery is like and how beneficial getting sober is.
Write Out Your Feelings
If you and your partner frequently fight over their substance abuse, you should try writing them a letter. When you are talking face to face, intentions can become muddied by emotions and miscommunication. While it may seem silly to write a letter to someone that you are living with, doing this can help you effectively convey your thoughts and feelings.
When you write your letter, avoid listing their mistakes and faults. Instead focus on why you love them, the good things about your relationship, and how their recovery from addiction would improve both of your lives.
Stage an Intervention
As the spouse of an addict, you have probably grown extremely concerned about the person you love. You might lie awake at night wondering if they are safe. When you mix this type of stress with your partner’s refusal to attend drug rehab, frustration, and even resentment can build quickly.
The best way to convince your addicted spouse to go to treatment is by staging a professional intervention. Professional interventionists can help you plan and conduct an intervention where you and your other family members read statements to your addicted spouse. These statements will serve as emotional appeals to convince the addict to accept help.
Using a professional is always recommended, as interventions will bring up strong feelings and emotions that could derail the process without an expert’s help. During the intervention, you will also set boundaries and consequences that your spouse will experience if they refuse treatment.
Get Help for an Addicted Spouse Today
If your wife, husband, or life partner suffers from addiction, you are likely wondering how you can help them. Finding a reputable treatment program can be difficult, especially if you have never dealt with addiction before. Thankfully, Sheer Recovery can provide your loved one with the most effective treatments for substance abuse, including evidence-based behavioral therapy and relapse prevention planning.
Life-changing treatment begins with a phone call. Even if your spouse is avoiding going to rehab, our talented admissions coordinators at Sheer Recovery can talk to him or her and help change their mind about recovery, so please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
To learn more about our drug and alcohol rehab programs or to get help for your addicted spouse, contact Sheer Recovery today.
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