One of the most difficult challenges of a marriage is when a spouse has an addiction. It can destroy a marriage quickly if intervention isn’t attempted. With the added stress, fear, anxiety, and unhappiness, many couples can’t deal, and they end up separating or divorcing. If you suspect your spouse is addicted to drugs or alcohol, learn the do’s and don’ts of helping them.
Signs of Addiction in Marriage
Married couples go down their own journey in life, which can impact their relationship for good or bad. When a spouse is addicted, there are unique challenges that only they face. Addiction is a disease that can make or break a marriage, depending on the way it’s handled. It’s critical to know what signs to look for when addressing addiction. These signs include:
- Having a hard time succeeding at work or losing their job
- Driving while intoxicated even when please fall on deaf ears
- Spending less time at home (finding ways to leave or making excuses when coming home late from work, not taking you with them)
- Coming home from work early or missing work
- Using alcohol or drugs instead of accomplishing goals or taking care of other responsibilities that include chores, family events, or other activities.
- Putting others at risk, such as children or yourself
- Financial issues (money disappearing, hiding receipts, etc.)
- Being disconnected from their surroundings
An addicted spouse can have some or all of these signs; however, only you know your spouse and what deviates from the norm.
Do’s and Don’ts of Helping Your Addicted Spouse
How approaching a spouse who has the signs of addiction makes all the difference in them accepting and admitting they need help or withdrawing and even turning hostile. Since this is a tough topic to broach, you may wonder what are things you should and shouldn’t do when addiction is suspected.
- Educate yourself on addiction being a disease
- Get help for you, and if you have kids, for them as well, (counseling) and from Al-Anon or other community support groups for you.
- Tell your spouse your feelings about their addiction, using words such as “I feel scared/worried/angry.”
- Use ultimatums — but only if you intend to follow through
- Practice “detaching with love” (removing yourself from enabling your spouse but showing your love for them still.)
- Attend marriage or family counseling
- Drink or use drugs alongside them
- Cover up for your spouse or make excuses for them
- Be dishonest with your spouse (being honest will help them feel they can trust you when it’s time to get help)
- Judge, blame or put down your spouse for their addiction
- Blame yourself for their addiction
- Bail them out of jail or any other situation in which the addiction caused
- Threaten to leave, unless you really mean it
- Ignore the addiction is causing problems in your marriage
- Compromise your health and wellbeing at the hands of your spouse’s addiction
There are a lot of misconceptions on how to treat the situation with an addicted spouse — mainly that not everything revolves around them, and you don’t have to go down with them, should it come to that. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your health and happiness because of addiction’s cruelty.
For Help, Contact Ardu Recovery Center
We want the best for your marriage and your family. If your spouse has signs of addiction, we invite you to contact us and allow us to get them needed help. We have customized treatment programs that focus on all aspects of an individual, including their mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for more information.