Of all the relationships you will be a part of in your life, marriage is the most complicated you will experience. Marriage takes a lot of work and a lot of love to be successful. During the course of marriage, you and your spouse will experience many peaks and valleys that you need to navigate. Of all the challenges you will face as a couple, addiction can throw you and your spouse for a major loop. If your significant other is struggling with substance abuse, your primary concern is knowing what to do if your spouse is an addict.
Learning how to deal with an addicted spouse can mean the difference between saving your marriage or picking up the pieces from a dysfunctional and broken relationship. You will need to learn what the signs of addiction, how to deal with a drug addict spouse in a healthy fashion, and where you can get help for you and your spouse.
In a committed relationship, a spouse’s addiction may not be on your radar. In some cases, the addiction may develop after a period of time. In other instances, a spouse’s drinking patterns may have been normal early in the relationship. Additionally, your spouse may have already had an addiction to substances but was able to hide it from you.
In order to know what to do if your spouse is an addict, you must first know the warning signs that your spouse is abusing drugs. The most common signs are the following:
You and your spouse made vows to be together through thick and thin. You may be throwing your hands in the air, saying “help, my spouse is an addict!” and don’t know what you need to do. Learning how to deal with a drug addict spouse requires an approach that is carefully thought through and full of support. The following are some ways you can help an addict spouse.
The first and more important way to know what to do if your spouse is an addict is to learn about their addiction. Do your research. There are great websites such as SAMHSA and NIDA that are government-based and full of useful information. You can also contact your family doctor or local addiction treatment professional. Knowledge is power.
Another way to know how to help an addicted spouse is to steer clear of denial and accept the fact your spouse has an addiction problem. Addiction is a complex condition that still has a substantial stigma that surrounds it. It would be easier just to ignore the problem and avoid the heartache and frustration, but that won’t do you or your spouse any good. While it will be difficult, it is best to face the problem head-on. Doing so will help your well-being, and your spouse will get the help they need to address their addiction.
You will do anything to help your spouse. If your spouse is addicted to drugs and alcohol, it is easy to help pay some of their bills, make excuses for their behavior, or even bail them out of trouble. While these actions are done with good intentions, these enabling behaviors do more harm than good. Buffering a loved one from the consequences of their addiction will do nothing more than continue their use of substances.
Another way to learn what to do if your spouse is an addict is to get help from a support group. Groups like Al-Anon and Nar-Anon were created for those whose loved ones are struggling with substance abuse. Within these groups, you will learn how other people deal with their addicted spouses and loved ones, and you can build a solid support network with those who are going through what you are going through.
What is the best way to know how to deal with a drug addict spouse? Take care of yourself. Practicing proper physical and mental health care will help you stay strong, and you will be able to handle the pressures of helping an addicted spouse more effectively.
If you need to get your spouse into drug rehab, you must find a facility that has evidence-based, specialized programs that help spouses address and overcome their addiction. Treatment and mental health staff must have years of experience in dealing with this complex and sensitive issue. SoberMind Recovery Center is a Southern California rehab that can help. Our individualized and dynamic recovery programs will help you and your spouse heal from the damage caused by substance abuse.
Call us today! SoberMind Recovery Center provides inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs in the Los Angeles area.