When addiction knocks in a relationship, it destabilizes everything, changing the once happy union into a challenging experience. What’s more, addiction does not only affect the substance abuser but everyone close to them. As a spouse to an addict, you are at a high risk of losing yourself in their addiction. Alternatively, feeling sorry for them worsens the situation, making them more dependent on abusing substances.
The truth is dealing with an addict is not easy. Besides the emotional rollercoaster and falling out of love, you put your life at risk as you don’t know when they will get physical. The sad reality is that you cannot just wake up one day and decide to leave your partner.
Chances are your heart won’t let you as you desire to see them get better. However, you can actualize these five effective measures.
Encourage Them To Get Specialized Treatment
Your spouse may have already taken this bold step towards recovery and visited different rehabilitation centers in town. It could be you feel discouraged and don’t want to buy into this idea anymore as they keep relapsing. But before you throw your hopes through the window, it would help if you changed your strategies and encouraged them to seek specialized treatment this time around.
For instance, registering your spouse in a men’s drug and alcohol rehab program or vice versa may result in more positive outcomes than if they were to get treatment in a general rehabilitation center. This is because these places are customized to meet their individual needs and personalities hence fastening their recovery.
Offer the Needed Support but Don’t Be an Enabler
It’s natural for you to want to go out of your way to make your addicted spouse happy. Nonetheless, you must be careful not to be an accelerator of their situation. Your spouse will often ask for unhealthy favors such as money to buy the drugs. It would be best to avoid falling victim to such manipulation as it will only worsen the situation with your spouse.
As you offer your support, ensure to remind them of the complexity of the matter and encourage them to seek professional help. Moreover, avoid feeling sorry for your spouse’s behavior. It is not your fault that your lover is in that situation; if anything, let them take charge of their actions and other life responsibilities.
Heightened levels of codependency lead to far-reaching repercussions such as pushing other members of the family, including you, into addiction.
Prioritize Your Self-Care
Dealing with an addicted spouse is demanding and detrimental to your mental health. The truth is your life will mainly revolve around your spouse, where you will be concentrating on seeing them get better. However, even as you do this, it’s important to note that you cannot take care of another person when your inner being is suffering.
The secret to dealing with an addicted spouse is to invest in continuous self-care actions such as spiritual nourishing, mindfulness, meditation, exercising and eating healthy. Equally important, make an effort to get out and interact with the outside world.
There are many support groups for people handling addictive spouses. These are therapeutic and will work magic in helping you better interact with your ailing spouse.
Addicts are naturally unpredictable where one minute they are all happy and bubbly, and the next moment they are hurting themselves or their loved ones. You, therefore, need to be extra careful when handling your addictive spouse.
One of the surest ways to protect yourself is to familiarize yourself with the kind of addiction affecting your spouse. The internet has all the information you need on the different types of addiction, their symptoms and their impacts. Alternatively, you can learn from your spouse’s doctor and the other support groups available.
From here, maintain high levels of alertness and don’t accommodate any abuse.
Take Each Day at a Time
Recovery from any addiction is not a one-off process; instead, it takes time, hard work and patience. However, as a partner to an addict, this is the best gift you can give your better half. Your love, understanding and willingness to see them get better will work magic in fastening their recovery.
As you embark on this journey, prepare well psychologically as the road ahead is not smooth. There will be days where you will feel as if your partner is not trying enough. Other times you will feel tired and irritated with yourself and think you are not doing enough.
Whatever each day brings, embrace it and never stop trying to help your spouse get better. All in all, trust your heart to communicate when it’s time to leave.
Loving an addictive spouse is not for the faint-hearted. The truth is you will fall out of love on many occasions, but you have to keep going as your partner needs your support to get better. Implement the above five strategies to fasten your spouse’s recovery and maintain your peace.