Wedding vows typically include a “for better or worse” phrase. If not these exact words, there is usually something about supporting your spouse through difficult times. Sticking around when things are good is the easy part. However, it can be tough to navigate when trials and tribulations come about with you or your partner.
Addiction is a challenge that can be very tricky to cope with. For the partner struggling with substance abuse, it can feel like your spouse may not understand or be able to relate. For the partner on the other side, it can feel defeating to know that your loved one is struggling and you have no way of fixing it.
Knowing how to support and connect with your spouse who is striving to overcome addiction is not easy. You may not know what to say or how to approach the topic. It can be very intimidating and even burdensome to feel as though you need to help your loved one during this time.
There are a few things to keep in mind as you aim to offer support for your loved one battling with substance abuse. Your knowledge and approach can make a huge impact, so educating and preparing yourself as best as possible is important.
Tips for Offering Support
In the beginning, you may not know how even to begin to offer support for your spouse who is struggling with substance abuse. Maybe you have known about the problem for a while, or perhaps you had no idea and feel a little blindsided. Whether you have had a gut feeling for months or feel completely caught off guard, you might welcome some tips for navigating the situation.
When you become aware of your spouse’s addiction, it is important to seek help. This might mean seeking help for your loved one, or it could mean seeking help for yourself. Often, it involves both.
If your spouse is open to the idea of treatment, it is crucial to demonstrate your support of this idea. A great way to do this is by helping with research or even making calls on behalf of your spouse. Calling and asking questions on behalf of your loved one can sometimes offer comfort and reinforce trust.
If your spouse is resistant to treatment, it may be beneficial for you to seek help for yourself as you work through the situation. Addiction can create a myriad of marital issues. A few could include financial troubles or burdens, risk-taking behavior, avoidance, dishonesty, and the list goes on.
It is essential to ensure you feel capable of supporting your spouse through this difficult time. If you are like most, you may not know exactly where to begin. Whether or not your spouse is ready to seek help today, you can receive help as a loved one through programs and resources, such as family education groups.
Feeling able to support your spouse as they work to combat addiction takes a lot of courage. However, you are bound to feel more confident in your ability to cope with the situation if you have knowledge and understanding of addiction. This allows you to understand better what your partner might be experiencing and can allow for some compassion.
Choosing to learn more about the disease can also create some common ground between you and your spouse. Seeking education through groups can also provide you with a support system of others who can relate to your experience and whom you can call on in times of need.
It can be easy to become consumed with supporting your spouse during this time and, as a result, neglect your own needs. It’s critical to continue to care for yourself during this time. Self-care is important all of the time, but prioritizing yourself is especially important when you are in a position that requires you to support or care for others.
Be sure to take time to do things that you enjoy. While you may feel pulled to spend all of your time devoted to supporting your loved one, it is important to carry on with your life simultaneously. Make it to your workout class or small group each week. Take some time to treat yourself to a spa day or lunch with friends.
Supporting someone who is struggling with substance abuse is never easy. When it is your spouse, it can be extremely difficult. After all, you likely live and spend most of your time with this person. Seeing someone so close to you struggling with something as complex and detrimental as addiction can be devastating. Supporting your spouse through education and understanding while still caring for yourself is key.
Addiction is a difficult thing to cope with for all parties involved. When addiction is impacting your spouse, it can be extremely trying and straining on the marriage. Therefore, knowing how to support your spouse and maintain your well-being throughout the process is essential. Renaissance Ranch offers a great support system and various resources for loved ones. Our education groups allow spouses and loved ones the opportunity to learn more about addiction and connect with others who are in similar situations. If you or your loved one is struggling to overcome an addiction to drugs or alcohol, we would love to help. To get more information about our programs, call Renaissance Ranch today at (801) 308-8898.