Marriage is a beautiful thing that requires a lifelong commitment, but especially if your spouse has an addiction. You may feel like you have no control over their addiction and question how you can support their recovery without them. Keep reading to learn healthy ways that you can support a spouse who has an addiction.
The Difficulties Of Relationships And Addictions
Addiction affects around 19 million people in the United States. Many adults who are in a relationship feel the pains and repercussions of addiction throughout a marriage. Substance abuse can affect everyone in the home, not just the person who has the addiction.
There is a cycle that tends to occur in relationships that often leads to conflicts and disagreements about addiction. Even the healthiest and happiest of relationships can suffer when addiction enters the picture. There are numerous issues that can contribute to the downfall of a relationship, including financial difficulties, child neglect, shame, lack of trust, and denial. Addiction tends to change people over time and can have lasting effects if it is not taken seriously.
If you feel that you are in a dangerous relationship, it is important to reach out and seek help immediately from a professional. However, if you are looking for ways to support your spouse who has an addiction, there are things you can do and not do while trying to preserve the relationship.
Things To Avoid Doing
If your spouse is struggling with an addiction, you may see disturbing signs of secretive behavior, dishonesty, financial mismanagement, mood swings, eating habit changes, appearance changes, psychological anxiety, disengagement, isolation, and more.
If you see any of these signs, try to avoid dismissing the problem, giving ultimatums, or playing the blame game, which can all encourage the addiction to continue. But it is also important to never compromise the safety and well-being of yourself and others in the home.
Communication Is Key
Living with a spouse who has an addiction is difficult, as you may not know how to communicate with them or support them. Because of the confusion that addiction creates, and often a lack of knowledge about addiction, communication is almost always challenging.
There are many forms of communication and support for your spouse that can produce better results, but the process starts with you. Try to listen more than you talk, be kind with your actions and reactions, stay consistent and predictable, set healthy boundaries, and show unconditional love and concern.
You may also want to consider educating yourself on the process of recovery and the obstacles that may occur. Share your hopes and expectations in a simple discussion, as this can help your spouse identify and manage their feelings without belittlement. Overall, your relationship is going to change, and supporting your spouse during an addiction often comes with a shift in responsibilities.
If you continuously stay patient and forgiving, you will show your spouse you support them and are not taking the addiction personally. There is usually a lot of pain or resentment built up during addiction, and leaving those feelings unattended can prevent you from moving forward. Making sure you understand that there could be potential setbacks and hurdles to overcome will better prepare you for the recovery process.
A marriage impacted by addiction will not automatically fall into place without the work of both partners. It takes heart, faith, patience, and often professional help to manage the addiction process, but all starts with taking care of yourself first before you can help your spouse.
Creating A Balance And Preserving Your Marriage
Once you understand the do’s and don’ts of supporting a spouse with an addiction, then you can learn how to create a balance and preserve your marriage as you focus on the path to recovery. Because marriage is a partnership, there will be a journey to the recovery process on both sides of the coin.
It can be difficult to support your spouse with addiction because the addiction has caused so much pain. However, once the recovery process has begun, the reward is more valuable in the end. You can create a balance and preserve your marriage by researching different treatment centers and finding one that fully understands how to heal the ties between marriage, family, and addiction.
If your partner has indicated that they want to seek substance abuse treatment, your willingness to take part in family counseling sessions shows that you are supportive of the process. However, sometimes the individual with the addiction may not want this type of communication — at least in the beginning. They may feel like a failure, which is counterproductive to healing.
It is ideal for you, as the partner, to best support your spouse with addiction by knowing the potential timeframe and understanding the recovery process. There are different phases of recovery that allow for a controlled and monitored environment, removing temptations and triggers for potential relapse. As the spouse, you can give your partner the space they need to heal on their own while knowing they are being cared for.
Learning how to support your spouse who has an addiction is just a phone call away. At Renaissance Ranch, we offer family programs that provide education and resources for both you and your spouse who is struggling with addiction. We understand the emotional and mental framework it takes to manage addiction in marriage. That’s why we provide free online support classes designed to help you create that framework and address your problems healthily. There are trials and difficulties with addiction in many types of relationships. But there are healthy ways to get back to a strong relationship together, and we have helped many couples and families go through this process. We want to help you and your partner find recovery so you can get back to your life and have the relationship you once had — or perhaps an even better one. Don’t allow addiction to tear your family apart. To learn more about our facility and treatment programs, contact Renaissance Ranch today. We’re ready to help you and your spouse heal and move forward. Call us now at (801) 308-8898.