When couples vow to stick together in sickness and in health, they are rarely picturing the challenge of addiction. However, the reality is that addiction is an issue for millions of couples across the country. Being married to an addict presents a set of challenges that differ from other types of diseases.
Here, Serenity Wellness and Counseling presents some aXX$dvice for people struggling with marriage to an addict.
If They Haven’t Addressed Their Addiction Yet…
Before you and your spouse can work together on repairing or strengthening your marriage, your husband or wife needs to address their addiction. If you suspect they are dependent on drugs or alcohol, start by researching signs of addiction and begin building your case. When the time is right, address the issue with them. There are several methods available to convince them to get help, including staging a group intervention with other loved ones or getting assistance from an addiction professional or recovered addict who can speak to them in a more neutral, personal way. Try to anticipate the barriers they will raise and have responses ready for them.
They will likely resist. They may be angry and defensive. However, these are normal reactions that he or she can work through. Keep in mind that an addict’s love — for you, for their children, for their family, for anything — often isn’t enough to get them sober. It is not a reflection of your worth. In fact, their addiction might have nothing to do with your relationship at all. However, your commitment to an addict needs to have boundaries. If you are experiencing physical or emotional abuse, infidelity, or if you feel you are in danger, you need to move out and consider your situation.
In reality, addiction is not rational. You cannot logically explain it or use logic to convince an addict to no longer use it. Addiction is complicated, and a person will need to address it in hopes of repairing damaged relationships with other people.
If They are Addressing Their Addiction…
Experts believe that people in addiction recovery have better outcomes when they involve spouses, family members, or other people within their innermost circle in their treatment. Their support and involvement can strengthen recovery and reduce the chance of relapse, so encourage and help them if they express a desire to seek out rehab centers in Texas. This list can help you to get started, as it includes the qualifications and types of support offered at ten different facilities in the area.
However, it is important to understand that rehab or treatment for addiction will not be a silver bullet for a struggling relationship. As Psych Central explains, addiction takes a toll on couples and those scars can run deep. You will need to work through those issues together. Find a counseling program like Serenity Wellness and Counseling and start attending sessions together. You won’t know what is possible (and what is not) until you try working through things together.
One of the core concepts you will have to learn is how to separate the behaviors of an addict from the person suffering from addiction. Doing so can be complicated. You want to love and forgive your spouse, but that does not mean allowing yourself to be a figurative punching bag. You may want to seek your own individual counseling or a support group for families of addicts to help you work these issues out.
If You Have Tried Everything…
Psychology Today explains that, sometimes, things simply cannot work out. If your spouse is unwilling or uninterested in putting in the time and energy required to better themselves and your relationship, then you are only setting yourself for more disappointment and heartache by staying.
Nobody but you will be able to determine where you draw the line, or what your final straw is. But if you feel you have crossed it, then stick by your decision. False threats of divorce or separation help nobody. It may not seem like it immediately, but in the long run it will be best for you and them.
Put in the Work but Know Your Boundaries
Addiction does not make divorce inevitable. If both partners approach personal and couples recovery as a unified team, and if both remain devoted and dedicated to one another, then a marriage can stay intact and become stronger than ever before.
Photo via Pixabay.