Chronic Stress And Fear
Addressing whether or not your partner is struggling with addiction can lead to much anxiety and even fear that they could be in danger. Whether confronting them for the first time, discussing treatment, or staging an intervention, the stress addiction on marriage can be intense.
Other causes of fear might include:
- Whether the drug is legal
- Where your partner is getting the drug
- The safety of the individual
- The purity and safety of the drug
- The risk of overdose, especially if the addict is hiding drug use
What You Shouldnt Do
There are several things you should avoid if you are willing to help your addicted partner:
Dont use negative emotions like shame, blame, or guilt. This will only make your partner become less responsive and more defensive to any suggestions that you make.
Dont support your partners behavior. If you show support for his or her behavior, you will be making things easier for your partner to continue giving in to the addiction.
Avoid giving ultimatums. Giving ultimatums doesnt work at all. In fact, it may even fuel the addiction further. How? Ultimatums that you give are likely to increase stress which in turn makes it impossible for him or her to quell an addiction.
Dont set healthy boundaries you wont stick with. Only set healthy boundaries that you will be okay with for a lengthy period. Always be the one who makes the rules. If you do that, you will be the one on the drivers seat controlling things and setting boundaries. But be concise, specific, and clear in a loving way.
Avoid attempting to reason with your partner when they under influence. One mistake that you can make when trying to help your partner is attempting to have a healthy conversion with the person under influence of some sort. Why? Your partner may not even remember what you discussed the following day. So, only discuss addiction issues when your partner is sober.
Heroin Or Other Opioids
With the abuse of prescription opioid painkillers on the rise since the 90s, heroin has become a commonly used substitute for the more expensive prescribed pills. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine , Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US, with 52,404 lethal drug overdoses in 2015. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 12,990 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2015.Clear signs that your spouse is using either prescription opiates or heroin can include:
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Types Of Support Groups For Families Of Drug Or Alcohol Addicts
Several support groups offer services across the U.S. specifically geared toward families of individuals battling drug addiction or alcoholism, including:6,7
Al-Anon Family Groups: Al-Anon is a worldwide fellowship program for families and friends of alcoholics. The program does not focus on trying to get a loved one to stop compulsive drinking, but instead addresses common problems faced by the loved ones of alcoholics.
Nar-Anon Family Groups: Nar-Anon is a 12-step program for anyone who is affected by another persons addiction. Loved ones are able to address the struggles they face through a structured, step-by-step process surrounded by others fighting similar battles to provide additional support and encouragement.
Families Anonymous: Families Anonymous is another 12-step program for families and friends of people with drug addiction and related problems. Anyone who is concerned about the destructive behavior of a loved one is welcome to attend.
Learn to Cope: Learn to Cope is a peer support network for families affected by drug addiction. They offer local face-to-face meetings at several locations throughout Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida, and Idaho, in addition to myriad online support resources and forums.
Finding Help For A Partner With An Addiction
Being supportive does not mean you need to be a punching bag for your partner or be the one to hold up all of the emotional baggage. Instead, you simply need to be someone they can trust and open up to.
If your partner has an addiction but is not ready to seek help, be patient. Let them know you are ready to support them and offer help in whatever way they are willing to take it. When they are ready to get treatment, help them find the right place to go and the right treatment options. NorthStar Transitions has a variety of options to fit each clientâs unique needs, and we offer family counseling to help you through the process and be the best support system you can be.
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Dont Ignore The Problem
No one ever imagines that addiction will happen to someone they love. So, when it turns out your partner has a substance use disorder, you may do everything in your power to deny it. You may be tempted to ignore thesigns of addiction, make excuses for your loved one, or downplay the severity of their addiction. But trying to convince yourself that its not that bad or that theyre simply going through a rough patch keeps the problem progressing.
Another reason not to ignore your husband or wifes struggle with substances is that they might be aware of their issue but unsure of how to ask for help. If you dont know how to confront your loved one about their addiction, start by expressing your feelings and what youve been noticing in your relationship. Being open with them might be the push they need to go to treatment.
Loving Your Spouse Through The Seasons Of Marriage
Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons spring , summer , fall , and winter . In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.
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Parents Of Addicted Loved Ones
Parents of Addicted Loved Ones is a Christian-run non-profit based on one founding phrase: People helping people through the woods. PAL meetings are usually held weekly and provide support for parents who have children addicted to drugs or alcohol. PAL groups are run by peers and consist of both an educational and a sharing component.
How Can I Stop My Spouses Substance Abuse
One of the most challenging situations a couple can face is when the addict isnt ready to change. Its crucial to remember that addiction is a mental illness, not something your partner engages in for trivial or spiteful reasons.
Although your partners addiction may feel personal or as if they are discounting your fears and concerns, they struggle internally. Typically, addicts are not ready to face the reality of their situation.
No one can force an addict to change because they must want to change for themselves. However, there are ways you can help them start the process.
Educate yourself on addiction and learn about the critical dangers of the substance your partner is using. Provide your partner with resources, even if they initially discard them. Gentle reminders and exposure to sober living can slowly encourage your spouse over time.
You can also speak with their friends and family about the issue and get them on board. There may come a time when an intervention will be effective, so getting other people in their life involved is essential.
You can also consult with a professional addiction interventionist to ensure your intervention is as successful as possible.
The road to treatment for your partner may be messy and even painful, but ultimately it will be worth the effort if your partner decides to work towards a healthy, sober life.
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Addiction In A Marriage
Anyone who has been married or in a committed relationship with a person who is addicted knows, without a doubt, that addiction is destructive. In some committed relationships, addiction isnt something that comes up right away. Addiction in a marriage:
- May not be apparent at the beginning of the relationship
- May seem like normal drinking behaviors early in the relationship
- May develop after a short time together
- May develop after years together
- May have been there all along
- May have been hidden from you by your partner
In a marriage, the drug of choice may vary alcohol, illicit drugs such as heroin or cocaine, or prescription drugs like Xanax or OxyContin. Regardless of the drug or drink a person is addicted to, the pursuit of the substance can eventually come before all else. When a person is addicted, he or she will choose drugs or alcohol before their marriage, before their partner, before their children before anything.When a spouse or partner is actively addicted, it can be difficult to recognize or remember the person you fell in love with. While it may take years to figure out what is really going on, there can be numerous problems along the way. Things like missing income or lost jobs, unusual absences from family gatherings or events, increased arguments or decreased interest in the relationship.With so many new and unforeseen challenges in the marriage, for some spouses, find that the only answer is to leave their addicted partner.
Tips For Helping Someone With An Addiction
The challenge with addiction is that the addict is not the only one impacted by this disease. Family and friends can have difficulty with the addicts behavior, financial problems, legal problems and the daily struggle of supporting a loved one. Here are seven tips that family and friends can reference to support an addicted family member or friend.
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Embracing Your Role As A Spouse
As a spouse, you have three roles to playa friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. Youll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.
What Are Some Ways A Spouse Can Help An Addicted Partner During And After Addiction Recovery
In the past, professionals believed the best way to help an addicted person was to isolate them from the family and focus their treatment on what they could do and how to change their behavior. But today, addiction specialists believe that treating the family is one of the most effective methods for helping a person achieve and maintain sobriety. Attending couples therapy with a therapist who specializes in addiction and family dynamics is ideal for making sure both partners needs are met during the crucial process of recovery. Therapists can teach the couple how to resolve conflicts and improve their communication. Couples will also learn in therapy how to create and then execute a blueprint for recovery that takes into account everyones specific needs and preferences.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, there is hope for your family. Contact the addiction specialists at Mission Harbor Behavioral Health today to learn more about rehab and detox treatment options.
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Support For You And Your Partner
You should always give support to your addicted partner as it may be the key to helping him or her overcome the addiction. But if you are unable to do that calmly, you can ask your family members or friends for support. Usually, if your partner is willing to try to beat their addiction, they will be more willing to discuss the treatments options available.
Its not easy being the partner to an addict. Drug addiction has the power to destroy any kind of relationship. Romantic relationships can suffer because of broken trust and a lack of communication that comes with addiction. You also want to avoid enabling them. While you want the best for your partner, remember that your health and well-being is just as important. Perhaps consider a support group or counseling. Learn how to live better despite the addiction.
Defining Addiction For Spouses And Partners
Addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a disease that affects a persons mood and behavior. Addiction leads to an inability to control alcohol, drugs, or medication use. Even if a substance or activity is harmful, the person will continue pursuing it.
Many who suffer from addiction start with the experimental use of recreational drugs or alcohol in social situations. Not all who participate will become addicted, but several factors like genetics or the type of drug used can affect someones likelihood of developing an addiction.
While some individuals may succumb to recreational drugs, others may find themselves addicted and abusing drugs their physician legally prescribed them. Its important to remember that addicts can come from all walks of life.
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Praying Scripture Over Your Childs Life
Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. Shes been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.
Ners: Healing From His Addiction
This book is the latest in research on helping partners of sex addicts. It discusses the affects on a woman who has lived with a sexual addict. The riveting statistics combined with personal stories of recovery make this a have to read book for any woman in a relationship with a sex addict. You are also offered hope and a beginning plan for personal recovery.
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My Husband Is An Addict
Ive been with my husband for nearly sixteen years. Married for nearly ten, we have four children together. For the first thirteen years, my husband was the most wonderful husband and father you could ask for. Our relationship was solid. Then three years ago, I found out hed started using cocaine in our home once a month while the children and I were in bed. This was a complete shock to me, as my husband has always been practically teetotal. Having asked him to leave, he broke down and confessed everything: hed tried it once on a work night out and liked it, so looked forward to it as a treat once a month. He went to drug counselling, but they said his occasional use didnt constitute addiction and he claimed he could stop.
Over the next few years, my husband became addicted instead to prescription drugs given to him by the GP for a backache. It was obvious he was abusing his medication and it was difficult to tell sometimes which drugs he was actually taking.
My husband has now admitted to everything but says he doesnt know why he did any of these things. He claims that he didnt find any of the women attractive and probably did it because of the hurt I caused him.
Ammanda Major is a sex and relationship therapist and our Head of Service Quality and Clinical Practice
If you have a relationship worry you would like some help with send a message to Ammanda.
Acknowledge And Feel Your Emotions About Their Addiction Relapse
Addiction is an emotional rollercoaster, and you may have gotten used to the chaos and emotional pain. Youve probably pushed aside your needs and emotions to help your spouse. Its common to feel a wide range of feelings when watching your spouse struggle with addiction.
- You may feel broken, hurt and ignored.
- Feels of being invisible, powerless or unworthy of attention.
- You may feel resentful for holding everything together behind the scenes.
If youve tried expressing your feelings, your words may fall on deaf ears. Your spouse may not have empathy or understand your side of the issue. They may acknowledge their addiction is hurting your marriage, but they may not know what to do with your emotional pain.
You cant control how your spouse behaves or feels, but you can adjust how you respond. Here are some ways to address your needs without hurting your spouse more.
Understand that your sacrifices and struggles may never be fully recognized by anyone other than you. It may not feel very good at first, but releasing toxic feelings can help you live with this reality. Maybe your spouse will acknowledge the impact on you during their recovery, but they may not. You can keep moving forward without getting bogged down by an unmet expectation.
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Healing For Partners Of Sex Addicts
There have been many high-profile cases of sexual misbehaviors lately in the media. Each case has been accompanied by a barrage of interviews in the media with experts who discuss sexual addiction, excuse-making, compulsive lying, bad behavior, legal actions, and a variety of other issues.
In the wake of these events, everyone wants to understand why individuals would act out in ways that could damage their own reputations, damage their families, and risk the loss of their marriages. Help is often suggested or offered to those who have been outed as having engaged in sexually compulsive, sexually inappropriate, and deceptive behaviors and they must get that help. But, where does that leave spouses and significant others of those with sexual disorders who have been traumatized by their betrayals?