Wednesday, October 5, 2022

How To Help My Addict Husband

Am I Enabling My Spouse/partner

How I Stopped Enabling my Addicted Husband: Alicia’s Story

Many spouses/partners end up acting as enablers for their significant others. Enablers are very harmful to addicts because they never hold addicts accountable for their actions. So, enablers make it easier for addicts to continue on in their drug use. Therefore, if youre enabling your spouse/partner, youll likely need to end the romantic relationship.

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Furthermore, we offer Frontline a specialized treatment program for military personnel, veterans, and first responders, such as the police, fire service, paramedics and ER staff, who are suffering from addiction, trauma and/or mental health disorders and behavioral conditions. Using evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders, trauma, & mental health conditions, our program offers:

  • Inpatient, outpatient & aftercare programs

What To Expect When Your Family Member Enters Treatment

Part of learning how to help an alcoholic loved one is knowing what treatments are available. Another part you may not have considered is what you can expect once they begin treatment. You may end up experiencing the gamut of emotions, all of which are normal, such as:

  • Relief: You may be glad your loved one is finally getting treatment and comforted to know that your loved one is physically in a safe space.
  • Anxiety: You may worry about the well-being of your loved one and whether theyre getting the help they need.
  • Anger: You may feel resentment that your loved one seemingly burdened you with their disease.
  • Sadness: Feeling bad for your loved one and their struggles is a sign of empathy and compassion. Sadness doesnt necessarily mean pity, either.
  • Shame: You may feel either shame stemming from the guilt that you couldnt save your loved one or embarrassment at having to explain that your loved one is in Recovery.

When your loved one enters treatment, its the perfect time for you to focus more on yourself and your healing. Reach out to support groups of people who are in the same situation as you. If you find yourself blaming your loved one for their addiction and its impact on your life, speak to a therapist to work through those feelings healthily.

Eventually, you will be asked to become involved in your loved ones Recovery. Family involvement in rehabilitation has proven to be incredibly beneficial for both the patient as well as the family.

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A Guide For Spouses Of Addicts: How To Help Your Loved One

Addiction to drugs and alcohol is an issue that no one should have to go through alone. If youre the spouse of an addict, it is important to learn how to properly assist them as they recover. Support is extremely important for those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

If you are not sure how to support your spouse or provide the help they need, keep reading to understand the best ways you can help ensure their success. You can also learn about how addiction can affect you and your loved one, and how you can deal with your issues surrounding addiction.

Things To Do When Youre Married To An Addict

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  • Addiction
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  • Being married to an addict feels like a betrayal. Drugs and alcohol are their priority, not you and your family. You may have tried everything you can think of to help your addicted spouse. Its not working. Youre starting to accept you cant beg, cry, scream or coddle them into sobriety. Heres what you can do.

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    Effective Treatment Options For Alcoholism

    There are many different treatment program options for alcoholism, including:

    Behavioral Treatments

    Behavioral treatments aim to change drinking behavior through counseling. Health experts lead them, and studies support that they are beneficial. According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, behavioral therapy is the most commonly used form of treatment.

    Family therapy is one of these services that can be beneficial for both you and your partner.

    Medication-Assisted Treatment

    There are medications approved in the United States to help people quit or reduce their heavy drinking and prevent relapse. They are prescribed by a health professional and may be used alone or in combination with other treatments.

    Detox

    Professional detox may help manage the withdrawal symptoms that can occur when someone experiencing alcoholism quits drinking suddenly. This can happen in an inpatient setting when the patient lives in a medical treatment center. Alternatively, it may be in an outpatient treatment program when the patient can detox while living at home.

    How To Help An Addicted Loved One

    Before you reach out for professional assistance, you might want to try sitting down and having a calm, compassionate conversation with your husband. Of course, if he is deep in the throes of drug addiction this might not be an option. If the substance abuse disorder is mild or moderate and if you know you can catch him during a window of sobriety attempting to express your concerns might not hurt. Be honest, avoid placing blame and focus the conversation on how his actions make you feel. Remember that addiction is a disease of denial and defensiveness, and the conversation might not go the way you expect it to. Your husband might refuse treatment, claiming that he has everything under control and that you are just being dramatic. Rather than fight back or defend yourself against these claims, call a professional. At Immersion Recovery Center we work very closely with a number of licensed interventionists, who can immediately begin helping you stage a professional intervention. To learn more or to be put into contact with a licensed interventionist contact us today.

    Read Also: How To Wean Off Alcohol Addiction

    If You Are Still Wondering If The Individual Is Abusing Drugs Or Alcohol These Are The Signs Of To Look For:

    • Alcohol or drug use interferes with school or work activities because of being hungover or sick.
    • The person drinks or uses drugs knowing that they will be driving, boating, or doing something else that would be risky if impaired.
    • The individual experiences memory loss or blackouts.
    • Accidents or injuries occur after drug or alcohol use.
    • The person uses drugs or alcohol even though there are physical conditions that can worsen because of substance use.

    The Dos And Donts Of Helping A Loved One With An Addiction

    Conversation with my husband about my addiction

    Once youve noticed the signs of addiction in your loved one like an Alcohol Addiction or an Opioid Addiction, for example youll need to know how to talk to and treat them in a way that is positive and helpful. There are several ways to do this, some easy to practice and others that require a little more effort and understanding on your part. Here are a few dos and donts for helping a loved one deal with addiction:

    Recommended Reading: How To Get An Addict To Stop

    How To Help A Spouse With An Addiction

  • Dont enable their behavior. Hold them accountable for their actions. This means shutting down excuses. Take charge of finances in the house. Dont allow them to dip into it for whatever reason they may come up with. Enabling starts off with good intentions, but its harmful. It benefits an addict to have some tough love.
  • Treat them with kindness and empathy. Tough love is different from hostility. This will undoubtedly be hard to do. While a substance use disorder affects everyone around an addict, its a medical disorder. Keep this in mind. This will stop defensiveness.
  • Reach out to friends and family for help. A drug addiction can be embarrassing. An entire group of support is worth the initial embarrassment. Ask close friends and family to keep an eye out. They could enable a loved one with a substance use disorder unintentionally.
  • Read about addiction. Books, studies, and blog posts can help. These are a good way to understand what an addict is going through. Also, they offer good advice on how to get through addiction with an intact marriage. Dry and Drunk Mom are two good memoirs about addiction. They prove that addicts deserve love like everyone else.
  • Include them in adventurous, physical activities. Exercise depletes the stress hormone, cortisol. With this, it boosts chemicals in the body that make people happy and relaxed. Physical activity can give an addict a similar sensation to taking drugs. This will distract them from cravings.
  • Things You Need To Do When Your Spouse Is Addicted

    Some of the most complicated relationships in life can be those we actually choose: the people we date, the people we live with, the people we marry, the people we have children with. Unlike our relationships with parents or siblings or cousins and so on we actually seek out and are selective about those with whom we are romantic. Somehow, however, those relationships can take the most work.

    One factor that can throw the biggest loop in a marriage or long-term relationships is drug or alcohol addiction.

    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.

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    When Your Husband Is A Sex Addict

    It is devastating to discover that your spouse/partner has been unfaithful and/or has a secretive life involving pornography . The betrayal-trauma can shatter your most deeply held assumptions, tearing apart the reality of a relationship that once grounded you and gave meaning to your life.

    Such a betrayal can lead to significant emotional pain as well as symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder .

    The spouse/partner of a sex addict is not only dealing with the complicated fallout from infidelity, secrets and deception she also has to face the painful reality of her loved ones out-of-control sexual behavior, a pattern of behavior that the addict may be ill-equipped to manage on his own.

    This one-two punch creates an enormous double-bind for the spouse/partner.

    You Enable The Addict

    How Do I Help My Alcoholic Husband Come Back To Us?

    Many people who choose to stay in a romantic relationship with a drug addict become enablers. An enabler is a person that supports negative and self-destructive behavior in another person. Often, an enabler is someone that is close to the person with the problem that he or she is enabling. So, its not uncommon for romantic partners of drug addicts to become enablers. Unfortunately, though, enabling a drug addict is harmful to both the drug addict and the enabler.

    Individuals who suffer from addiction while also having an enabler dont have to feel uncomfortable or face the full consequences of their actions. This is because the enabler is often taking care of the person who has an addiction. Enablers also fix any problems that the drug addict creates due to his or her addiction.

    As long as an addict is able to remain comfortable in life and be taken care of, he or she will never have a desire to change and get better. Therefore, oftentimes the most loving thing that a significant other can do for his or her romantic partner who is suffering from addiction is end the relationship.

    In doing this, people force their loved ones with an addiction to feel the consequences of their actions. This also holds the addicted individual accountable for those actions. This will, in turn, force the addict to get help to fix his or her own problems by attending rehab.

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    Recovery Is A Family Project

    Lastly, think about recovery as a family project. Youll find there are helpful programs for the partners of recovering addicts and your children, too. Al-Anon, for instance, helps families of alcoholics with a program thats similar to the 12 steps of AA. You may find other programs at your local church or through your therapists office.

    Finding a recovery center that includes family members as part of the plan for recovery is also important. While those struggling with substance abuse are responsible for their own behavior, there can be family dynamics that increase the odds of addiction. Being in recovery together, even if youre not actively addicted, can help you heal psychological wounds that may be holding you back, too.

    Whatever you do, if you plan to stay in the relationship, know its going to be hard work. But what marriage isnt hard work? Anything worth doing is worth doing well, and anything worthwhile takes effort. Marriage isnt any different. Even in the healthiest marriages, things can go wrong.

    Thankfully, theres a lot of support out there for people living with an addicted spouse. One such place is 12 Keys Rehab.

    Additional Support For Your Spouse

    While there are many universal ways to support your spouse, men and women experience drug and alcohol use and treatment differently. For example, men have higher rates of substance abuse and seek treatment more often. Women tend to face more barriers when seeking substance abuse treatment. These barriers can include lack of family support, greater stigma associated with going to treatment, and childcare responsibilities. Therefore, when discussing getting help with your wife, it may be beneficial to emphasize your support for treatment and develop a concrete plan for fulfilling family responsibilities while she focuses on her recovery.

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    Understanding And Dealing With Husbands Porn Addiction

    Being in a relationship with someone who is addicted to porn can lead to many relationship challenges.

    Similar to other types of addiction, dependency on porn becomes a priority over other important things in life. Furthermore, your husbands porn addiction problems can make you doubt yourself and affect your self-esteem.

    Dealing with problems stemming from a husbands porn addiction can be stressful and painful. What can you do to help him quit porn addiction and protect yourself in the process?

    Don’t Try To Control Them

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    You want to help your loved one with their addiction in any way you can, but you can’t control exactly how they do it. They may have unconventional ways of looking at their addiction, or maybe they’re experimenting with alternative therapies or treatments.

    As long as they aren’t causing more harm to themselves or others in the process, you can show them that you respect their own way of making changes. Offer to help in ways that they would like, without dictating what they must do.

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    Seek Help For Yourself

    The recovery process can be just as hard on you as it is on your loved one. Whether you convince them to seek treatment or not, its important for you to take care of your own mental health.

    Consider seeking one-on-one counseling or attending a support group like Narc-Anon or Al-Anon. This will help you face your feelings and give you the tools you need to navigate through this difficult time.

    How To Help Someone Dealing With Addiction

    Knowing someone who has an addiction is not uncommon, but knowing the best way to help a loved one with an addiction can be confusing and even scary. When someone has an addiction, it can affect every aspect of their lives as well as the lives of their loved ones. You will inevitably be concerned about your loved one, and it can be difficult to know what to do and what not to do, but its important to remember that Recovery is a solution.

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    What Will Happen If You Stay Together

    A clear sign that its time to end the relationship with a drug addict is if staying with the drug addict will likely lead to his or her condition getting worse. If you feel that nothing will change for the better if you stay with your addicted loved one, youll need to end your romantic relationship.

    Putting Off Getting Help

    My Husband Is An Alcoholic  What Should I Do?

    After years of covering up for the alcoholic and not talking about “the problem” outside the family, it may seem daunting to reach out for help from a support group, such as Al-Anon Family Groups.

    But millions have found solutions that lead to serenity inside those meetings. Going to an Al-Anon meeting is one of those things that once you do it, you say, “I should have done this years ago.”

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    Follow Through On Consequences

    Many friends or family members threaten to enforce serious consequences for addicted loved ones who refuse treatment. However, these are often seen as idle threats. If youre going to make a real impact, you must actually follow through.

    Whether its as simple as grounding or taking away the car, or something more drastic like forcing a loved one to move out of the house, if you say it, you must be willing to do it.

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