Moving On From Codependent Relationships
She did all she could do with me before she needed to do what was best for herself, which was to leave. The next relationship I was in was with another addict like myself. I actually felt good about this at the time. Finally, someone, I can abuse drugs and alcohol with! Its crazy to think of how warped my mind was. Codependent relationships and addiction go hand in hand.
Signs Its Time To Leave An Alcoholic Spouse
Alcoholism has negative consequences on the spouse of an alcoholic partner, but people may have a hard time deciding when it is time to leave an alcoholic husband or wife.
Consider the following tips for spouses of alcoholics to help you decide when its time to leave an alcoholic spouse:
- You find that you are mentally and physically exhausted from the effects of alcoholic behavior in relationships.
- You have lost all trust in your partner.
- Your partner has begun to become emotionally abusive, such as by bullying you, criticizing you, or blaming you for their behavior.
- The entire life of your family revolves around your alcoholic spouse, and your needs or the needs of the children are falling by the wayside.
- You have become fearful of your spouse and constantly walk on eggshells to avoid angering him or her.
- You have gotten stuck in an endless cycle of your partner entering treatment but failing to make lasting changes.
- Thinking about continuing to live with an alcoholic partner makes you feel physically sick.
- Youve begun to experience your own negative consequences, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, substance abuse, or financial issues because of your partners ongoing alcohol abuse.
- Your partner is unwilling to give up drinking and shows no willingness to accept help.
- The alcoholic spouse has begun to engage in dangerous behavior, such as driving under the influence, getting into physical fights, or acting out violently against you or other members of the family.
Signs Of Enabling: Are You Enabling Your Addicted Spouse
Enabling behaviors are common among spouses and other loved ones of those with addiction, especially within codependent relationships. The term enabling can generally be defined as helping or encouraging a person to continue using drugs, either directly or indirectly.
Examples of enabling behaviors include:
- giving the addicted person money to buy drugs
- allowing them to misuse drugs around you
- hiding or lying about their addictive behaviors to others
- taking on the responsibilities of your addicted spouse
- cleaning up for them after their drug misuse
- making excuses for their addictive behaviors or going along with their excuses
- getting them out of the financial difficulty thats resulted from their substance abuse
Enabling your spouse can have harmful effects on your own wellbeing, as well as that of your spouseeven when you mean well. Enabling behaviors can impede your spouse from seeking addiction treatment or progressing in their treatment.
Although enabling may feel like a way of protecting your spouse, supporting your spouse is different than enabling. Ways to support a loved one who is battling addiction might include attending couples counseling and driving them to treatment.
Another way to support your spouse would be to learn more about their addiction in your own time to better understand what theyre going through.
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Tell People Who Need To Know
Yes, this may feel shameful. However, you have a right to discuss your reality. Tell your neighbors if needed. Tell the school.
Youre allowed to receive support. You may also find yourself surprised. By disclosing your spouses addiction, people may reveal their own struggles.
After all, addiction is common. Dont be shocked if someone you know is facing the same battle.
Your partner may react with anger or frustration if they find out. Know that anger is their problem. It is not your responsibility to hold these secrets.
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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Also Check: What Do Addiction Counselors Do
Binge Drinking And Alcohol Abuse
Binge drinking is defined as a drinking pattern that elevates ones blood alcohol concentration level to 0.08 g/dL. BAC may differ from person to person based on weight, sex, and other factors.Nearly one-third of American adults are considered excessive drinkers, but only 10 percent of them are considered alcoholics. Not everyone who binge drinks is considered an alcohol abuser either.
Alcohol abusers continue to drink alcohol despite:
- Recurrent, alcohol-induced health problems
- Occupational consequences
- Legal consequences
People who abuse alcohol may have an easier quitting than alcoholics, who develop a dependency on alcohol.
Prepare For Rocky Roads
Addiction is a chronic illness. Unfortunately, relapse is often a part of it. Addiction relapse rates are around 40-60%. This is similar to other chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension and asthma. Relapses dont mean that treatment didnt work or the person will never get better. Relapses are opportunities to learn from mistakes and move forward. Your addicted spouse wont be cured in drug rehab. Addiction recovery is a lifelong process. The work isnt over after time in a treatment facility. You can support them by:
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Changing Destructive Behavior Patterns
After this new person broke up with me because of my drinking, I decided that I need more of a change to avoid the same patterns. I decided to get sober. Support and healthy boundaries for recovery are what I needed most. I needed to stop worrying about finding the right person and become a better version of myself first.
I started to put time into hobbies. I put time into taking care of my body by exercising. I read all of the time. I learned guitar. I went on hikes and felt nature healing me. I decided to stay. It was only six months until I met my current partner. We met through an event. We began a sober relationship.
We hung out and got to know one another. We had a lot in common. I learned after months of dating that I really enjoyed being around this person. It didnt happen overnight. But because I was sober, I was able to enjoy the process at my own pace and move forward as I felt. We are still together, and things couldnt be more positive.
Addiction And Support Resources For Spouses And Partners
Al-Anon: One of the most well-known and respected 12-Step programs in the world, Al-Anon is a group open to those who had been affected by alcohol addiction, including not only spouses and partners but also children, parents, and friends.
Couple Recovery from Addiction: This support organization follows a holistic healing model of couple-based addiction recovery, focusing not only on the recovery of the addicted spouse but of the relationship as well.
Nar-Anon: The counterpart program to Al-Anon, Nar-Anon is a 12-Step support group for the loved ones of people with substance use disorders beyond alcohol.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: The National Domestic Violence website is both a repository of resources and informational material for the victims and survivors of domestic abuse as well as a hotline that can provide immediate crisis intervention and support: 1-800-799-SAFE .
Recovering Couples Anonymous: While not affiliated specifically with Alcoholics Anonymous, Recovering Couples Anonymous functions on the same 12-Step principles of recovery, modified for couples.
SMART Recovery Family & Friends: SMART Recovery is a non-religious support alternative to groups like Al-Anon. The Family & Friends group is a part of the SMART Recovery system specifically geared towards the spouses, family, and friends of the person in recovery.
Written by: Megan Hesse
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I Left My Addicted Husbandand It Saved Our Lives
When youre married to an addict, your whole life turns upside down. Chaos naturally accompanies the disease of addiction. What used to be a happy home can quickly take on the appearance of a circus especially if your spouse is actively abusing drugs.
Theres a wealth of information out there for those looking to help an addicted loved one, but what about helping yourself? What about your feelings, wants and needs?
How To Help Your Addicted Spouse Without Enabling Them
Can a marriage survive drug addiction?It sounds a simple question, but the answer is far too complicated and unique to individual circumstances to provide a simple yes or no response. Clearly, it can, as millions of existing marriages can testify, but there needs to be a lot of understanding and patience on your part. Of course, there also needs to be the desire to quit and then abstain from your addicted spouse.If your spouse is struggling with an addiction, there are several yet vital things that you may want to consider doing solely for yourself. When you actually begin to help yourself, you are also helping your addicted spouse a kind of knock-on effect.Sadly, many close relationships with an addict only survive because the sober spouse is inadvertently enabling the addict to continue their addiction in a number of ways, eg. giving them money, not discussing treatment, etc. Spouses do this because they are afraid the relationship will change drastically if their partner is finally clean and sober. Here are a number of highly effective ways to positively help your addicted spouse, importantly, without enabling them:
Find a Support Group: Its important to talk with other people that know what youre going through. Support groups for spouses dealing with addiction from their loved ones can help you find the tools you need to help. They also make you feel less isolated and you have a greater understanding of what your addicted partner is going through.
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Couples Or Marital Therapy
Couples or marital therapy can be incredibly powerful if you and your spouse struggle with:
- identifying and setting boundaries
- financial issues
- significant stressful changes
If your partner is newly sober, this therapy can help you both navigate the uncharted waters.
Being nervous is normal. Some people worry about therapists siding with one partner. They fear to air their dirty laundry before a stranger.
You should know that therapists, by nature, practice neutrality. They are not interested in taking sides or determining who is right.
Instead, they want you both to attack the problems together. They want you both to unify as a team and utilize your strengths to make progress.
Identifying Triggers In Your Marriage
They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lias story, youll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!
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Types Of Addiction That Can Affect A Marriage
Addiction is a mental and behavioral condition that can refer to a reliance on addictive substancessuch as illicit drugs and alcoholor an addiction to certain behaviors.
Types of addiction include:
- exercise addiction
People who struggle with drug addiction, for instance, may have both a chemical addiction to substances, as well as a behavioral addiction. While research about the underlying drivers of addiction is still ongoing, researchers do understand that addiction can be physical, mental, and psychological.
Drugs and alcohol, for instance, are known to have effects on the brain. These effects can make it difficult for a person to stop misusing substances. Alcohol and drug abuse can also cause other life difficulties, such as difficulty concentrating, unstable mood, and a lack of interest in activities previously enjoyed.
People living with addiction may neglect the needs of others, as well as their own, in order to continue engaging in unsupportive behaviors related to their addiction.
If youre married to someone who is addicted to drugs or certain behavioral patterns , youve likely experienced this for yourself. Your spouse may apologize, may promise theyll do better in the futureor perhaps appear to be unaware of how their addiction is affecting your marriage.
Reconciling Faith And Science In A Medical Crisis
Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. Hell share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of lifes toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven
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Knowing When And How To Leave A Drug Addict
Often, addiction affects the loved ones of addicts as much as it impacts the addicts themselves. This is definitely the case when it comes to the significant other of an addict. Many people who are the significant others of individuals who suffer from addiction wonder to themselves if they should end their relationships. In many cases, the answer to this question is yes. Although, there are times when it may be appropriate to stay in the relationship. Ending a relationship with a drug addict is difficult. So, knowing how to leave a drug addict is important.
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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.
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Is Your Romantic Relationship Negatively Affecting Your Children
If your spouse/partners addiction is starting to negatively affect the lives of your children, its vital that your spouse/partner achieves sobriety as soon as possible. No addiction that an adult is suffering from should ruin the lives of young children.
As adults and parents/guardians its your responsibility to create a safe environment for your children to grow and develop in. If youre not creating a safe environment for your children, then they may need to live with someone else or be taken away. If you dont want this to happen, end your romantic relationship and focus on getting your spouse/partner into rehab.
Living With An Addict: How To Deal With An Addicted Spouse
Our intimate relationships are supposed to be safe havens, and our homes places that provide shelter from danger. Yet, being in a relationship with a partner that has an addiction to alcohol or drugs can lead to an unhealthy relationship with emotional stress and abuse.
For many Americans, a close relationship with an addicted partner can become a source of chaos, negativity, emotional upheaval, and even violence. Substance abuse can eventually destroy a couple by undermining trust, which weakens the bond between partners. If children are part of the relationship, conflicts over parental responsibilities, neglect, or abuse can occur as a result of one partners or sometimes both partners drinking or drug use.1
Helping a spouse face their addiction challenges takes a team effort. The team at American Addictions Centers is here to help by offering targeted treatment plans for alcohol and substance abuse for your spouse. We are committed to helping you and your loved one build a foundation to stay sober. Please know that when your spouse goes to one of our facilities, they are part of the AAC family. For more information, contact us now at
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How Addiction Harms Relationships
There are a handful of signs that drinking or drug abuse by a significant other is causing harm to their relationship to the point where intervention from a treatment professional is needed.
We Understand Chronic Relapse
We understand how many times youve tried to get your loved one help. The difference with us is that we have the time, expertise and concern to help your loved one recover. Find Freedom
Line Up Treatment Resources
One of your ultimate goals is to get your addicted husband/wife into treatment, but it is unlikely that they will do that on their own. Even if your spouse agrees to get help, drug addicts and alcoholics are notoriously fickle, so once they agree, it is best to begin treatment IMMEDIATELY. You can speed the process up if you do your research beforehand. Now that you are beginning to educate yourself about the disease of addiction, you can start looking for programs that fit your familys specific situation. You can take care of the logistical questions early:
- Do they specialize in the specific addiction?
- Do they offer drug/alcohol detoxification?
- Do they handle co-occurring disorders that your spouse may be struggling with, such as anxiety or PTSD?
- If its important to you, do they offer gender-specific programs?
- Are there programs available for the family?
- Do they accept your insurance plan?
If possible, take the time to tour the facility or meet the programs staff. If you are comfortable, you may even be able to pre-register to save even more time.
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