Tip #: Have Realistic Expectations
Dont preach or lecture to the addict. They are usually unable to hear what you are saying. Continue to hold them accountable to expectations and offer help to direct them to the treatment they need. Dont expect addicts to keep promises, they are not able to do so while in the process of their disease. Dont react with pity or anger. This only keeps you in the process with the addict.
If your loved one is ready to get help, visit our Alcohol and Drug Treatment page to find out more about getting a referral and assessment.You can also contact Legal Aid programs in your area to see if you qualify for those services or they may be able to direct you to someone who can assist you.
Educate Yourself About Addiction
If you have never been exposed to alcoholism or drug addiction, it can be difficult to watch your partner struggle with this disease. Your partner may be displaying concerning behaviors, unlike their usual self. It might feel as though your relationship is not the priority right now. All these factors can put a strain on your mental health as well as your connection with them.
However, its important to realize that addiction is not a choice. Its a debilitating psychological and physical condition that alters a persons brain chemistry and controls almost every aspect of their daily life. Gaining an understanding of how addiction is a progressive brain disease, rather than a choice or moral failing, can help you move through your own hurt. Understanding that once in active addiction, a person is no longer making choices in terms of critical thinking or assessing short-term and long-term consequences can provide a helpful perspective into what you are seeing as well as what they are experiencing.
Emotional And Behavioral Symptoms Of Drug Abuse Your Spouse May Be Experiencing
You May Like: St Joseph’s Addiction Treatment Center Saranac Lake Ny
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.
What Effect Will This Have On You
More than anything, its important to take care of yourself while dating an addict. There are going to be times you feel drained, defeated, and hopeless. You cant pour from an empty cup, so make sure youre practicing good self-care at all times. Self-care can involve the following:
- Dont take your partners actions personally. When addiction takes hold, your loved one becomes powerless to the addiction. No matter how they may act toward you, it isnt your fault. It doesnt mean you allow them to cross your boundaries, and it certainly doesnt mean you allow them to mistreat you.
- Attend a support group. Al-Anon and Learn to Cope are support groups for the loved ones of people with addictions. Meet people who are going through similar difficulties and who can empathize with you. These groups will also teach you how to support your partner and take care of yourself in the process.
- Know that it isnt your responsibility to change your partner. You might feel like if you love and support him or her enough, they will stop their behavior. However, your partner isnt thinking like him/herself. The best you can do is encourage your partner to seek support from professionals, like licensed therapists and doctors specializing in addiction.
Read Also: Can You Be Addicted To Aleve
How To Disclose Your Addiction To A Loved One
Delivering news that you know will be unpleasant is always hard. This could include something like informing someone of a mistake, loss, or lie. When it comes to disclosing the fact that you are struggling with substance addiction, you could get various responses.
Lets first discuss who you may want or need to share this information with. It can be common for those struggling with addiction to hide their problems from others. This often leads to dishonesty, mistrust, and even strained relationships. When things become tense, and you feel the need to lie to your loved ones, this may indicate that it is time to be honest and disclose your addiction.
Tip #: Take Care Of Yourself
Focusing on your own life is the most important thing you can do to assist the addict. If you are stressed out due to their issues, in addition to your own, it creates resentment and strain. It makes it difficult to want to help someone who has created so much difficulty in your life. By taking care of yourself through exercising, getting plenty of sleep, socializing and getting support, you may be better able to help your loved one when they are ready to accept the help.
The most important thing to remember is that you arent alone. Many people battle with these issues every day and it is vital to get the resources and support you need.
Can Treatment Help Your Relationship
Many treatments can be effective in reducingif not eliminatingproblems with alcohol or other drugs. Some recovery centers focus on individual counseling, while others prefer group counseling or both.
As your loved one is in treatment, there are also support groups that can offer solace during this difficult time. At least you know youre not alone in the fight to battling your partners addiction.
If your partner has a problem with drugs or alcoholand you want to be with this persongetting him or her to enter treatment is the best thing you can do for yourself and your relationship.
Living With A Sex Addict
Someone whos dating or married to someone with a sex addiction often feels overwhelmed by the frequency with which sex is requested and the lack of intimacy that may exist in the sexual experience, Carter says.
Partners of people with sex addiction often spend much time at the beginning of the relationship thinking that something is wrong with them if they can’t keep up with their partner’s sexual demands. Thinking that you can’t sexually satisfy your partner can engender anxiety, low self-esteem, guilt, embarrassment, and many other feelings, she says. You also may have anxiety around your partner’s faithfulness or exposure to STDs, she says.
And it can be hard to maintain boundaries in the relationship. Because of the compulsive behavior associated with sex addiction, it can be difficult for the partner suffering from it to be faithful. The desperation a person with sex addiction feels to use their drug of choice is no different from the desperation a person with heroin addiction feels. The urges are strong and hard to combat, says Carter.
The best thing you can do if you live with someone who is struggling with sex addiction is to encourage them to get helpand for yourself.
Also Check: How Long Does It Take To Get Over An Addiction
Signs Your Partner May Have A Sex Addiction
Many of us are guilty of assuming that theres no such thing as sex addiction but it has in fact been likened to substance abuse due to the powerful chemical substances that are released as a result of it. Just like alcohol, drugs, gambling and eating can become addictive, so can sex which means that sadly, some people simply cant control their behavior.
Despite this, sex addiction is still very misunderstood, difficult to understand and even experts still struggle to identify exact sex addiction causes. Fortunately however, the signs can be a lot more obvious. If you think that your partner may have a problem, below are 9 signs to look out for.
Sex addiction signs
It can be difficult for a partner to determine if their loved on has a sex addiction because how do you know when someone has a problem and when they simply have a high sex drive? Furthermore, its highly unlikely that we spend all day, every day with someone so how do you know when the other person is hiding something?
Below are some of the most common signs of sex addiction which can serve as a helpful guide to determine whether or not your partner may have a problem.
- Compulsive sexual behaviour theyre increasing the frequency or intensity of sexual activities in order to achieve the desired effect.
- Theyre neglecting responsibilities such as work and family in pursuit of sex.
- They become irritable when unable to engage in the desired behavior.
Recognizing The Signs Of Addiction In Your Spouse
It is important to keep in mind that each couple is unique, as is each individuals addiction, so one persons spouse that is abusing drugs or alcohol may not be doing it in the same way as someone elses spouse. That being said, various general behaviors can act as red flags to a growing substance use problem, including:
- Spending more time away from home without saying where they are or what they are doing
- Health issues that do not have a clear explanation, such as sores, chronic coughing, liver problems, or ongoing digestive issues
- Money going missing, again without any apparent explanation
- Having difficulty keeping a job due to a significant decline in performance
- Hiding alcohol, drugs, or drug paraphernalia around the house
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
- Being unable to keep promises like not drinking at a party and instead binge drinking
- Even further than that, being unable to stop drinking or using drugs at all, even after repeatedly promising and attempting to do so
- Putting their spouse or their childrens lives at risk by being intoxicated
When someone becomes dependent on drugs or alcohol, it can become the controlling force behind all of their decisions and can cause drastic personality changes. When under the influence or struggling with the symptoms of withdrawal, your spouse can say or do things they never normally would, which can be difficult to deal with, almost as if the person you married has disappeared.
Don’t Miss: Best Jobs For Recovering Addicts
Knowing When To Leave An Addicted Spouse
Leaving a partner is difficult, especially when he or she is struggling with substance misuse. Still, it’s important to know when to leave.
Reviewed by Dr. Joseph N. Ranieris D.O.
Get started on your road to recovery.
Sometimes its easy to know when its time to leave an addicted spouse. Ending things with your partner is a no-brainer when you have problems with money, cheating, or incompatibility. But what happens when your partner is addicted to drugs or alcohol?
Addiction is one of the most complicated situations that anyone can face pending a breakup. After all, addiction is a disease that can be brought on by a number of factors. Some of them may be out of your partners control, like family history of substance use. So, how can you know for sure when to leave your addicted partner?
What Are The Top 3 Things To Do When Your Partner Has An Addiction
Falling prey to substance use is difficult for the person experiencing it, as well as their family members, especially as a spouse or partner. If you are partners, it can be difficult to find the line between being compassionate and making sure they get help. Have you ever wondered what the most challenging aspect of your relationship is or if the relationship was going to last through difficult circumstances?
This question arises with many partnerships when substance use is involved. There are a variety of challenges with substance use that can lead to feelings of anger, resentment, stress, or make you feel depressed.
When substance use is involved, conflicts within a relationship need a delicate hand to get the recovery journey to begin. Below are the top three things you can do when your partner has a substance use disorder or may look like they need substance use treatment.
Read Also: What Is Love Addiction Symptoms
Common Reasons People Contact A Helpline
Unsure if contacting a helpline is right for you? Here are some reasons other people have contacted a helpline
- Experiencing a suicidal crisis, such as feeling suicidal, having suicidal thoughts, thinking âI want to dieâ, wondering about how to kill yourself, or wanting support after a suicide attempt
- Experiencing domestic violence, depression, anxiety or emotional distress
- Struggling with self-harm, addiction or substance abuse, or an eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia
- Noticing warning signs in a loved one and concerned they might be a suicide risk
- Wanting to learn about crisis services, suicide prevention, general mental health services and resources
- Just simply thinking âI need helpâ and not knowing where to start
Dont Take It Personally
It is a common sentiment for a spouse of an addict to feel like they are not enough. Their spouse has made promises to stop, and the promises never last. They might have sworn off drinking or drugs for a few months, and inevitably go back to it. Most likely more than once. They are often out with their friends or even alone spending time with their substance. However, addiction is a disease and your spouse needs a professional help.
You May Like: How To Treat Pornography Addiction
Find Recovery Not Just Sobriety
Alexis Lexi Thomas serves as Admission Specialist for Burning Tree Programs. Holding a Bachelors degree in Public Health from the University of Arizona, Lexi lends passion, knowledge, and insight to the admissions process. Treating every inquiry with a sense of tenderness and empathy, Lexi knows first-hand what the family members experience of addiction feels like. After losing her own family member to addiction, Lexi dedicated her life to helping others find the freedom they deserve. A native of Tucson, AZ., Lexi is happily married and expecting a baby. She counts one dog and a cat amongst her growing family.
Patty Raymer serves as Sr. National Business Development Representative for Burning Tree Programs. Active in the national recovery community since 1992, Patty has enjoyed over 30 years of sobriety, service, and excellence in her personal triumph over addiction. Today she helps guide families and clients in their own quest for meaningful, individualized treatment solutions. As one of the most recognizable names in our industry, Patty believes that enrolling in ones own personal work is the best way for the family to heal from the wounds of addiction. Subscribed to the mantra of Trust God, Clean House, Help Others, Patty and her husband reside in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.
How Northpoint Washington Can Help You
First, its important to remember your addicted spouse isnt who they used to be. Addiction is one of those conditions that dramatically changes a persons character because their focus is now only on fulfilling their physical and mental need for their substance of choice. Secondly, its vital that you remember you are not alone professional help and guidance is simply a phone call away.Northpoint Washington is recognized as one of the best and highly rated addiction rehab centers in the Seattle area, and the state of Washington. We offer a completely individualized addiction recovery plan that is catered to your specific addiction, background, and mental health needs. Located in Edmonds, Washington, only 17 miles away from Seattle, our specialists are available right now to assist you simply call 832-2796.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Food Addiction