Finding out that your spouse is addicted to drugs or alcohol is a very heart wrenching experience. If you discover that your husband or wife has developed a reliance on a certain drug or drink, it’s completely normal to be in despair. Maybe you have no idea what you can do to help them; perhaps so far your words have fallen on deaf ears, or they are refusing to speak to you. This is normal – an addiction to drugs or alcohol is very psychological, and can often lead to guilt, anxiety, depression and other problems which can all cause the addict to shut themselves away and isolate themselves from the ones they love. But, even if it seems impossible, there are some things that you can do to help them pull through.
Tip #1. Be Understanding:
When you discover that your spouse is battling with an addiction problem, the first thing that you must try and do is see things from their point of view; this will help you to get a better idea of how you can help them and how they feel right now. Bear in mind that most people who are suffering from this issue don’t take drugs or drink because they are selfish or don’t care about their families; they have become dependent on it and probably don’t want to take it as much as you don’t want them to. Let them know that you are there for them no matter what.
Tip #2. Encourage Professional Help:
A lot of people who struggle with an addiction to alcohol or drugs will stay mute about the issue because they are worried that speaking out will cause them to be judged and stigmatized. Along with ensuring that you never judge your spouse for their problem, it’s a good idea to encourage and demonstrate to them where possible, just how non-judgmental and caring many drug detox center facilities, counselors, and other health professionals are. If needed, you can promise your partner that you’ll go along with them, so that they are not alone as they take this brave first step.
Tip #3. Support Their Health and Wellbeing:
The best way to support and help your spouse through this difficult time is with your actions, rather than your words. Rather than constantly asking them to stop taking drugs or drinking, try and understand that it could take a while for them to be fully clean. However, this doesn’t mean that there’s nothing that you can do – quite the opposite. The healthier your partner is in body and in mind, the easier it will be for them to detoxify themselves and finally quit their drugs or alcohol. So, make sure that you prepare healthy foods and snacks for them when needed, and encourage them to exercise more. You can even benefit yourself from this by joining in with them.
Nobody likes to see their spouse going through something as awful as an addiction. By encouraging them to get help, trying to understand their point of view, and helping them live a healthier lifestyle, you can influence their recovery and perhaps even become closer.