Addiction can put increased stress on a relationship as couples try to cope with the effects. Oftentimes secrecy, lying, deceit, and changes in personality and behavior can threaten trust and increase the prevalence of arguments. These factors can make it more difficult to engage in a healthy relationship and can lead some people to question whether divorce looms in their future.
However, addiction does not have to equate to divorce. There are many ways in which spouses can support their loved one in overcoming their addiction and can build a stronger relationship. It is important to recognize the signs of a problem and seek help rather than trying to ignore things and hoping that they will get better on their own.
Educate yourself. If you feel that your spouse may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, take time to educate yourself on signs and symptoms, treatment options, and ways to be supportive. Recognize that addiction changes the way the brain functions. Your spouse is being controlled by their dependency on these substances and may be saying or doing things that they do not truly mean.
Seek help. If not done in the right way, confronting your spouse about their substance abuse may escalate the problem. Contact a professional to discuss your situation and create a strategy for providing help. They can help you to approach the topic in a way that shows compassion and support while encouraging the person to seek treatment. Couples counseling or family therapy can help loved ones to deal with the many problems surrounding addiction. Each person can express their thoughts and feelings in a safe and supportive environment. This can help you to work through these difficulties and see things from a new perspective.
Stop enabling, but remain supportive. During the course of dealing with addiction, spouses can become enablers who unknowingly contribute to the problem. Stop making excuses for your spouse or making it easier for them to keep using. While it is important to take a stand, you must also be prepared to cope with the ups and downs of recovery. Maintain open lines of communication and be willing to make changes in your own life as well. Discuss ways in which you can effectively support them and help them work toward their goals.
Have patience. It will take time to rebuild and strengthen your relationship. Addiction is not something that happens over night, nor is recovery. Celebrate progress as it is made and take things one day at a time. Be prepared to cope with challenges or setbacks, but do not let them stand in the way. Rely on the support systems available to help along the way. Consider joining a support group for family members or spouses of addicts. Here you can connect with others who are on a similar journey.
Many couples are able to rebuild their relationship and lives in the face of addiction. It does not have to put an end to things. Chapters Capistrano offers comprehensive treatment that addresses the impact on families and helps loved ones to work together to overcome the challenges of addiction. Contact us today to find out more about our flexible treatment options.
Chapters Capistrano strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.
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