Having a spouse that’s an addict is brutal. It’s frustrating, exhausting, hurtful and completely terrifying for you both. You love them and want to enjoy life together again, but the truth is, you can’t do it on your own. They need help to recover, and so do you.
It’s crucial to understand that addiction is a disease that infects everyone it touches. Your husband or wife isn’t the only one that’s sick and in need of treatment. We’ll get to you in a minute; but first, if your spouse is struggling with substance abuse, find a residential treatment center for them. Addiction is a cunning disease, and like any disease it requires professional treatment.
You may hesitate to send your husband or wife away from home for 30 days or more. Many people with partners in active addiction become controlling to cope, and feel like if they don’t have their loved one near them at all times, something bad will happen. Remember that this is the beginning of the rest of their life – and yours. Putting them in the care of professionals could save their life and your relationship. Letting go and trusting the process is the first step.
For more information on how to approach your loved one about going to treatment for addiction, read Intervention: Do’s and Don’ts For Helping an Addicted Spouse.
Whether your spouse or partner is going to treatment or is already at a treatment facility, though, don’t forget about yourself! Here are some tips you should follow when dealing with an addicted spouse or partner.
4 Tips for People with Addicted Spouses
When your partner is away at treatment – and even once they have returned home – it’s important for you to have a recovery community of your own. You have your own sickness and symptoms. People living with an addicted partner often make excuses or lie to the people around them. Keeping up with the lies and the loneliness is exhausting and isolating. If you can find a couple of trustworthy friends to lean on, then take the leap and open up. True friends will be there to see you through.
Even better, find an Al-Anon or CoDA group. Al-Anon is an anonymous meeting for the loved ones of addicts or alcoholics to get support and advice from one another. CoDA (Codependents Anonymous) is often helpful for people in a relationship that’s messed up by addiction as well. Either fellowship will give you a community that understands what you are going through, along with an outlet for the stress that’s associated with being the spouse of an addict. Both offer online zoom meetings, so you don’t even have to leave your house to get support! For more information on Al-Anon click here. More info on CoDA is available here.
Learn About Addiction Recovery
Denial is a classic symptom of addiction. You’ve probably spent years trying to ignore the massive problem unfolding right in front of you. However, you should know by now that you can’t outrun addiction. Trying to avoid it will only add to your stress and exhaustion. Now is the time to face it head on and educate yourself on addiction as much as possible.
It also could be helpful to educate yourself on co-occurring disorders, as addiction is almost always fueled by another mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, etc. The more you know and understand about addiction, the more you will be able to understand your partner’s actions and how you can be helpful to them when they return from treatment.
Above all, the most important thing that you can do for yourself is self-care. While a partner’s addiction and their journey to recovery can feel all-consuming, it’s THEIR journey. You have to remember to focus on your own healing, as well. Do something that you love or make a self-care routine for yourself at least once a week.
Self-care doesn’t have to mean lying in a bubble bath and eating chocolates. Self-care actions can be emotional, physical, social, practical, mental, spiritual, or even financial. One day, self-care might be paying bills you’ve kept stuffed in a drawer for a year. It might be cleaning out your closet, or calling a friend. And yes, one day it might be eating chocolates in a bubble bath. The point is to do things that make your life and your mind a better place to be.
While your partner is in treatment, take the time to be kind to yourself. If you can’t be there for yourself, it will make it 10 times harder to be there for your partner. You deserve it, so don’t be afraid or feel guilty to enjoy yourself!
Professional Help for Addiction Recovery
If your partner has been struggling with substance abuse and is beginning the road to recovery, it’s time for you to treat your own mental health issues. Don’t be afraid to get professional help! Dealing with an addicted loved one affects your mind and emotions in ways you don’t even realize yet.
A licensed therapist will be able to help you work through your anxieties and help prepare you for when your partner returns from treatment. They also will be able to teach you the tools you need so you can live an even better life for yourself.
If your partner has returned home from treatment or is about to discharge, consider doing a therapy session together. Bring your partner along to your therapy appointment, or visit them in treatment if appropriate. You also can find a couples therapist for you both to attend on a regular basis, to help you work through any lingering issues or resentments caused by addiction.
Ask Us About Addiction Treatment
Addiction is a serious disease that has the potential to ruin a partnership or marriage – not to mention a life. First and foremost, you need to get your spouse into residential treatment so they can begin their path to a life free from drugs and alcohol. Contact us for more information about the process for entering detox and residential treatment.
While your partner is in treatment, you need to take care of yourself! Find a community where you can express yourself and find support. Educate yourself on addiction and mental health disorders. At Transformations Care, we not only provide treatment for your loved one; we can help find Al-Anon meetings for you as well.
Don’t forget to love yourself and practice self-care. That includes getting professional help. If you’re hesitant, just try a session and keep an open mind. Learning the tools you need to work through your stress and issues while your partner is in treatment can create a better life for you and your spouse.
You can always contact our caring staff, even after your partner has graduated from our treatment program, and we can answer any questions you may have. Please contact us today to learn more about what our program has to offer.
Getting Clean & Sober at Home
Today, more than 75% of hospitals and healthcare providers offer access to telehealth treatment, with 29 states having gone so far as to enact telehealth parity laws, which force insurance companies to reimburse patients for telehealth at the same rates as they would for in-person treatment.
If you’ve been thinking about getting clean and sober, or if you’ve been wanting to work on and strengthen the recovery you already have, it’s never been easier to do it through telehealth.