Marriage is hard work–even more so when you have an addicted spouse. When your husband or wife is addicted to drugs, alcohol or behavior, the addiction almost always take center stage to your marriage. So, what do you do?
Having a spouse who is in active addiction can be extremely difficult. Your days can be filled with uncertainty and dysfunction. You may get into situations you never thought you’d be in when you said “I do.” After all, when you married your spouse, you never signed up for the chaos and trauma their addiction brings.
To find out just how bad your spouse’s drug use or alcoholism is, you have to first watch out for the signs of addiction. Learn as much as you can about it to avoid believing damaging stereotypes. And now that you know just how damaging the addiction is to your spouse and your marriage as well as your family, you have to seek help.
However, how do you broach the subject? How do you tell your spouse that they need help without it having to become a fight? How do you actually show that you care without demeaning your spouse or hurting their feelings?
5 Things to Tell Your Addicted Spouse
Here are some tips on how to talk to your spouse about their addiction and that they should get help through addiction treatment or rehab.
1. Use “I” statements to express your point of view. Without sounding accusatory or tossing blame on them, you can use phrases like “I noticed” “I feel” “I realized” and “I think” to strike a conversation without passing judgment. By starting things with the right words and being careful of how you speak, you prevent your spouse from being defensive and your conversation will be more constructive and productive.
2. Be honest about your concerns. You’re concerned about your family, your children, yourself, and of course, your spouse. These are all valid, and your spouse’s manipulations may make you feel otherwise. Make these concerns central to your argument that your addicted spouse should seek help.
3. Suggest treatment programs or facilities. Look for facilities, such as ours at Bridges of Hope, which provides a private, secure, comfortable, and most importantly effective treatment for your addicted spouse. Give them the pros and cons and let them know that while you don’t judge them, you feel that they may need help. Be there to also listen to them and let them figure out just how badly they might need treatment.
4. Show your support. Sometimes, it helps to also express your support explicitly. Words such as “I’m here for you” “I will support you” can be enough to let them feel that they have somewhere to turn to. Overcoming addiction isn’t easy, and they themselves may know this full well. As a partner of your addicted spouse, you have to let them know that you’re there for them.
5. “I love you.” These could just be the words they need to hear. Overcoming addiction can be an inner struggle with your addicted spouse, and they don’t need your judgment. They need your love and support. However, there should be a thin line between love and enabling, as you are not helping them by making it easy for them to continue their addiction.
Needing Help for Your Addicted Spouse?
Contact our helpline at Bridges of Hope: 09175098826.