If your spouse is struggling with addiction, it might not surprise you to know that according to one recent study, substance abuse was cited as the reason behind 34.6% of divorces in the U.S. in a given year. Sometimes, all the love in the world isn’t enough to overcome the frustration, fear, and exhaustion that addiction brings to a relationship.
There are ways, however, to heal both your loved one and your relationship. Finding freedom from addiction and renewing your love for one another starts with getting honest. Breaking through your spouse’s denial — and likely, your own as well — will take work, but you don’t have to do it alone. Here’s how to start:
Drug & Alcohol Interventions for a Spouse
Getting through to an addicted loved one isn’t like regular communication. Speaking louder or more emotionally is not going to get your point across. In fact, it might make the situation even worse because of how it can trigger your loved one’s denial.
Yelling and shaming an addicted loved one will only cause them to become even more defensive, aggressive, or stubborn regarding their life choices. On the other hand, you’ll likely end up feeling exhausted, frustrated, and even more hopeless than before you spoke up.
Instead of pointing a finger, try reaching out a hand.
First, try and reason with your loved one when they are not drunk or high. Try not to be confrontational; instead, think of it as a two-way conversation. Have you ever really asked your loved one what it feels like to be in their shoes, or how you might be able to help? Approaching the situation with an open mind and ears might help them drop their defenses from the start.
When it’s your turn to speak, frame your own concern by sharing the impact that your spouse’s drinking and/or drug use has had on the family instead of focusing on their actions. You might not know it, but alcohol and drug abuse almost always causes those in its grip to suffer from deep feelings of shame. Even if your loved one puts up a confident front, they are likely hurting inside and piling on more criticism won’t help.
Drug & Alcohol Treatment Resources
Instead of just focusing on the problem, it can be helpful to shift the conversation to possible solutions. Ask your spouse if they’re open to hearing about options for treatment, and share resources if they are.
Residential treatment is a place where they will learn behavioral and cognitive skills to facilitate their abstinence from alcohol and drug use. The professionals there will help them to heal past traumas and to change behavioral patterns that are dangerous coping mechanisms.
They will learn how to recognize their triggers and thought patterns, how to have balance in life, relaxation techniques, meditation, and more methods for abstinence, communication, and problem solving.
If they’re not ready to discuss treatment quite yet, don’t push it. Let them know that you’re there with help when they want it. You never know when that seed of recovery might blossom.
Acqua Recovery Residential Addiction Treatment
Perhaps Acqua Recovery could be a fit when your loved one is ready. In the meantime, our goal is to provide you with the right tools, so that you know the direction you need to take to help your loved one. Give us a call or contact us here, and we can help answer any questions you may have, or walk you through steps for getting help for your loved one.