There could be as many as 20.1 million Americans with a substance use disorder according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Roughly 12 million spouses could be dealing with the reality that they have an addicted partner, according to estimates from Psychology Today.
Marriage can be difficult enough, but having a spouse who is addicted to drugs or alcohol might push you to your breaking point. When this happens, there are ways that you can take care of yourself while also encouraging your spouse to get help at the same time.
When Someone You Love Is an Addict
For some couples, there is the hint that issues with drugs and alcohol exist before saying “I do,” and with others, the problems can appear later. Addicts are particularly skillful at hiding their drug and alcohol use from others, and this includes a spouse. Every couple is unique, but the signs of a substance abuse issue are there if you know where to look. These include:
- Disappearing money and valuable household items
- Alcohol, drugs, or paraphernalia hidden around the house
- Extensive time outside the home without you
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence
- Inability to keep promises
- Mood swings
- Difficulty at work either with performance or excessive absenteeism
- Legal issues, including frequent arrests
- Health problems
Many spouses of addicts admit that they feel either like a single person or even a parent to their spouse because of addiction. This is not the “happily ever after” that marriage is supposed to provide. When you find yourself in this situation, the first person you need to take care of is yourself.
Taking Care of Yourself When You Have an Addicted Spouse
When you are married to an addict, your partner tends to hog the focus of every waking moment. Either you are putting out fires, sometimes literally, or are sick with worry about his or her health and welfare. Not only is it a good idea to stop any enabling behaviors, but you should also start doing as much as possible to take care of yourself. Some of the ways you can accomplish this include:
- Find support through a 12-step group such as Al-anon
- Attend individual or group therapy for family members of addicts
- Educate yourself on the disease of addiction and treatment options
- Participate in other holistic therapies such as yoga, massage, and meditation
- Eat and sleep well and get some exercise
- Spend more time with friends and other supportive family members
- Take up a hobby to occupy your mind and relieve stress
Help an Addicted Spouse Get Treatment in a Florida Alcohol and Drug Rehab
Once you provide for your own needs in the sense of health, safety, and well-being, you can begin thinking about how to help your addicted spouse. It is a misconception that you have to sit around and wait for your spouse to hit rock bottom before he or she will get help. Once you stop enabling your spouse and give him or her some information as well as some choices, there is a chance for change.
Many spouses opt for an intervention, which is a planned meeting to discuss the addiction issue and provide options for recovery. This can be done with or without an interventionist present. The goal is to get your spouse to agree to treatment in a Florida alcohol and drug rehab.
At the Orlando Recovery Center, your spouse will have access to a holistic recovery program that will help him or her break free from the chains of addiction and learn a new way to live. Our caring and compassionate staff combine education and therapy to help your addicted spouse understand the disease of addiction and build the tools necessary to live a fulfilling life without using alcohol or drugs.
Contact us now to speak with one of our addiction specialists so that you can help your spouse start the journey to recovery.