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How Do You Support Your Spouse?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by DLWright, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. DLWright

    DLWright Member

    Hi! I'm looking for anyone who has a spouse with a drug addiction problem. Being married to someone with an addiction is one of the hardest things I've had to deal with. You want him to be happy, but you want him to be healthy. And he doesn't always see how much money the addiction is costing the family.

    Anyone have any advice/tips for me?
  2. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    I don't have personal experience, but I would say just keep loving him no matter what. Loving him might mean you have to make hard choices to protect yourself and your family if need be, but keep letting him know that you care and want the best for him and will support him when he decides to get help and break free of his addiction.
  3. Geinnam

    Geinnam Member

    My husband began abusing drugs and alcohol in his early teens. He told me that the first step comes with the decision to stop. He is now clean and sober for over 20 years now. The wonderful bonus to this is that we have an 18 year old son who has never witnessed his father drunk or high. It gives him strength to know that our son sees him with "fresh eyes".

    We have been in situations where people want him to have "just one drink". He is very strong with the knowledge that he doesn't want "just one drink", he wants the entire bottle. We as a family realize, understand, and support him. He knows ultimately that the decision is his.
  4. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    I've heard that talking to a therapist who is knowledgeable in matters relating to addictive illness can be helpful. But you also need to be a part of the therapy sessions. I don't know how it works but having someone by his side would possibly help him understand that he's not fighting the addiction battle alone?
  5. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I have a friend whose husband has always been addicted to drinking and it only got more severe as the years passed. The good thing about it was that he wasn't violent and he was able to function and work, but my friend was feeling more and more ignored because of his priority in drinking. She eventually got him to cut down just by talking to him and instead of making ultimatums for him to stop she simply just tried to communicate her problems and asked him to try and limit it, at least, and fortunately he listened and now he spends a lot more time with the family and only drinks one or two bottles of beer at night after family activities.
  6. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    It can't be denied that it can be very difficult when dealing with a partner who is an addict, especially when there are kids involved as well. As it has already been mentioned by another poster, seeking professional help, such as an experienced counsellor or therapist who can help with the development of a treatment plan, would probably help a lot.
  7. Acube

    Acube Member

    It can be frustrating and tiring,knowing that the one you love is struggling with an addiction. Seeking support from family and friends is always a good step to take. Usually addicts have someone they really look up to and respect maybe a parent or another family member. If one of these family members or respectable individuals speak to him about his problem and seek professional and be consistent,that really is the beginning of a changed person.
  8. megankl

    megankl Active Contributor

    My answer to you doesn't differ much from what everyone else posted here but I would see support from family and friends and make sure you surround yourself with positive people who are there for you. You can only help him if you are well so take care of you also and don't forget.
  9. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    Hi. My sister in law whose husband was a meth addict tried so many ways to pull him out of his addiction. One way was to give him a business which was not a good idea because he spent the money for meth, obviously. Then she thought her husband got upset about not having to do what he wanted. So she contacted his former employer. It is not clear with me how he got himself clean, but he did. Since then until now, he has been clean.

    I think it is a matter of getting involved with something a user finds really worthwhile and enjoyable.

    All the best to you DLWright!
    MrsJones likes this.
  10. KRDG1

    KRDG1 Member

    My husband has been struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol for the majority of his life and it has only become worse over the years. At one point I left, about four years ago, but came back because I became pregnant and did not want to lose everything we had worked so hard for. We now have two small children, in addition to our teenager, and his drinking has only continued to get worse. We have been in counseling for the past two months until the councilor finally said that it was going nowhere. His actions were not matching what he said and the councilor recommends intense outpatient therapy! I have since made him leave our home for a separation (if I am going to be doing everything, I would rather be alone). I still love him but do not think that is enough. Now he FINALLY called and made an appointment for an assessment through a local hospital for outpatient therapy. I feel that we are just too broken to fix but I want him to continue to get help, for the sake of our children. However, I feel like I am misleading him because he still thinks we have a chance. I must continue to do this because I know that if I tell him it's over he will just spiral downhill and quit the program. Who knows what the future may hold, but you HAVE to do what is in the best interest of your family and hope/pray that he seeks the help he needs. Nothing will change unless HE admits there is a problem and HE seeks the help needed to fix it!
    MrsJones likes this.
  11. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    I've been through this and it was very difficult for me so much so that I didn't want to continue any more. It's tough when you are not the one with the problem and you seem to come out looking like the 'bad guy'. How is that?

    Don't get me wrong I love my husband dearly but when I got into that therapy session I could have killed him if looks could kill.

    Therapy is not for everyone. The cold hard truths are revealed about the parties involved. You don't really know what's going to be discussed better yet what buttons-wrong buttons are going to be pushed.

    I give a thumbs up for anyone who has stuck with it.
  12. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    I think that the best tip is to help her to see that she has an issue and offer help to overcome it. She will have to be willing to quit the addiction or else the relationship is in serious danger.
  13. KRDG1

    KRDG1 Member

    I too tried this route unsuccessfully!! After about two month the counselor (who specializes in addition) said we were just spinning our wheels because he obviously did not want to change. It was bittersweet because my suspicions were validated but I also had to end a 16 year relationship/marriage.
  14. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    Well, KRDG1, I do sincerely pray that you are doing fine now. We never imagine that a relationship that we cherished for so long would come to an end. I thought that our marriage was going to end so many times that I can't even count them.

    You take care of yourself and keep positive and continue to share with us hear.
  15. wulfman

    wulfman Senior Contributor

    I am sorry to all that had to ultimately end it with their spouse. I had a bit of a gambling problem and my wife really let me have it at times. Ultimately it was in my hands. Change or risk losing her. She did not set any ultimatums for me but the problem was not that deep that I would have risked my marriage. And even if it were I love my wife too much not to change for the better.
  16. mkCampbell

    mkCampbell Active Contributor

    I think all you can do is offer support and love in any situation. The issue remains on what the person with the problem is willing to receive. A marriage is a team effort.
  17. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    Sure that a marriage is a team effort, but I hardly consider it to be a team when the one of the team members is consuming drugs, the team is broken at that time.
  18. proldani

    proldani Member

    There are several self-help groups for the families of addicts, because as Gelsemium says, overcoming addiction is a team effort, and nobody is ready and prepared to deal with the struggles and great effort related to quitting drugs or alcohol. These groups are spread around the world, and it's easy to locate a local group to recieve immediate attention.
  19. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    I am not married and I don't have a spouse with addiction problems but my relatives are in the same situation as you, so as an onlooker I can offer you an objective piece of advice: send your husband to rehab. If you think he's already on the verge of destroying himself, do not ask for his consent. Just have him rehabilitated. That's for the best. The more you delay, the more you lose him. You can't let him choose the destructive path. That's not how family should be. I know I sound a little harsh but I have since learned that when it comes to family members taking drugs, you have to be stern. Focus on helping them recover.
  20. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    When I was younger I had a GF that started doing drugs and I saw that was incompatible to the relation and I have her to choose. She choose the drugs and became a drug addict...