Everyone is harmed by substance abuse: the addict, their friends, family members, and, most importantly, their spouse. Many couples feel lost and helpless as they deal with difficult emotions, financial ramifications, and personal concerns.
It’s crucial to set boundaries and take care of yourself if your partner is battling with substance misuse. Here are six suggestions for couples who are dealing with this challenging situation.
1) Take charge of your money.
Taking charge of the finances is one of the most crucial things you can do as the spouse of someone suffering from a substance abuse problem. Unfortunately, it’s frequently easier said than done when it comes to this chore. Monitoring accounts and setting alerts is the first step. If a significant withdrawal or fraudulent activity occurs, these tools will help you react swiftly. If you have joint accounts, you should consider shifting the funds to a separate account and notifying the banks of your problems.
If your partner is unwilling to talk about their addiction, your first responsibility will be to make sure the bills are paid and money is saved aside for treatment and your future. Speak with an attorney if you have restricted access to accounts or documents.
2) Resources and Treatment Options.
You won’t be able to compel your partner to seek help. You can look for therapy choices and support resources in your area and inform your spouse about them. This activity will also assist you in gaining a better understanding of your alternatives and beginning to prepare for when the time comes. There aren’t any two treatment plans alike. Long-term treatment programmes, outpatient rehab programmes, detox-focused rehab programmes, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) rehab programmes are available. The specifics of your spouse’s addiction, as well as other influencing circumstances (such as past trauma) and your finances, all play a role in determining the best option.
3) Addiction is a subject on which you should educate yourself.
Investing the time to learn about addiction and how it impacts your spouse will enable you to work from a place of power and knowledge. This will also help you understand how their addiction has affected you and your family. Because of their experience with an addicted spouse, many spouses discover they have co-dependent tendencies or trauma. Researching this knowledge will also help you realise that you are not to blame for what is happening. When attempting to comprehend the feelings surrounding addiction, knowing the science underlying it might be helpful.
4) Recognize the difference between enabling and assisting others.
When it comes to your spouse’s substance usage, there’s a delicate line between enabling and helping. Many spouses take the easy way out and support behaviours. It’s not your fault if you find out you’ve done this. This habit must, however, be curtailed. Providing money and resources, as well as covering or lying for them, are examples of supporting behaviours. You’ve enabled the conduct if, for example, you’ve called in for them at work or lied to family about their location at events. When a partner suffers from addiction, spouses frequently do these things to avoid humiliation or shame.
5) Make Yourself and Your Family Your Top Priorities
You want to help someone you care about when they are in trouble. Because of this, a lot of spouses have trouble with self-care. During this time, however, your most essential responsibility is to be helpful while prioritising your family’s health, wellness, and safety and that includes you. Maintain routines with your children and make new, exciting experiences with them. Maintain contact with family and friends, and don’t be afraid to seek assistance. To stay healthy at this difficult time, put diet, stress management, and sleep first. For you and your family, consider contacting a support group or counsellor.
6) Establish Your Boundaries
It’s a difficult thing to consider that your marriage may be over. You must, however, express to your partner what you will and will not accept. Allow your partner to know how you’re feeling without using blame-laden language, such as “I’m hurting,” rather than “you’re hurting me.” Clearly say what you don’t want in a marriage and what you need to keep it going, whether it’s financial control, treatment enrollment, or anything else. If those basic requirements aren’t met, you may have little choice but to quit. Substance misuse is a dreadful problem that affects everyone, but assistance is available. Don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way.