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Watching Addiction Destroy a Friend’s Marriage
My friend is married to a man who’s addicted…and his addiction has grown by leaps and bounds over the last year.
He constantly lies about his drug use, blows their savings, and disappears for entire weekends. He has created pure chaos in their home, but my friend can’t seem to realize that their tumultuous situation is because of his substance abuse. She confided in me that their marriage has been on the rocks for years now, and no matter how much time and effort she puts into it, it never seems to get better.
Taking Off the Blinders
The fact is, there’s nothing I can do to help until she’s ready to take her head out of the sand, stop being in denial, and acknowledge that he has a problem. She needs to realize on her own that if nothing changes, nothing changes – things won’t miraculously get better while he’s still using.
What she doesn’t yet realize is that she doesn’t have to wait around for her husband to be ready to quit. After all, that day may never come. There are ways she can proactively take control over her life and lead the way to recovery on her own.
If you can identify with my friend’s situation, the following tips will help you carve your own path toward recovery:
- Educate Yourself: Chemical dependency is a disease, so it’s crucial for her to educate herself about substance abuse so she can become aware of her enabling behaviors. By learning as much about substance abuse as possible, she can help guide her spouse towards the door to recovery.
- Ask for Help: Because of the stigma associated with chemical dependency, spouses often keep their problems to themselves, which in turn, only further empowers the disease. The best thing, then, is to break out of isolation and find support groups who can offer support and guidance, as well as encourage personal growth. Al-Anon is a great option. After all, she deserves all the help she can get.
- Tap Into Your Own Strength: As humans, we’re stronger than we think. Yet the thought of putting our feet down, setting boundaries – and even leaving our addicted spouses – might seem impossible. But you know what? My friend can and will survive, and ultimately by putting herself first for once, she can live the life she deserves, while also sending the message to her husband that she’s no longer co-signing his addiction.
Additional Reading: For Better or Worse – Fighting Addiction as a Couple
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