by Dani Taylor
Often times, marriage can be a difficult road. While most of us don’t expect it to be perfect all the time, there are times when it is downright painful. For instance, if you’re dealing with an alcoholic or drug addicted spouse – it can be one of the hardest things you’ve ever had to deal with.
Here are some important tips for dealing with an alcoholic or drug addicted spouse.
Don’t Enable Your Spouse by Making Excuses
One of the worst things we can do is make excuses for our spouses because we don’t want to accept the real truth. You might say, ‘He’s stressed out right now and the alcohol allows him to relax and calm down.’ You might even go as far as saying, ‘She’s not hurting anyone with her drug usage, so what’s the big deal?’ The truth is that spouses do this all too often. If you’re making excuses for your addicted spouse, stop now.
The truth is that your addicted spouse probably is hurting someone – including you, them and your marriage. If you have children, it’s even worse. In fact, you could be allowing your children to live in danger. No one wants to hurt their spouse or alienate them, but enabling them could be tragic. Step back and take a hard look at the situation. Refuse to make excuses for your spouse any longer.
Get Help for Your Spouse and Yourself
The second step is to get help. Chances are, you’re not going to be able to help your spouse alone. There are many, many resources for individuals who are suffering with addictions as well as their spouses. Being around others who have overcome drug addictions or who are working on it can really help your spouse find the inspiration to get through this. You may want to convince your spouse to start a 12 step program or something similar. If you’re unable to convince your spouse to get help, turn up the heat. Issue an ultimatum by saying that they volunteer to get help or you will call the police, leave, etc. By issuing an ultimatum like this, you could be saving your spouse’s life.
Although sometimes this kind of situation requires a lot of tough love, it’s essential for you to support your spouse at this time. Overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction is not easy at all. Without your support, your spouse could easily relapse, wonder why they should even try or become discouraged. Remind them of the great things in your life and how much you love them. This will be the fuel they need to get through this and come out the other side as a clean and sober person.
Dealing with an alcohol or drug addicted spouse is very painful and difficult. Don’t neglect yourself at this time! Find support so you can stay strong enough to help your spouse get through this. By using the tips and suggestions above, you can help your spouse overcome their addiction and restore happiness and peace to your family and marriage.
Danielle L. Taylor is a freelance writer and mom of 3, who’s gone through a devastating divorce with her husband of 15 years (after his infidelity) and was able to get back on track as a strong, happy and free person.