For every bliss-filled wedding ceremony going down, there is a divorce happening somewhere else. In fact, recent data around divorce statistics are shocking. In the United States, there is a divorce happening every 36 seconds.
Of all the reasons for divorcing, substance abuse was cited as the primary reason for 36.4% of divorces. If you find yourself swinging from marital bliss to dealing with a drug addict spouse, read on.
We’ll offer up five ways that you can help both your addicted spouse and yourself.
Identifying an Addicted Spouse
First things first, what are the signs that your spouse is an addict? This list is not exhaustive but gives you a good jumping-off point.
- Memory issues, losing chunks of time, or ‘blackouts.’
- Shifting responsibilities from themselves to others for negative life experiences or poor behavior.
- Getting in trouble with law enforcement.
- A tendency toward violent outbursts; sudden and severe mood swings.
- Secrecy about their activities and whereabouts.
- Skipping out on home, work, or family responsibilities.
The truth is, signs of addiction aren’t always blatantly obvious. Often they can present as small changes in demeanor or habits. Small changes can add up to large chasms if not addressed.
Any of this sounding familiar? Don’t worry. You’re not alone.
Coping With Spouse Addiction
You’ve determined that you may be the spouse of an addict. Now what?
If you intend to stay in the marriage, the following five things will help you deal with a drug addict spouse. If not, then you may be better off consulting with a divorce lawyer.
Accept the Truth of the Situation
Sure, it may feel easier to avoid what’s happening. But the truth is, denial is not going to help you or your spouse.
Be brave and take the health of your spouse and family into your hands at the start.
Learn about the disease of addiction. Learn about enabling, and cut it out. Learn about codependency and the other conditions that tend to exist where addiction resides.
Knowledge is power. Learning all you can about addiction and its offshoots will help you be better prepared to face it.
Find a Support Group
There is strength in numbers. Find yourself a help group for those coping with spouse addiction.
Finding and participating in a community that directly understands your struggle can help you process.
If your addicted spouse is using substances as an escape, professional rehab may be the best option. Check out these five steps to help you talk with your loved one about rehab.
Take Care of Yourself First
If your cup is empty, you won’t have anything to give. Take time out to care for yourself, whatever that means to you.
Recovery Is Possible
When faced with an addicted spouse, you will likely find yourself full of questions and worries. If you can, lean on your friends and family for support. You can also make use of the Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration website or hotline.
Some relationships can survive through addiction, while others can’t. Start with our guide and take it from there.
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