Article Rich General The Do’s and Don’ts of Helping Your Addicted Spouse

The Do’s and Don’ts of Helping Your Addicted Spouse

wife comforting husband

Having a partner with addiction can be a terrifying ordeal. Naturally, you may be worried about them becoming incarcerated for the possession of certain kinds of drugs, as NYC drug crimes lawyer Tsigler Law would tell you. Beyond that, though, there’s plenty of strain that drug use in general can put on a relationship.

If your spouse is suffering from a drug addiction, there’s little doubt you’ll want to help them before it wreaks havoc on your marriage. This is understandable, as Strange Law Firm, a divorce attorney in Oklahoma City, notes that addiction can be the catalyst for a marriage ending. You can’t just snap your fingers and get your spouse to quit, though. 

There are things that you should do to help, and actions that you should avoid so as not to make the problem worse. Here’s what you should know about providing support to your partner if they are suffering from a drug problem.

Supporting a Spouse With an Addiction

One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to help is assuming that each and every single thing they do has to be rooted around their spouse and their spouse’s addiction. This is actually a misconception, and you should also pay attention to yourself and your own needs during the process of offering support. As for specific actions you should be taking to help, they include:

  • Learning about addiction: It’s not just a “matter of will.” Addiction is a complex disease that can alter your spouse’s brain chemistry, and thus, their behavior.
  • Exercising patience: There’s a lot to take in when you’re learning about addiction and being supportive. Throughout it all, you need to remember that things won’t fall into place immediately, so patience is a must.
  • Showing support of positive actions: Encourage your spouse to try a rehabilitation program, and help them stay focused on recovery.
  • Creating a support network: Friends can help you in shouldering this burden, so be sure to build a network you can rely on.
  • Taking time for yourself: This is a draining process, so you’ll also want to take the time to recharge yourself.

There are also actions you should avoid, such as:

  • Lying for your spouse and their behavior
  • Berating your spouse or judging them harshly
  • Thinking you can force them to quit
  • Trying to speak with them while intoxicated
  • Giving up on your spouse
  • Blaming yourself for their condition

Remember that this is a difficult process, but your spouse still loves you and you can still show support while they deal with this problem in their lives. Stay patient, and with the right help you can surmount this hurdle together.