spouse of an addict

Marriage can suffer greatly when one partner is struggling with addiction. Spouses are deeply affected by the other’s substance use, to the point that real damage can be done. Substance abuse puts so much pressure on a marriage on top of normal daily demands. So much, in fact, that sometimes the union will not be able to withstand it.

In a marriage both partners play a role in caring for each other and the marriage as a whole. When substance abuse creeps in it can cause strife, broken trust bonds, money problems, and legal issues and more. To preserve the marriage, it is essential that the partner receive the help he or she requires to break free from the addiction.

Couples can support each other as one goes through treatment and begins recovery. Along with therapy and other treatment elements, it is also good for couples to learn about how to avoid co-dependency. Setting healthy boundaries and learning how to share feelings are also helpful aspects of a couple’s journey to wellness.

How Addiction Affects Partners

When a spouse is battling a substance use problem it affects every aspect of married life. Not only does the substance abuse create a chasm in the marriage, but it also fosters anger, pain, and resentment. A household in which one partner is engaged in substance abuse may feature some very harsh effects. These may include:

  • Fighting. Strife in the home is common when a spouse has a drug or alcohol problem. The substance abuse, and the effects of the substance itself, can lead to intense fights and even violence.
  • Money problems. The spouse may end up losing their job due to the substance use, which can result in money issues. Any money that is there may go to fund the substance abuse. Bills go unpaid and this can lead to housing insecurity.
  • Deceit. The addicted spouse will begin to tell lies and deceive their mate to cover up his or her substance problem. These actions can cause trust bonds to be broken.
  • Enabling. When a spouse is an addict, the other will often begin enabling his or her substance use disorder (SUD). They may cover for the spouse, lie for them, and do the things the spouse should be doing themselves.
  • Isolation. As the substance problem worsens, the couple may begin to avoid social events and gatherings. This is due to feeling self-conscious about the effects of the SUD out in public.

How a Parent’s Addiction Affects Children

It isn’t only the spouse who suffers due to substance abuse in the home. About 1 in 8 children are living with at least one parent that has an SUD, reports SAMHSA. Children are deeply impacted by a parent’s addiction. Some of these effects include:

  • Kids suffer from a lack of structure, even chaos that results from a parent’s SUD.
  • The children often struggle with behavior problems in school.
  • There are mental health effects.
  • Sometimes the parent with the SUD will even neglect or abuse the child.
  • Kids may begin to feel they are the parent, handling tasks that should belong to the parent.
  • A child is often filled with feelings of shame about the parent, and won’t invite friends over to the house.
  • Having a parent with an SUD is a risk factor for the child to begin using substances themselves later in life.

Knowing When a Partner is Developing an Addiction

Each couple’s story is unique. In some cases, it may not even be known that a partner has an SUD. Some spouses manage to hide the signs for a while before it becomes clear there is a problem. These are called high functioning addicts. Some of the red flags of an SUD include:

  • Finding the substance or paraphernalia in the home or car.
  • They lie about how much they are drinking.
  • They can’t limit their intake of a substance.
  • They stop paying bills or taking care of daily tasks.
  • They have angry outbursts.
  • Misses work often, even wanting the other spouse to cover for them.
  • Seems obsessed about having the substance in the house.
  • Neglects their appearance.
  • Has mounting legal troubles.
  • Has mood swings.
  • Shows signs of withdrawals when substance wears off.

Many times when a spouse of an addict confronts the other about the substance abuse they will be met with denial or excuses. Even with these clear signs of an SUD they will deny they have a problem, at least at first. Don’t give up. Do some research about treatment programs and check into your insurance plan to see what is covered. In time, the spouse will hopefully decide to get the help he or she needs to tackle the SUD.

Treatment Solutions for Couples

When a partner is struggling with an SUD, there is help to be found. Treatment involves a multi-phased system that begins with detox. After the spouse completes detox they will move into the treatment phase of recovery.

Treatment will not only include therapy, classes, and other treatments, but also couples or family therapy. During these sessions, couples are guided towards learning better ways to communicate, to settle conflicts, and to manage emotions. Partners are coached on how to set healthy boundaries, and how to support their spouse in recovery. This support is crucial to the partner’s success.

Life after rehab will require patience. As the spouse gets stronger in recovery they will earn the other’s trust again. It just takes some time to prove that they are truly committed to staying sober. And as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

Bodhi Addiction Helps Couples Restore Wellness

Bodhi Addiction Treatment and Wellness treats the whole person, not just the disease. We believe that the mind has a strong impact on a person’s ability to break the cycle of addiction. At Bodhi we guide clients to explore their emotions as well as learn new coping skills to sustain sobriety. For more detail about our program, please call us today at (877) 328-1968.

coping mechanisms

Learn Coping Mechanisms Tips on How to Protect Your Recovery

The road to wellness after dealing with a substance use problem should be viewed through a long range lens. It simply takes time to make such profound changes in your habits and lifestyle choices. Over time, the coping skills you adopt to maintain sobriety will also pertain to health and wellness.

Let’s start with our focus being first on ways to strengthen recovery and reduce relapse risk. There are many very good coping techniques that can help support sobriety. When these are accessed often they soon become new habits. Each of these efforts add to your commitment to living a sober life.

8 Coping Mechanisms Tips to Use in Recovery

When you begin the road to living a sober lifestyle you need to approach the process from a holistic viewpoint. Holistic simply means to think about how all aspects of your being are functioning at any given point. These include your body, mental health, and spirit.

When these three facets are healthy, you will have a better chance of staying sober and well. Use these 8 coping mechanisms tips to help you achieve this goal:

Control stress.

Learning how to manage stress is huge in recovery success. Stress has the power to disrupt your recovery process and lead to relapse. There are many methods people can use to help control stress. These include:

  • Yoga. Yoga’s movements and poses, coupled with breath-work, help you to quiet your mind and achieve a calm state.
  • Deep breathing. Learning how to slow your heart rate and breathing rate through deep breathing is easy. When stressed, breathe in deeply to a count of 5, hold breath for 5, and release to a count of 5. Repeat 5 times.
  • Meditation. Find a quiet time to sit alone and meditate. Practice the process daily. Soon you will learn how to ignore distracting thoughts and worries.
  • Massage. A massage can help release the toxins in your muscles and relax the body.
  • Music. Music has great power to affect your state of mind. Create a playlist of soothing music to play while you work, clean house, cook, or relax.
  • Essential oils. Aroma therapy can really help you unwind and relax. Add some drops of rose oil or ylang ylang to your bath or diffuser.

Take up healthy hobbies.

Turn boredom into being productive by taking up some healthy new hobbies. Consider these:

  • Gardening. The process of planting and growing plants and flowers is very soothing and gratifying. Spending time outdoors in the sunshine is an added gift to your healthy mind and body.
  • Arts and crafts. Tap into your artsy side as an outlet for your soul. Take up a new craft, like making jewelry, knitting, or candle making. Try plein air painting or pick up some charcoal pencils to create new artwork.
  • Photography. Why not capture the stunning beauty that is all around you? Taking photos is a great pastime that allows you to focus your mind and talents on all that is pleasant. See the world through the lens of your camera.
  • Cooking. Cooking is really catching on as a renewed hobby this past year. Sign up for a cooking class or tune in to an online cooking show. You will be inspired, and your family will love the results.

Take time to reflect.

Carve out a little time each day to nurture your spiritual side. You might pick up a book that inspires you. Maybe you spend some time in prayer or start a gratitude journal.

Cultivate new friendships.

Without each other we will fail in our efforts to get better. Our support sources include friendships, and these must be nurtured always. Build up your new sober friendships and sow the seeds for a lifetime of mutual caring and support.

Go to therapy.

Do not, repeat-not, ignore the need to keep up with your therapy sessions. Sometimes no matter all your efforts you still find yourself on shaky ground. Enlist the support of your group or one-on-one therapy sessions to help you through a challenge.

Stay active.

Sitting is one of the least healthy things we can do. To keep our bodies, minds, and spirits in a healthy place it is crucial that we remain active. Define your fitness program any way you want, but just be sure to include regular movement into your days and weeks.

Learn to distract yourself.

One of the most useful tools in recovery is riding the wave of a trigger or craving to avoid a relapse. This is a skill that takes some honing. Create a list of 2 or 3 things you can do to distract yourself when triggered. These can be things like taking a run, going to a meeting, or meeting up with your sponsor.

Improve sleep quality.

Nothing will ruin your day like a bad night’s sleep. Respect your body’s need for restful sleep and do the things that will help you achieve that. These include avoiding caffeine after 3pm, avoiding heavy meals at night, and shutting your devices off an hour before bed.

Staying sober is tightly wrapped up in mental and spiritual wellness. By giving all aspects of your being the needed love and support you increase your chances of recovery success.

Bodhi Addiction Treatment and Wellness Provides Full-Spectrum Treatment

Bodhi Addiction Treatment devotes its efforts to caring for the whole person. It is through this pathway that real change can be made, and wellness restored. Learning ways to cope in recovery is a core treatment focus in our program. For more detail about the program, please reach out to the team today at (877) 328-1968.