Finding help for your husband
Do you have an alcoholic husband, or are you scared he has a drug addiction? Has addiction become the primary characteristic of your husband’s identity? Once you were the sole focus of your husband but now you have been superseded. (If you are not sure, you can read our tips on finding out whether your husband is a alcoholic)
It’s one of the hardest battles that anyone has to handle, and it’s not any easier for over 100,000 spouses in the UK who are also handling addiction. So what should you do?
They may not be handling the addiction themselves, but when you are married to someone struggling with addiction, you are often left to pick up the physical and emotional fallout. Given that addiction is a progressive disease that does get worse with time, trying to handle an addicted husband is not simple. Some of the difficulties that have led you to search online for “how to help my addicted husband” include:
Addiction leads to strain on the household budget as the finances are drained to feed the addiction itself.
Drug and alcohol addiction can lead to erratic behavior, including driving under the influence and abusive behavior.
The biggest problem in a marriage is dishonesty, and when you are struggling with how to control alcoholic husband, lying comes part of the addiction package.
Being out of control can lead to infidelity in an addict.
Secrecy is often a common trait in addicts, and social withdrawal to hide their addiction is something that happens often.
Marriage should be a partnership, which means that communication is key. An addict is no longer able to think beyond their next drink or hit, and that breaks down the connection between spouses.
Episodes of Aggression/Mood Swings
Altered moods and behaviour are a common side effect in addicts, and it’s not unusual to see a previously sweet and patient husband turn in an instant.
An addict will always try to keep secrets, hide their behaviour, and sneak around, opening themselves up to a whole new world of lying. They can lose their job, stay out way beyond what’s healthy for them, and get into trouble with the law. They are masters at manipulation, and the addiction will usually twist their usual behaviour into gaslighting and emotional blackmailing behaviours. For a spouse to handle all of this alone is an awful lot, and when you are looking at how to confront an alcoholic, you need support. You need to know that there are addiction and treatment centres out there who can support you as much as they can support your husband.
Dealing With Addiction In Marriage
Almost anyone who has been in a committed relationship or a marriage with a person who has an addiction knows the depth of destruction that addiction takes that marriage. The thing is, addiction isn’t always noticeable until it’s too late. Addiction in a marriage may not even be evident at the start; it also:
- May not even be a factor at the beginning of the relationship
- May develop quickly in the relationship
- May seem reasonable while you’re still in the “get to know you” stage
- May develop later in the marriage
- May have been hidden from you for decades
All of these realisations are devastating to a spouse, and it can also make you feel like you are stuck. You are not stuck. Marriage is not a dead weight, and you don’t have to wait until your spouse has nowhere to go but up. It’s your responsibility to handle your own emotions, here, and you need to remember that while you are married, you don’t have to enable the behaviour. Your part in this marriage is through sickness and health, but it is also to refuse to allow self-destruction on your watch. Of course, you are not your spouse’s keeper, but where possible, you should try to talk to your husband. You may be wondering when is it time to leave an alcoholic husband, but before you get that far, finding support and help first is essential. This is where it could be time for an intervention, and this is not something you should handle alone.
How to Stage an Intervention
Planning a meeting between your husband and a circle of friends who care may not always be easy, but it’s the best thing to do to stage an intervention. You need to speak to a residential rehab or treatment centre so that you have a backup ready in case your husband agrees to have addiction treatment. Interventions are usually organised without the knowledge of your husband, and a rehab programme may not be what they initially have in mind afterwards. Intervention meetings need to take place somewhere that your husband can relax.
This will ensure that he is more malleable to the conversation about to take place, and where possible, every member of the group should be able to provide instances where his behaviour has been unreasonable, destructive or just plain misplaced. This confrontation shouldn’t be loud or aggressive but calm. You should expect your husband to deny the behaviour, to try to run away from the reality. Stay strong and remember to provide consequences. Some of the consequences that you could include may be:
- “You could lose your job if you continue down this path.”
- “Your lying is breaking our marriage apart.”
- “I will support you every step of the way if you choose to enter a rehab programme.”
- “We have an addiction treatment centre on standby to help you. Take it, or I leave you now.”
These consequences work well when you have the support of Help4Addiction at your side. Pick up the phone before you stage your intervention and call us, and we will be able to help you to find the right rehab centre. If you are worried about how this intervention is going to turn out, it can be better to have a skilled and impartial interventionist with you at the time of the meeting. This is especially important if your spouse is prone to aggression as part of their addiction. The goal is to get them into a rehab centre for addiction treatment and, once their programme is finished, you’ll be able to get the support you need for how to live with a recovering alcoholic husband.
I Need Help For My Alcoholic Husband
Addiction brings chaos to everyday family life. If you find that you need help with your husband’s addiction, then you need to call our helpline on 0203 955 7700. One of our experts can talk you through the problem that you are experiencing and advise on the right help for you. This is our goal – to give you the support that you need at this time. Addiction is an erratic disease, and no spouse should have to cope alone. Without help, it can be a very lonely and isolated existence. An addict cannot connect the dots between the feelings of their spouse and the impact that they are having. There will always be promises from them to be better, to stop the drink/drug, to ask for help, to stop lying. Those promises are more lies 90% of the time. It’s for this reason support is needed, and boundaries need to be set.
How Can I Set Boundaries For My Addicted Spouse
Unfortunately, a spouse has to deal with an addicted partner; they need to set sensible boundaries. You have become the accomplice to the addiction without even realising, but if you start to lay down heavy boundaries, you can break away from this role. You aren’t a partner to a disease anymore, and you don’t have to keep going down this path. This doesn’t mean you have to break your marriage apart, but it does mean that you need to be firm in your help. Your husband has to help himself, too. If he does not attempt to be open to help, your boundaries will be futile.
Instead of allowing any more of the destructive behaviour to impact you, you need to educate yourself. Read everything that you can to do with your husband’s addiction, the consequences, the side effects of rehab, the various rehabilitation options – everything you can get your hands on. Then call us. At Help4Addiction, we can put you in contact with the right rehabilitation service that your husband needs. We can help you to find the services that will support their detox, and we can also offer information on groups to support you, too.
What You Can Do To Stay Proactive
You’re already in a relationship with an addicted spouse, which means you are already familiar with the behaviour addiction brings – no matter how unpredictable. If you plan to stay in this marriage – determined, though you may be – you need these tips to handle this situation and support them while supporting yourself.
Stop The Denial
Addiction is painful. It doesn’t just affect your husband, but it affects you and your children, their job, their friends, the general public (if getting behind the wheel). It’s time to stop turning a blind eye to that. Take your head out of the sand and see the addict that your husband has turned into. Then, take action.
We mentioned this earlier, but it’s time to educate yourself. Your husband that you fell in love with is still in there behind the addiction, and all you have to do is learn how to access that person again. Addiction is a disease, and it affects every single person in contact with the disease. The more you know, the better you can handle this. Learn about the available treatments and the rehab centres that can help your husband. This information is valuable to you both.
Addiction is a family disease, and it’s not just affecting your husband. You may have considered leaving your husband because of the dependency on their drug or alcohol of choice. The longer you live with someone who is in an active addiction, the more you will become consumed by it.
Your own behaviour is going to reflect living with an addict, and this is evident in anxiety, impatience, snappiness, and even panic attacks – especially when they don’t come home. When your life is tied to someone with an addiction, you obsess over every single move that they make – which can be devastating to your own health. This is codependency, and you can start to make the changes necessary to get out of that situation without losing your husband whom you love.
You may not even know that you’re doing it, but many spouses enable addictive behaviour. Allowing him to use his excuses for his drinking, not helping him to address his behaviour and generally ignoring it is allowing it. You are not responsible for his addiction, but you can do something to help yourself, and that’s not to enable it. Most of the time, enabling has every good intention, but it hurts more than it helps – which isn’t helping anyone at all.
At Help4Addiction, we offer a free helpline for those who need help and treatment. We aim to place your husband into a rehab facility that will help him to overcome this addiction that has taken hold. Once he is in treatment, you will be able to continue to be positive and supportive, and there is finally a light at the end of a very long tunnel. You may want to tell your spouse how he hurt you, but it is a hindrance and not a help. You need to let him get through his treatment, and when it’s your turn to head to family therapy, you can ensure that you get your turn to seek help, too.
Your own health and wellbeing are valuable, here, and you have to take time to take care of yourself. Supporting yourself will help, and it will ensure that you hold onto your marriage for as long as you want to do so. Turn to Help4Addiction to point you in the right direction for treatment, call 0203 955 7700 and speak to a consultant today. Addiction may be a disease, but together, we can find a solution.