Addiction affects more people than most Americans realize. It can shape itself in various ways and can revolve around so many different things. Dealing with a partner's addictions can be tough for both people in the relationship; it's always painful to see someone you love suffering. You never want them to feel alone, but if it's something you've never dealt with before, you might feel lost. If your loved one suffers from addiction, here is what you can do to help them, and yourself.
Luckily, today there are more options when it comes to addiction treatment than ever before. There is, of course, the classic 12-step model, but also other self-help groups that revolve around education and mutual support. If your loved one is uncomfortable around groups, you might suggest psychotherapy as a solution. This is especially effective when family and loved ones participate to support your loved one.
Withdrawal may be intimidating to face, but there are medications and focused supports for the symptoms. Behavioral therapy is an option, usually in conjunction with another treatment, to help your loved one refocus and develop healthy behaviors. Your significant other could opt for inpatient or outpatient therapy.
Many of those who suffer from addiction may also find themselves in a poor financial state. It’s important to tackle this strain together to figure out what you can do to get back on track. Start by assessing your situation and creating a financial plan. Begin by creating a monthly budget together. You need to decide what absolutely must be paid, what you can cut, and what you can use to pay down any debt.
Getting out of debt is no easy feat. Assess the rates of any credit cards you and your loved one hold, and see if you can get lower interest elsewhere. Tally up your debt and see what you need to pay monthly to recover as quickly as possible. Talk as a couple about what you should pay down first, the debt with the highest interest rate, or the smallest debt? Once you have a plan set up, make sure you monitor it closely. It will take work, but you can accomplish your goals together.
Part of the healing process may include taking part in your loved one’s treatment. By being present, not only can you tend to the wounds that addiction has caused between you, you may be able to help your loved one stay on the path of recovery. Often, addiction can cause a person to withdraw completely from all relationships. It’s imperative for the relationship to survive that you both find ways to reconnect. This is going to be a difficult time for you both. Taking your loved one’s side and giving them support can help them overcome these hurdles.
Re-create happy memories you had together before addiction and show each other how thankful you are to be in each other’s lives. When there is a confrontation, or if you feel your partner withdrawing, discuss it immediately. Be as open with each other as possible. Now is not the time to hold back or withhold love.
No matter how hard we try, sometimes the best option is to leave. You may feel unsafe, or that you have tried everything, and your partner refuses to get the help they need. If you have tried everything you can think of, including counseling together, but there are no positive changes, then you need to put yourself first. Sometimes, the hurt we suffer cannot be overcome. Even if we forgive, the trauma does not disappear. You may still love your partner fiercely, but you need to find and focus on your own happiness. The first part of letting go and handling the separation is acceptance. You tried to be what they needed, but now you must focus on your own needs.
This is a difficult period. No one can deny that. However, with the right support, you and your significant other can come out stronger because of it. Work together, love each other, and do your best to find health.