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Opening April 2019

What to do if You Have an Addicted Husband

"I have an addicted husband, and I'm honestly not sure what to do about it."

Addiction and Your Husband

"I can remember the first night he came home after a night of binge drinking. We both laughed about how drunk he was. He slept it off, and he had a hangover the next day. After that, he was fine. I didn't really think too much of it until it happened again. And then again and again. After some time, I started to notice it was becoming a habit. Before long, binge drinking was how he was spending his weekends.

"After a while, it wasn't enough for him to be an alcoholic. He started taking prescription drugs too. When those ran out, he turned to heroin. Suddenly, I found myself married to an alcoholic and a heroin addict. I couldn't figure out how I allowed my life to turn into this.

"I'm still struggling. He gets violent sometimes, and I'm worried about my safety. I'm worried about my kids' safety too. I just don't know what to do. I feel trapped."

Is Your Husband Battling Alcoholism or Drug Addiction? Look for These Signs of Addiction

You may know that you don't like your husband's substance abuse. However, you're not entirely sure that you're dealing with an addiction. This is really pretty common. It's not always easy to decipher between drug and alcohol addiction and alcohol and drug abuse. If this is the situation you're in, it's good to know the difference.

So, what is alcohol abuse or drug abuse? Substance abuse is present when the user can participate in using drugs or alcohol without feeling a need to.

The person doesn't go through withdrawal symptoms when the substances are stopped. If he stopped using tomorrow for the rest of his life, it would have no negative impact at all. An addiction is much different. With addiction, addicts do feel compelled to use. When they stop using, they go through withdrawal. They have cravings for their substances of choice.

Some common signs of alcoholism and drug addiction include:

  • Placing the substance at a place of highest importance in their lives
  • Neglecting responsibilities at home because of substance use
  • Having medical problems that can be traced back to alcohol or drugs
  • Legal problems that involve drinking or using drugs
  • Lying about using alcohol or drugs
  • Being unable to stop using, even with multiple attempts

Have you noticed any of these behaviors? If you have, there is probably an addiction present. If you're still not sure, taking a family member addiction quiz can be very helpful.

Should You Consider Leaving a Husband Who is an Addict?

Many wives and spouses wonder if they should think about leaving their addicted husbands. Obviously, this is a decision that you will need to make for yourself. However, there are some instances in which you may want to consider leaving. These include:

  • If the situation at home ever becomes violent. Violence is never OK, and it should not be tolerated under any circumstances. If your husband begins to get angry, and that anger leads to striking you, you should leave.
  • If you're being emotionally abused. Emotional abuse can cause just as much pain as physical abuse. You shouldn't tolerate emotional abuse either.
  • If your husband is using in front of your children. This is completely inappropriate, and it's not right for your kids to see him using.
  • If you're having financial problems because of the amount of money being spent on substances. You need to be concerned about caring for yourself and your children. You shouldn't be concerned with supporting your husband's addiction.
  • If your husband brings strangers home. It's not OK to wake up in a house where there are strangers present. This could be dangerous for you and your children.

Making the decision to leave isn't easy. However, if you're in danger, you should leave. It might actually be the one thing that causes your husband to see the damage being done.

Addicted Husband

Are You Enabling Your Addicted Husband? How You Can Tell

Spouses and wives often think that they're helping their husbands when they're enabling. The last thing you want to do is to allow the addiction to continue on. Maybe you've been doing some of the following:

  • Trying to hide or cover up your husband's substance abuse problem
  • Lying to others about your husband's whereabouts when you know he's using
  • Giving him money to purchase alcohol or drugs
  • Taking on his share of the responsibilities at home
  • Serving alcohol to guests when you know your husband is an alcoholic

All of these are great examples of enabling behaviors. If you're doing any of these, it's time to stop now. In order to do that, you need to set some clear boundaries.

Setting Boundaries for Your Addicted or Alcoholic Husband

Setting boundaries will involve having a conversation with your husband. He needs to know that things are going to change. This is going to be a hard discussion to have, but it must be done. Keep in mind that he will try to talk you out of it. He may tell you that the situation really isn't all that bad. He may promise to change in a week, a month, or a year. No matter what, you need to stand firm. Let him know what he can expect from you, going forward.

It will help you to stick to your boundaries if you have someone to hold you accountable. A close friend or family member is usually a good option for this.

Let them know what's been happening, and what you're going to change. Ask them to come to you and talk with you about how things are going.

Ways to Help Yourself Cope as the Victim of Your Husband's Addiction

Right now, your primary concern is probably your husband. Because of this, you're probably not taking good care of yourself. It is so important for you to care for yourself during this time. You can do this in a few different ways.

  • Talk to a therapist about all the issues you've been dealing with. Learn new ways to cope. Find out if you have become depressed or anxious and get treatment.
  • Join an in person support group, such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. These support groups are set up to help people with addicted loved ones.
  • Visit an online support group like SMART Recovery. This website is a great resource for you, and it has online meetings that will be so helpful.
  • Spend time with your friends and family.
  • Take the time to do nice things for yourself. Don't be afraid to pamper yourself and make yourself feel good. Even if it's just a few minutes alone soaking in a warm bath.
  • Visit your doctor to be sure you're staying physically well. Many times, medical issues can arise when people are under mental stress and anguish.

This is a very difficult time that you're going through. You need to be the best you can be for your family.

Talking with Your Husband About Addiction Treatment

At some point, you should attempt to talk with your husband about addiction treatment. However, you should only talk with him alone if you feel it's safe. If you think he may become violent if you bring it up, it's best not to. Or, you may want to bring along a friend to be there with you.

It will be helpful if you know a little bit about what he can expect with drug treatment or alcohol treatment. This might help to put his mind at ease. Let him know that he will probably be in an inpatient facility. He will be treated for any co-occurring disorders, which might have led to his addiction. Programs usually last around 30 days and they involve counseling and group therapy.

You should know that he will probably be resistant. If he is, there is another option.

Will an Intervention Encourage Alcohol Rehab or Drug Rehab for Your Husband?

If your husband refuses to go to addiction treatment, there is another option. You can choose to have an intervention. Intervention services are available to you through substance abuse treatment programs. It is a meeting that involves you, your husband, other friends and family and an interventionist. The interventionist will talk with you ahead of time, and all of the participants, if possible. You'll learn what you should say, and what boundaries you need to put in place. This will encourage your husband to agree to treatment.

Your husband will arrive at the intervention, and he'll probably be shocked. Most people are amazed to see how many people care about them.

You'll take turns talking, and at the end, he'll be given the opportunity to get help. He'll need to make a decision right away. Most people do agree to treatment following an intervention.

Drug Treatment and Alcohol Treatment Offers Help and Hope for Recovery

As the wife or spouse of an addicted husband, the situation you're in right now feels hopeless. You spend most of your days worrying about whether he'll be OK. He may spend countless hours out at night, leaving you to be concerned about him. Right now, your life is nothing like you thought it would be when you got married. Fortunately, there is hope for you and for your husband.

Drug and alcohol rehab can change everything for your family. It might take some planning to get your husband to agree to it, but it will be so worth it.

Here at Northpoint Washington, we take the time to get to know our patients. Our goal is to help them get the addiction recovery they need. This involves putting together individual treatment plans that address their specific needs. If there are any underlying issues behind the addiction, we will treat those as well. Our methods have proven to be successful. We've helped so many spouses go through this process with their husband successfully. It would be a privilege to help you as well.

Do you have questions about alcohol and drug treatment for your husband? Do you need help with intervention services? Please contact us right away.

Sources:

Northpoint Washington: Opening April 2019

Our facilities currently open for services:

Ashwood Recovery at Northpoint

Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab and addiction counseling located in Boise, Idaho.

Northpoint Recovery

Our National Medical Detox and Inpatient Addiction Facility.

The Evergreen at Northpoint

Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab and addiction counseling located in Washington State.