When I found out my spouse was addicted to drugs, that was when everything changed in our house.
"He had been doing a really good job of hiding it for a long time. I happened to come across his stash of heroin in his dresser drawer one day. When I saw it, my heart sank. Alongside it were needles, syringes and other paraphernalia. Suddenly, so much of what I had been going through over the last several months made sense. I had been worried that he had a mistress. Really, his "mistress" was heroin.
"I didn't know what to do. I needed to let him know that I knew, but I wasn't sure how he would react. I expected that he might become violent if he knew I was going to try to stop him from using. Honestly, I was terrified of what was to come.
"This feeling isn't something that I would wish on my worst enemy. It's terrible to discover that your spouse has an addiction. I've never felt so paralyzed before, or unsure of myself. If only I had known then what I know now."
It's not always easy to tell if your spouse is an alcoholic or an addict. Sometimes the signs are easy to see, and sometimes they're more difficult to see. Every person is different, as far as how they handle addictions. You may be in a position where you've noticed that something is wrong. However, you're just not sure if it's because of substance abuse.
This quiz is very thorough, and if there is an addiction present, it can help you see that. You could also look for a number of different signs. Some of these are:
You may also notice some significant changes in your spouse's personality if he or she is using. Someone who was once pretty happy can suddenly start having violent mood swings.
When your spouse has an addiction, it puts such a burden on you. Not only are you worried about them, but the responsibilities of home life all fall on you. It's almost as though you've become a single mom or a single dad. It is such a hard thing to deal with.
If you've noticed any of the above happening with your spouse, an addiction is probably the reason.
This is such a difficult question to answer. Many people wonder if they should leave an addicted spouse. Your answer to this question might be different from someone else's. You have to decide for yourself where the boundaries are in your marriage.
You're the individual who will be called if your spouse is arrested. These are important things to consider.
Of course, you also need to think about your safety and the safety of your children. There are some situations which might cause you to think about moving out, at least temporarily. These might include:
When you first married your husband or wife, you never once thought of leaving. Thinking about it now has probably broken your heart. You know that your spouse is sick, but you also know there's nothing you can do about it. Your main priority should be to take care of yourself and your kids.
If your spouse is an addict or an alcoholic, knowing what to do and not to do can be hard. Here is a list of dos and a list of don'ts to help you.
What to do when You Spouse is an Addict
What not to do when Your Spouse is an Addict
Perhaps it's taken some time, but your spouse has finally agreed to drug and alcohol rehab. Now that you have that agreement, you need to know what to do next.
The best thing to do is to find an excellent addiction treatment facility like Northpoint Washington. Here, we make it easy to facilitate our patients' admissions into treatment.
All you need to do is contact us. We will talk with both you and your spouse and get the details about the addiction. We'll talk about what could have led to the addiction and what substances are being used.
Once we have a good idea of what type of treatment is needed, we'll verify your insurance. This is a very simple process that involves us contacting your insurance company. Once we do that, we'll be ready to set up the admission date.
When your addicted spouse refuses alcohol treatment or drug treatment, there is really only one option left. It may be time to think about having an intervention.
During the intervention, you'll be able to talk about the addiction to your spouse. Others will also have a chance to share. You will all ask your spouse to agree to treatment. The interventionist will guide the entire meeting. At the end, your spouse will be given the opportunity to go to treatment immediately. Many times, they do agree.
It's so important for you to use this time to take care of yourself. If you're not feeling well, or you're too mentally strained, you won't be able to care for your family. That's not something you want to deal with. Taking care of yourself might involve a few different things. It could involve:
Please don't neglect yourself during this difficult time. Your family needs to be strong in both body and mind as you weather this together.
The issues that you're going through now, no one should have to face alone. Maybe this is a burden you've been carrying on your own for quite some time. It's possible that you have struggled with this problem for years. You've kept it a secret from the people you love the most. You've wanted to reach out for help, but you didn't know how, or where you should turn.
Fortunately, Northpoint Washington is here to assist you. Dealing with an addicted spouse can drain the very life right out of you. You end each day feeling physically and emotionally exhausted. It may seem as though no matter what decision you make, you're wrong.
We can assist you by giving you the information you need regarding addiction treatment. We can also provide you with intervention services if you need them. At this point, the best thing you can do is probably to schedule an intervention. They have proven to be so successful for so many others. It could work for you as well.