Watching a loved one struggle with addiction is never easy. It’s especially challenging when it’s the person you’re closest to—like your spouse. Witnessing a husband’s fight against drug or alcohol addiction may leave you feeling powerless, but actually, there are a number of practical ways in which you can offer your support.
The most important thing you can do? Don’t give up on him. Remind yourself that treatment works and recovery is possible, no matter how deep the addiction seems to be.
In addition to that, here are a few additional tips for helping a husband who’s battling addiction.
How to Help a Husband Who’s Battling Addiction
- Don’t deny it. It can be hard to admit that your husband is dealing with something so serious, so dangerous—but turning a blind eye to it just means it will get worse. Acknowledge the fact that your husband has a disease, and that it can be addressed through the proper clinical care.
- Do your homework. You may not know much about addiction—but a little understanding can go a long way. Read up on how addiction works; on its impact on the mind; and on how effective treatment can bring about long-term recovery.
- Avoid enabling him. This one’s tough. You want to help your husband, but you don’t want to encourage him to remain addicted. Make sure you help him in ways that point toward recovery—not in ways that shield him from the consequences of his actions.
- Find a support group. It’s really hard to be married to someone with addiction—and if you’re going to take care of your husband, you’ll need to take care of yourself, too. Find a local support group of other spouses, and attend meetings where you can vent, share, and seek advice from people who are in similar circumstances.
- Invest in other forms of self-care. In addition to going to a support group, make sure you find an outlet for yourself—either through exercise/physical activity or some sort of creative endeavor. Also make sure you eat right and get some sleep.
- Draw a line in the sand. By all means, be patient with your husband—but also make sure you set some boundaries in place. Any form of abuse—financial, sexual, verbal, physical—should be unacceptable. Make it clear that you won’t compromise on any of these things.
- Let him know you love him. This may sound like a no-brainer, but as you watch your husband fight addiction, it’s easy to feel angry or resentful. Make sure you tell him regularly that you care about him, are there for him, and just want to see him get better.
- Encourage him to seek treatment. Finally, make it clear to your husband that you want him to seek treatment, so that he can have a happy and healthy life with you once more. Let him know that you will support him through the treatment process however you can. Connect with the admissions team at your chosen rehab center for more help with this.
There is Hope for Your Husband
Addiction can seem insurmountable—but with the right clinical approach, your husband can find lasting recovery. That’s something you should encourage in any way you can.
Experience Recovery can help. We provide customized men’s rehab services to those in the Orange County, California area and beyond. To learn more about how you can help your husband—or to ask about specific treatment procedures—reach out to the team at Experience Recovery right away.