4 Ways to Help a Spouse Recover from Addiction

As the saying goes, love conquers all. But can love conquer addiction and treatment?

If you are the spouse of a person experiencing an addiction, you know it is not easy. Addiction can change a person: He or she may lie or do desperate things to acquire a substance. Though people prepare for stress when they enter a marriage, many do not anticipate the burden of an addiction or see it coming.

Addiction can have destructive effects on any relationship. The only way to save your marriage is to get your partner help. Here are four ways you can help your loved one get on the path to recovery.

1. Realize you cannot change people

You cannot change your partner, no matter how hard you try. Addiction is hard, but it can only be overcome by the person it affects. This takes a great deal of internal willpower and determination, Addiction Treatment magazine stated. If a person wants to stop addiction from taking over his or her life, he or she is the only person to make it happen.

2. Be supportive

Support is key in recovery. You should be supportive of your partner, especially during treatment. However, it is important not to enable him or her, since doing so will only exacerbate the problem. Support the recovery, not the addiction. If your partner asks or begs for his or her vice, do not give in – no matter how difficult it is.

3. Take care of yourself first

Despite the needs of your spouse, remember that you should still put yourself first. This can easily be overlooked if your partner has a problem. In order to properly take care of someone else, you need to be healthy – physically and mentally. Find time to exercise regularly and eat well.

4. Educate yourself

If your loved one has an addiction, take some time to learn about it. With addiction comes many trials and tribulations, and you will want to be prepared for them. For instance, it will be crucial for you to identify the signs of a relapse if it happens. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help you learn about addiction. Try attending a Narcotics Anonymous or Alcohol Anonymous meeting to hear other people’s stories. There are also 12-step meetings for couples available if the addiction has drastically soured the relationship.

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