Being married to an addict can present unique challenges to both parties. However there are strategies and resources out there to help you move through the pitfalls of addiction. Whether it’s a pornography addiction or another addiction, there is help and hope. While your spouse may be the one with the addiction, it is important that the two of you face the addiction together. Being married to an addict is hard, but facing addiction alone is harder. Together, you and your spouse can navigate the path to recovery and find peace and hope along the way.
My Spouse is an Addict: Now What?
If you are married to an addict, you may feel the need to lash out or even cut them out of your life completely. Though these reactions are natural, and you are not wrong for the emotions you are feeling, there is a more beneficial way to handle the situation. Instead of criticizing or ignoring the issue altogether, practice open and honest communication.
Use “I feel” statements to express yourself and practice respectful listening as your spouse does the same. Make sure to talk often with your spouse about the situation. In your communications, set up a system that helps you to keep your spouse accountable. This will help keep the two of you on the same page, and show your spouse the support they need. Especially with a pornography addiction, it is important that you establish open communication and then check in with your spouse regularly.
Seek Professional Help
Often, addiction needs to be addressed by professionals. A therapist, recovery program, or other mental health professional may be best suited to help walk you and your spouse through the trials of addiction. For example, if your spouse suffers from a porn or sexual addiction, a counselor or therapist can help your spouse to identify the root of the addiction and then help them to set up a plan of action towards recovery.
A therapist is also beneficial for you as the spouse of an addict, to help you work through the emotions that will arise during this time and help you to come up with healthy strategies to move forward in your own recovery. A therapist can help the two of you navigate the relationship repercussions that come from a pornography addiction and set up best practices for setting boundaries and open communication.
Give Yourself the Gift of Grace
Don’t forget about yourself in the midst of helping your spouse heal; you need healing too. As you deal with your spouses addiction, you may experience the pain of feelings of betrayal, guilt, anger, and depression. As you nativagate down your own path of recovery, it’s critical you take time to take care of yourself.
Make time for yourself. Practice self-care, self-love, and self-compassion. Make time to enjoy hobbies and activities and surround yourself with a support group of your own. You deserve a break, and filling yourself with light and happiness makes it easier for you to help your spouse and your family. If needed, never hesitate to surround yourself with professional help as well.
There is no one right way to be married to an addict. However, as you implement these small steps into your life, you will be able to start on your journey of progress and healing.
Author Bio: Brooke Cade is a freelance writer who works with various publications including Lifestar Therapy. She is passionate about helping people build healthy relationships.