When people get married, they are often filled with joy, hope, and excitement for what the future holds. Many wedding vows contain some variation of the phrase “for better or for worse” but many couples don’t realize how much worse their marriage can get if drugs get in the way of their happy union. Drug addiction isn’t something that occurs expectedly. There are many times when someone can have a surgery or get into an accident that requires them to take prescription pain medications to minimize the pain that they feel. These prescription pain bills are often highly addictive and it’s common for people who show no signs of addictive characteristics to become addicted to the drugs accidentally.
When a loved one becomes addicted to prescription pain pills, it can quickly take over their life and can put a strain on a marriage. It’s common for divorce to occur because the spouse of an addict simply doesn’t know what to do to help their loved one. Instead of turning to divorce, use the following guide to learn how you can rebuild your marriage after a drug addiction has built a wedge between you and your spouse.
Hold an Intervention
The first thing you need to do is let your loved one know how their addiction is affecting the family. Many addicts think that they are good at hiding their addiction and often don’t even realize that anyone else knows that they have a problem until they are confronted with it.
While an intervention is designed to confront an addict about what their addiction is doing to themselves and others, it shouldn’t be confrontational. It should be a time to let the addict know that they are loved and supported.
During the intervention, you and your loved ones need to have detailed situations that you can list to your loved one where their addiction affected something in their or your life. You need to shower them with love and explain that you want them to seek professional help so that they can regain control of their life. Let them know that you want to stand by them while they get help and are going to support them throughout their experience.
Find a Local Rehab Center
The addiction to pain pills can be so strong that it is often difficult for someone to overcome on their own at home. The physical withdrawal symptoms can be extreme and debilitating at times. At a professional rehabilitation center, your loved one can be given medications to minimize the symptoms they have to go through as they detox from the drugs. They will also get counseling to help with their mental addiction to the drugs and go through group counseling to see how drug addiction has taken a toll on other people’s lives. You want to choose a local facility because many centers offer times for families to come and go through counseling with the addicts or simply have visits with them once they are further in their treatment. This gives you the opportunity to show your spouse how much you love and support them.
Create a Safe Environment for Your Spouse
When your spouse gets home from the treatment facility, the last thing they need is to have temptations in their way. Remove anything that can hamper their recovery. Believe it or not, you need to remove over-the-counter products, such as sleeping medications and cough syrups when they first return home as they could be tempting to an addict. Remove all alcohol, as well.
Go to Addiction Counseling
Recognizing the anger, hurt and betrayal that addiction causes in a marriage can often be difficult to do. It’s important to face your feelings head-on in a proactive way if you want to rebuild your relationship. Working with a counselor to accept and manage those feelings is essential or resentment could build up in your marriage. The counselor can help you learn how to talk to one another about every aspect of your marriage and help your spouse to rebuild your trust so that you can have the best marriage possible.
Go to Family Support Groups
There are support groups available for people related to addicts. These meetings can be great to go to because they help you to see that you aren’t alone in the struggle that you went through with your spouse. You can learn tips and tricks for dealing with pain that may occur later on down the road and learn what to do if your spouse relapses. Relapsing is common when it comes to addiction, but you have to know what the signs are and how to handle the situation in the right way. Everything that is said in the meetings is confidential so you can get things off of your chest without worrying that they will get back to your spouse or anyone who knows you.
Know When Enough is Enough
While it is possible for someone to overcome an addiction to drugs, it is something that they have to want to do. You can’t force someone to get clean. If your loved one chooses to keep using drugs or puts you in danger when they are high, you need to know when to say enough is enough and get out of the relationship. It would be great if everyone found recovery, but that isn’t the reality of life. There are many addicts who continue to use until they overdose or end up in prison for their poor decisions.
If you want to have a strong marriage after an addiction, you have to learn to trust your spouse again. Constantly questioning them about their addiction or accusing them will create resentment between the two of you and your marriage will not survive. Make a conscious decision to let the past stay in the past and try to move on to the brightest future that you can with the person that you love. It won’t always be easy, but if you get to spend your life with the person you love the most in the world, it will be well worth it.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 602-346-9142.