Drug addiction destroys countless marriages every year. Being married to a drug addict is enormously difficult. It takes a toll on every part of your life, from your health to your finances, and the relationship with your children.
The sad fact is that many marriages do not survive drug addiction says Eric – the owner of Anchored Recovery Detox in Orange County, California. Despite this, there are ways to help your husband with this problem. For example, here are some things you can do.
1. Separate the Person from Their Addiction
Understand that drugs affect your husband’s personality. They may become an entirely different person. A total stranger who you do not recognize. This is not the person you married. To cope with their addiction, it is important to become aware of this.
Do not judge your husband or blame them for the behavior caused by their addiction. The negative behavior they are manifesting is caused by their illness, and once it is overcome, they will go back to their old selves.
2. Protect Your Children
If you have children, it is vitally important that you protect them from your husband’s addiction. This can mean many things. First, you need to avoid them seeing your husband in a state of intoxication. Whether it is heroin, meth, or even marijuana you want to prevent your children from witnessing your husband being on drugs or doing drugs.
Next, your children should be protected from any personality changes your husband may undergo. Drug addicts often become violent or extremely abusive, and children should never have to experience this. Basically, do as much as you can to safeguard them.
Ultimately, children should never be in the presence of a drug addict. This can have a severe impact on their mental and emotional health and may have profound psychological effects. In many cases, it can even lead to your child becoming a drug addict later in life. You must find a balance. No child should grow up without a father.
This means you must find a halfway point between protecting your children and allowing their father to have healthy contact with them. Ultimately your husband should want to protect his children and appreciate that you are helping him with this. If he does not, then realize this is a major warning sign and consider leaving him.
3. Provide Whatever Support You Can
The fact is that all drug addicts need support. This can mean many different things. For starters, it can mean having a roof over your head vs. sleeping out on the street. It can mean providing nutritious food for your husband vs. them going hungry. Oftentimes it can also mean financial support. Drug addicts always need money to feed their addiction. Providing this support can stop your husband from engaging in activities that could get them in trouble with the law.
Whatever type of support your husband needs, it is up to you to decide if you want to or can provide it. While this is the right thing to do, you also must do what is best for you and your children. This is especially important if you are expected to provide financial support. This is not always possible, especially if you have children, and you must think very carefully about what type of support you are going to provide.
4. Deal with Underlying Mental Health Conditions
The unfortunate fact is that most drug addicts have some type of underlying mental health condition. This could be something like PTSD, an anxiety condition, or even depression. Helping your husband deal with these problems is the first step to ending his drug addiction. Once they are solved, he may be able to quit using drugs.
For this reason, your husband should see a mental health professional. Visiting a psychiatrist may help him gain clarity as regards what his problem is. The right type of medication and counseling could help put an end to his mental health issues, and at the same time solve his drug problems.
You should also attend to your own mental health. Dealing with a husband who is addicted to drugs can take an enormous toll on your mental and psychological health. As we have said, it can be unbelievably stressful, and cause a great deal of pain. Therefore, it is important that you care for yourself and do not allow this issue to affect you in a negative way.
5. Help Your Husband Get Treatment
Most addicts require some type of treatment to get sober. You should assist your husband in exploring various options for treatment. You may have to research this and come up with a plan for treatment, but at the end of the day, it is critical that you find some way for him to get help.
Finally, if push comes to shove it might be time to put your foot down and get a divorce. When all avenues have been exhausted, when you reach a point where nothing can be done, and you realize that your husband cannot be helped…well…then it might simply be better to give up on the relationship.
Yes, you love your husband and only want the best for him, but there must come a time when you put yourself first. The best thing to do is issue an ultimatum – tell your husband that unless he is willing to get clean you are going to leave him.
Your husband should show definite signs of improvement. He should be willing to address his problem with drugs and actively take steps to get clean.
At this point, you should come up with a plan for getting sober and set a deadline for doing this. Your husband must be willing to go along with this and start working on the plan.
If he misses this deadline or does not show signs of improvement, then the best course of action is to leave. Realize that most drug addicts never get clean. You cannot allow yourself to be a victim of his addiction. Unless he is willing to change then the marriage must end.