Sunday, December 6, 2015

Message to the Spouse of an Addict

If you’re the spouse of an addict, your first response is to tackle this crisis in the normal way.  But there’s nothing “normal” about addiction.  You can’t solve this problem in the normal way, because it isn’t your problem to solve.

If you’re the spouse of an addict, your second response is to do whatever you can to restore your relationship.  You want things to be the way they were.  You want the wonderful love, close partnership, emotional support, and clear communication you used to have. 

But that will never happen.  It’s too late.  Addiction has changed everything.  Your relationship will never be the same again.  Your spouse will never be the same, and neither will you.  Why?  Because addiction creates trauma, and trauma changes everyone.  Going back is no longer possible.   

Hopefully, your spouse will seek recovery to address the emotional, physical, or psychological issues that led to addiction.  But you can’t wait for that.  It may never happen. 

Instead, focus on yourself.  Do what you can to recover from this trauma and do it now.  Begin by making your life your primary concern.  Keep growing and moving forward in a positive direction for YOU. 

Believe it or not, that’s the best way to help your addicted spouse.

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