Addicted or Not? How to Tell and What to Do
Addiction often goes (intentionally) unnoticed when it’s affecting the one you love most. Many wives choose to ignore the signs simply because they don’t want to face the truth. Because, if something is acknowledged, it has to be dealt with…and that’s going to be messy.
If your husband is going to be the best (and healthiest) version of himself, he may need your support to begin the recovery journey. Yes, it’s going to be messy, but a lot less messy than years of dancing around the subject and slowly watching your family suffer in a thousand different ways.
So, where do you begin?
How to Tell if Your Husband is Addicted
The signs of addiction vary depending on what his drug of choice happens to be. However, here are a few signs you can look out for.
Anger and Blame
Wives living with alcoholic or drug addicted husbands are often vulnerable, especially if they don’t fully recognize the signs of active addiction. If you try to bring up questions about the amount he drinks or how often he drinks, does he turn the tables, blaming you?
“You’re always nagging me. What are you doing, policing my drinks?”
“Why are you always on me? Why can’t you let me relax like a normal person would?”
“Why are you ruining my weekend?”
“I work 10 to 12 hours a day. Are you really going to tell me I can’t have a few beers after work?”
After a session like this, he might retreat to his man cave / video chair / garage workshop…where he can drink (or use drugs) in private.
It can be easier to just choose to overlook and put up with active addiction because of the way your husband turns things around. It isn’t until you realize that you aren’t the one in the wrong that you can step up and help your husband get the recovery treatment he deserves.
Trouble in the Bedroom
Opiate abuse and active addiction have some serious effects on a person’s physical, mental and emotional health. One of the most significant places it plays a role in a marriage is in the bedroom.
What many men aren’t aware of when they begin using opiates is that prolonged, continuous use can result in endocrine deficiencies. This can result in sexual dysfunction in men as well as decreased libido.
A bit of trouble every once in a while could just be a fluke. Ongoing problems in the bedroom could be a sign of active addiction. Be sure he sees his medical doctor as well, as it may also be a sign of a medical condition.
It Becomes a Ritual
Addicted individuals, especially those with active alcohol addiction, often develop rituals around the use of their drug of choice. Maybe it’s a bottle with dinner or right when he comes home from work. Maybe he says he can’t sleep without a few drinks. Look for patterns of “weekend outings” only at places where heavy drinking is allowed. Do you always go out to eat at “2 for 1” drink restaurants? Are weekends always spent at bars and sporting events where overindulging is “expected?”
In many cases, addicted individuals who have developed these rituals will often become irritable if their ritual is interrupted or changed.
How to Help Him
You love him, and you want him to be okay, but you can’t save him. The best thing you can do is to let him know that you are aware of his problem (whether he admits it or not). The rest is up to him.
Here’s how to start:
- Talk to him. Approach him when you know he’s sober and be truthful but encouraging. Let him know you love him, that you’re concerned about him and that you don’t think he can handle this problem by himself.
- Keep your conversation short and simple. State the facts, let it go. Don’t give him room to argue.
- Provide him with information on recovery options. Gracious Care Recovery Solutions can help him detox safely, which is extremely important. We also provide inpatient or outpatient treatment options to suit his individual needs.
- Commit to standing by him but don’t let him brush off the problem.
- Keep in mind that he is not doing this because he doesn’t love you. He is not choosing addiction over his family. He is enslaved to this drug and he is slowly becoming painfully aware of that fact.
Gracious Care Recovery Solutions can give him a new outlook on life and improve your home life as well. Our therapies will help your husband better understand and deal with the root of his addiction.
Want to learn more?