08 May Admitting to Your Spouse that You Have an Addiction
Struggling with addiction can be challenging with or without the help of a loved one. Not including loved ones in your recovery or treatment plans not only leaves you feeling alone and distant, but also prevents you from working with them to improve your future. For as long as the lying and deceit continue, so too will your chances of recovery be stalled and put to the test.
Thoughts about actually admitting your addiction to your loved one can lead you to believe that it will be a terrible and difficult experience because you’re unsure of what they might say or do in response. True, a conversation such as this will need to be delivered with tact and care, but usually, it’s better to admit that you have a problem than to attempt to hide it from them.
Chances are they may already be trying to piece together aspects of your narrative that are not lining up. On the other hand, perhaps they have already walked with you through the denial stage of change, and it will be music to their ears to hear your willingness to move forward.
Although it’s possible your spouse may not react positively immediately, you may be surprised that they’re more willing to accept your flaws than you thought. Meaningful relationships are built upon trust, support, and communication. Having a conversation about addiction, and the role it has been made to play in your life is essential for relationship health.
Research your options
The road to recovery is not only laid upon a single path. There are a variety of treatment options that you can choose from to start moving toward a healthier lifestyle. It is undoubtedly helpful to do your research and understand which options you’re interested in before you speak with your loved one to demonstrate the positive changes you’re willing to make.
As an option, family counseling can be especially helpful for couples that are looking to support each other throughout the recovery process. Alternatively, if you’re uncomfortable with in-patient treatment at a rehabilitation center, there are home detox treatments that allow you to begin your recovery from the comfort of your home.
When revealing your newfound insight about addictive patterns in your life, it’s tempting to only tell part of the story, rather than to lay out all of the facts. It is essential to keep in mind that honesty is the foundation of a healthy relationship with any of your loved ones. When damage is done to one’s ability to trust, it can affect the very foundation of the relationship and cause it to fall apart.
It is important to know what you are walking into when you decide to talk to your loved ones about your addiction. Likely they will want answers and information, and the possibility of any one of your triggers being sounded is high. As best as you can, stay out of defensiveness, and avoid leaving out important details when asked questions. The things that you feel most uncomfortable talking about are likely the very things that need to be shared.
It may be difficult but share anyway. Share because you want them to understand what you’re going through. Share because when you open yourself to vulnerability, the shame that is trying to keep you silent will dry up and crumble. Share because it is time to take back your life from the miserable beast.
It would be a lie to try to sugar-coat the situation or give you the “5 Tips to Coming Clean”, as the truth is that it will likely be a difficult and painful process. But can you do it anyway? Recovery will be full of similar choices, similar opportunities to take the hard road, not because it is easy, but because you are worth it and so is your future.
Start working together
Discuss all of the resources available to you with your loved one during the conversation, so they’re aware of what your interests are. Come up with a game plan together, whether that involves sharing with kids, talking to employers, and deciding on a treatment path.
Although working through addiction can be challenging, having the support of a loved one can make a significant difference in your recovery and your relationship. Encourage them to seek out resources and their own support.
Learn more about treatment options available to you and how to start the journey to recovery today.