Marriage isn’t always about sunshine and happy days. The beauty of matrimony lies in a companion that will be by your side in good times and also in times of trouble and pain. We often do things that could hurt our partner without realizing it. These things could disrupt relationships. But remember- communication is the key to solving problems.
Sometimes, an individual can be suffering from addiction to substances that are detrimental to their health and well-being. Our brain is designed to get triggered by these substances, consequently making the person crave that substance. Therefore, people suffering from addiction need the strength and support of their loved ones.
When a person becomes a victim of addiction, the people that love them the most also endure hardships. If you are addicted to any substance and find yourself trapped, be assured that it is possible to be free. Addiction can cause you to feel guilty and lonely. Most people who battle addiction fight dual battles- one of addiction and the other of struggling to hide this battle from their spouse. Needless to say, such a battle gets burdensome.
Since addiction causes a change in a person’s behavior, most likely, your spouse already knows the problem you’re dealing with. The chances are that they are giving you space and time to communicate and convey your problems to them. So brave up and take up the challenge of communicating with your partner! The process of admitting your addiction takes courage. However, once you overcome this challenge, you can heal from addiction with the help and support of your partner.
Here are a few tips to go about coming clean about your problem of addiction to your spouse:
Choose the right time to talk
Ensure that you don’t bring up this topic as soon as they get home from work or when they have already had a bad day. Choose a time that is best for both of you. Ideally, start a casual conversation with your spouse and once both of you unwind, break the news to them politely.
Let it all out
The conversation might get uncomfortable and uneasy. But the best way to heal is by letting it all out. Tell them about how it started, when you found yourself trapped, the damage it has caused, your efforts to come out of it, etc. Justification and covering up the truth will not benefit you in any way. So, convey the absolute truth.
Ask for forgiveness
Once you’ve told them about the addiction, be apologetic about the fact that you tried to hide the problem from them. Convey that you are sorry for not trusting them enough. Express your guilt and tell them that you seek forgiveness.
Express your desire to change
Now, this is an important point. It would be best if you communicated your desire to seek proper treatment for your addiction and come out clean. Tell your partner about why you are looking forward to changing, the efforts you’ve made on your own, your failed attempts, and everything else about your journey.
Remember: You are worthy of freedom, and your recovery need not feel lonely.
Give them their space
In case your spouse gets upset or angry. Give them their space. Allow them to express their emotions. Do not expect them to understand and support you immediately. But trust that they love you, and once they have accepted the truth- they will help you fight addiction.
Inform them about your triggers
It is crucial to inform your partner about the substances, situations, actions, and attitudes that can lead you into the circle of addiction. Don’t cover-up. Be honest and inform them about the triggers that cause you to crave the substance. This way, your spouse can help you avoid such triggers.
Ask for their help and support.
Tell them that you need their help and support the most. It would be beneficial if you plan and discuss your recovery strategy with them. You can be assured of freedom by going to an excellent and well-equipped rehabilitation center. Admitting oneself into a rehabilitation center helps move out of addiction and shaping a disciplined lifestyle in a controlled environment, where withdrawal from addiction can get more manageable and not seem as crippling. Discuss the idea of going to a rehabilitation center for recovery and ask them to be by your side in your journey towards sobriety.
Recovery can be made easy when your loved one holds your hand through it. So, take the brave step of communicating today!
This blog was reviewed by Dr. Anant (MBBS, DNB Psychiatry), a Consultant Psychiatrist at Safe House Premium. He has written articles for print media like NDTV and has recently written on Mental Health effects due to COVID. Dr. Anant specializes in treating Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, and de-addiction and rehabilitation of Alcohol and Drug dependence syndrome.