Finding help for your addicted wife
Your wife isn’t the unique and wonderful person she was when you both made a lifelong commitment to one another. The woman you fell in love with has all but disappeared and in her place is merely the shadow of her former self.
For all intents and purposes, your wife has become a stranger, someone who is anxious, forgetful and quick-tempered. Her once upbeat attitude has become worryingly pessimistic and her blindness to consequences and disastrous judgment goes against logic and reason. She has low self-esteem win her addiction and is no longer the person you once knew.
My wife will use alcohol to help her escape
Often addicts resort to taking drugs or alcohol to reverse a worry or emotional scar. Plagued by inner turmoil your wife is wary of feeling helpless and so has turned to a substance that assists her to dismiss, diminish or even forget, at least until the effects of the drugs and alcohol have worn off. The situation is gut-wrenching. Not only is your wife building an emotional wall from reality but she could be blocking all avenues of help from friends and family who only wish to sooth her mental and physical anguish.
Knowledge about addictions can be of immense benefit to you and your wife. The way in which addiction is presented in TV and film is not always accurate and often the depiction falls into cliché and stereotype. It is a good idea to seek out knowledge from experts, professional organisations and support groups.
The stress upon you is immense, this is not the life you want to lead, and this is not the life you were promised. Shame has joined the myriad of swirling emotions because you typed ‘divorce’ into a search engine. Do not feel guilty, you are looking for a way out because you have been manipulated and deceived by the very person who should be protecting you from such heartache.
How do you know if your wife is ready to get help?
Unfortunately, there is no timeline for when an addict decides to seek help, if at all. Rock bottom for one addict will be different for another but the motivation to heal is the vital ingredient needed to mark the beginning of recovery.
It is important to be aware there is no immediate ‘fix’ for addiction. As long as she puts in the work your wife will benefit from treatment, rehabilitation and counselling but it is an ongoing process, one that continues even after the initial programme has concluded.
In the storm of an addict’s recovery, the spouse who is also suffering will feel alone, confused and frightened. Seeking help and support is often the first step in helping the addict. As the spouse of an addict, there are group-orientated meetings you can attend as well as counselling sessions that focus specifically on the partner’s ordeal as well as offering advice and tips to prevent you from actively or passively enabling your wife’s addiction.
Will rehab help my wife realise what she has done to the family
Your wife’s addiction will undoubtedly have caused you a lot of heartaches not to mention countless moments where you have justifiably felt aggrieved. It would be best to work this pain and anger into forgiveness. During the course of rehabilitation, your wife will realise the many ways in which her actions have negatively impacted upon you and that is her cross to bear. It is important not to hold on to your resentment as that may prevent both of you from healing and moving forward.
Addiction is a disease and like all diseases, it adversely affects the carrier but this does not make your wife a bad person, just the victim of chronic dependency. By all means, hate the addiction and hate the disease but don’t let addiction cloud the love for your wife.