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How to Deal With a Husband's Drug Addiction

by Mitch Reid

Drug addiction has a negative influence on more than just the addicted person. Friends and family members of the drug addict can face financial, emotional and even physical consequences due to their loved one's bad habits. This is especially true when it comes to married couples, who share financial responsibilities and living space. If you’re currently dealing with a husband's drug addiction, divorce might seem a tempting resolution. However, there are other approaches you can take before making a decision to end the relationship.

Accept Your Husband's Problem

Denial and shame can make it hard for you to take action against your husband’s addiction, warns Carole Bennett, M.A., family substance abuse counselor, in her "Psychology Today" article "The Difficulties Accepting a Loved One's Addiction Issues." You might convince yourself that your husband will sort the problem out himself without you taking action. Know, however, that this is rarely the case. If you feel embarrassed of what people will think of you if word spreads about the addiction, try to set those thoughts aside. The sooner you accept the presence of an addition, the sooner you can help.

Confront Your Husband

Talk openly with your husband about the issue, but do so in a nonjudgmental way, suggests HelpGuide.org's article "Drug Abuse and Addiction." In some cases, a person will willingly admit to the addiction, and then together you can proceed in the recovery process. However, many addicts will fervently deny the presence of an addiction. To counter this denial, arm yourself with examples of how his behavior is causing problems, suggests HelpGuide.org. For example, mention that he forgot to pick up the kids from school every day last week due to his new habits. Remember to ground your examples in fact. Avoid sounding too judgmental or exaggerating the problem.

Seek Professional Help

The idea that an addiction can be overcome by simple willpower is often a myth, suggests HelpGuide.org. You should help your husband search for and compare treatment options. From individual therapy to group counseling, there are many options out there for your husband. An online search for addiction treatment services in your area is one way to begin the hunt for a solution. You can start your search with the help of certain nationwide resources, such as The Association for Addiction Professionals. If your husband is still in denial about the addiction, contact the services anyway. There's a chance that the staff can tell you different ways to encourage your husband to consider treatment.

End the Relationship

Consider a legal separation or a divorce if the situation continues moving downhill. This can be a difficult decision with repercussions for everyone involved, including any children. However, it might be necessary for your emotional, financial and physical security. Don't expect the threat of divorce to snap your husband out of his addiction, says Susan Pease Gadoua, a licensed clinical social worker, in her "Psychology Today" article “So You're Married to An Addict: Is Divorce Inevitable?" Instead, only turn to divorce when you really plan to step out of the marriage.

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