My husband was an addict for as long as I can remember, ever since we met. We were kids then, though, so I really didn’t put any thought into the fact that he was high all the time. Besides, he was only smoking pot. It was the 70’s; everyone was smoking pot.
What I Didn’t Understand
Having started smoking weed when he was in grade school, he never developed healthy coping skills; having never gone through formal treatment, he never learned any. And the faith that saved him didn’t sustain him; it was, instead, like the parable Jesus told about the sower. Some seed falls on rocky ground and cannot root deeply; a few storms come along, and it gets washed away.
For my part, I simply did not have a clue what to expect or how to handle it. Having to learn these things the hard way nearly destroyed our marriage.
The Need To Take Over
When we first started dating, my husband seemed like a pillar of strength, and he was always so supportive of me. But dating and living together are two different things. It was like his brain was stuck in teenager mode, and I felt like if I wanted it done right, I had to do it myself. And I quickly began to resent that.
What I should have done is take a step back, take some time for myself, and let the chips fall where they may. But I didn’t know how.
Eventually, I understood that I needed to give myself some me time, instead of taking care of all the responsibilities while he came home from work and flopped on the couch. It’s amazing what you can ignore and how your partner will come to realize, “I guess I’d better start helping out around here.”
Breaking Free From Co-Dependency
In a sick sort of way, I had developed an addiction of my own, taking care of him. I had to accept the fact that I, too, needed treatment if we were going to make this work. I found an amazing support group, and it was so refreshing to have a format where my feelings were validated and I could break free from my co-dependency.
Say Goodbye To Guilt And Shame
When your recovering addict disappoints you, and they will repeatedly, don’t berate them thinking you can shame them into more responsible behavior or make them feel guilty for letting you down. Those feelings of guilt and shame are common triggers of relapse. And the same goes for you. I had to learn to stop beating myself up over my mistakes before I ended up taking over again.
Give It Up
I resented the fact that I couldn’t have a drink or smoke an occasional joint in my own home. It was easier to accept that this was just another area of compromise for a healthy marriage.
We can all benefit from incorporating healthy habits into our lives. Cooking, exercising, and enjoying new hobbies together made both of us happier.
Keep Educating Yourself
Life is a learning process for everyone, including addicts and their loved ones. I focus some of my lifelong education on what can help me to maintain a healthy balance of support and self-love. The internet is just one an amazing resource for that education.
My husband and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Has it been easy? No, but no one’s relationship is all sunshine and roses. The soil has to be cultivated and some rain must fall so that seed will grow.
If you or a loved one is looking for modern and effective treatment programs, please contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today for more information. We are to help and happy to provide a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced treatment advisors.