Realizing that your romantic partner is an addict can be a very painful, trying process. Those who have not experienced it cannot understand how strange a realization it is. It is often assumed that a person is able to tell right away if their significant other is an addict, but this is not the case at all. The very nature of addiction is to hide it and deny it, so even when two people are very close, the addiction in the relationship can stay concealed for a long time. Even if the signs are present, not everyone knows how to identify them and make the connection that they indicate addiction. In other words, discovering your partner’s addiction is a process, not a single incident.
At first, a person may feel confused and wonder if they are going crazy when their partner’s addiction tendencies affect them. They may feel disappointed by their partner’s priorities, hurt by their partner’s dismissal of their concerns and frustrated by being stuck in dysfunction. They will wonder if the problem is their’s instead of their partner’s. They will question their own judgment and assessment of the situation. Merely identifying that their partner is different is a confusing process.
Inevitably, the moment arrives when the non-addicted partner has experienced enough and has received enough of an education to admit that their partner is an addict. It is a very hard realization to make, and surprisingly elusive. It is very common for a non-addicted partner to be in denial about their partner’s addiction for a long time. They tell themselves that, yes, their partner has some problematic behavior, but surely they are not a real addict. They are too functional, too loving, too smart or too good for addiction. The moment that these falsities fall away, the non-addicted partner may feel scared and vulnerable at the realization of how serious the problem is.
Do not be afraid. Instead, be relieved that you know the true nature of the problem, because now it can be dealt with. You have many options ahead of you. A number of services are available to assist with addiction, including counseling, rehabilitation, support groups and self help options. Even if your partner is not ready to receive help, you still can.
Introducing an addiction into marriage can only end badly. New marriages almost inevitably require a lot of work and a lot of critical thought, and this is without the element of addiction. With the addition of addiction, a new marriage can become very stressful and can even fail. Even when two people who marry are models of mental health, their natural differences can still lead to problems. Being addicted is an undeniable unhealthy mental choice, which makes an already challenging new marriage dysfunctional. So how does one take control of their addiction and see it come to an end before matrimony? This depends on the situation.
First of all, anyone who is addicted, whether severely or mildly, needs to consult an unbiased, expert source to determine how severe their addiction is. Because denial so commonly accompanies addiction, you may not be able to accurately determine this for yourself. Discuss your addiction problem with a trusted physician, counselor or addiction specialist to get an objective perspective on how advanced your addiction is. They are not there to judge you so be sure to withhold no details.
What kind of treatment you seek at that point depends heavily on your professional diagnosis. Those with a severe addiction that puts them at immediate risk need to check into an inpatient addiction treatment facility, or rehab. There, you can detoxify under medical supervision if needed, you will be kept safe from whatever it is you are addicted to and you will receive counseling and support to keep you from relapsing. Whether you live in the United States or Canada, there are treatment facilities available to you throughout the various states and provinces, ranging from substance abuse rehabs, drug addiction treatment United States and alcohol addiction treatment Canada.
If you are diagnosed as having a moderate addiction, one where you are not at immediate risk, the options of outpatient rehab and support groups may work better for you. In these scenarios, you remain active in your life, staying at the same address and going about the same life obligations, but you attend regular meetings for counselling and peer support. If you struggle with a minor addiction, one that is not advanced or puts you in any kind of immediate threat, self-help material such as literature or online tutorials could be all you need.