Addiction can turn a happy marriage into chaos. Spouses can be completely unaware of their partner’s addiction during the first few years of their relationship and may only discover it later on when things are already starting to get worse and when substance use is getting out of control.
You might start noticing this if he can’t keep up with his job and your joint savings start disappearing without explanation. You might also notice this when your husband starts spending too much time away from your home, less time with the kids, and more with friends.
Maintaining a relationship with a spouse who’s struggling with addiction is never easy, and it can be unbearable at times. No matter how close you are, substance abuse can turn the person you thought you have known for a long time into someone you barely know. Addiction behavior is not defined as a personality trait. Rather, it is a chronic disease, and options for treatment are available.
While dealing with and living with your husband is already hard, telling him that he needs drug addiction therapy is even more challenging. This disease knows no age, no gender, no limitation. Understanding addiction, how it happens, and how to get out of it could help in convincing someone to go to therapy.
Drug addiction is a drug-seeking behavior that is hard to control even when the person is fully aware of the consequences of succumbing to it. What makes it hard is that the drug affects the brain and impairs one’s ability to make a sound judgment. It strongly interferes with a person’s ability to resist the urge to take drugs. People think that those who use drugs do not have the willpower or the principles to simply stop, but in reality, it is a disease that is so complex, it takes a lot more than just good intentions to quit.
This is why people surrounding those who are fighting drug addiction, particularly the spouse, play a big part in their recovery.
How to Convince Your Husband to Go to Therapy
When convincing someone to go to therapy, you need to be gentle and careful. Starting a topic on seeking therapy can be complicated and messy. If you are used to having smooth conversations with your husband before the addiction started, know that convincing your husband to see a therapist now might not be so easy. If this is not done carefully, you might just end up in a huge argument, and this will make it frustrating when you bring it up in the future. But do not lose hope just yet. Here are some tips for you:
1. Communicate effectively.
In order to keep a healthy marriage, open communication is important. Misunderstanding is a stain that makes everything worse. When you communicate with your husband, be honest with your struggles, but do it in a non-confrontational way.
Show empathy and do not use judgmental language. Make him feel you are concerned about him and that you are starting to notice things. Say something like, “I am getting more concerned about you. I noticed that you are no longer playing basketball like you used to. Our kids also miss you. I also noticed you are not sleeping well at night. It keeps me staying up at night, too.”
Do not nag. Do not threaten. Nagging and threatening, especially when combined, will only lead to heated arguments, and it will not do any good in achieving your goal to convince him.
Ask the right questions. Certain lines of questioning can turn the light on and can be a good start for conversation. However, there are also questions that could trigger an end to a conversation that just started.
Like for instance, asking “why” questions implies judgement. “Why did you do that?” “Why did you not seek help?”
Why questions tend to be backward-looking. It is reflective, yes, but most of the time, it comes off as an interrogation. Turning these “Whys” into “Whats” and “Hows” would make it sound forward-looking and optimistic. Like, “What could be the reason you are no longer playing basketball?” or “What can we do to help?”
Do not criticize. The point here is not to justify yourself but to make your husband realize the path of accepting that there is something wrong.
2. Clarify your motives.
Your husband might misunderstand your motives if you talk down on him. Your husband will only get offended when you offer help.
Be honest about how you feel. Tell him something like, “I can see you struggling. That is why I suggested seeking help.” Assure him that you care for him by saying, “I am deeply concerned about your health. I want to help you because I love you, and I care for you and our family.”
3. Engage him in a conversation where he can be open about how he feels.
Your husband would want to make decisions for himself. If they are forced to do something, they will most likely resist.
In convincing him to attend drug addiction therapy, discuss the options (do research beforehand) and ask questions about his preferences. Like, would he prefer a male therapist? Does he prefer one program over another?
4. Encourage responsibility.
You will need to be gentle and understanding to convince him to go on therapy, but you can’t make excuses for his behavior. You need to encourage responsibility. Encouraging responsibility is setting healthy boundaries.
When you learn how to convince someone to go to therapy, you lead them to the right path to recovery, which is the start of a better life. Never lose hope. Enlist help.
A recovery center around Murfreesboro like Haven House Addiction Recovery is all you need. Haven House treats each patient with respect and positive regard. We provide a personalized plan to cater to their specific needs for recovery. Should you need one for your husband, do not hesitate to contact us. We are always here to lend a hand.