Does Your Spouse Refuse To Get Help For Their Alcohol Addiction?

So your spouse finally admits that they have a drinking problem but refuse treatment. This kind of situation is a lot more common than you might think. I'm going to tell you three things you should ask for if you face this dilemma.

But before we go much further, Let's discuss why this is a common dilemma—going into treatment, like 30, 60, or 90 days of treatment, is the last thing someone will agree to address an addiction problem.
As frustrating as it is, if you stop and think about it, it's understandable.

You're away from family and can't work for 30 days or more. Then, you get told when you can eat and what to do; people ask many questions, and it's not something you look forward to doing.

If you're in the dilemma of having a spouse who acknowledges they have a drinking problem but don't want to go to treatment, I want you to recognize why they might be frustrated. It doesn't mean that you agree with them or that you think it is the right decision, but listening to them,...

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Is Someone Else Sabotaging Your Efforts To Help Your Addicted Loved One?

Everyone involved needs to be aligned to influence someone to get recovery. But what do you do when they just won't come into alignment with you, and it feels like family and friends are sabotaging your loved one's recovery?

You're trying to help your addicted loved one recover, but family and friends keep sabotaging your efforts. As a result, everything you do is just a waste of time. It's maddening enough that you're dealing with an addicted person who's not being rational, causing trouble, and making your life difficult. But on top of that, you've got other people either not coming on board or making it worse.

#1. The classic enabler

The first common way you're likely to be experiencing this is if there is another person in the family. Maybe it's your mother-in-law, father-in-law, or spouse. Still, this other person in the family refuses to see the problem, or perhaps they know the problem but refuse to understand the seriousness of the situation.

I'm calling this category...

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Does Your Addicted Loved One Feel Bad About The Pain They're Causing?

Before I tell you the circumstances in which they feel bad, I need you to understand why they usually don't feel so bad about it in the earlier stages of addiction. They typically don't feel bad about it because they feel like they deserve it.

The thinking is, "Hey, I work hard; I provide for this family." But, on the other hand, if they're young, they may think, "Everyone does it. I'm a teenager; I'm a college kid; what's the big deal?"

In later stages of addiction, it's not so much that they feel like they deserve it, but the truth is they're in survival mode, meaning they have to, and so the thinking in their mind is, "I have to this, we're in survival mode here. I have to tell a lie. I have to take the money, be dishonest about where I'm going or what I'm doing." So in the later stages of addiction, you constantly try to outrun this monster. Sometimes I describe it as being on a treadmill. For example, if you're addicted to pain pills, you are probably on a four-hour treadmill....

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Is it okay to allow my addicted son/daughter to live in my home?

(In this post, we're basing this on adult-18+ years old)

Are you a bad parent if you let your addicted son or daughter live in your house?

If this is a thought you've had, you've likely also felt guilty for letting them stay, risking enabling them, but you also feel guilty if you make them leave. 

There are a ton of mixed feelings when it comes to this. You may resent the chaos they're bringing to the house, but you also feel terrified about what will happen if you don't let them stay. 

There's no black or white, yes or no answer to the question of whether or not it's okay to let your addicted son or daughter live in your house.

I can't tell you exactly what to do, but I can help you think through the situation objectively because it's essential that you not make this decision in an emotional state. 

Let's say your addicted son or daughter comes home, and they do something that makes you mad, and you yell and scream and throw them out in the heat of the moment;...

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Am I An Idiot For Staying With My Addicted/Alcoholic Spouse?

"Am I a complete idiot for staying with my alcoholic or addictive spouse? If I think about leaving, I feel guilty. On top of that, I feel like I get all this judgment from everyone around me. The people who know there's an addiction are judging me for staying, and the people that are in denial about it are judging me for leaving." 

Can you relate?

I know you feel upset with your spouse because this is not what you signed up for, and I can't even tell you whether or not your spouse will for sure fix their problem or not. This is a decision that you should not make from an emotional place because you're likely to take that decision back.

I will give you a framework to make this decision easier for you.

There will be six categories, and we'll group them into "Negative- I should go." and "Positive-I should stay." 

If you're married to your addicted loved one, I know you have mixed feelings. On one hand, you may be thinking, "Isn't addiction an illness? I made a vow to stay...

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Gabor Mate's Warning About Codependency Will Shock You!

codependency Dec 28, 2022

If you don't know how to say no, your body will do it for you, and it'll do it in the form of chronic illness. This comes straight from the mouth of Dr. Gabor Mate, one of the most well-respected physicians and researchers in the realm of addiction, trauma, and even ADHD.
I've followed his work for a very long time now, I've read his books, watched tons of his videos, and even attended a conference where he was a key speaker.

Recently, while I was watching one of his videos, he said something that struck me completely differently.
To be honest, it's not much different from the topics he usually speaks on. But you know how sometimes a light bulb goes off or you hear something different? That's what happened to me in this case, and maybe it was because the topic was framed differently from what Dr. Gabor Mate normally talks about.
He normally talks about the person with trauma, addiction, and ADHD, but in this circumstance, he was talking about what happens to people who are in...

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Boundaries With An Alcoholic Spouse (part 1)

Trying to keep good boundaries with a spouse who has a substance abuse problem can get complicated. Are your boundaries healthy and appropriate? Let's find out...

There are some standard issues when it comes to being in a marriage, especially when someone has a substance abuse problem. Those are:

  • Money-always a big category
  • Household responsibilities and who's responsible for what.
  • Safety issues can include things like driving.

I'm going to give you some examples of boundaries in each category. As we go through this, identify the appropriate boundary, the ones articulated in the right way.

First up, let's talk about driving.

Four Driving Boundaries examples:
#1- I'm not going to allow you to drive our kids if I think you've been drinking.
#2- You're not going to leave this house in our car when you've been drinking.
#3- I won't provide insurance under my name if I think you're likely to drive while intoxicated.
#4- Please do not drive home drinking. It makes me a nervous wreck. I'm...

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Boundaries With An Alcoholic Spouse (part 2)

This is Boundaries with an Alcoholic Spouse, part two. If you haven't watched part one, I suggest you go back and watch that first.

But if you've already watched it and you're here for the answers, you're in luck because we'll go over those boundary examples.

Under the drunk driving category, we had four boundaries to explore.

#1- I'm not going to allow you to drive our kids if I think you've been drinking.

 
This one is a pretty appropriate boundary. Here's a hint-A healthy boundary usually starts with "I." It's not telling the other person what they will and won't do, you're saying what you will and won't do. *A special note about this boundary...I think that's an appropriate, reasonable, healthy boundary, and it's communicated appropriately, but I want you to ask yourself, how will you hold that boundary? It's not just what boundary you'll set, but how to enforce it. Make sure you've thought about that before you set this type of boundary.

#2-  You're not...

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If Your Son or Daughter Is Struggling With Addiction, This Video Is For You

What does it take to get through their denial and get them to see that they are ruining their life and yours and finally do something about it? 

The challenge with young adults-- not only do they have to figure out how not to use drugs. They have to figure out how to be an adult too. Most of the time, young adults who abuse drugs/alcohol for a long time haven't developed adulting skills. They're likely emotionally stuck in the age of when they started using regularly. 

It's time to fill their pride tank. 

A lot of young adults that are struggling with addiction have no self-worth and little self-pride. That tank is depleted, so much of our programming is to give them the life skills they need to refill that tank.

An example of filling someone's pride tank they use at Greenville Transitions is to partake in physical activities with a clinician. David shares an experience that happened to someone recently.

"We do a lot of UFC gym work where they do Brazilian...

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Are You In Denial About Your Loved One's Addiction?

It's not just people with substance abuse problems who can be in denial about the addiction. Family members can be in denial too. A family member's denial can be more complicated and more challenging to deal with than the denial of the person who has the addiction.

Here's an example--several years ago, when I was directing an intensive outpatient program for adolescents with chemical dependency, I got a phone call from one of the parents of the kids in the program. She said, "Hey, I have this friend, her son is so and so, and he has a major problem, and I gave her your name, and she might be calling you."

Secretly behind the scenes...

I already knew about this kid because her son in my group had told me about him. The kid in question was doing all kinds of addictive things, selling drugs, using drugs, you name it--He was doing it. He was kind of a ring leader in this scene.

Eventually, I got a phone call from the kid's Mom. She tells me a little about what's happened(and behind the...

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