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It can be an extremely difficult task to compel your spouse to recognize that they require the help of a professional treatment program for their addiction syndrome. You may not even know what to say to your loved one at this particular time, but below are five things to tell them that may assist in bridging the gap between the two of you and getting them the help they need.
1. “I Feel…” “I Know…” “I’ve Noticed…”
Using “I” statements, or presenting things specifically from your own point of view, can help you avoid the act of telling others what to do or passing judgment on them. Your spouse will already be feeling defensive, and if you begin to say things that could be construed as judgmental or incendiary, they may shut down on you altogether.
2. “I’m Concerned for Our Children.”
This can be the kind of statement that will let your spouse know how serious your feelings are on the subject of their substance abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug abuse can hurt and put stress on “anyone who is part of the home,” including one’s children.
If you do not have children together, it can help to think of something equally serious that concerns you about your spouse’s substance abuse and to make that central to your argument. Remember, your health and happiness is just as important as your loved one’s.
3. “I Have Found a Treatment Program for You.”
This can also ensure that your loved one will realize how serious you are about their addiction and their need for treatment. If you took the time to actually seek out a rehab program, they will understand that you are not likely to take no for an answer. The next step? Back it up. Explain that if they do not choose to attend a professional treatment program, there will be consequences.
4. “I Will Support You.”
One of the main reasons why many people are reluctant to seek addiction treatment is because they feel the program will be too difficult and that they will not receive the support they need from their family and friends. Remind your spouse that you will support them and be by their side every step of the way as they recover. According to the NIDA, “Involvement of a family member or significant other in an individual’s treatment program can strengthen and extend treatment benefits.”
5. “I Love You.”
This is one of the most important things to remind your loved one. You are not telling them to seek addiction treatment out of anything but love and the desire that you will both benefit from this change.