Wives with husbands who are struggling with addiction often find it difficult to understand why their spouses are attempting to hide their addictions from them. In many cases, a wife believes her husband is intentionally trying to hide his addiction from her with mischievous intentions or to prevent her from helping him.
The reality is that it is rare for a person to hide a disease such as addiction for malicious reasons. The fact is, addiction is a serious illness with a wide range of symptoms that tend to intensify the feelings of denial, guilt and shame, all of which impair a person’s ability to seek help.
In most circumstances, the most effective support team for an addicted husband is his family, which is why it is important for family members to be aware of the fundamental components of substance abuse and how they can best support their addicted loved one. The following information about the effects of addiction on the body and mind can help you understand this disease and how to handle a husband’s addiction in the most effective way possible.
Husband Hiding Addiction: Concerning Withdrawal Symptoms
Addiction has a plethora of symptoms that are identical to those of serious diseases. Consisting of both mental and physical problems, the list of addiction withdrawal symptoms includes these mental conditions and physical problems:
- Lack of concentration
- High heart rate and blood pressure
- Muscle pain
- Stomach cramps
- Chest pain
As you can see, addiction has severe withdrawal symptoms, which demonstrates that this disorder can be as truly debilitating as many other diseases. In fact, withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and depression can make recovering from addiction even more difficult for individuals pursuing sobriety.
It can be particularly hard for someone to address the negative feelings connected with his addiction or even think of himself as a person who is dependent on substances. In some circumstances, individuals can find themselves dependent on drugs or alcohol before they even realize it. Regardless of the individual’s awareness of the problem, it is human nature to want to avoid unpleasant realities.
When someone has a disease or symptoms that negatively affect their health, they tend to deal with the problem by refusing to believe it completely or by using rationalization, justification and excuses. Since the primary symptom of denial is the refusal to believe in its own presence, denial is extremely difficult to conquer alone. Even though denial is frustrating, it is likely your husband believes he is doing the right thing by hiding his pain.
Guilt and Shame
Even if your husband understands his addiction for what it is, he might be hiding the severity of it due to profound feelings of guilt and shame. Living with an addiction compels people to act in ways they would not normally act, just to make it through the day. In most cases, people struggling with substance abuse are not truly in control, due to addiction’s ability to control the mind and the body.
When someone is addicted, he or she feels forced to find the means to get the substance of choice every day. It becomes an obsession and compulsion, which can cause someone to do things that make them feel ashamed.
As substance use continues, someone struggling with addiction may gravitate toward their substance of choice to shut out their guilt. Like denial, the guilt and shame can make a husband feel he needs to shield his wife from the pain he would cause her if she understood how much he was struggling. Often, husbands believe they can handle the problem themselves.
How to Help an Addict Husband
Addiction can be one of the most difficult problems a couple faces during their marriage, which is why seeking addiction help for your husband is critical to restoring the foundation of trust in your relationship. While your husband may believe that shielding you from his addiction is viable means of ensuring your protection, keeping you in the dark is doing a disservice to everyone involved.
The best way to overcome this hurdle is with a comprehensive family addiction intervention. This can break down the walls of denial through the facilitation of honesty, empathy and understanding.
The goal of an intervention is to enable the healing to commence. After your husband has acknowledged his addiction, the family can move toward recovery, which will include family addiction support, focused on rebuilding trust between you and your husband.
Addiction Help for Husbands
While professional guidance can go a long way, nothing can hold a candle to having the support of a loved one during recovery. For this reason, Reflections Recovery Center in Arizona stresses the importance of including patients’ families throughout treatment.
Believing that effective communication builds trust, the mental health experts at Reflections can provide you and your family with a family communication specialist who will serve as a liaison throughout the course of recovery.