Question: My spouse has serious issues with drug abuse. As a matter of fact, I think it would be fair to say that he’s an addict. This has had a devastating impact on our marriage and family, and I feel as if I’ve just about reached the end of my rope. Where do I turn for help?
You need to stop tolerating your spouse.
Jenna’s* husband scrapes his plate at the end of a meal to get every last edible drop onto his fork, then into his mouth. At first, she thought it was a one-off thing – he must’ve really liked that stir-fry. But three years and 3,285 bone-china-chilling meals later, his habit is really getting on her nerves. So much so, that she looks forward to meals without him! Worse yet, to avoid conflict she tries to tolerate the pet peeve.
“The first five years were the worst!” Pam* said, laughing about her and her husband Jim’s* somewhat rocky pathway to healthy conflict.
“We tried the whole ‘don’t let the sun go down on your anger’ technique, but one night we were up until 3 a.m. trying to resolve something that we’d both forgotten about,” Pam recalled. “At that point we were both emotionally drained and exhausted and nothing was getting any better.”
Jim nodded stoically remembering that night.
Maybe you’re familiar with this scenario: Driving together in the car, both of you looking straight ahead and not saying a word. Someone apparently was in the wrong, and the other person is bound and determined for this fact to be acknowledged. Yet nothing can move forward because no one is saying anything.