Doing The Hard Thing As A Wife Of An Addict

Doing the hard thing is a part of life and it’s a given that rough times will come. Dealing with difficult relationships is often the road less traveled because life can be hard, especially for the wife of an addict, but there is so much to learn by taking the path most people don’t.
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Saying goodbye to detrimental relationships and choosing to take care of your mental and emotional health is anything but easy, and, it can take whatever form it needs to take in your life. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all event. If it were, life would be easy. It’s often not. Am I right?
Doing the hard thing is often called tough love. Even when you know it’s the right thing to do, it’s still a difficult thing to do. Again, especially if you’re the wife of an addict. You want people to understand the reasons why you are doing the things you are doing, You want your closest people to get it but if they DID understand, you wouldn’t have to be doing the hard thing, and you certainly wouldn’t have to explain or justify what and why you are doing it.
Doing the hard thing looks different for everyone. It can look like an uncle helping his niece get her abusive and addicted husband out of the house for her safety.
It can look like allowing your recovering adult child to visit but not live in your home. It can look like calling the police when the addicted husband is out of control. For the wife of an addict, it can look different depending on the situation.
Life can be painful and doing the hard thing often hurts.
What do you do when you feel like your life is out of control? How do you know when enough is enough? Do you get caught in the trap of thinking that the loving, Christ-like thing to do is forgive and forget and continue to do what you’re doing?

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Don’t get me wrong, forgiving IS the right thing to do. Jesus told Peter in Matthew 18: 20-21 to forgive not just seven times as Peter suggested, but seventy times seven. That applies to us as well, but forgiveness is about our hearts. We don’t forgive to let someone off the hook, but to keep our hearts pure before the Lord. And, to be free of the sin that has been committed against us so we can move forward instead of being stuck in a victim mentality.
Have you read the book by Lysa Terkeurst Forgiving What You Can’t Forget? It’s good. It was extremely helpful to me while I was working through some hard things. One particular practical exercise was extremely helpful and will stay with me for years to come. If you are the wife of an addict you have many hard things to forgive. You probably can’t do that on your own, If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend you do.
It’s not easy, changing how you conduct yourself in a relationship. But choosing to make the change is honoring the relationship, no matter who it is with. It’s honoring to yourself as well, and most importantly, it honors God. Setting boundaries IS doing the hard thing. And honoring those boundaries isn’t always easy.
If you feel stuck because of a relationship issue as the wife of an addict, I am here to help. Let me know how I can pray for you and how I can support you through this difficult time.
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