My husband fights with both an addiction to weed and bulimia (binge-ing and purging) and I know they are ways he’s trying to manage other pain but even when he talks to a therapist he agrees to take action (like journal-ing) but promptly stops or forgets. How can I help him? I’ve tried soft encouragement and harsh - I don’t like either (neither does he).
Great question thanks for sharing @JJmachara - I recall in my husband’s early year(s) of recovery that I had all these ideas for how to help his recovery and it frustrated me so much that he didn’t jump on them as soon as the substances were gone. What I didn’t realize then was how much he was healing in that period and how that takes up a lot of energy and a whole lot of TIME.
I found the CRAFT principles the best when seeking guidance on how to interact with my husband around his addiction and recovery. The simplest and most fundamental is the Positive Communication principles (which we’re actually covering in our digital meetup tonight if you’re able to join RSVP HERE)
We’ll go into more depth in the meetup on it tonight, but some of the ideas are around tapping into their motivations and reinforcing their healthy behaviors when they do occur - these are behavioral reinforcements we can action on our end and can make a huge difference in shaping their behavior.
It’s important to remember a person with any addictive behaviors will be in denial as a self-defense mechanism. It is not because he is a bad person. An addiction means continuing a behavior even though it is harmful. It doesn’t mean he can see it’s harmful. Keep letting him know that he has a behavior that needs professional help but that does not mean he is a bad or weak person in any way. It take strength to get help. Tell him you love him and you do not want to watch the disease win. Remember relapse is part of addiction, there is no shame in it.