Daniel Linder, MFT
Confront addiction or substance abuse
In this Twoology video, addiction recovery and relationship expert Daniel Linder, MFT, explains specific ways to communicate your concern when you confront addiction or substance abuse in your partner. Coming to your partner with concern rather than anger will make it more of a conversation than a confrontation. You should come from a place of love and concern and compassion.
How do you confront addiction or substance abuse? Communicate in a way that shows curiosity. I would encourage you to ask questions, be direct, and find out more. You should be saying things like “I’m concerned” or “this doesn’t feel right, there’s something missing”, or “you’re not the same as you used to be, I’m feeling less attention or more distance. What’s going on? What’s going on in your life?” Think about your wording and communicate in a gentle, nonaggressive tone.
When communicating your substance abuse concerns with an addicted spouse, you should be expressing interest and concern for your partner as opposed to firing questions at them that could seem threatening or put your partner on the defensive. You should come from a place of love and concern and compassion. Tell them you’re just concerned. Tell them that it feels like there’s something going on and you want to talk about it so that you can feel better. Maybe they’re depressed. Maybe there’s stress about work. Maybe there’s some other family problem going on. You want to create a space where your partner can speak to you openly and honestly about what he or she has been doing without defensiveness. You want to open the door for dialogue about solutions, recovery options and professional addiction intervention.
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