Supporting a spouse to overcome an addiction - Daily Monitor

Supporting a spouse to overcome an addiction

Saturday Ageshanban158.comust 8 2020

Most addicts know their problem. All they need

Most addicts know their problem. All they need is empathy and someone to walk their journey with.  

By Pauline Bangirana

Racheal Nsiimenta Kahirimbanyi Bekunda lost her parents when she was in Primary Four. She has memories of growing up in different 真人德扑圈app官方下载homes with relatives. Her grandfather could only pay her fees until Senior Six.

During her vacation, Nsiimenta did odd jobs to earn a living and it is during this time that she met her husband. The two became friends and in 2009, the couple got married.
Years later, her husband started a bar in in order to boost the income of the family.

Her husband, however, started drinking heavily. “One night, he returned 真人德扑圈app官方下载home in the wee hours of the morning shouting on top of his voice. The next day, he was ashamed of his actions,” she says.

In 2011, Nsiimenta got a job and she was coincidentally transferred to Kabale, where her husband was working. It is here that she noticed he was battling with a drinking problem.

“He would buy alcohol for sale and he would drink much of it himself. He would drink and disappear from 真人德扑圈app官方下载home for a week with no communication. I was frustrated because drinking had become his lifestyle. I was known as the wife of the drunkard,” she says.
She says her husband would hide liquor in the toilet, in the chair, under the bed, in the car and had started drinking the cheapest liquor on the market.
Althogeshanban158.comh the situation persisted for five years, Nsimenta did not walk out on her husband. She made a decision to help him overcome the addiction.

However, she notes that when her husband was not drunk, she held on to hope for transformation. And despite his addiction, she says her husband was intelligent and he loved children.

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She says there are times he would return 真人德扑圈app官方下载home with bruises. “I was always prepared for the worst.

There are times he slept in jail. Other times, he would not return 真人德扑圈app官方下载home for days. I received numerous calls from Police. He would drink and fail to pay the bills,” she says.

In 2015, she almost gave up. “I started planning my life without him. I started loving myself and focusing on my children. But I chose to stay married and honour the vows I made, regardless of what I was going throgeshanban158.comh,” she say.

His transformation journey started in 2016, and as the common adage says, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Nsimenta and her husband’s close friends decided to take him to a rehabilitation centre, where he spent three months.

She noticed a change in his attitude. She says her husband started staying 真人德扑圈app官方下载home and he would spend time with children as well as did 真人德扑圈app官方下载homework with them.

At one point, he shared his story on his Facebook page to encourage other people who were battling with alcohol addiction.
Althogeshanban158.comh the journey has been painful, she is glad she persisted throgeshanban158.comh it all. After a year of going throgeshanban158.comh several rehabilitation episodes and counselling sessions, Nsimenta’s husband overcame the addiction. Currently, her husband owns a rehabilitation centre and helps people to deal with alcoholism.
“He has completely changed. He now provides for the family. He is good husband and a wonderful father to the children, “she says.

To women dealing with spouses who are battling an addiction, Nsiimenta says, if the relationship is not violent, women should be patient with their spouses.

“Do not run out of patience. Seek help. There are counsellors and rehabilitation centres. Give your spouse a second chance to change. Above all, pray and put their trust in God and his word,” she advises.

Catherine B. Tumwebaze, a marriage counsellor and the chief executive officer of Family Builders, says overcoming an addiction is a long term project because addictions attack our inner person, making it difficult to change.

“Empathise with the addict. Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine it was you, how would you want to be treated? She wonders.

Tumwebaze says empathy helps not to criticise and blame the person with the problem and instead look for solutions to make that person better. She says most addicts know their problem and do not need constant reminders about how they are behaving or how bad they are doing.

This is because reminding them about their problem only makes the issue bigger, deeper and they will start hiding from you because they know you will remind them about their weakness.

She says constant reminders only serve to weaken the addict and make them feel helpless. She advises people to only talk about the behaviour once or twice but even then during this talk, one should be offering solutions and not pointing fingers or blaming the person with the problem.

Setting realistic milestones in the journey is also helpful. For example, if one is addicted to alcohol and has been drinking 10 bottles, allow them to take it slow by drinking five bottles in one sitting. “Yes, he or she is still drinking but at least, not like before. With time, the behaviour can be tamed to even one bottle or none. So let us learn to master our bodies instead of surrendering to them,” she says.

Tumwebaze also says prayer is an important pillar noting that human beings are weak and it is only by the power of God that we can overcome whatever challenge we come across.
“Addiction not only affects our body but spirit. Do not give up on your partner. It’s a strgeshanban158.comgle, it’s a war and it has several battles. You may win the battle today but lose at another the next day. Do not tire from praying for your partner,” she says.

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