How much do you tolerate with an abusive spouse? What have you put up with?
In this blog I list 17 steps for coping with a spouse that exhibits addictive behaviors. Frequently, addictive behaviors increasingly over time lead to abuse thrown in your direction.
17 Steps for Coping with an Abusive (or Cheating) Spouse
1. Put an end to your “enabling” behavior using the following guidelines:
-No more making excuses for his/her behavior.
-No more protecting him/her from consequences of his/her behavior.
-No more scolding or criticizing.
-No more begging to stop.
-No more helping him/her recover from the consequences.
-No more avoiding or “pretending not to notice” his/her destructive behavior.
-No more quick “I forgive yous.”
-No more temper tantrums to get him/her to stop.
2. List the top 5 standards that guide your behavior in terms of your marriage or relationship.
3. Live with the realization that his/her destructive behavior may get worse – and there is nothing YOU can do about it.
4. Dedicate to learning as much as you can about addictive behaviors.
5. Get support.
Check out SA, AA or other local groups. Find a fit for you.
Do a google search for online forums or chat rooms for addictive behaviors.
6. Discover your 5 top personal needs and get them met appropriately outside the context of your addicted partner.
7. Read about Affair #2: “I Can’t Say No” or Affair #5: “I Want to Get Back at Him/Her” (the rage affair) in Break Free From the Affair.
8. Experiment with saying NO! (set productive boundaries). Avoid situations or conversations that result in pain for you.
Learn how to make statements:
“I will not accept that behavior.”
“I will not tolerate that behavior.”
“I will no longer respond to that behavior.”
9. Have an exit plan for when s/he badly deteriorates.
10. Share your exit plan with at least one other supportive person.
11. Develop exit plan B and share.
12. Embark upon a program of personal health and well being – physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually.
13. Set a timeline for your personal growth and anticipated markers along the way.
14. Get a coach or therapist to accelerate the progress and keep you on track.
15. Expect that the combination of need meeting, boundary setting and personal growth will get his/her attention in either a largely negative or positive fashion.
16. Develop a game plan for increased destructive behavior.
17. Develop a game plan for the “I don’t want to lose you” comment from him/her.