‘Til Death Do Us Part: How to Cope With an Addiction in Your Marriage
This article was written and published by RCA
What Do You Do About Addiction in Marriage?
You said ‘I do’ in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live, but you never imagined life would turn out like this. While your partner becomes consumed by their addiction, you may feel helpless, abandoned or scared. You have not, however, given up, and you want to learn how to cope with addiction and find your spouse the help they need. It is our hope that this blog affords you a moment of solace by providing you with essential information about how to cope with addiction in marriage and by addressing questions you may have about your marriage.
Well, you have come to the right place.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with all the answers, but we can help you begin looking for them.
What Should You Know?
Before talking about your marriage and learning how to cope with an addiction, there are a few things you need to understand about addiction itself and the nature of being married to someone struggling with an addiction:
- Addiction is a disease with no simple off-switch. It is a complex disorder that requires a complex, individualized treatment plan for any chance of long-lasting recovery. You cannot simply ‘stop it’ by willpower and reasoning.
- Your spouse’s addiction didn’t start yesterday. According to Narconon, “As substance abuse develops into addiction, it can take years for the sober spouse to figure out what is really going on. There are problems that can’t seem to be resolved. Jobs are lost, there is income missing, there may be car accidents or other injuries; there is usually terrible conflict in the home or long absences. In many cases, the sober spouse has been unable to resolve these situations. This is because the real cause, addiction, is hidden out of sight.”
- At its ugliest, addiction in marriage can lead to abuse toward a child or spouse. Narconon states, “The very unlucky [families] will also be subjected to abuse. An alcoholic husband may lose all objectivity and begin to beat a wife or children” or “A methamphetamine- intoxicated wife may try to kill her children and husband during a meth-induced paranoia.
- Obviously, you and your spouse have and emotional bond. On top of that, you are also legally responsible for his or her actions. If your spouse does not treat their addiction, it may put you and your family at risk legally and financially. For instance, if your spouse drives while intoxicated and gets into an accident, you could lose your everything. This includes you savings, house, property or other assets to damages and lawsuits.
What Should You Do?
The healthiest, most effective way to learn how to cope with an addiction is to seek professional support at an addictions recovery center. With your spouse in the throes of substance abuse, you cannot manage alone. You may need some outside help. Specifically, personal or family counseling, legal or financial advice, or life coaching. Also, specific advice on how to help your husband or wife can be very useful. What is happening is bigger than you and bigger than love; you must reach out to an experienced professional.
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