Marriage is so much more than love. It’s about trust, respect, and finding comfort in one another. Yet, what happens when your other half is a drug addict? You, the spouse of an addict, love your significant other. You might not know your partner has a drug addiction. Love acts as a shield to imperfections, even large ones.
Though, in the back of your mind, you know something is wrong. You just can’t put your finger on what it is exactly. People who suffer from a substance abuse disorder are known to lie about their habits. To continue, it’s out of love for their partner. They’re ashamed of their habits.
In summary, any of these signs together can mean a loved one has a drug addiction. A married addict loves their significant other without a doubt. Nonetheless, their brain and body crave drugs over anything. The urge to sleep, eat, and maintain healthy relationships gets pushed off to the side. They need support to recover.
The partner of a drug addict needs to keep in mind that it’s a medical disorder. There are valid reasons why someone develops a drug dependency. At the end of the day, a reason doesn’t justify the drug dependency in itself.
Firstly, the number one way addiction affects the spouse of an addict is mistrust. One of the pillars of marriage is trust. If your partner is constantly lying to you about a drug dependency, it can mean divorce. What else are they lying about? How can you ever trust your significant other? It hurts to realize the person you should trust the most is the one to betray it.
Also, the partner of an addict may deal with internal turmoil from lying. Their spouse lied to them about their drug addiction. How can they tell their children, mutual friends, and family?
Full-blown drug dependency is impossible to cover up. Loved ones may be concerned about both partners. The spouse of an addict will feel they need to cover up such a sensitive topic. It could cause irreparable damage to their children to know.
Then, there’s the issue of putting their children at danger. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), millions of kids live with substance abusers. Their research over a decade reveals an average of 8.7 million American children live with a parent who had a substance use disorder. Someone married to an addict doesn’t want their children to get taken away. On the other hand, they don’t want to lose their partner.
The list is endless. Mental health issues on both sides are likely to surface. It’s bound to hurt each party equally just in different ways.
First off, only medical professionals can truly help someone with a substance use disorder. That said, the spouse of an addict can still help them recover. As a matter of fact, certain actions may enable an addiction further. For instance, certain behaviors might make them hide their addiction.
Secondly, mindfulness is important to help a partner want to recover. Also, it helps a couple preserve their sanity. There are “dos” and “don’ts” for the best chance at a healthy marriage after addiction. Someone can still have a healthy marriage even if their partner is battling a substance use disorder in the following ways.
There is a phrase that goes along the lines of “you are the company you keep.” It’s easy to adopt the same attitude as a spouse with an addiction. The spouse of an addict may become irritable, depressed, and angry. Self-preservation is of utmost importance.
When a person is married to a drug addict, they look out for their partner. But at the same time, they’re looking out for themselves. Healthy habits can stop any temptation to enter an addict’s deadly lifestyle.
Moreover, it also preserves their mental health. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 51.5 million Americans suffered from mental illness in 2019. That is one out of five Americans. Self-care is one of the ways to beat the statistics. A better mindset will help addicts with their mentality on their end, too.
To begin, this question has no right answer. It’s up to a wife or husband to decide if the cons outweigh the pros. Even so, they should think of their vows. Marriage means love in sickness or in health. A substance use disorder is a medical condition. While they may have had a choice initially, they’re not in control anymore. They may not have had a choice in the first place.
Despite this, the significant other of someone with a drug addiction needs to know their partner wants to recover. So, the question becomes a matter of if they are open to treatment. Are they willing to get better even though it’s difficult? The spouse of an addict can try to be there for them, but it’s not their job to fix them. If an addict is unwilling to get help, a marriage can’t be salvaged.
Harmony Ridge Recovery Center is an award-winning addiction treatment center in West Virginia. We’ve won awards because we understand that every patient here has a different story.
A key portion of an addict’s story is how they want to get better to be the spouse they once were. Marriage can be tough on its own. Adding addiction to the mix makes divorce seem inevitable.
We’re here to tell you that addiction recovery can save a marriage. More than that, we offer personalized plans to ensure forever sobriety. Contact us now if you or a loved one needs help with addiction recovery.