Addiction’s Impact on a Marriage
The sad truth is that addiction can cause irreparable harm to any marriage. Whether you’re newlyweds or you’ve been together for 40 years, drug or alcohol abuse leads to unhappiness. When either a husband or wife drinks too much or uses drugs, these actions create a ripple effect that impacts every aspect of your life together.
Those caught in the web of addiction have a lot of hardships in their life, but the impact on their spouse can be just as significant. In this post, we will explore how substance abuse negatively impacts married couples.
Emotional Distance Between Married Couples
When you’re married to someone with an addiction, emotional distance is sure to follow. When drinking or drug use escalates, it takes more and more time away from your relationship, creating a wall between you. This is intensified when a spouse feels the need to conceal and hide their addiction. If substance abuse is not addressed, emotional distance is difficult to overcome.
Marriage and Addiction Increases Conflict
Fights and arguments are common to any marriage. Addiction increases these conflicts, sometimes escalating them to violence. Addiction creates an environment of mistrust, guilt, shame and anger — emotions that breed turmoil.
When an addicted spouse experiences stress, they often use alcohol or drugs as a way to reduce these feelings. However, their substance abuse leads to more fights and more stress. The ongoing conflict can create a vicious cycle that many couples find it difficult to escape from.
Covering up Substance Abuse in a Marriage
Spouses of those who struggle with drug or alcohol addiction often find themselves developing co-dependent behaviors. Instead of addressing how substance abuse is impacting their marriage, the husband or wife lives in a state of denial. They may find themselves enabling their partner instead of helping them by:
- Covering up their partner’s addiction
- Making excuses for them with friends or at work
- Overlooking blatant symptoms of their addiction
- Providing money for them to continue their habit
Finances and Employment Suffer Due to Addiction
When addiction is left untreated, it can create terrible repercussions in your home’s financial stability. The addicted husband or wife may be missing work or performing poorly on the job, which can lead to them being let go.
As their need for drugs or alcohol increases, they’ll require more money to keep up with their habit. They may even start secretly taking funds that are needed for bills or home life, leaving your finances in ruins.
Addiction’s Impact on Children
Young children raised in a home with an addicted parent suffer terrible trauma as a result. The chaos of drug or alcohol addiction leaves them defenseless and trying unsuccessfully to make sense of it all. Even if their other parent is not addicted, these young experiences make a lasting impact that may require years of therapy and healing. Children of addicts are also more at risk of becoming addicts themselves.
Get the Help Your Marriage Needs
If you or your spouse struggle with a substance use disorder, divorce isn’t your only option. With the right help, your marriage can be mended during the recovery process. However, addiction treatment is an essential first step.
At Beacon House, our holistic approach to patient care ensures you get the individual help you need. We will be with you every step of the way as you battle this horrible disease. For those whose marriage has suffered due to addiction, our family therapy program can address the terrible toll of addiction and help you find renewed hope in your relationship.
Don’t let addiction steal your marriage. Contact Beacon House today to learn more.