Married to an Addict?
Married to an addict? Are you at the end of your rope dealing with the impacts of addiction on your marriage? If you are living with an addict, you have likely suffered through a range of emotions as you have tried to understand, support, and grow your relationship. If the point has come that you can no longer sacrifice the health and sanity of your family and see divorce as the last ditch option, having an experienced local divorce attorney by your side is essential to achieve smooth proceedings.
The Impacts of an Addict on a Marriage
If you have watched a loved one struggle with addiction, you are perhaps perplexed by the decisions they make. Someone who may once have been intuitive and connected to you on many levels might now be vaguely absent from the relationship, although the effects of their actions can certainly be felt. Some of those effects may include:
- Verbal attacks when you confront your spouse about your concerns;
- Blame for their addiction placed at your feet;
- Dishonesty, manipulation, and other tactics used to avoid responsibility;
- Withholding love;
- Intimidation, and outright aggression, both verbal and physical;
- Personality changes that may give you whiplash, ranging from charm and euphoria to anger and defiance.
These changes in your spouse occur in many settings. Family life is certainly disrupted! Eventually, many addictions begin to interrupt one’s workplace performance, leading to financial distress, and even more powerful renditions of the symptoms that have already put a strain on your relationship at home. As you watch the love of your life deteriorate, you may feel powerless, like a failure, or even responsible for the downward turn in your marriage. Perhaps you have sought out counseling or treatment, been hopeful, and then had your hopes dashed as your loved one relapses. It is no easy task watching someone you love self-destruct. Whether the addiction is related to substance abuse, or some other compulsive behavior that is crushing your spouse, your relationship eventually becomes less resilient, and, if a solution is not found, it completely crumbles.
Moving Past Addiction
Life-altering changes do not occur overnight. It took a long time for an addiction to develop, and conquering it will require time, as well. Some strategies to address addiction include:
- Making an honest decision to change;
- Addressing issues in your life in order to make that needed change;
- Making necessary adaptations in associations;
- Seeking treatment to address underlying issues and support change;
- Developing coping strategies to deal with physical and/or psychological factors related to the addiction;
- Monitoring thoughts and feelings and watching for signs of potential relapse;
- Learning from mistakes and developing specific strategies to avoid them tomorrow;
- Building support networks and accountability mechanisms.
Every human being deserves our support and assistance in troubling times. Thoughts of leaving an addict may lead to feelings of guilt and shame. If you have been put through the wringer and are seeing no signs of improvement, you may have decided it is time for a clean break. At Beck Law P.C., we understand and can help you transition from an unhappy marriage to a new life. If you live in Lake County, Mendocino County, or Sonoma County, contact us today in Santa Rosa to discuss the possibilities.