Living with Addicted Spouses
Spouses Addicted to Drug or Alcohol
People with addictions sometimes ignores anything not involved in feeding those addictions. Their thinking becomes so distorted that they make poor decisions, behave irrationally, and don’t consider consequences to, for instance, their marriage.
Addiction affects family life. A 2014 study found that one of the final straws leading to divorce — along with infidelity and any form of domestic violence –is substance abuse. This damage to family and civic life is unnecessary since it is avoidable with drug and alcohol rehab.
Drug and alcohol addiction has become a big concern not only to individuals but to families. The global risk factors of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use are causing disability and premature deaths totaling 63,632 deaths from drug overdoses in 2016 in the United States alone. This translates to each family losing one of its parents or parents losing a child to drug and alcohol abuse.
The kinds of substances that cause addiction have become more varied. Consequently, the effect of addiction varies. According to the Global Burden of Diseases study, the most prevalent of all substance use disorders is alcohol use with more than 100 million estimated cases in 2016. Among drugs, opioid dependence ranks highest with 26.8 million cases, followed by cannabis dependence with 22.1 million cases.
The number of families so affected is roughly the same. Addiction is a family disease.
Let one of our Rehab Specialists help a loved one with addiction:
It is difficult for a couple to maintain a trusting and loving relationship when one partner has an addiction to drugs or alcohol. When addicted, people try to hide their circumstance, tell lies, behave differently, and even isolate themselves and avoid their spouse or lover. The partner, unaware of the other’s addiction, may mistake such behavior for infidelity.
Partners with an addiction become undependable, have difficulty coping with stresses of daily life, and may even lose their jobs and become a financial burden. The individual still needs money for the addiction and so will lie about how the money is being spent. Some people with addictions end up stealing from other people.
Even if the partner enters drug or alcohol rehab, the financial burden will continue, especially if their case first ends up in court, jail, jail or a rehab center. Financial difficulty, poverty, and even bankruptcy are possible in a marriage, with or without addiction, and may strain it beyond repair.
Shame and embarrassment also can end the relationship once the addiction is apparent. Intoxicated behavior can be shameful for the partner. The embarrassment can cause social isolation.
Physical Appearance and Health
- Lack of proper grooming and untidy clothes
- Pale skin
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Bloating or puffiness
- Facial flushing
- Wearing dark glasses all the time
- Unexplained drowsiness
Mood and Other Emotional Behaviors
- Mood swings
- Unexplained sadness and tears
- Unjustified outbursts of anger
- Social isolation
- Giddiness and irrational laughter
- Unexplained loss of memory
- Delusional thinking
- Poor work and school performances
- Termination from current job
- Absenteeism from work and school
- Favorite activities neglected
All of these changes can affect the emotional, social, psychological, and financial situation of the family.
Rehabilitation centers offer several treatment options, sometimes involving the partner and family to help the addiction better. Some rehabilitation centers offer rehab for couples wherein even the non-addicted person can stay with the addicted loved one. This option can be beneficial in keeping both partners aware of the process and ensuring that they know what to do once they leave the rehabilitation center.
Undergoing rehab is necessary to free yourself or your loved one from addiction. Those you love and who love you can be of tremendous help with their emotional support and by encouraging you to seek treatment. If you help your loved ones free themselves from substance abuse, you free yourself as well.