Can A Marriage Survive Drug Addiction?

Marriage is a sacred bond shared by two individuals. Many issues, events, and trials can test this special relationship. However, few problems may threaten a marriage\’s longevity and health more than addiction. Fortunately, however, such unions can survive dependency. However, quick and drastic actions are required by both parties.

Signs Spouse Might Have Addiction Problem

In an addiction\’s earliest stages, the subject in question often proves adept at hiding their dependency. However, as the problem grows more severe and intense, the addict\’s focus shifts solely to securing their next fix. This leads to carelessness and recklessness often precipitating actions like:

  • Lying
  • Stealing
  • Changes In their Physical Appearance
  • Deterioration of their general health
  • Declining performance at work, school, or other pursuits
  • Loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Association with a new group of people
  • Changes in mood or behavior

Impact Addiction Can Have on Relationship

As a spouse\’s chemical dependency strengthens, said action can result in numerous untoward or potentially life-changing impacts including:

Financial Woes

Typically, illicit drugs are expensive. Moreover, satisfying the mental cravings and physical dependency created by these substances necessitates the addict ingest more prodigious quantities as time progresses. Simple economics dictates that a greater need for the drug requires the dependent to spend more significant amounts of money on their substance of choice.

That said, an appreciable percentage of addicts are not independently wealthy. Therefore, they often resort to depleting their family\’s finances, selling heirlooms, taking out loans from unscrupulous individuals, and stealing to satisfy their dependencies.

Legal Troubles

Most addictive drugs are illegal. Ergo, those caught using, selling, possessing, or transporting said materials could be subject to significant legal penalties. Moreover, these substances often negatively impact one\’s thoughts and inhibitions. Said occurrences could lead to irresponsible and negligent actions incurring legal problems.

The Emotional Toll

The spouses of addicts often experience a consistent barrage of negative emotions including:

  • Fear
  • Worry
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Additionally, they often take on the added stress of managing their household, caring for minor children, and executing required chores because the dependent is not capable of handling such matters. Over time, said circumstances can be emotionally draining.


Certain drugs like crystal meth could pose a serious safety and fire hazard to those producing and ingesting said product. Furthermore, just about every illicit substance holds the capacity to precipitate dependents to engage in odd or hazardous behaviors that could place the health and safety of their spouses and loved ones in peril.

Steps A Dependent\’s Spouse Can Take

Luckily, couples wishing to preserve their union can save said relationships and end these vicious cycles. However, both parties must prove willing and able to take certain crucial steps such as:

Avoiding Denial

Many people realize that addicts often deny the severity of their dependency. However, loved ones like spouses also commonly make this potentially fatal error. Each partner must reach the understanding that a serious problem necessitating prompt and aggressive action exists.

Not Enabling

In a discernible number of instances, a dependent\’s significant other may be aware of the issue. However, they fear confronting the ailing subject or forcing the concern out into the open will make matters worse.

As a result, sober partners often enable the addict\’s actions. Enabling does not necessarily mean purchasing drugs for the user. The term truly refers to any action not strictly prohibiting the behavior from taking place. For example, merely turning a blind eye is enabling. By not taking decisive action, the sober partner is hereby allowing the addict to continue on their destructive path.

Being Firm

As difficult as such action might be, those serious about putting an end to their partner\’s dependency must be firm. Firmness means adopting a proactive stance against said subject\’s behavior.

Sober spouses are strongly urged to engage in actions including:

  • Making the issue and their concerns public
  • Declaring that they will neither accept nor be party to such actions any longer
  • Orchestrating interventions involving other relatives and close associations
  • Stressing their desire to see the struggling individual obtain the help they need
  • Offering support before, during, and after the addict undergoes treatment

That said, firmness should not equate to nastiness, combativeness, or confrontations. A delicate balance must be reached or said endeavors could prove counterproductive.

It should be noted, however, the decision to seek help must be the dependent spouse\’s. Many addiction specialists stress that the first official step in the recovery process occurs when a user admits they possess a significant problem and offers a willingness to address said concern.

Reaching Out To Us

Marriages can withstand addiction. However, successful outcomes require a major degree of effort and commitment from both the ailing and sober spouse.

If your spouse has acknowledged their dependency and desires a return to a normal, productive, and joyful life, we invite you to contact us. Our New Jersey shire-based treatment facility has helped countless addicts from various backgrounds overcome such demons. Call us at 833-610-1174.

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