Marriage is one of the most beautiful dedications of love that a couple can make, but that dedication doesn’t promise problem-free living.
In fact, marriage is often described as a roller coaster of highs and lows that takes unwavering strength and commitment to help make it through. And, if you suspect that your spouse may be abusing drugs or alcohol, marriage can get a whole lot worse before it gets any better.
The trouble with addiction in a marriage is that it doesn’t just affect the person abusing the drug. Addiction can ruin the marriage altogether and negatively affect your children as well as family members, friends, co-workers and anyone else associated.
Additionally, people driving and going through life under the influence can cause death and injury to innocent bystanders. Therefore, the best thing you can do is help your spouse deal with and overcome addiction.
Dealing with Substance Abuse in a Marriage:
1. Gently Intervene
There is always a root cause as to why a person would turn to drugs or alcohol, and more often than not, married people use substances as a method of self-therapy. The sufferer gets a false calm from the drug and uses it as temporary an escape from stress, money problems, lack of intimacy or lack of emotional support.
Additionally, substance abuse can be inherited or develop due to peer pressure. Whatever the reason, the moment you suspect that there might be a problem, you need to gently intervene. Approach your spouse in a loving, caring manner and express your concern, you may need to gather a few friends and family members for support. Allow your troubled spouse to recognize that (s)he may have a problem that requires attention.
2. Recovery Program
Enrolling your spouse in a quality addiction recovery program will lead him or her on the right path to a healthier lifestyle. Addicts who go through a specialized program have a higher chance of remaining clean and sober than those who try to recover on their own. A recovery program will guide the sufferer to clean living through therapy sessions, drug detox, nutrition counseling, positive reinforcements and aftercare.
3. Forgive and Move Forward
Once your spouse has successfully made it through the recovery program, the next step would be to forgive and move forward. Your marriage will never work if you are unwilling to let go of the dark days of addiction, therefore, you have to forgive the situation – be thankful that your spouse is now clean and work on making your marriage stronger and healthier.
Addiction is an ugly disease indeed, however, recovering from such a degrading ordeal can spark a new life of renewal and gratitude that makes the sufferer a healthier and happier person. If you suspect that your spouse or loved one needs help with addiction, don’t let them continue on that downward spiral.
Your vows said “For better or for worse”.
This addiction and the recovery that will follow could be the thing that strengthens your relationship.
Have you or someone you know dealt with substance abuse in their marriage?
What suggestions would you share for dealing with this situation?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.