How Addiction Can Affect Your Marriage
When addiction happens within a marriage, a cycle starts to occur. Since it is such a testing and harmful disease, substance abuse can cause changes in the brain of the addicted individual. This, in turn, can cause them to start behaving differently than they normally would.
When you get married, you generally have a good idea about the other persons behaviors, triggers, and personality. This all goes out the window when addiction is thrown into the mix. Your addicted spouse can become angered more easily, which can lead to them using emotional and mental abuse to blame you for their problems. When you try to talk to them about the changes youre noticing, they often times will pretend as if nothing is happening or avoid the subject altogether.
Spouse Abusing Drugs Or Alcohol: The Physical Symptoms
Navigating The Inner Maze Of Conflicting Reactions
The knowledge that your spouse/partner has been living a secret life creates a whirlwind of intense emotions that may include anger/rage, anxiety/panic, jealousy/insecurity, sadness/depression, suspiciousness/paranoia, to name a few.
As you sift through these difficult reactions, you may start to notice that certain feelings exist along side their polar opposites, for instance, you may feel both the desire for revenge and the desire to help the desire to flee and the desire to hang in there the desire to be vulnerable and the desire to shield yourself from potential pain.
Part of your confusion and the intensity of your pain might involve conflicting emotions reactions to the complicated reality that the person who hurt you is in need of help . These emotional polarities are confusing they can lead you to doubt yourself and make you uncertain about how to respond in any given moment.
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Get Your Loved One The Help They Need Our Substance Use Disorder Program Accepts Many Health Insurance Plans This Is Our Residential Program
Coping with spousal addiction can turn your entire life upside down. All the trust that was built throughout the relationship slowly disintegrates, and then is gone. A major part of any substance addiction that involves your spouse will result in great lengths being taken to hide their addiction. Yet, while it may seem like a simple solution to divorce a drug addict, its usually not that easy on any level. Youve invested fully in a life with this person, and, put simply, you love them. You share an adult life together one thats often difficult to walk away from.
Being the spouse of an addict can be a complete and utter personal nightmare if you dont have the right guidance and assistance, as some form of codependence may also be intrinsic in the relationship. Addressing something as huge as your spouses addiction may feel just too overwhelming for the codependent partner, it may even be something they often try to ignore or dismiss, or simply make excuses for.
For example, you may not even know what to say to an addict you love. This can leave you quietly trying to deal with a drug-addicted spouse, a dysfunctional family life, and confused and miserable children often as confused and miserable as you.
Did you know that statistics clearly demonstrate two-thirds of domestic violence stems directly from alcohol abuse? Certainly not an environment that is at all good for you or your children.
Start Taking Care Of Yourself And Your Family First
While you are running around worrying about and cleaning up after your spouses addictive messes, you probably have lost focus on other areas of your life and that of your children.
When you constantly put the addicts needs first, you may think you are being a good spouse, but you are really just hurting yourself and your family and breeding resentment.
You and your children need to have lives that are as normal as possible, no matter what the addict is doing.
- Maintain normal family activities church, school plays, baseball practice, etc.
- Eat your meals together
- Get plenty of sleep and exercise
- Visit with family and friends dont isolate yourself
- Keep an eye on your health stress can damage your immune system
- Practice stress-reducing techniques yoga, meditation, etc.
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How To Help Your Addicted Spouse Without Enabling Them
Can a marriage survive drug addiction?
It sounds a simple question, but the answer is far too complicated and unique to individual circumstances to provide a simple yes or no response. Clearly, it can, as millions of existing marriages can testify, but there needs to be a lot of understanding and patience on your part. Of course, there also needs to be the desire to quit and then abstain from your addicted spouse.
If your spouse is struggling with an addiction, there are several yet vital things that you may want to consider doing solely for yourself. When you actually begin to help yourself, you are also helping your addicted spouse a kind of knock-on effect.
Sadly, many close relationships with an addict only survive because the sober spouse is inadvertently enabling the addict to continue their addiction in a number of ways, eg. giving them money, not discussing treatment, etc. Spouses do this because they are afraid the relationship will change drastically if their partner is finally clean and sober. Here are a number of highly effective ways to positively help your addicted spouse, importantly, without enabling them:
Find a Support Group: Its important to talk with other people that know what youre going through. Support groups for spouses dealing with addiction from their loved ones can help you find the tools you need to help. They also make you feel less isolated and you have a greater understanding of what your addicted partner is going through.
Consider Available Treatment Options
One of the ways families address opioid abuse is through formal treatment. Modern treatment programs continue to improve, and many facilities include the family as part of the recovery process.
The first step toward recovering from opioid addiction for your spouse is detoxification. When your partner abuses opioids, they may become physically dependent. This means that if a person stops using the drugs suddenly, they will likely develop symptoms like anxiety, nausea, sweating, and chills.
Although opioid withdrawal is not usually life-threatening, it can be very uncomfortable. We offer on-site medical drug detox in Massachusetts in order to support patients throughout the detoxification process.
Once a person has successfully detoxed, rehab centers typically offer a range of comprehensive therapies. At Vertava Health Massachusetts, these include dialectical behavioral therapy , group counseling, relapse prevention, and nature-based therapies.
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Bringing Your Spouse To Soba Recovery Centers
Here at Soba Recovery, we know that theres no one-size-fits-all treatment for addiction. Thats why we tailor all of our programs to meet specific needs. We can help your spouse achieve the freedom theyve always wanted. We offer both inpatient and outpatient services to find whats best for your spouse and your family.
Reach out to a member of our team today and ask about our individualized treatment plans. Take back your life with a rehabilitation center that truly cares about your recovery needs.
What Causes Porn Addiction
Research on causes of porn addiction is not abundant however, there is data to support the claim that behavioral addictions, addiction to porn included, use similar mechanisms as substance addictions.
Besides physiological factors, psychological ones play a significant role. Psychological benefits that a person reaps explain why people choose certain activities, including porn addiction.
These include, but are not limited to alleviating stress, reducing anxiety, dealing with boredom, acquiring pleasure, coping with negative emotions, or avoiding certain situations and feelings.
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Ask Ammanda: My Husband Is Addicted To Drugs And Has Betrayed My Trust
Ive been with my husband for nearly sixteen years. Married for nearly ten, we have four children together. For the first thirteen years, my husband was the most wonderful husband and father you could ask for. Our relationship was solid. Then three years ago, I found out hed started using cocaine in our home once a month while the children and I were in bed. This was a complete shock to me, as my husband has always been practically teetotal. Having asked him to leave, he broke down and confessed everything: hed tried it once on a work night out and liked it, so looked forward to it as a treat once a month. He went to drug counselling, but they said his occasional use didnt constitute addiction and he claimed he could stop.
Over the next few years, my husband became addicted instead to prescription drugs given to him by the GP for backache. It was obvious he was abusing his medication and it was difficult to tell sometimes which drugs he was actually taking.
My husband has now admitted to everything but says he doesnt know why he did any of these things. He claims that he didnt find any of the women attractive and probably did it because of the hurt I caused him.
Ammanda Major is a Relationship Counsellor, Sex Therapist and Head of Clinical Practice at Relate.
If you have a relationship worry you would like some help with, email All communications will respect your anonymity.
- Talk to a trained counsellor
- Private and confidential
Find Ways To Connect With Others In Your Situation
Youve been through a terrible situation, and maybe its been years since life seemed normal. Its important for you to connect with others who can share in your experiences. Joining an Al-Anon group near you is a great first step. Youll get to meet others and learn from what theyve been through as well. It can be so helpful to share your story with others. Sometimes it helps just to be able to talk about how you feel among a caring group of people who understand.
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Specialized Addiction Trauma & Mental Health Treatment Program For Military Personnel Veterans & First Responders
Furthermore, we offer Frontline a specialized treatment program for military personnel, veterans, and first responders, such as the police, fire service, paramedics and ER staff, who are suffering from addiction, trauma and/or mental health disorders and behavioral conditions. Using evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders, trauma, & mental health conditions, our program offers:
- Inpatient, outpatient & aftercare programs
Is There Such A Thing As A Functioning Alcoholic
The term functioning alcohol is often used in American culture and society. But is there really such a thing as a functional alcoholic? Alcoholism is marked by alcohol dependence and deep-seated chronic brain disease. Addiction, in general, controls your life, and your schedule is centered on avoiding withdrawal symptoms and maintaining your addiction. Plus, it usually progresses as your tolerance grows. You need more alcohol and to drink more often to stave off painful and dangerous withdrawal. While some people maybe be earlier on in the process, alcoholism is a complex disease. Even if it doesnt seem debilitation now, it may become worse soon.
Plus, alcohol withdrawal can be potentially deadly. If your life is centered on having to find your next drink to maintain your addiction, what happens if you find yourself in a situation where you cant drink? Things like surgeries, medical procedures, and pregnancies are complicated by the presence of alcohol in your system. It can also be difficult to travel safely while under the influence. If you are put in a position in which you dont have access to alcohol, you can experience dangerous withdrawal symptoms like seizures and delirium.
Functional alcoholism may just be a distinction that points out that a person suffering from alcoholism is still in their early stages. However, there is no version of alcoholism that is safe and functional in the long term.
Three Reasons To Leave: Abuse Addiction And Affairs
As a clinical psychologist and certified addictions counselor, I see husbands, wives, and partners in individual or couples therapy on a daily basis grappling with the decision to leave or divorce their spouse or partner. Therapists have long referred to the three As of divorce as legitimate reasons to consider ending a relationship when the behavior of ones partner is clearly destructive, abusive, or there is no reason to believe it will improve. Psychologists have suggested that the top three reasons for divorce are abuse, addiction, and affairs.
Researchers have long reported that financial problems are the top area of conflict for most couples, and that communication is the second most-cited reason for marital discord. While that may be true, these problems pale in comparison to the severe and devastating consequences resulting from abuse, addiction, and affairs.
These are not decisions that should be made in a vacuumor alone. As the social creatures and pack animals that we are, we have evolved over time to need and rely on social supports to better understand ourselves and the situations in which we find ourselves. Seeking help and support is a necessary, if not sufficient, first step in making the right decision for ourselves when coping with addiction, affairs, or abuse.
The Donts Of Dealing With An Addicted Spouse
In addition to this list of dos, theres also a list of donts when dealing with an addicted spouse.
In order to help your addicted spouse, dont:
- Turn away from your spouse: Even if you have to move out temporarily, keep in contact with your spouse. Turning away or locking them out of your life should be a last resort reserved for people who become violent or abusive.
- Blame yourself: It is never your fault that your partner struggles with addiction. Genetics, social factors and, yes, family factors can influence addiction. But the ultimate choice to drink or do drugs was with your spouse. After a while, the ability to choose is lost as addiction takes hold. Your spouse did choose to take that first drink or dabble in drugs. Youre not to blame for their behavior.
- Expect things to return to what they were: Even after your spouse enters recovery, your life and your relationship will never return to what it was before. That happens no matter what serious illness a couple faces, whether its cancer, a heart attack or an addiction. Accept that your relationship is on a new footing, and learn what this means as you both embark on your spouses program of recovery.
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Reasons To Continue Supporting Them
These are just a few of the reasons why it is important to continuously support your spouse. They are going to need someone to help them through the struggles they will encounter in the recovery process.
- Facing challenges isnt as difficult with support. Having someone to rely on when temptations or obstacles arise makes those emotions seem manageable.
- You can hold them responsible for their actions. Sometimes, addicts become too confident in recovery or fall back in old behavior patterns. A loved one provides valuable insight into their behavior. This accountability can help them address the issues.
- Their confidence and self-esteem grow when they have the support they need. It feels good to have people who want to be around you and who care for your success. It is the same with overcoming addiction a cheering section in their favor will help them have a more positive outlook on the future.
Effective Treatment Options For Alcoholism
There are many different treatment program options for alcoholism, including:
Behavioral treatments aim to change drinking behavior through counseling. Health experts lead them, and studies support that they are beneficial. According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, behavioral therapy is the most commonly used form of treatment.
Family therapy is one of these services that can be beneficial for both you and your partner.
There are medications approved in the United States to help people quit or reduce their heavy drinking and prevent relapse. They are prescribed by a health professional and may be used alone or in combination with other treatments.
Professional detox may help manage the withdrawal symptoms that can occur when someone experiencing alcoholism quits drinking suddenly. This can happen in an inpatient setting when the patient lives in a medical treatment center. Alternatively, it may be in an outpatient treatment program when the patient can detox while living at home.
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