Drug addiction has become an epidemic across the United States. In fact, research has proven that over 23 million Americans have suffered from problematic drug use. Unfortunately, drug addiction and abuse cause serious problems in a person’s life. These issues include financial strain, emotional instability, poor social skills, and marital issues.
That said, drug addiction will impact an individual’s marriage regardless of the severity of their habit. Married couples suffering from the impacts of addiction often feel things will never improve. To explain further, individuals may feel detached from their partner, grieve for what their relationship used to be like, and be scared about what the future may hold. As a result, people often wonder whether it is possible for a marriage to survive drug addiction. Like any marriage, the relationship’s survival depends on both partners’ dedication.
Drug addiction will negatively impact an individual’s marriage. Unfortunately, many marriages affected by untreated drug addiction end in separation or divorce. However, married couples who receive treatment for drug addiction can recover individually and as a team. Continue reading to learn more about how a marriage can survive drug addiction.
Married to an Addict: What is it Like?
No one ever wants to watch their spouse or partner suffer from drug addiction. Unfortunately, the disease of addiction is heartbreaking, overwhelming, and permanently life-changing. Also, drug addiction may prevent you and your spouse from working together as a team and caring for each other properly.
Watching your spouse struggle with drug addiction causes extreme strain on a marriage. Millions of married couples across the country suffer from marital issues due to drug addiction. Sadly, many of these couples end up getting divorced or separated due to the effects of drug addiction on their relationship.
Individuals who are married to addicts suffer from several obstacles daily. A healthy marriage’s key aspects include trust, respect, and communication. However, these key aspects are often neglected when a spouse is struggling with drug addiction. This constant mistrust and lack of communication lead to anger, sadness, loneliness, and resentment. Unfortunately, these feelings can erode marriage over time due to ineffective or combative communication. This form of chaos in a marriage can make healthy functioning extremely difficult and even impossible.
When an individual is married to an addict, they also become sick, developing different family roles characterized by unhealthy coping mechanisms. While the addicted spouse suffers from drug addiction, they unintentionally begin to affect their partner negatively. For example, the spouse of a drug addict can develop disorders such as anxiety, depression, or even PTSD due to their partner’s drug addiction. Consequently, both the addicted individual and their spouse should receive professional treatment. Without professional addiction treatment, it is unlikely for a marriage to survive drug addiction. However, marriages impacted by drug addiction can recover by attending individual treatment and couples therapy.
Signs of Drug Use in Partners
Often, individuals who suspect their spouse is abusing drugs have noticed behavioral changes. Drug addiction can cause several behavioral, emotional, and physical changes in the addicted individual.
If you suspect that your spouse is addicted to drugs, you may have noticed some or all of the following signs of drug addiction:
- Secretive behavior includes being dishonest about how much drugs are being used, how frequently, and when
- Isolating from others and/or withdrawing from previously enjoyed activities or hobbies
- Neglecting responsibilities at home, such as laundry, dishes, taking care of children, etc.
- Neglecting personal hygiene habits like teeth brushing, bathing, and wearing clean clothes
- Using money to buy drugs needed for groceries, household supplies, bills, etc.
- Using money from savings accounts, 401k’s, or other retirement funds without your knowledge
- Displaying deceitful behavior, such as asking for money for gas but instead using it to buy drugs
- Experiencing changes in temperament, sleeping patterns, and eating behaviors (e.g., sleeping or eating too much or too little)
- Falling behind at work, being disciplined at work, or being fired due to drug abuse
- Development or increase in symptoms of mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety
The previously mentioned behaviors are basic symptoms of drug addiction. However, additional symptoms of drug addiction may develop based on the individual and what form of drug they abuse. For example, if your spouse is addicted to a stimulant like Adderall, they may experience increased energy, excessive talkativeness, insomnia, and decreased appetite. On the other hand, individuals abusing depressants such as opioids may experience symptoms like detachment from their surroundings, sedated appearance, and increased need for sleep.
How to Help an Addicted Spouse
For a marriage to survive drug addiction, the addicted individual must receive help for their substance abuse. Often, people suffering from addiction do not realize they have a problem or are scared to seek help. However, sometimes all these individuals need is support and direction. If your spouse is suffering from drug addiction, there are many things you can do to help them recover.
If your spouse suffers from drug addiction, consider taking the following actions:
Drug Addiction Help at Agape Treatment Center
Dealing with drug addiction and marriage isn’t easy. Your marriage may rely on professional addiction treatment if you or your spouse suffer from drug addiction. In other words, for a marriage to survive drug addiction, the addicted spouse must receive professional addiction treatment. During treatment, married couples can attend family therapy and rebuild any broken lines of communication while healing from the effects of addiction. Contact Agape Treatment Center today to learn more about our drug addiction treatment and family therapy programs.