There are certain circumstances that can prove very damaging to a marriage. One of them is having a spouse who is addicted to drugs.
Drug abuse can lead to all sorts of damage in a marital relationship. First of all, on a financial standpoint, a spouse who is abusing drugs becomes too dependent so that he or she starts to steal money from the family budget in order to get his/her regular “fix”.
Some get too sick so that they need to be brought to a hospital or rehab center. There is also the mental trauma on the part of the other spouse and their children.
While it is already distressing enough to see their loved one being wracked by the insidious effects of heroine, marijuana, ecstasy or other drugs that they are taking, they also have to cope with the anger and frustration – and sometimes physical abuse – if the abusing spouse doesn’t get what he or she wants.
As tumultuous as living with a husband or wife who is an addict could be, there are couples who have been able to survive this crisis and gone on to have a happy and perhaps stronger marital relationship. How can it be done?
Practically every article that you will read on saving marriage will mention that communication is the key. The same is also true for saving marriages in the aftermath of drug abuse.
On the part of the addict spouse, he/she should be open to his/her spouse. Tell your husband or wife the truth about your addiction and other problems associated with it (such as if you have amassed debts through illegal means). Be prepared for his/her reaction.
As unpleasant as it may be, you should be willing to accept that you have made a mistake and you want to atone for it.
On the other hand, some spouses of addicts have the wrong notion that they should immediately support their husbands or wives. No. In fact, you have every right to voice out your pain. Let’s face it. You have been lied to and deceived. Feel free to vent. Cry and scream if you have to. You have to get all the bad feelings out before you can move on.
Once everything is out in the open, the two of you should sit down and figure out what to do next. The greater responsibility, naturally, falls on the shoulders of the addict spouse. If he or she is determined to be healed, he/she should seek professional help immediately. There should also be a commitment to stop lying. If an infraction is committed, he/she should admit directly to the spouse.
On the other hand, their husband or wife needs to give them the support they need during their rehabilitation and recovery. It is very important to avoid the trap of monitoring the addict spouse’s actions, as this shows a lack of trust. Let the addict spouse work his/her problems out. If he/she should “stumble”, do not berate him/her for his/her mistake. Instead, help him/her to get back up on his/her feet.
Finally, rebuild trust between you. For the addict spouse, show your sincerity of changing through action – by religiously going to rehab sessions or support groups. On the other hand, the husband or wife of the addict should always be there at the side of their spouse. This encouragement will help the addict to recover faster.
Learn more ways on how to save a marriage after drug abuse today!