There are few things that can harm a marriage as thoroughly as a drug addiction. Certainly, many people who struggle with substance use manage to save their relationships and sometimes even grow stronger through their recovery. But many marriages do not survive the damage addiction inflicts. Consider a few ways that an untreated drug addiction cuts away at the very heart of a solid marriage.
Drug Addiction Destroys Trust
When you constantly say one thing and then do another, trust can disappear quickly. Trust is the foundation of a marriage. Without it, a relationship will eventually fail. When a person can’t count on their spouse anymore, they start to withdraw from the relationship and go into self-protection mode. Obviously, this doesn’t do good things for a marriage.
Drug addiction does a lot to sabotage trust in a relationship. Intoxication can lead to many poor decisions including extra-marital affairs, mismanagement of money, and risky behaviors such as driving under the influence. Intoxication makes effective communication impossible. Continued damage occurs when an addicted person chooses drug-related activities over family obligations.
Trust is much harder to keep once it’s been damaged like this. However, treatment can make a difference and possibly save relationships that have been devastated by substance use.
Drug Use and Drug Abuse Make Marriage Imbalanced
Addiction causes a person to become very self-focused and self-serving. Everything is about them getting their drug fix or drink while avoiding reality. Marriage is supposed to be about two people supporting and leaning on each other. When one gets down, the other lifts them up. They go through the ups and downs together with each other in mind.
This is not the case when someone has an active drug addiction. The non-addicted spouse often feels neglected in the marriage. If there are children in the family, the sober spouse may also feel like they are a single parent. Nothing is balanced as the addicted spousepursues self-serving behavior. Unless something changes, all the promises to do better become lip-service. A spouse can really feel abandoned because of this.
Both Partners Can Be Hurt
As you might expect, someone with a drug addiction can really hurt their spouse’s feelings and sense of respect. Words can absolutely hurt, especially when they come from someone you’ve pledged your life to.
The other risk is real physical harm coming to one or both people in the marriage. A person who is abusing drugs can become violent.Violence and violent tendencies may vary due to the addicted spouse’s drug of choice,his or her personality, and his or her intoxication levels. If the substance-using spouse blacks out and becomes aggressive, abuse or injury may occur to the spouse or family. The risk of harm increases if children are in the home. The unpredictable nature of a drug addict puts everyone at risk.
Drug Rehab Can Help Families
Not every marriage that has been impacted by substance use can be saved. However, many relationships can improve when the addicted spouse goes through drug rehab and sticks with sobriety. Even if a marriage ends, drug rehab can help both parents cooperate better for the sake of their children. Drug rehab can also help make the future brighter for each spouse, whether the relationship survives or not. Wellness and recovery simply offer a way for people to experience better outcomes in general.
Drug rehab programs can connect spouses with support groups. Many rehab centers also encourage spouse participation during family treatment sessions. Marriage is a two-way street and addiction does a lot to block the whole road. With a good drug rehab program, recovery and marriage can move forward together.