How Addiction Can Destroy a Marriage

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a “relapsing” disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.

Because addicts continue to use despite consequences, they usually lose their jobs, financial stability, health, and relationships. Relationships are probably the most saddening because it involves other people. People, whether immediate family, friends or spouses that only wish the best for the addict, who care and love only to get nothing in return because of the addiction.  All of these things you can gain back with hard work and commitment to sobriety, but will you.

Addiction destroy marriage

Addiction Can Lead to Bad Consequences

Losing a job can be hard, but you can always get another one. With that job, you gain your financial stability back. Your health will get better over time as you work on your fitness and abstain from the substance that made you ill in the first place. Relationships with your immediate family and friends will most likely get better over time after the trust is gained, and dependability is shown. Relationships with your spouse are one that is not definite. Marriages probably go through the most toil when addiction is involved.

Marriage is a level of commitment and trust that, once broken is very hard to get back.  When you get married you make vows, promises to each other that you will hold till “death do you part.” Since addiction takes control of mind and body, those vows can be broken; the drug becomes more important and therefore can destroy a marriage. More specifically how addiction can destroy a marriage are:

  • Financially – Addicts will do whatever it takes to get their next fix. This means taking every last cent in their bank accounts or joint accounts, stealing from their spouse, or even pawning household items to get cash for their drug of choice. This cause major stress on a marriage when there are bills to be paid and food to provide.
  • Stress – There is a lot of stress put on the spouse of the addict. There may be nights that the addict doesn’t come home or is operating machinery such as a car under the influence. The constant worry that the other person in the marriage is put through, where they might be, if they are in trouble, do they need help, are they dead, this much worry can be paralyzing and takes a toll emotionally and mentally.
  • Trust – Marriage is based on trust, and when that trust is broken it can lead to constant doubt and worry. When you have trust in a relationship you believe your partner will do what he/she says. An addict will be unreliable and constantly break this trust and lie whether to get what they want or to cover up their other lies. When there is no foundation of trust in a marriage it is very hard, almost impossible, to keep.
  • Abuse – Whether physical, mental or emotional, there is always an abuse of some sort in a marriage that consists of an addiction. Addicts use drugs to fill a void, to escape from a thought or an emotion that is uncomfortable, therefore leaving a lot of unmanaged emotions. When confronted or unable to get their fix they will have violent outbursts and take it out on the closest to them. Unstable anger can bring down a marriage real quick.

Get the Help You Need for Your Addiction

We at Garden State Treatment Centers are here to help you put back the pieces to your marriage, starting with you. Located in the heart of Northern New Jersey, Garden State Treatment Center is an outpatient and partial care addiction treatment facility that offers nuanced levels of care for individuals struggling with the horrors of substance abuse. It is our explicit goal to help addicted clients rebuild their lives from the inside out and reintegrate themselves back into society.