Being and staying married is tough- that’s for sure. How much harder would it be with a partner who is into substance abuse? Should you stay or leave? Is it even possible to leave?
Love and relationships are things that need hard work, perseverance, and patience. It is not something that you can just shut off every time an argument comes up. But when is enough really enough? Leaving or staying is a personal choice one makes, but just to give you an objective perspective, here is how to better deal with an addicted spouse.
Your partner failed to get home last night and you have got no idea of his or her whereabouts. He or she does not answer the phone and your stomach is already growling because of hunger. When you go check your purse, your credit card and cash are missing. Heartbroken, angry, and hungry you feel desperate about the case.
No words can explain about your emotions, but yourself. Then, your spouse comes home days later and once again you feel great relief; your anger is easily melted away. You forgive him again at the same time telling yourself that this will be the last issue and you will leave him for good next time.
Why it is great to stick around?
People who are substance or alcohol dependent do get better with proper treatment. Families seeking help for an addicted spouse and are willing to cooperate throughout the process is more likely to see the light of day than those who choose to give up on the situation.
- Addiction goes beyond personal control. No matter how much he loves you, you will never be his first priority again. He can’t stop now and he can’t control himself from his cravings.
- Both the physical and psychological aspects of a human being are affected with substance abuse. Stopping abruptly can produce unpleasant side effects like panic attacks, sweating, shaking, and in worse cases seizure and death. A long-time user cannot stop drugs straight away because it is just impossible to do that.
- Brain functions are altered with substance abuse. Changes in the actions, learning and decision making are affected.
Why it is NOT great to stick around?
Before making the decision of whether to endure or to head out, ask yourself these questions. Answering these will help you evaluate your own feelings about starting a new life.
- Is your addicted spouse physically or verbally abusing you and your children?
- Is your addicted spouse getting drunk in the presence of your children?
- Is your addicted partner using drugs around you and your children?
- Is your addicted partner stealing from you?
- Do you shut up just to keep peace in the house?
If you’re experiencing these things in your relationship, maybe it is time to leave. At this point, you are not in the right position to help him or her anymore because you also need help. His parents and siblings, perhaps, could help in detaching him from his addictive behavior. However, it is his or her willingness to go through professional treatment that will have the strongest effect on his renewal of self.
It is important that you stay focused on your own healing. Instead of putting too much energy on your spouse, you need to get back on your feet and focus on your life and the children. You can also learn more about addiction by joining a support group to be able to understand what you have been through.