Being married to an addict can be a very painful experience because the joy of having a family is not enough to satisfy a person struggling with an addiction. Addicts always need something more and they are never satisfied except when they are under the influence, and even that won’t last for too long so they will go try other things until nothing satisfies and they feel miserable inside. But what about when you are married to one? You can’t just leave with your kids without notifying your spouse. There are always legal options. You can ask for a restraining order if your spouse’ addiction is creating a dangerous environment for your family. A Salt Lake City enforcement order attorney can explain in more details what options are available in your specific situation.
What should you do?
It is sad watching the person you wanted to spend the rest of your life with suffering from a substance use disorder. You don’t necessarily have to file for divorce right away. Some couples work hard to maintain their relationship while others may try to hide addiction problems. Addiction will never get better unless is treated. It is a condition just like any other with its unique challenges.
If you are willing to help your spouse but he or she doesn’t want to get better, perhaps it is time to think about other options such as a legal separation or divorce. It takes courage to figure out what you both want but recovery is not an option, it is a must. Oftentimes individuals married to addicts need emotional recovery as well since they are exposed to that self-destructive environment. Addiction not only affects the individual doing drugs. It affects everyone they come in contact with.
Steps to a better life
If you are married to an addict and you feel helpless, you can take some simple steps to improve your situation:
- Don’t justify your spouse’s behavior but rather confront it – Addicts don’t like to admit they are addicts. Deep within they are scared of what people may think. But people are already having negative thoughts about addictive behavior. Why not seek help and improve the situation?
- Don’t empower their behavior – Individuals married to addicts may enable this behavior to get along and avoid an argument. But that’s not healthy. If you know that a loved one has cancer you will try to help them. Wouldn’t you? The same rule should apply to your spouse struggling with an addiction.
- Think about you and your family – It is not good putting the addict’s need first and forgetting about yourself in the process. Also, your children need you and you should be there for them. Dealing with an addict can be emotionally draining because they are very unstable. One day they can be affectionate and on the next day become aggressive and rude.
- Learn more about addiction and recovery – There are resources available for you and your loved ones. If you treat the addiction as a medical condition you will find answers.
- Plan an intervention – You can get together with family and friends and talk to the addict in order to convince him or her about the need for rehab.
- Support your spouse while he or she goes to treatment – If your spouse goes to treatment, support his or her decision.
Find help for yourself – Sometimes this means seeking a legal separation or divorce. Whatever works for you, we are here to answer any questions you may have.