Addiction and Divorce

Addiction and Divorce

When you think of reasons for divorce, infidelity and financial issues may come to mind. Another common reason for divorce is addiction. Addiction is the third leading cause of divorce. An addiction to drugs or alcohol is not only unhealthy for the body, but it can be damaging to a marriage, as well, especially if the other spouse is sober.

Any type of addiction can wreak havoc on a marriage. The person is spending all the marital money on drugs or booze. They can become physically and verbally abusive. They may be unable to hold down a job. They may be irresponsible and have no interest in the kids or marriage.

It can be hard to trust a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol. This is a huge issue, as trust is the foundation of every marriage. If you can not trust a person to be a good partner, then the marriage is in trouble.

However, many spouses fear getting a divorce. They are afraid of the guilt they would feel. After all, a couple is supposed to stay together “for better or for worse,” according to the marriage vows. Their spouse is having a difficult time. They are going through a serious personal matter. Shouldn’t their spouse be there for them? They can not divorce a person at a time when they are needed the most—or can they?

A person with an addiction needs to get help, plain and simple. Addiction is a progressive disease, meaning it will not get better without treatment. When a person refuses to get help and continues in a downward spiral, it is unwise to continue with the marriage, especially if children are involved. Children need a stable family life, and that is not possible if they have a parent addicted to drugs or alcohol.

If your addicted spouse is no longer trying, then you no longer need to try. It can be hurtful to watch a person you love struggle with such a disease, knowing they are killing themselves every day. Your spouse is not willing to put the marriage before the addiction. He or she is happy with things being the way they are, even though you clearly are not. If your spouse is unwilling to invest in the marriage, then your only option may be divorce.

How Addiction Leads to Divorce

Addiction is not an easy thing to deal with. At some point, enough is enough and you must make the decision to move on with your life. This means ending your marriage and starting the divorce process.

Many divorces are caused by addiction and it is easy to see why. Addiction leads to behavior that can ruin a marriage. Here are some examples:

  • Addiction causes trust issues. You can not trust someone who is drunk or on drugs. They constantly lie about where they are going and what they are doing. It is not just one lie. It leads to multiple lies and this can destroy one’s trust as well as a marriage.
  • Addiction causes communication problems. Those with addictions are in denial. They do not think they are doing anything wrong. When their spouse tries to address the issue, they shut down. This leads to further communication problems. When a couple does not communicate, things tend to get hostile or tense when they are together. This causes a marriage to fail, with divorce a possibility.
  • Addiction causes a person to neglect responsibilities. An addict will do whatever they can to get ahold of drugs or alcohol. This means they may neglect their family. They may not go to work. Their life centers on feeding their addiction. Nothing else is important. This can cause an immense amount of stress in a marriage.
  • Addiction causes financial problems. Many households struggle with finances as it is. Having to deal with an addict spouse who spends all the money on drugs or alcohol just adds fuel to the fire. This leaves less money for bills and necessities.
  • Addiction causes intimacy problems. Drugs and alcohol are not aphrodisiacs. They do not allow someone to perform better in the bedroom. In fact, the opposite is true. They slow down the nervous system and make intimacy more challenging. A marriage needs intimacy to survive.
  • Addiction leads to enabling. You may not even realize it, but by staying with a person who refuses to change and get help for their addiction, you are enabling it to continue. It becomes a codependency relationship, since you are providing the financial security to allow the addiction to thrive. You do not need to be a caretaker. You may be convincing yourself that you will help your spouse get better, but only he or she can make that decision. Stop enabling your addict spouse and file for divorce.

Seek Legal Help

Addiction can cause many problems in a marriage. It can affect a marriage emotionally and financially. If you are fed up with your alcoholic or drug-addicted spouse, and he or she refuses to get help, it is time to seek legal help.

It can be devastating to see your loved one struggle with addiction, but you are likely facing struggles as well as you try to help your spouse. Divorce may be your only option at this point.  Seek legal help from Palm Beach divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler. He can help you move on from a marriage raddled with addiction. Call (954) 346-6464 and schedule a consultation today.