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Substance Abuse and Marriage Concerns

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County family law attorneysAccording to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 21.5 million teens and adults struggled with drug and alcohol addiction in 2014. Addiction to drugs and alcohol can be devastating to those affected. An addicted person can experience extreme cravings and physical withdrawals—some which can be life threatening. Those who use drugs and alcohol enough soon become dependent on the substance and need it to simply feel normal. Soon they are consumed by the addiction. They may break the law or hurt those they care about in order to get access to the substance. Sometimes an addict can become a danger to themselves, their spouse, or their children.

Some addicts are able to reach out for help and overcome their addiction, but some are not. If you are married to an addict, you know the immense toll addiction takes on a marriage. Many marriages do not survive one of the members becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol. It is hard to know how much a spouse should tolerate before they end the marriage. Because every relationship is unique, only those in the relationship can decide what is right for them. However, if you are married to an addict, and are contemplating ending the marriage, there are a few things experts suggest considering.

Are You Safe Being Married to Your Addicted Spouse?

There exists a strong relationship between substance abuse and domestic violence. In fact, nearly 80% of domestic violence crimes are related to drug use. When an addict is consumed by the need to feed their addiction they can start acting in ways they never did before. A loving father or mother may become dangerous to their own children. A study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse found that children whose parents had substance abuse issues were nearly three times more likely be abused and over four times likelier to be neglected than children of parents who are not substance abusers. Domestic violence takes many different forms. It may include behaviors such as:

  • Using threats and intimidation to control others;
  • Physical attacks including hitting, kicking, choking, and pushing;
  • Using weapons to intimidate or hurt others;
  • Manipulating or gaslighting others in order to maintain power over them;
  • Using insults and putdowns to humiliate another person; and
  • Forcing unwanted sexual contact.

If your partner has abused you or your children, it may be time to consider leaving the marriage.

Is Your Partner Willing to Change?

Perhaps the greatest question a person married to an addict must ask themselves is if their partner is willing and able to change. There are many who, through rehabilitative programs, AA or NA meeting, therapy, or other forms of assistance, are able to break the cycle of addiction in their lives. If your partner is willing to seek help in order to stop using drugs or alcohol, this is a good sign that they can change. If your partner is unwilling to admit to being an addict and get the help they need, it could have a devastating effect on your marriage and family.

If you are considering divorce, you need an attorney who is compassionate and knows the law. Our DuPage County divorce attorneys have what it takes to guide you through the divorce process and reach the outcome you desire. Call us today to schedule an initial appointment.

Sources:

https://www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/alcohol-drugs-and-crime

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/contemplating-divorce/201109/so-youre-married-addict-is-divorce-inevitable

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