Lessons On Living With A Spouse Who Is Addicted

Marriage is a beautiful bond between two individuals and requires constant attention, love, and support from both in the relationship. It is a lifetime relationship, and any changes in marriage will affect both the husband and the wife. 

Change happens, people grow, and some fall into bad practices; it’s all part of this thing we call life. The hardest change to accept and adjust to is when your spouse gets addicted to substance use. 

You may even sense the changes in their demeanor, from violent mood swings brought on by the withdrawals to the deteriorating state of their health. Addiction is a hard bump in the road that is nearly impossible to ignore.

You will feel scared, anxious, depressed, angry, all at the same time, and the only quick solution to this problem would seem to be to seek a way out of the relationship, i.e., divorce. 

According to Health Street, 7.3 percent of marriages end in divorce due to drug addiction. Substance abuse also raises chances for divorce because it weakens the marital bond and increases infidelity and financial stress. 

Living with a spouse who has a substance use disorder is not easy. However, divorce is not the only solution to the problem, and you can help your spouse overcome their addiction by providing the support that they need.

To save and revive your relationship, you can consider the following ways to help your spouse overcome addiction:


The first thing you should do is seek out professional help for your spouse, and you can start by looking at treatment centers online that help addicts beat addictions by making them follow their expertly tailored treatment plans. 

Treatment centers, like the Delphi Health Group, offer a wide range of addiction recovery services, from the rigorous inpatient supervisory services to the less hands-on outpatient therapy sessions.

These modalities of treatment are geared according to the need of the patients, their addiction type, and whether or not one is more feasible given the addict’s life situation. 

Hence, finding a suitable treatment option for your addicted spouse can be regarded as their first step toward recovery. 

  • Empathize with their condition:

Drug addiction and mental illnesses, like depression and anxiety, go hand in glove. Sometimes, one can trigger the other. Trauma experienced can lead them toward the path of addiction. 

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 50 percent of drug addicts are affected by either by depression or other mental illness. The research also states that about 29 percent of the mentally ill had an alcohol or drug addiction. 

Therefore, to help your spouse get on the path of recovery, you should empathize with their condition and try to get to the root cause of their addiction. 

According to research in NCBI, specific environmental factors trigger drug abuse, for example, bad neighborhoods, squalid living conditions, addicted friends, and family influences.

Hence, you should look into the environment they come from, talk to them to help them cope with their addiction, find out their triggers, and provide a comforting and peaceful environment. 

You can help them join group therapy so they can express themselves and find healthy avenues for processing through their pain instead of resorting to drugs. 


Do not forget about yourself: 

Addiction casts a negative effect on the people around the addict, their spouse or the whole family. The negative effects of addiction lead to violence and abusive behavior in a relationship, which is not safe to be around. 

According to SAMHSA, about 1.6 million children aged 17 or younger lived in a home with one parent who had a substance-use disorder. Younger children are impressionable, and they may pick up these habits from their surroundings. 

Drug addiction also inadvertently leads to marital problems, and cases of spousal abuse are not unheard of in case of addicts. By and by, life with an addict can become a source of feelings of abandonment, depression, anxiety, or fear. 

You can join support groups, for example, Al-Anon and Nar Anon, that will offer guidance and support and the chance to connect with other people who are going through the same addiction-related marriage problems. 

Sometimes, people, unable to escape the torment, become habitual to the abuse and feel completely worthless. However, you must realize that it is not your fault that your spouse fell into the addiction patterns.

Learn the difference between helping and enabling, focus on your health and on the health of your children, and find long-term solutions to your own problems. 


Do not give in to manipulation:

Addiction is difficult to overcome, and your spouse may try manipulating you and find ways to get the hit they crave. However, you should stay firm and hold your ground. Not letting them use as openly is going to let them know that you are not okay with their addiction. 

Your spouse may lie, cheat, or guilt trip you into allowing them to use. The more you allow this kind of behavior to persist, the more manipulative they will become.

Therefore, being absolutely adamant about drug use in the house will let them know exactly what you want and will not accept. 


Seek help from others:

An addicted spouse is not easy to deal with on your own. Their addiction is affecting other people as well; people close to them, i.e., their friends or family. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from friends, family, and co-workers of the addict. 

A study in NCBI states that caregivers who experience social and emotional burdens related to caregiving are at risk of using substance. 



Substance abuse is a serious issue, and it ruins relationships and marriages. However, it is easily addressable via rehabilitation treatments, therapies, and making lifestyle changes.

The recovery process should be aided by the professionals, friends, and family of the addict. You should follow the simple strategies mentioned above to help your spouse cope and overcome substance abuse.

Who knows, taking the effort to stand behind your spouse as they overcome their addiction could help reignite your relation. 

1 thought on “Lessons On Living With A Spouse Who Is Addicted”

  1. I don’t know what to do she hasn’t our home lied so much to everyone. Hasn’t paid any of our bills since August of 2021 house,truck,I strange but taken the money from me took every dime of our tax check last year 14.000 nothing to show for it living in a drug house with no electric I’m devastated and won’t speak to her children I need advice her family blames me Help

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