It can be extremely distressing if one person in a marriage is battling an addiction, especially if children are involved. An addiction can put an enormous amount of strain on even the strongest of relationships. If you are in a relationship where your partner has an addiction, you may feel drained and as if the love you once had is slipping away from you. However, if you and your partner find the right support, then it is possible to get your life – including your relationship – back on track.
One of the biggest problems with addiction is denial. You may be in denial about your partners’ addiction; you simply may not want to admit it. You need to wake up and realise that things will not get better unless you try to work on it together. This addiction is ruining your marriage, and you need to find a way to tackle it, whether this is an addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, or anything else.
For you to be able to support your partner fully, you will have to recognise the warning signs of addiction. The sooner you and your partner accept that he or she has a problem, the sooner you will both be able to receive help and work on mending your broken relationship.
Get Educated on the Addiction
The most effective way to support someone with an addiction is to educate yourself on as much as you can about the addiction. If you familiarise yourself with the addiction by researching it, you will not be as shocked by certain behaviours that your partner may display. There are numerous knowledge bases, forums, websites and other reading material that will get you up to speed with all aspects of any addiction, so there really is no excuse not to look into it.
Usually, family members will find themselves becoming upset or frustrated with the addict because of certain things he or she does. If you prepare yourself and make yourself aware of the traits of an addict, you will begin to understand why this person is acting the way he/she does. This will allow you to further support them.
Supporting Your Partner with Acceptance
Now that you have accepted that your partner is suffering from an addiction and not just a ‘problem’, it is your duty to support this individual and make him/her realise that he/she has an addiction that requires urgent help.
It is common for those suffering from addiction to be in denial for quite some time. Even if they know, deep down, that there is a problem, it is highly unlikely that this person will admit to it initially. He or she may not want to admit it because of not wanting to actually commit to giving up whatever it is he/she is addicted to, but you need to make the individual realise that he/she is further damaging your relationship.
You should not have to feel as if you are alone in this. Other members of the family will more than likely have no problem helping out, even if it simply involves babysitting the children in order for you and your partner to attend support groups. This will be a huge relief and will take a massive weight off your shoulders.
There are also many online sites that can provide useful information and ways to tackle this addiction. If you think you are struggling, keeping this bottled up is not the right way to go about things. You should always speak to someone, whether this is a close friend or family member, or even a counsellor.