When your partner can't think straight, it's up to YOU to save your relationship.
There are some things that can seriously affect a relationship or marriage to the extent the relationship and the entire family becomes miserable. Substance abuse and relationship misery go hand in hand. When you are in a relationship or marriage with someone who is struggling with substance abuse, all the joy in the relationship dissipates. Addiction is a beast that devours everything around it, not just the person with the addiction.
A partner or spouse can feel very alone in a relationship when the other partner has an addiction to alcohol or drugs. You have no control over your partner's actions, but you must deal with the consequences every day. There are the hidden alcohol bottles or drugs. Addiction can impact the ability to hold a job creating financial pressures. Statistically, substance abuse and domestic violence are correlated. You fear for your children and the impact the addiction is having on their lives. You're probably wondering how to fix relationships destroyed because of addiction, and if it's even worth it to try.
When Addiction Comes First
There is really nothing good to say about substance abuse. When someone has an addiction, it becomes the primary focus in their life. That means your relationship and family takes a back seat in the life of your partner. His or her attention is on making sure the addiction is fed regularly. Not only do you not have control over your partner's actions, your partner has lost control of his or her life. This may occur over a period of time, such as with alcoholism, or it may happen suddenly, like with highly addictive drugs.
Substance abuse can shatter a relationship or marriage, and take it down the road to divorce or a breakup quickly, but anyone with an addiction can overcome it. Alcohol is the most common addiction, and there are wonderful support groups that can help anyone who abuses alcohol on a regular basis. The most well known group is Alcoholics Anonymous, but there is also a group called Al-Anon that is for the people in a relationship with or married to those with an alcohol addiction. Some people need to attend therapy sessions with a licensed therapist, counselor or physician.
Unfortunately, the abuse of legal and illegal drugs is growing also, placing a great strain on many relationships and marriages. Some people stick with prescription drugs, but there are plenty who choose to use illegal drugs. This kind of substance abuse not only strains the marriage, it adds a whole other element to the problem in terms of the constant fear of being caught and arrested. In addition, drugs are quite expensive and the result is a tremendous financial strain on the family budget.
As previously mentioned, there is simply nothing good to say about substance abuse. It tears families apart and ruins relationships. But if you can get your partner to seek help, substance abuse addiction can certainly be overcome and then controlled. Approaching the subject without creating defensive responses is difficult. People with addictions often get very manipulative and extremely secretive. Bringing their problem into the open can cause them to retreat even further or find new ways to try to hide the problem.
There are different ways to let your partner know that you want your relationship addiction-free. You can certainly try talking to your partner in a reasonable fashion. Although the addicted person is at fault, you want to get the lines of communication open, which means making threats is not going to work in most cases. This includes making the threat of leaving the marriage or ending the relationship. While addicted, the person is not making rational decisions and will probably tell you to go ahead and leave. This is not true in every case, but most people who are true addicts need help overcoming their addiction and are not going to just stop without assistance.
You could offer to attend support group sessions with your partner. You can try to get your partner to see a doctor and ask for help. You notice the operative word is always try because you cannot force someone to stop abusing alcohol or drugs. They have to want to stop before it will happen.
But one thing you can do is help your partner before the abuse becomes a full blown addiction whenever possible. In the early stages of abuse, it is much easier to talk rationally with your partner. You can point out how his or her behavior is causing problems already and suggest that help be sought. In the early stages, your partner is more likely to listen to what you have to say when you explain the damage being done to the marriage or relationship.
To stop divorce or a relationship breakup due to an addicted partner or spouse, it's important to get help one way or the other as soon as possible!