Substance abuse is a serious issue that can seriously screw up your marriage. If you want to screw up your marriage, don’t take control of the substance abuse issues in your relationship. Substance abuse can be a major problem regardless of whether it is you, your partner, or both of you that are abusing drugs or alcohol. Substance abuse can spark fights, cause those fights to escalate or even get violent, and offer little closure when the fight is over. Addiction is an enormous stressor in any relationship. When combined with the difficulties of any marriage, parenthood, and life, it is even less manageable.
When someone is drinking too much or abusing drugs, they are not themselves. They might be acting like just a shadow of their true self or the worst parts of themselves, but either way, they are not anywhere close to the person they need to be to keep the marriage on track. Substance abuse inhibits self-control. When you are a parent or in a marriage, the decisions you make impact more than just yourself. If your ability to make decisions well is compromised, your family carries that burden just as much as you do. Don’t forget, substance abuse also affects everyone in your household. If you have kids, they are likely to be impacted at least in part by the situation. If you or your partner tries to hide the problem from the rest of the family, when it inevitably comes to the surface, that trust is really hard to get back.
As a partner in a marriage, there are contributions you must make to keep your marriage afloat. If your family depends on you for financial support but you keep losing jobs because of your addiction, you won’t be able to provide for them in the way they need you to.
Confronting a substance abuse problem in your marriage is hard. It means coming to terms with some harsh realities, having to be vulnerable, and having to make one of the hardest lifestyle changes there is. There are programs, resources, and specialists who can help so neither you nor your partner have to deal with these heavy issues on your own. Above all, remember that there are people who love you and want to see you get through whatever issues you are struggling with, whether you have an addiction to beat or are doing your best to support a partner with a substance abuse problem. Lean on the people in your life who care about you.