The Challenges of Divorcing an Addict
Addiction issues have affected most people in some way or another. Whether they are the friend or family member of someone who fights addiction or they themselves have struggled with addiction or substance abuse, addiction can be devastating to the people whose lives are impacted by it. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that 21.5 million adults and adolescents experienced drug or alcohol addiction in the U.S in 2014 alone. If you or someone close to you struggles with addiction, you know that addiction can become all-consuming. If you are married to an addict, you may have considered ending the marriage through divorce. Only those in marriage can know what is the right course of action for them, but if you are unhappily married to an addict, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Are You Being Abused?
One of the most horrible things about substance abuse and addiction is that it can change a person into a completely different version of themselves. Substance abuse has been found to co-occur in 40-60 percent of domestic violence or intimate partner violence incidents. If you are married to an addict and are considering if you should stay or leave, one of the biggest red flags that the marriage is unhealthy is abuse. While many only think of abuse as serious physical harm, such as a husband who repeatedly hits his wife, abuse can be much subtler. Psychological abuse can include threats made against the other spouse or the children, attempts to control and manipulate the family members, or forcing the family members to be isolated from other loved ones. Sometimes romantic partners of addicts put up with abuse much longer than they should because they believe the person cannot help their behavior. Unfortunately, abusive behavior often escalates.
Does Your Partner Want to Change?
Having an addiction issue by no means guarantees that a person will never be able to lead a successful, happy life. Many people are able to overcome substance abuse issues with the help of programs such as Alcoholic Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Others find the assistance they need to get past addiction issues in a religious organization or support group. Therapy and other psychological intervention have been found to significantly help those with addiction problems. However, in order for these methods to work, the addicted individual must be willing to engage with them. If your spouse is unwilling to get help in order to change his or her behavior, he or she may not be ready to change.
Considering Divorce? Let Us Help
If you have further questions about divorce or other family law matters, contact an experienced Wheaton divorce attorney for help. To schedule a free, confidential consultation at the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, call 630-871-1002.