How to Heal a Marriage Hurt by Addiction

But he’s not the type to talk about those things. We gladly paid upwards of $100 USD per person for 4-5 hours of unlimited drinks and buffets. There are people who do this every weekend, sometimes more. They offer absurdly named “Night Brunches” for those who want to keep the party going. I heard the pain of years old transgressions oozing from my wife as though the wounds were wide open.

A person with an alcohol use disorder has a real medical condition that alters their brain chemistry and makes them compulsively seek out alcohol, even when doing so has negative effects. Regarding the link between alcoholism and divorce, it appears that only one spouse is a heavy drinker in a marriage when the real problem first appears. According to studies, a couple is much more likely to divorce if one partner struggles with alcoholism.


Because of the difficult aspects of substance use recovery, the partner in recovery may not initially have the energy to commit to healing the relationship. In addition, families can be understood as a system. When one partner decides to change their behavior (quit using drugs and alcohol), it causes ripples throughout the family system. This can be disruptive, even if the change made was positive. Some couples can thrive immediately after the addicted partner becomes sober. Codependency can also cause the non-addicted partner to unwittingly enable unhealthy behaviors, which may encourage substance use and addiction.

  • When my wife was still frustrated, untrusting, and sad in my early sobriety, it made me angry.
  • If your partner is recovering from addiction, the process can come with challenges, and it may take time to cope with those challenges, but you’re not alone.
  • The supportive partner may have learned to walk on eggshells in an attempt to retain peace in the relationship.

The important point here is substance abuse by a partner causes damage to the marriage or relationship and these problems need to be treated, too. If the issues in the relationship are not treated, they can set the stage for continued conflict and, in turn, relapse to drinking or drug use. Thus, lasting recovery from substance use depends, in part, on making the relationship better. Eliminating drinking or drug use is only the starting point; once sobriety is attained, a supportive caring relationship can be one of the strongest factors in making that sobriety last. Many treatments for individuals who have a problem with alcohol and other drugs will include the partner in some way.

But What About Our Relationship?

Now, I try my best to separate the two, which has been a helpful exercise in discipline – but it certainly hasn’t been easy or smooth. For too long, alcohol was the focal point of my social life. It’s typical to experience withdrawal symptoms during the first 30 days of sobriety. Headaches, chills, mood swings, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and strong cravings are a few symptoms. Please call Sobriety Solutions if you or someone you care about is currently suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Divorce occurs in approximately 50% of marriages.

You won’t run out of studies, statistics, or facts about divorce if you spend enough time browsing the internet. Remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Every situation is unique, and your decision should align with what feels right for you and your well-being. Prioritize your safety and consider seeking support from professionals or organizations that specialize in domestic violence, if necessary. Your SUD recovery may benefit from the social support and closeness, too. Although the road to recovery can be long for everyone involved, it’s possible to make amends with those you might’ve hurt or lost in the past due to SUD.

How To Save Your Marriage After Addiction

My wife, on the other hand, was incapable of forgiveness because my apologies were so meaningless. They festered and metastasized and wreaked havoc on our marriage. The past had come back for vengeance on the present, and the only way forward for my relationship was to fully resurrect the pain and tell my wife how sorry I was all over again. We read all the articles and talked to therapists and thought all the thoughts in an effort to make things better.

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For the recovering addict, this means absolute honesty is essential. If you continue to lie to or mislead your spouse, trust can never be regained. Those who are suffering deserve the respect and empathy they’d receive with any other illness. Talking frankly about slips in sobriety and fostering environments – both in real life and online – is crucial in order to break down the shame that prevents people from reaching out. For the majority of people, sobriety is not done on a whim, rather as an essential conscious decision in order to stay alive, which is a tremendously challenging undertaking. Before I started on my sober journey, my place of work in nightlife merged into a place to drink after work and sometimes during.

Does your partner acknowledge their addiction, and are they actively seeking help and recovery? Look for signs of genuine commitment, such as attending therapy, participating in support groups, and making lifestyle changes. Reflect on the emotional toll of being in this relationship.

  • We focus on anything that’s good for you, good for others, and good for our planet.
  • While you can get help at the same time, recovery is an individual journey.

Sobriety topples these roles, and the partners realize they don’t even know how to talk to each other. Blame games start with every partner feeling sorry for themselves, shame, and guilt. If this trend continues, divorce is inevitable. Depending on how long the habit has persisted, some patterns have already become entrenched.

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