Divorcing the Addict Spouse
Has the time come to seriously start thinking about divorcing your Addict Spouse? After much heartbreaking soul searching has the time to break the downhill addictive spiral come for you and your family? Have you decided to stop the instability and damaging personal assaults the addictive spouse and parent has inflicted on the entire family?
Here are some possible questions you may ask yourself before making the final decision of divorcing your Addict Spouse:
- Have you acknowledged to yourself that your spouse is an addict?
- Have you acknowledged to your spouse that he/she is an addict?
- Has your life and that of your family become chaotic and unstable as a result of living with an addict?
- Have you gotten help for yourself and your spouse from an addiction expert?
- Have you attended counseling with your spouse and a knowledgeable addiction therapist?
- Have you or your family experienced serious negative consequences as a result of your spouse’s addiction?
- Have you considered or tried an intervention?
- Have you told your addict spouse that you are contemplating divorce unless he/she stops using?
- Are you now ready to leave the marriage and stop the pain?
(National Institute on Chemical Dependency: http://nicd.inspirehealth.org/)
You do not have to live in this current situation. Are you, as the non-addictive spouse, already the enabler in this relationship? Many times when the addictive spouse does seek professional help it is already too late for the marriage to survive.
If you have a family, addictive reality is very destructive to you and all family members involved. Most non-addictive family members feel very helpless in stopping the family unit from being destroyed or addressing the viability of the marriage.
Addiction Problems in a Marriage
Addiction is one of the most damaging and challenging problems spouses will ever face in a marriage. Because additive behavior touches everyone in a family, most marriages are severely damaged years before a decision is reached to end the marriage.
Most non-addictive members of a family feel helpless because they cannot stop the addict’s downhill spiral that destroys the family eventually resulting in divorce. Addiction hurts the addict, the spouse, children and extended family members.
Some Statistics on Addiction in the US
-The United States accounts for only 5% of the world’s population. However, two-thirds of illegal drugs are consumed in America.
-Approximately 14 million Americans, 7.4% of the population, meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse or alcoholism.
-Children of addicts or alcoholics are almost 3 times as likely to be verbally, physically. or sexually abused; and 4 times more likely than other children to be neglected.
-1 in 4 deaths in the U .S. can be attributed to alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drug use.
-More than 75% of domestic violence victims report that their assailant had been drinking or using illicit drugs at the time of the incident.
-8 million Americans have eating disorders
-2 million U.S. citizens are estimated to be pathologically, problematic gamblers
-1 to 2 million cocaine addicts in the US
– At least 12 million American spouses suffer from the effects from the effects of living with an addict.
All addictive illnesses are usually progressive and unless help is sought through attained rehabilitation, 12-step programs or other meaningful support, an addict will predictably continue to act in a self-destructive manner. The threat of divorce is usually not enough incentive for the addict to address their addiction.