Married to an Addict: Dealing with Addiction in a Marriage

For better or for worse were the vows you said, and those vows are tested to their max when you’re married to an addict. While finding an Ohio drug rehab should be at the top of your list, there are other things you can do to help your family through this difficult time. Exploring this in more detail all starts here:

Avoid Denial

Not only is addiction a painful experience for the addict and their family, but there is also a huge stigma surrounding it. Because of this, spouses often deny the fact that their significant other is an addict. While it can be easier to pretend the problem doesn’t exist, turning a blind eye does nothing to help you, your spouse, or your family. In fact, being in denial can cause more harm and push recovery farther away.

Learn About Addiction

Despite what others may say, addiction is a disease, and it’s one that will affect the entire family. To really understand what is going on you should learn as much about addiction as possible. Reach out to support groups, as well as specialists, such as Sober Nation, who have experience in addictions within a marriage. Having this information goes a long way to help your spouse, your marriage, and your family recover.

Don’t Be an Enabler

One of the most common behaviors within marriages and families that allow addiction to thrive is enabling. If you’re unsure what an enabler is, it is someone who does things to buffer the addict from the consequences of their actions. It can also mean someone who continues to allow the addict to seek out their addiction. An example of this would be a parent who spends thousands of dollars on a lawyer to keep their grown child addicted to alcohol out of jail for driving drunk. Most people don’t enable their loved one because they want them to succumb to their addiction; they do it with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, this type of “help” causes more harm than good.

Know your Limit and Set Boundaries

No matter how much you love your spouse, you cannot let them continue to test the limits of your marriage and your wellbeing. That is why it is important to draw a line in the sand. A partner that repeatedly refuses treatment will not get better on their own, and those negative actions will only continue to grow. Since each situation and marriage is different, you must make that decision for yourself and your family. Be it financially or abusiveness towards you, know your limit and stick with it. Stand your ground and do not compromise. While it can be extremely difficult and heartbreaking, leaving your spouse may be the only option left if they continue down the path of addiction.

Setting boundaries can help minimize the effects that addiction has on you, reduce the chance of enabling, and possibly even help the addict work towards recovery. When you set, and stick to boundaries, you’re showing your spouse that you will not tolerant certain behaviors that could have serious consequence to your health and well-being. These boundaries can include:


  • No alcohol or drugs allow in or around the house.
  • No one is welcome in the home if they are high or drunk.
  • Ridicule and insults will not be tolerated.
  • No money will be giving.


Since every situation is unique, set boundaries that work best for you and your family


Seek out Others

The old saying “strength in numbers” is especially true when dealing with addiction. That is why it is important to seek out support groups. This gives you a place to address your fears and concerns and ask questions without worrying about the stigma from others that have never experienced addiction. Support groups are also a great place to get advice and help when you feel like there’s nowhere else to turn. Furthermore, having people who have gone through the situation you’re currently in can help show you that there is life after addiction. This ray of hope can help keep you strong during the darkest hours.


Your Self-Care is Vital

No matter how much you try, there is only one person you have complete control over and can change, and that person is you. While all your energy may be focused on your addicted spouse and your marriage, you cannot help anyone when your mental and physical health is deteriorating due to the stress of addiction. Unfortunately, spouses of addicts often overlook self-care during this crisis, which takes a serious toll on their overall health and well-being. Don’t let that happen to you. Take the necessary steps to protect your health so you can stay strong during this trying time.