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How Does Addiction Affect My Spouse?

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Addiction affects every aspect of a person’s life, from physical and mental health to their social life, professional life, and more. However, while it is common to feel isolated by the effects of addiction, it is a dangerous disease that affects entire families. From friends, peers, and coworkers to its profound effects on one’s spouse, addiction is never truly isolated. 

A spouse can be the most important member of a support system and the one most affected by their loved one’s drug or alcohol use. Addressing the ramifications of substance use on one’s life and its effects on their spouse is essential for a transformative recovery. However, it is always possible to rebuild these critical relationships while navigating the complexities of recovery alongside professionals. 

Your Spouse Is Affected

It is not uncommon for those struggling with addiction to be aware that they may have a problem with drugs or alcohol. Hiding substance use from one’s spouse or experiencing negative consequences as a result of their use are all common, and those battling the effects of addiction may attempt to keep these effects hidden for many reasons. Some may believe they will be misunderstood, while others may be trying to “spare” another from their traumas, anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions. However, there is no hiding the effects of addiction. It is possible to affect one’s spouse with one’s use of addictive substances even when not actively drinking or using drugs in front of them. 

Changing a Household Atmosphere

The effects of addiction are far-reaching, with profound impacts on physical and emotional health. For those struggling with addiction, mental health distress is incredibly common, along with mood swings, anger, anxiety, depression, fear, and much more. 

Intense emotions affect the atmosphere of one’s living space and, thus, one’s family. These complicated emotions create a very tense living situation, with a pervasive feeling that one has to “walk on eggshells” to avoid unwanted emotional outbursts or otherwise upsetting someone. It can make the walls feel thin and fundamentally affect how one’s spouse conducts themself in what should be a safe and healthy environment. 

Creating Emotional Turmoil

Those struggling with the use of addictive substances can also feel an increasing emotional distance between themselves and their spouse. The use of drugs or alcohol can dictate much of one’s life — from one’s daily schedule to their emotional state — and addiction can cause an individual to reprioritize the things once most important in life. Coupled with a changing atmosphere, addiction can have critical effects on one’s spouse, even leading to stressful marital problems. 

Avoiding spending time together, a loss of interest in hobbies, and choosing drugs or alcohol over established familial traditions are all profound effects of addiction that can make it difficult to maintain an emotional closeness in one’s marriage. This emotional distance can also manifest through a decreasing sex drive or willingness to engage in emotionally engaging activities together, slowing changing one’s view of their spouse from a loving companion in life to a hurdle to continued substance use. 

The Prevalence of Abuse

Chronic drug and alcohol use compromises much of one’s emotional health, making it difficult to manage one’s emotional state. For some, this can manifest as angry outbursts or the development of abuse. Anger, irritation, and compromised decision-making and rationalization skills can lead to physical abuse, verbal abuse, or belittlement of one’s spouse as one seems out of control of their own behavior due to the influence of addictive substances. When left unresolved, these abuses can permanently affect one’s spouse and marriage, leading to separation, trauma, and other irreparable effects. 

Financial Effects of Addiction

Addiction is expensive. For some, the act of purchasing increased amounts of drugs or alcohol can dictate their finances. However, these changing finances also affect marital relations. Coupled with legal troubles, the inability to maintain employment, or the inability to focus on professional responsibilities due to one’s substance use, addiction carries an intense financial toll. 

As one compromises their budget to engage with drugs or alcohol, finances become increasingly challenging to manage, and one may no longer have the ability to pay their share of the rent, groceries, or other necessities. These financial costs then fall on one’s family, with spouses potentially being forced to pick up extra shifts or make other sacrifices due to one’s addiction.

Recovering as a Family

Addiction affects entire families, and dedicated detox and recovery programs understand the need for healing for all involved. Attending dedicated family programs to open communication and address one’s use of drugs or alcohol and its effects on one’s spouse is necessary for a truly transformative experience. This is the first step toward a healthy, forgiving family life in recovery. 

Addiction is a disease that affects many, and we at Pacific Sands Recovery Center believe that your recovery should touch just as many people. We are committed to helping you understand and address the unique effects of addiction on your family, spouse, and even coworkers, and we can create dedicated family programs and teach essential skills to help you address these relationships. Your time with us is personalized to fit your unique needs and goals, along with family plans, individual and group therapy, and much more to help you build healthy, important relationships in your life. We also offer an extensive array of programming to help you find your best practices. Detox, residential, and ongoing support are all backed by a community of peers and professionals that make up a truly transformative experience. For more information on how we can help you, call us today at (714) 492-1119.

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  • I would just like to share how Grateful I am with my experience through my addiction at this facility. I couldn’t possibly ask to be in such a “SAFE/COMFORTABLE” environment while receiving treatment for my addiction. I would just like to say Thank you sooo much to ALL the staff there from the Nurse’s to counselors and therapist all of you are a True Blessing in helping me through my journey of sobriety. I couldn’t feel more comfortable there on how they monitored my physical health and on dealing with my emotional health with there therapy sessions and groups I truly see them ALL as Family!

    Andrew N.
    Client
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    Vanessa
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    Matt
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