Relationship problems: living with an addict

Category: Marriage, Relationships 90 0

Syringe and drugs with out of focus female addictLate last week we heard the reason why Hunter Biden, son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, was discharged from the Navy in February. Cocaine.

Biden, previously a lobbyist but now working for a private equity firm, was discharged not even a year after joining the Navy Reserve. At the time of his discharge, the Navy did not specify a reason publicly.

The former attorney was selected in 2012 to be a public affairs officer for the Reserves. He was 42 at the time and needed a special waiver to join due to his age.

The news of why Biden was discharged from the Navy might indicate that he actually has a drug problem – something that will take lots of work from his friends, family and spouse to help him get over.

Is drug abuse one of your relationship problems?

When you’re married to an addict – marijuana, cocaine, prescription pills, alcohol – life can be hard. Dealing with a partner’s addiction is stressful and is often one of those relationship problems that lead to divorce. But does it have to?

The first thing to remember is that you cannot change someone else, no matter how hard you try. Remember, when a person has a drug addiction, they may be supremely resistant to the inclination that they even have a problem. The truth is, until he or she realizes they have an addiction and that it is a problem, you can’t really force them to change.

When you’re married to an addict, the next thing to remember is that you must take care of yourself – if you don’t, you won’t be much help in the eventual healing. Don’t feel selfish: this ensures that you are in top condition to deal with what is to come next.

You’ll also want to educate yourself, so that you know what you’re dealing with. This doesn’t mean learning about addiction in general – you need to learn specifically about the substances your spouse is abusing so that you have an arsenal of information. You can find 12-step groups, local organizations and a wealth of knowledge online. Attending some of the meetings could even help you cope.

Getting someone to quit taking drugs is never an easy thing. So, if you are an enabler, stop it! Don’t make excuses for your spouse – make sure you address the issue and never ignore it. Just remember, your safety – and that of your kids if you have any – is important. If your spouse becomes violent or abusive while under the influence, you should consider getting out, even temporarily.

Hopefully, you’ll find the strength to do what’s necessary to move forward. Just remember that drug addiction doesn’t always mean divorce – it just means that you have a long, complicated road ahead of you.

 

 

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