Divorce is quite common in the United States, and when the stress of addiction is introduced into a relationship, the strain can take its toll. The strain that a spouse’s addiction can cause a marriage can be intense and while the addict is suffering so is their partner. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2017 in the U.S., there were over 2,000,000 marriages, and that same year, there were over 700,000 divorces and annulments. It is estimated that roughly 45% of first marriages will end up in divorce. 

The average age of those who go through a divorce is 30 years of age. Interestingly, Americans that fall between the ages of 25 and 34 report the highest reported rates of addiction. There are many causes for divorce, including infidelity, excess conflict, substance abuse, economic hardship, marrying too young, lack of support by family, little education, and religious differences. Marriages take work, and both parties must be invested in the success of a relationship. When addiction or chronic substance abuse is introduced into the relationship, it is not uncommon for the weight of these issues to cause a couple to part.

How Addiction Causes Decay in a Marriage

There are an estimated 24 million individuals in the United States who are married and struggling with addiction. Addiction not only hurts the addict, but it can cause pain and suffering in the spouse.

  • Loss of Trust

Lying and addiction go hand-in-hand. To keep the severity of the addiction a secret or in an attempt to try to hide it altogether, individuals may conceal the amount of money spent on the addiction, breaking promises to get help, behave differently, and lie about what they are doing or if they have engaged in any addictive behaviors. All of these things add up, and over time, the spouse hearing these mistruths will have their basic trust breached.

  • Financial Burdens

Accruing debt, wasting money, dipping into savings can all happen when one is looking for the means to pay for their addiction. Reckless and erratic behavior can lead to the loss of employment and much-needed income to the household. Addicted individuals who are trying to find ways to get their substances of choices may commit crimes. Behaviors while under the influence can lead to a wide variety of illegal activities, including DUI, which can have severe penalties, such as expensive fines, loss of license, and even jail time.

  • Emotional Abuse

The emotional distress that puts pressure on a spouse is overwhelming. Seeing one spiral out of control, worrying about their health and safety, providing care for the addict, and dealing with the aftermath of the addict’s behavior are serious burdens that wear a person out. Additionally, the unreasonable and dangerous behaviors that an addict can exhibit may also put their spouse in fear that they will lash out with violence. The Department of Justice conducted a study about the murder in families, and it was found that over half of those accused of murdering their spouses had been drinking alcohol at the time of the incident.

Addiction and Divorce Settlements

There are various factors to consider when going through a divorce. If severe addiction is involved, the addicted parent can lose much more than just money, for which, many times, they are penalized at a much higher rate than that of the sober parent; they can lose custody or rights to their children. The addicted parent may also lose control of the tangible property.

Finding Help For Addiction

Addiction And DivorceDon’t let addiction ruin another relationship that is important to you or continue to tear your life apart. Getting help through a rehabilitation alternative to ineffective addiction treatment centers is a good place to start. Discovery Place in Tennessee offers tremendous in-patient programs combined with long-term care options through our medical detox and addiction treatment center alternative. Call our Tennessee detox treatment center alternative today at 1-800-725-0922. One of our friendly staff members will answer all of your questions and provide information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 


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