Addiction is a difficult struggle not just for the addict, but for his/her loved ones as well. We often see the toll that addiction takes on a marriage, and in many cases the problem only gets worse over time. In some cases, people are able to fight their addiction via approaches such as 12 step programs, but unfortunately relapses happen and the cycle continues.
At some point, a person has to choose between staying with a spouse who is suffering from a worsening addiction, or leave the marriage for their own sake. For today’s post, we want to take a look at the unique struggles and challenges faced by someone who is trying to leave a marriage where addiction is a problem.
How Codependency and Enablement Play a Role
One reason as to why walking away can be so difficult is that addicts often foster a codependent relationship with their loved ones. This means they rely on the help or enablement of others to continue the destructive behaviors, even when said behaviors are detrimental to everyone.
Those who are married to an addict are familiar with the strategies employed by the person suffering through addiction: they will lie, steal, cheat, and do anything it takes to get their fix. They’ll also resort to guilt-tripping those who try to get in the way of their fix. Once under the influence, their behavior doesn’t improve and can often contribute to emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.
Divorcing an addict can be a very difficult process. This involves recognizing these destructive patterns that keep you and your loved ones locked in the cycle of addition.
Seek Advice From a Professional You Can Trust
Once the decision to leave is made, things can quickly become more hostile, difficult, or contentious. The situation can become very delicate, so it’s important that you approach this carefully.
We can’t stress the importance of seeking reliable advice you can trust, advice aimed at protecting you and your loved ones. Before taking any drastic steps, always take the time to consult with a qualified divorce attorney in California. Divorcing an addict is difficult, but know that you don’t have to move forward by yourself.
Learn more about how we at the Law Office of James P. White are here to help. Schedule a free initial consultation with a compassionate and knowledgeable divorce attorney today. Call us at 925-271-0999 to learn more.