Divorce is an ongoing struggle for many individuals across the country. While most people do not think about the potential of divorce as they begin their marriage, the possibility is out there, requiring some to face this harsh reality. While many situations and behaviors can compile that lead to a divorce occurring, addiction or substance abuse can be a major factor.
The Correlation Between Addiction and Divorce
While there is no clear evidence that divorce is a root cause of addiction, it certainly has been shown to increase levels of depression and anxiety, especially among women. When working to overcome the mental obstacles of depression or anxiety, many individuals establish the use of drugs as a regular coping mechanism. This use can easily reach the point of addiction, worsening the symptoms in the long run. When working through symptoms of anxiety and depression, substance use is often reinforced, as it temporarily helps to overcome these negative emotions.
Effects on the Family Unit
Addiction can bring the idea of divorce to the table in the relationship in many ways. When an individual is going through addiction, the symptoms often affect the family unit as a whole, not just the individual with the addiction. Family members can play a large role in enabling addiction or supporting the process of recovery. If you are struggling with addiction, your significant other may be of great support to you. However, it’s important to be mindful of how the addiction takes a toll on them.
It’s important to recognize the struggles your family goes through while supporting you through addiction and how your choices can impact them. Let them know that you appreciate their support and express gratitude for the patience and encouragement they have given you. A lack of gratitude for the assistance of others can often cause them to feel unappreciated and unfulfilled within the relationship.
When children are in the mix, there are often issues of safety and mental well-being of the children that arise. Addiction can help push toward divorce if the side effects of the addiction negatively impact the safety of the children in the relationship. Children pick up many traits and behaviors from their parents. If a child is taught early on that the use of substances is normal, they may be enabled to use substances on their own in the future. Discussing the severity of addiction and explaining it to your children in a healthy way can allow them to understand the process and help support the success of their parents moving forward.
Domestic violence and abuse in relationships are not always factors in addiction and the potential for divorce, however, the rates of this occurring are increased with addiction. Being aware of your or your partner’s actions while under the influence of a substance is important to ensure you are not engaging in domestic violence within your household. Seeing how individuals react while under the influence or while experiencing withdrawal symptoms can often bring out the worst in a person. These obstacles can bring out an abusive and toxic side in individuals, potentially leading to divorce if not managed.
Effects on Sobriety Maintenance
One potential concern with divorce about addiction is the potential effects through the process of recovery. If you have dealt with an addiction and are in the lifelong stage of sobriety maintenance, you have likely gained various coping skills and established healthy habits to help you avoid falling back into the addiction. While everyone has hard days and obstacles to overcome, a divorce can often bring out the worst in people. If you are experiencing a divorce during the maintenance stage, you may find yourself closer to relapse than ever.
If you are encountering this situation, you must keep your healthy habits intact and attempt to live your life in recovery as normally as possible. Divorce comes with high emotions and a great deal of change. However, you need to allow yourself time to comprehend these changes and apply them to your lifestyle in a healthy way. Do not allow this barrier to reset your recovery progress.
With or without addiction, divorce is often an emotional battle. There are many adjustments to adapt to and hurdles to overcome. You must focus on self-care during this time, as divorce can potentially worsen or influence the onset of an addiction. Being aware of your needs and putting yourself as a priority when going through a divorce can help you further understand your potential for the future. Divorce may feel like the end of the world, but it is only the end of a chapter in your story. Keep moving forward, as the best is yet to come.
Addiction comes with a variety of side effects, not only affecting the individual but the family unit as a whole. As addiction often brings upon a wide range of negative emotions, it can sometimes bring out the worst sides of ourselves. In a relationship, this can quickly bring up underlying conflicts and show a different side of people. These factors can potentially destroy the relationship or lead to divorce if not managed. Many factors can occur from an addiction that takes a toll on the stability of a relationship. As well as potentially leading to divorce, addiction can also worsen or initiate after a divorce occurs. As substances are often used as a coping mechanism, it can be easy to fall back into the habit or use them when attempting to overcome the emotions of divorce. For help when substance abuse and divorce mingle, call Spero Recovery at (303) 351-7888.