When To Leave An Addicted Spouse

When to Leave an Addicted Spouse

The vows of matrimony bind two individuals together, to love and support each other in good and bad times. This union is tested to its elastic limit when one person falls into the habit of substance abuse. Addiction has a deteriorating effect on communication and the general authenticity of the relationship between couples.  The idea of leaving a relationship with an addict is very normal and isn’t at all selfish, depending on the circumstances surrounding your partner’s condition.

Maybe the relationship started out great, with lots of positive energy and similar interests even while your partner was an addict, in some cases, maybe the substance abuse even contributed to their boisterous and overly enthusiastic behavior that used to be rather pleasant to be around.

Leaving an Addicted Spouse

The excessive drug use finally takes a toll on the family and its more than one can handle especially when you have to lie to your friends and families about the condition of things while trying to cope with the physical, psychological, and emotional transition in your marriage. The impact of drug use on the family is often intense.

Deciding whether it is a good idea to leave an addicted spouse is one of the biggest decisions that one would have to make, especially in a devoted marriage that has stood for many years.

Reasons Why Most People Can’t Leave An Addicted Spouse

Deciding to stay with an addict may become unhealthy and completely irrational. There are some reasons why some people stay with a spouse who is suffering from substance addiction, the reasons are:

People Can’t Leave An Addicted Spouse
  • They do not want the addict to feel abandoned to their fate
  • They are worried that they may be the only ones who could take care of the addict
  • They are scared that the addict might do something harmful to themselves
  • They feel a sense of responsibility and are compelled to help the addict to avoid the feeling of guilt
  • When there are children in the marriage
  • Financial situations such as having a joint account with various complexities
  • The fear that the health of the addict would decline

Before thinking of taking the high road there are some things that you may have tried in terms of trying to help your spouse with their addiction. Without enabling the addict, there are numerous ways you can make them seek help. Some of these techniques include:

  • Giving advice
  • Organizing interventions
  • Couples counseling
  • Asking them to go for rehab
  • Using ultimatums

If none of these ideas took root then it is time to take inventory of the relationship to know what should be the next line of action.

Here are a few questions that would serve as a guide to you in making a choice:

  • Is your partner making conscious efforts to change?
  • Is the general condition taking away your happiness and self-esteem?
  • Is there equality in the relationship?
  • How long are you willing to wait for a change?
  • Is the condition affecting the children?
  • Are you in any way enabling your addicted spouse?
  • Is it an abusive relationship?
  • What is the cost of remaining in the relationship? (Physically, mentally, emotionally)

Reasons To Leave A Spouse Suffering From Addiction

Are you wondering where to draw the line in your marriage with an addict? There are a few factors to take into consideration. In some cases, it is very useful to seek the opinion of a close friend, colleague, or family member in order to streamline your thoughts. Here are the reasons why you should leave a spouse who is suffering from substance addiction.  

1. Dishonesty

No trust in the relationship

If there is no trust in the relationship then it would be difficult to hold on to any word your spouse says or take them seriously when they make promises of commitment to getting treatment. In certain situations dishonesty could escalate into other situations such as cheating, lying, and stealing.

2. Irresponsibility

Taking responsibility for their actions and deeds are necessary signs of improvement. If your partner always blames someone else for their problems and their misfortunes then it may be an irredeemable situation and a sign to leave.

3. Possessiveness

It is an absurdity when your addicted partner tries to control your finances, your social life, and other aspects of your life; controlling where you go and what you do. A possessive partner can become dangerous especially when substance addiction is in the mix.

4. Abusive

physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive

The use of drugs can alter the mind and change the behavior of a person, causing them to be more aggressive, moody and irritable. This character presents its self in the form of abuse. They may become physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive by using derogatory statements, hurting you physically, apologizes often but hurts you again, and other unethical behaviors. Once these characters are displayed then it may be time to leave.

5. Living in Denial

Living in Denial

It is quite frustrating living with an addict that thinks they have their addiction under control but continue to prove otherwise with their behaviors. They often become manipulative and make you seem overbearing. The fact is that living in denial will continue to affect your relationship with your spouse until they seek medical help or opt-in for a rehab. If these suggestions are not adhered to, and the situation continues to deteriorate, then it may be time to leave.   

What You Should Have In Mind About Your Partner’s Addiction

Many people are at a crossroads in their relationships because of their indecisiveness whether to leave a partner or not. Even though the decision is never easy and there is usually a lot to put into consideration, especially for old marriages with children and other complexities involved; it can be difficult. Here is a piece of mantra that everyone in this situation should consider while trying to decide for themselves:

1. You Are Not To Blame

Addiction is a personal choice and you are not the cause of it, no matter how your partner tries to make it seem like you were instrumental to its development. Blaming you for their addiction is another manipulative mechanism aimed towards dissuading you from putting your foot down or taking a life-changing decision.

2. You Can’t Cure It

Addiction can be managed with detox, rehabilitation, adequate treatment at any facility of choice, and there are aftercare services for support. However, keep in mind that addiction has no cure and can only be managed. Your spouse must show commitment to the process in order to keep the addiction at bay.

3. It Is Beyond Your Control

Addiction is a disease that often affects everyone and not just the addict. It affects the chemistry of the brain and presents with unpleasant symptoms which may prompt the addict to use the drug at any time, even after being sober for a long period of time. This occurrence is out of your hands and solely a decision for your partner.


What if you decided to stay? At this point, what really matters is that your spouse is visibly doing their very best to abstain from using drugs and is open to seeking professional help for their addiction. It is also important that your spouse does not exhibit any form of abuse towards you or your children in any form, whether physically, sexually, verbally, or otherwise.

A good sign to remain in a relationship with an addict would be honesty, commitment, faithfulness, and lots of effort in getting their life back. With these in place, you can provide them with all the support that they need to get their lives back on track.