Addiction is a tough disease to cure. One of the main reasons why is because the person itself often doesn’t want to be cured. They think this because they believe that life is better with their substance and the process of recovery is long, miserable and painful.
For people living with an addict, be it their family or their spouse, at some point, it becomes too much. The toxicity of their habits spread out, degrading everything around them as they slowly spiral down the abyss of their addiction. Sometimes, the solution is to dive into that abyss, grab them by the hand, and help them up the spiral staircase of recovery.
It would be nice if they nodded and walked one step at a time with you. Sometimes though, what they end up doing is to drag you with them, destroying yourself in the process. In this case, the only way out is to let go and climb out yourself.
When should you? It is difficult to give up on them, especially if you love them. Sometimes though, letting go may be the best solution for both you and your addicted loved one. When should you let go?
Stop Considering if your Children are Getting Affected
Stop thinking about it, stop justifying it, start planning, start packing and leave with your kids. If it sounds too vague for you, to make a decision, here are a few things to think about.
Has your spouse used their substance in front of your children or exposed them to the substance? Even just telling them about it counts.
Has your spouse been with your children while under the influence of their substance?
Has your spouse physically or verbally abused the children, (and you included?)
Has your spouse undermined your financial stability? Has your spouse stolen money, or used your savings to further their addiction?
Is your daily life composed of ensuring that the family is peaceful and helping your children endure the addiction?
Are you constantly being demeaned, or feel like your value over the family is little compared to your addicted spouse, especially towards your children?
If you have answered yes to at least three of these, don’t delay further. You have every right to separate yourself and your children from your partner. Your children’s lives can and will get affected in the long run. As they grow into adults, the trauma and turmoil they will feel will shape them, often negatively. It would be better for them to deal with separation, than enduring constant and escalating abuse from your partner.
Yet, there are reasons why some spouses don’t leave, even if all the questions applied to them.
Why Some Spouses find it Impossible to Leave
Love. Leaving your addicted partner can lead to the idea that you’re abandoning them. Leaving them to their to their own devices could potentially further their addiction. Without your support, they could spiral down to the darkest parts of their mind. You’re afraid they will end up in a far worse condition without you to maintain them.
Finances and Responsibility. If your addicted spouse is the family breadwinner, it may be hard to separate from them due to the lack of resources. You could probably survive for a month, but what about the next one? Often, some spouses find it hard to handle the responsibility of becoming a single parent, especially when you don’t have a job or place to sustain your children.
There are two things to take heart. First is to detach your emotions from your decisions. If there’s a place where you should put your emotions on, it’s your children. Second, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Call your parents, contact your friends, even the authorities. At the very least, social services can assist you with your issue the best they can.
It is never an easy decision until you get to a point where you have no choice. Things are often at a far too terrible state when that happens. Sometimes, too late.
If your children’s lives, lifestyle, and future are at risk, don’t hesitate. You’ll do far, far more good than bad.