Two unfortunate life situations — addiction and divorce — are traumatic enough on their own. When they occur in tandem, they are doubly devastating. Whether divorce leads to addiction, or the other way around, pursuing effective counseling and treatment options is imperative for repairing the damage that these concurrent events can cause.
Nearly one-half of marriages in the United States end in divorce, but just because it’s so commonplace does not make divorce any easier for individuals to endure. Those facing divorce often experience a wide range of emotions, including sadness, depression, pain of rejection, anger, loneliness, and oftentimes financial stress and anxiety. The loss of one’s life partner can be a trigger event for those who are prone to alcohol or drug abuse. For those already experiencing substance abuse, divorce can worsen the addiction.
Often the addiction itself is the cause of the divorce, with the strain of living with someone battling substance abuse driving the spouse away. Marriage to an addicted individual may be fraught with lies, mistrust, financial instability, verbal arguments and, in the worst-case situations, domestic violence. If there are children involved, the addiction may be a threat to their stability and safety, leading to the spouse’s conclusion that the only solution is to dissolve the marriage.
Regardless of how the divorce comes about, the loss of one’s life partner in daily interactions can deepen the alcohol or drug abuse tendencies of those who are prone to addiction. A separated or divorced individual is more likely to experience social isolation. Being alone with no one to talk to — or even someone to argue with — creates a void that the individual may fill by drinking or using recreational drugs. If there are children in the marriage, having to cut back on the time spend with them may be another source of distress that fuels an addiction.
Reaching Out for Support
An immediate need in the aftermath of a separation or divorce is to reach out to others who can relieve the isolation or loneliness that would otherwise occur. Being able to talk to family, friends, coworkers, clergy, or a counselor is an important way to fill the void when a spouse departs. Participating in a support group for those going through a divorce and/or substance addiction is another important outlet for human interaction. Having the ability to take to others who are going through the same trauma also provides important therapeutic value.
If addiction is the precipitating event that has led to discussions of divorce, reaching an agreement for the addicted spouse to seek treatment may be a way to keep the marriage intact. Each partner would have to understand the hard work involved in recovery and make a strong commitment to the future of their marriage. Even when the possibility of reconciliation has been ruled out, the spouse can still play a supportive role by encouraging the addicted individual to seek treatment and move on the path toward recovery.
The Importance of Treatment
Whether the marriage itself can be repaired or not, the addicted individual will achieve the best outcome the divorce by participating in a treatment program that addresses the issues relevant to the slide into addiction. These issues may stem from the divorce itself, such as a feeling of failure or unworthiness, or from more deep-seated trauma that only an effective treatment program can unearth.
Beachside Rehab’s dual diagnosis treatment program is a holistic approach that will help individuals identify the root cause of their addictive behavior while also helping them accept the end of their marriage. Realizing that there is life after their divorce — and after addiction — can equip patients with a newfound understanding of what they need to do to achieve happiness and put them in a position to provide happiness to others.
Article Source: www.beachsiderehab.com