Addictions come in many forms and can center on drugs, gambling, shopping, sex, and more. When a person’s spouse is struggling with an addiction, this can have devastating effects on every member of the family. This can especially difficult for the addict’s partner, as they often feel responsible for caring for their loved one and preserving the family cohesiveness.
For this post, we’re offering a few guidelines for those who are dealing with a spouse who suffers from an addiction. Keep in mind that this information is general in nature, and for in-depth guidance you should always reach out to qualified professionals and/or a reputable family law attorney in CA.
Seek Professional Help
Addiction is a complex problem that often requires outside assistance. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, know that you can reach out to support groups, explore counseling for your spouse, seek the help of medical professionals, and more. Even if your spouse flakes or decides that outside help isn’t for him/her, don’t neglect your own well-being. Look for support groups targeted at those dealing with a loved one’s addiction.
Prioritize your Family’s Safety Above All Else
Addiction can truly change a person, and many addicts can lash out in violent ways. Although it’s understandable that you want to look out for your loved one, prioritize your well-being and that of your children and other family members first. Plot out an emergency escape plan if necessary, have a set of overnight bags ready at a friend’s place or other trusted location, and be sure you have somewhere to go if things take a turn for the worse.
Consider the Possibility of Divorce
Unfortunately, not all addicts are willing to get the help that they need and in some cases, the only way to protect yourself and your children is to simply leave for good. Studies have highlighted the serious long-term effects that a parent with an addiction problem can have on the development of his/her children, and sometimes their interests outweighs your spouse’s. Likewise, you should do everything you can to avoid exposing yourself and your children to immediate danger.
If divorce is an option you are ready to explore, we recommend that you consult with a family law attorney as your first step, especially if you’re afraid that your spouse will be unwilling to cooperate and foresee lengthy child custody or other divorce-related disputes. Talk to a trusted family law attorney in CA, someone who can guide you through this difficult period in your life.
If you want to learn more about this, or about any other topic involving divorce, child custody/visitation, or family law in CA, know that we at R & S Law Group, LLP are here to help.
Reach us at (949) 825-5245 to book a free appointment with the divorce attorneys at R & S Law Group, LLP.