Sadly, drug abuse affects more than just the user. If you’re a married to a person engaged in substance abuse then you more than likely already know this. The first problem you have to face is seeing what the use of the drug is doing to someone you love but that is only the beginning. A drug user’s habit can put your life, your children, your finances and your reputation in jeopardy and although you may want what is best for the drug user, you may have to ask yourself some difficult questions at some point in time.
When should you consider divorcing an addict?
- When your spouse is lying about being clean: Dealing with addiction is hard enough without the lies. When your spouse is failing drug tests while claiming to be clean, it will be hard for you to trust him even with your children.
- When your spouse becomes verbally or physically abusive: There may come a time when living with an addict becomes dangerous to you. When the addiction becomes stronger, an addict may be willing to do anything to get their fix and this can put your life in danger. Living with a verbally abusive spouse can also affect your self-esteem negatively.
- When children are involved: Life with an addict becomes immensely more challenging when there is a child involved. It’s important at all times to consider the welfare of a child. When the behaviour of an addict becomes unpredictable, it becomes difficult to keep the child safe. A drug using spouse may also serve as a poor role model to the child, cause psychological damage and affect the choices your child will make in the future.
- When you financial situation is a mess: No addiction is cheap no matter the substance being abused. The need to regularly buy ensures an addict is always spending money but being high may mean that the addict is no longer able to work and earn money. This will cause the addict to start depending on you for money to get their fix. It may also result in the addict selling your valuables to get money. This can leave you in financial ruin.
Preparing to Divorce an Addict
There are certain steps that you should take when preparing to leave an addict:
- Join a support group for families of drug addicts: Interacting with people who are going through the same experience as you can give you some idea of how to handle it. It can also be a source of comfort.
- Find a supportive and a safe place for you and your children amongst your family and friends. The divorce can be tough under these conditions and you’ll need as much support as possible.
- Protect your finances: You can get a separate bank account for yourself and you can also sell your valuables to prevent the addict from using them to feed their habit.
- Get a good divorce lawyer. Divorcing an addict isn’t a straight forward process when children are involved. A good divorce lawyer will help you to arrive at an agreement that will keep your children safe such as supervised visitation.