Marriage & Addiction
Marriage & Addiction
Step 3 Regular Usage
When addiction progresses it requires a regular fix. The substance abuser will now use others in their attempt to satisfy their addiction. This often leads to a multiplicity of dysfunction on many levels. Satisfying the addiction is often done in secrecy as well as with others. The frequency in which they do so has now escalated and impedes on their day-to-day life. The addiction can still go undetected because they cleverly camouflage or conceal their addiction of choice! As one looks closely the signs are all there. A spouse may not be aware because they can appear normal to a degree. A multiplicity of excuses is rendered when they are questioned? Deception comes along with addiction it can destroy your marriage and other relationships as well
Truth and intimacy are important components in building a good strong marriage!
Step 4 full-blown
Day in and day out the addiction has now taken over. The addict will now do whatever to satisfy his or her obsession that has completely taken control. Their life cycle is getting, using, doing drugs, alcohol or whatever the addiction is… They are now compulsively spiraling increasingly downhill… For many it takes hitting rock bottom before they will admit they need help!
They have indulged themselves to the point that their brain chemistry has changed! To attempt to stop means that they will go through a period of painful withdrawal! The high that they used to receive is now an insatiable voracious uncontrollable craving! A mere ferocious “monkey on their back!” They cannot feel normal unless they are under the influence or indulging in the activity! Their family, friends, job, talents, resources are all being destroyed by their inability to control their compulsive need for a fix!
How interesting that they so paradoxically “Need a fix!” What really needs to be fixed is their deep cavernous inner pain… Addiction is a vicious cycle. If your spouse is in any of these stages it is important to confront them in love. Redemptive confrontation is a way to begin to address whatever the addiction is. If not confronted your love one’s life will spiral out of control if in fact that is not the case already.
Marriage is a wonderful relationship God has created for us to learn how to properly relate to our spouses. It is the ultimate monogamous sacred co-worker relationship! It is through a committed marriage with God as the center one can learn how to overcome their weaknesses. Addiction is a weakness. Drugs, alcohol, illicit sex, pornography or whatever … are all used to help them feel good! However as an addict they have no boundaries and they are constantly seeking more ways to alleviate their uncontrollable desires. This only drives them deeper into despair and uncertainty. Marriage was wonderfully designed by God so we could get some of our needs met. There are some needs that can only be met by God!
A spouse can facilitate the cycle of dysfunctional addiction being broken!!
An intervention is necessary! Once the addiction has been confronted it is important to seek healthier ways to cope. Remember there are many forms of addiction! It can be an addiction to just about anything! Remember; Addiction is a plea for help! There are healthier ways to fill that inner void! There is absolutely nothing in your life that God is not aware of! He Loves you! He wants you to reach out to Him!
Developing a genuine intimate personal relationship with the Lord will help you begin to better cope! Here one must be careful as well! There are those who develop an addiction to religion. They become very religious which also creates a void! It becomes just another escape! This is not the same thing as having a personal relationship with the Lord! It is important to spend time in His Word getting to know Him through His Word! Here you can discover what life is really all about!
One must seek to discover who they are without the addiction! Now that it is out in the open the addiction is exposed! This is what the road to recovery is all about. One must begin to monitor their feelings to see what triggers their desires. What is the root cause of them losing themselves into addiction? How do I begin to move from the addiction being the center of my life? God does have a better way! There is a way out of addiction. Focusing now on your spouse’s strengths is very important! God wants to be the center of your life. “Jesus came that you might have life and has it to the full.” John 10.
Next we will discuss some of the causes of addiction!
See Part 4
Marriage and addiction
Addiction is something few want to readily discuss. Having an addiction will inhibit intimacy within the marriage. Transparency is necessary in order to build intimacy. Love, transparency, trust and intimacy are essential components in building a healthy strong satisfying marriage. Addiction prohibits you from being transparent.
Addiction is a clear indicator that you are hurting. You have simply found an unhealthy way to cope with your deep pain. Your addiction can be alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, uppers, downers, prescription drugs, caffeine, illicit sex, people, pornography, food and even shopping! Yes and there are more… Even approval from others. Guess what? You have only found a way to momentarily relieve or somewhat ease your infuriating inner pain; it is still there. The addiction is a flag that something is wrong. You need to seek a healthy resolve.
I say momentarily because while under the influence or indulging in the activity of choice you are able to somewhat escape. However the systemic cause remains because the pain returns. Often more vehement than ever before. This causes you to each time pursue passionately that which you are addicted to. Addiction of any kind can be life threatening because you are out of control. Your desires consume you and disables your ability to be responsible or demonstrate genuine love. Instead the activity controls you and you will do whatever it takes to get a “quick fix!
How does this impact my marriage? Good question. Marriage is a partnership and when one has an addiction they are not able to fully commit because the addiction is often their main priority. The spouse that is unaware is kept in the dark. Secrets, lies and deception accompany addiction. The addiction is used to fill the insatiable void in the addicted partner’s heart. It instead becomes their companion. This leaves their spouse out in the cold.
A disordered family, peer pressure, cultural influences, abuse, incest, rape, molestation, lack of self-esteem and a weakness to experiment can all contribute to one developing an addiction.
We live in a drug friendly worldly environment. Daily we are bombarded with the invitation to take this pill or that pill. Notice how many television commercials attempt to sell you something to feel better! Notice how the dinner hour has become the prime time for commercial pushers. There are a multiplicity of pushers of all sort. Doctors also oblige patients with tranquilizers, stimulants, pain pills, sleeping pills even pills to wake you up!
Keeping your commitments are important. One thing that needs to be promoted more is a personal relationship with the Lord! Marriage is ordained by God. It was designed to be the ultimate sacred relationship between a man and a woman. It can also help you prioritize life and put all your other relationships into their proper perspective, it can help you develop a healthier living environment.
Building trust is an important part of marriage! As we commit to building healthier home environments we contribute to lessening the number of addictions continuing to escalate. A safe home environment does not exclude addiction; but it does serve to nurture those who are… The possibility to break the generational cycle of dysfunction becomes attainable.
It is important to seek ways to validate one another. To develop and ongoing healthy support system that says I love and sincerely care. This does not mean you support the addiction. No! You separate the behavior from the person. You encourage them to be the best they can be and find ways to help them become who they were created to be!
God created each of us uniquely and we have varying temperaments. Our needs are different when these needs are not met a void is created and therefore one seeks to often erroneously fill that void. Marriage is about working together to find healthier ways to fill those voids with a committed partner…
Your partner is not responsible for your addiction you are. Both must hold one another accountable for their actions! You both are accountable to God for the vows you made… Remember, “for better or for worse…”
In this 21st century emotional gasoline has flamed the fires of addiction. Pain, grief and stress not dealt with properly are great contributors that drive unhealthy desires. Addiction is big business therefore it is often rationalized and one can easily find access and support. Addiction does not usually happen overnight it is a gradual process that begins with a series of steps…
Next we will discuss some of those steps;