Without a doubt, living with an addict is challenging to say the least. It more than likely impacts every aspect of your relationship. If you have children, one of your primary priorities is probably to protect them from your spouse’s addiction and all that goes with it.
Not being an addict yourself, you may not understand how your spouse can put whatever substance he or she is addicted to before you and your children. Unfortunately, that is part of the nature of addiction. The relationship with the substance takes over all of your spouse’s energy, thoughts and life.
Some aspects of addiction you may need to know
You may have asked your spouse to get help many times, but if his or her heart isn’t in it, it will never work. He or she needs to want to sever ties with the substance he or she is abusing, and until that happens, any requests for treatment will more than likely fall on deaf ears. Even threats of divorce may not make an impact, especially if you don’t intend to follow through with them, at least at first.
As long as your spouse is in the grips of the addiction, he or she may continue or start the following behaviors:
- Lying to you
- Cheating on you
- Shouting at you and the children
- Physically abusing you and/or the children
Under these circumstances, no one would blame you for wanting out of the marriage. If you feel you have tried everything to help your spouse and save your marriage, then divorce may be your best option. Of course, this is a very personal decision, and only you can make it.
If you decide divorce is your best choice
If you reach the point where you need to put the needs of you and your children ahead of your spouse’s addiction, then you may decide to file for divorce. Even though having grounds for divorce is not a requirement here in North Carolina, your spouse’s addiction could still affect the outcome of your divorce. Many addicts drain the family’s funds to support the addiction, and you may receive a larger portion of the marital assets due to this fact.
The addiction may have the most impact on your children. When it comes to child custody issues, the court’s primary concern is what serves the best interests of the children. If you don’t mention your spouse’s addiction at any other point during the proceedings, now may be the time. You wouldn’t want the addiction to put your children in any danger, and the court cannot help you protect them unless you share this information and have the evidence to back it up.
You don’t have to go through this alone
Divorcing an addict is not easy. You have lost the person you wanted to spend the rest of your life with and had children with to a substance. Moreover, you may still love your spouse and don’t want to feel as though you abandoned him or her, but you know that you need to take this step in order to protect you and your family.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go through the process alone. You can always rely on the advice and assistance of an experienced and compassionate attorney.