Addiction is one of the hardest things a married couple can go through. Marriages are meant to be safe havens, but when one partner has an addiction, it changes the dynamic of the relationship. It’s not uncommon for addiction to cause chaos, conflict and even violence in the household. So what can you do if you’re facing this exact situation?

Helping a spouse through addiction takes a great deal of patience and effort. But it’s important to know that you can’t change anyone. Your spouse must be willing to seek a drug detox program in Newport Beach and follow their aftercare plan. If they are not willing to do this, you may have to take a step back so that you can preserve your own health and wellness.

Let’s learn more about what you can do when your spouse is an addict.

How Common is Addiction?

Addiction is unfortunately very common. But this also means that you are not alone. Many married couples face issues with substance use and addiction. It’s estimated that 21 million Americans suffer from a substance use disorder, and about half of these people struggle from a co-occurring mental illness as well.

Substance use addictions are most well known, but people can also suffer from behavioral disorders such as eating, gambling, shopping or video gaming. While anyone can develop an addiction, it’s more common in people who have a family history of addiction and underlying mental health problems.

Signs of Substance Use in a Marriage

Each couple is unique, and the signs of drug or alcohol use in your partner may not be obvious. It depends on your partner, how advanced their problem is and your relationship with them.

Here are some telltale signs that your spouse may be struggling with a substance use disorder:

  • Money disappearing without explanation
  • Spending more time away from home
  • Trouble keeping a steady job
  • Drug paraphernalia or alcohol bottles hidden around the home
  • Excessive time spent out or partying, especially without you
  • Inability to stop drinking or using drugs
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Physical health problems

Do’s and Don’ts When Living with an Addict

Drugs and alcohol can cause a person to change drastically. You might feel like you’re living with a stranger. Remember, while you can support your spouse’s journey to recovery, you cannot force them to change or stay sober.

Here are some do’s and don’ts for dealing with a spouse who is an addict.


  • Ask for help. Reach out to friends, family and others you trust. Addiction affects the family unit, so you can likely benefit from family therapy and peer support groups. At the very least, have someone you can talk to.
  • Show support for recovery. The best way to support your loved one is by encouraging their need for addiction treatment in Newport Beach. This is very different from supporting the addiction (i.e., paying bills, making up excuses. You can also offer to drive them to their 12-step meetings and read educational literature.
  • Practice good self-care. Living with an addict can be exhausting. Make sure your emotional needs are met, and take care of your physical body by getting enough rest, eating well and exercising.
  • Learn about addiction. Addiction is a chronic brain disease – not a choice. The more you learn about addiction, the better you can understand what’s going on and be a source of support for your spouse.
  • Maintain a healthy home. If you want your spouse to quit drugs or alcohol, you must set a good example. Don’t leave alcohol or drugs around in the home, and don’t use them in front of your spouse.


  • Lie for your spouse. By making up excuses or lying for your spouse, you’re allowing the addiction to continue. Let your spouse take responsibility for their own actions.
  • Cover up the addiction. Another thing you don’t want to do is cover up the addiction. This just helps them continue down the path they are on.
  • Avoid the problem. Many people turn a blind eye to their partner’s substance use problems. While it might seem like the easy way out, the problem won’t go away. Address the addiction head on and push for a Newport Beach drug rehab program.
  • Blame or judge. Addiction is a disease. Blaming or judging your spouse is not effective. Instead, it will just anger your spouse and drive a wedge between them and treatment.
  • Blame yourself. And certainly, do not blame yourself for your spouse’s problems, no matter what you have been through. Your spouse is making the decision to use drugs or alcohol, and it’s up to them to make the decision to stop.

Newport Beach Recovery Center is a drug and alcohol rehab program in Newport Beach. We offer detox, residential and outpatient treatment services. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your spouse recover from their addiction.