Recent studies have revealed new, alarming information about alcoholism, the most notable fact being that it is now the number one addiction in America. Not only is alcoholism a widespread problem in the U.S., it is also a big factor when it comes to divorce.
This has become especially common in divorce cases in recent years. It begins with one spouse claiming that the other is an alcoholic and that their addiction contributed to the destruction of their marriage.
It's quite common for alcoholism to have negative effects on relationships. The dishonesty that goes along with alcoholism, as well as other addictions, is like poison for a relationship of any kind.
A person's inability to control their drinking, coupled with repeated efforts to hide their habit, will eventually catch up to them no matter what. For an adult with a spouse, and perhaps children to take care of, the results can be especially devastating.
Their alcoholism can become the family secret, slowly destroying them from the inside. Spouses and children will either work together to keep the secret hidden from others or themselves, or they will react with anger and hurt. Either way, alcoholism has the power to turn a family, and a marriage, inside out.
Beginning divorce proceedings is unfortunately not the end of the suffering alcoholism can bring to a marriage. The alcoholic spouse will have to come out in the open with their issue if they intend to remain a part of their children's lives.
There can be a lot of guilt and pain experienced by the non alcoholic spouse as well. If all they really want is for their partner to get help, it can be especially painful for them to have to choose divorce as a way to make that happen. Oftentimes a spouse has tried to get their alcoholic partner help for a long time without any success, and has turned to divorce as a final option.
Other cases involve spouses that have experienced abuse at the hand of an alcoholic partner. These cases can be especially painful as it involves bringing back painful memories of abuse and other conflicts. Going back to these painful memories, unfortunately, is a part of proving that a spouse is indeed an alcoholic. In many instances the alcoholic spouse will try to deny or downplay their drinking habits.
If you're going through a divorce with an alcoholic spouse, it's especially important to seek guidance from a counselor. The experience can be especially stressful for you and your family.
It will be an overwhelming time where you will be experiencing many powerful emotions, ranging from guilt to shame to sadness. Children will need special attention during the divorce as well. A family therapist who specializes in related issues would be a good choice.
A divorce is one of the most difficult experiences for an adult and a family to go through. It will affect the way you love your life forever. When alcoholism is involved, the experience can be even more traumatic.
Know that by making the decision, you are doing the right thing for the well being of yourself, your children, and even your alcoholic partner. Oftentimes it takes something like a divorce to motivate someone to get serious about going into treatment for alcoholism. For a spouse who married an alcoholic, sometimes a divorce is the best way to break the toxic pattern of their addiction and end the destruction it has caused.