Drug addictions, alcohol addictions, gambling, pornography and other sorts of addictions are one of the leading causes for divorce or separation in couples. In certain instances one would be aware of the partner’s addiction however one might also find out along the marriage or partnership because it is known that addicts are able to hide their problems from their loved ones. Nevertheless, it is also possible that the addiction starts after marriage due to a problem which arises. Rather than focusing on when the problem started and how one must be able to recognise the signs of addiction in order to be able to help one’s partner (“Do’s and Don’ts for Helping Your Addicted Spouse – 12 Keys”, 2021).

Recognising addiction

         Different cases vary, however if one suspects an addiction it is important to look out for the following signs:

  • Sudden disappearance of money
  • Excessive drugs or alcohol around the house
  • Broken promises
  • Seeks to spend more time with friends than with you
  • Leaves the house more often
  • Intoxicated driving
  • Inability to control one’s drinking
  • Putting lives at risk being theirselves or others
  • Inability to keep a job
  • Health issues
  • Sudden personality changes

         One might opt to stay in the marriage and support the person through addiction. Thus this blogs looks into a number of beneficial tips that could help one get through this difficult phase (“Do’s and Don’ts for Helping Your Addicted Spouse – 12 Keys”, 2021).

  • Do not hesitate to seek help – keeping this a secret and handling it alone means that one wouldn’t be supported with the impact that living with an addict has on one’s mental and physical well-being. Family, friends, counsellors and local support groups could help in the recovery process.
  • Take care of yourself – as indicated above, supporting one through addiction can have a mental and physical impact on oneself. Hence, having an adequate support system is essential for one’s well-being. This could be one’s family or one’s own personal therapist who supports one throughout.
  • Support your partner – if one is willing to seek help, research addictions and get to know them better in order to understand what one might be going through. This is beneficial in understanding one’s partner is to understand that the addiction is nothing personal. It is not because one isn’t enough but cravings are real and in fact create addictive behaviour. Therefore, understanding this could enable one to be more supportive. Additionally, encourage one to attend meetings in order to help achieve set goals.
  • Be Patient – Change occurs gradually and it takes time for one to realise the impact that one’s addiction has on the relationship. Moreover, finding a  method for recovery which is adequate for oneself is also challenging. It is normal to experience fear or impatience however one must push though and wait for the partner to make progress.

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Yasmine Bonnici graduated in Nursing and also completed her Masters in Counselling. She has worked with victims of domestic violence, clients dealing with suicidal ideations, bereavement, separation and anxieties. She is currently working with Willingness Team as a counsellor seeing clients who would like to explore their own identity and deal with any surfacing issues.


Do’s and Don’ts for Helping Your Addicted Spouse – 12 Keys. (2021). Retrieved 9 July 2021, from https://www.12keysrehab.com/dos-and-donts-for-helping-your-addicted-spouse/