Is your marriage a party of three? Mr. Mrs. & Addiction?

Katie Stein, Writer. The author is a freelancer. The opinions expressed are those of the writer. All works are charmingly non-edited nor influenced in any way by Psychology Tree.

Are you in a marriage with an individual you love that is actively participating in addiction? Or are they recovered?

Is your marriage marred by your spouse’s addiction? Have they recovered? Either way, whether under the fantasy of addiction or the sunny afternoon that is recovery, a significant part of marriage revolves around the spouse’s family history, passed down from generation to generation. Perhaps a mother or father were addicted to opioids? Maybe they fancied gambling and bet the family farm (literally) one time too many? What if they were not addicts in any shape or fashion, but their parents were blue-blooded alcoholics? Pick your fancy. Many families’ lineages have passed on certain dysfunctional behaviors that directly influence a person’s choice in a life-partner. Active or arrested addiction affects 11 people. The first person being the married partner. A few simple questions to ask yourself are: Am I a friend to myself first? If so, you will be a friend to others. Do I take loving actions towards myself? If so, you will take loving actions towards others, and so on. Do not lose heart if there is an affair with addiction within your marriage. There are oak barrels full of hope, and these barrels age well and only get better with time.

How can you possibly stay married to an active alcoholic, prescription drug addict and more? A tried and true method is be seeking recovery yourself from the dysfunctional behavior and toxic dilemma’s that impact the well-being of your marriage and your life. Your friends and family may advise you to abandon your partner and get out of the marriage. Some may even suggest an affair (consider the source). The only way your partner will ever truly heal is when one embraces change within oneself. We can only change ourselves. Why? Because we are in charge of the behavior we exhibit, and these behaviors must change in accordance to shape the person we want to become. So as it pertains to addiction, how can one learn to change? Check into treatment, go to Al-Anon meetings, commit to a marriage family therapist, read books, visit retreats, engage in online education, seek any and all forms of recovery or education. Learn to grow your own joy, grow your own peace of mind and peace of heart, in spite of the non-recovered or recovered partner that may or may not be behaving accordingly in your marriage. Lead and love by example.

The 5th century Latin poet Prudentius in his poem “Psychomachia,” referenced the constant battle we all face deep within our souls in the following stanza: “Anger is at war with patience. Anger is filled with fury and gets so angry at patience that anger finally implodes into a fireball of flames while patience, stone faced, stands the test of time, and will always win because this is the greatest attribute of patience. Patience waits in perpetuity.” Our species, chock full of imperfections and other defects, have been in constant conflict with our character attributes. As long as both partners are open-minded enough to embrace everything that defines themselves and their union, each possesses a mustard seed of willingness and acceptance – if realized and exercised, any conflict can be mitigated, and the marriage will happily persist! It might also help to have an east wing and a west wing.

Are you the right marriage partner?
As long as a partner is willing to be in a constant state of growing to better themselves this is a good partner to be, even when one takes one step back for every two steps forward, en guard! Take heart and examine yourself — are you getting married to satisfy a hidden agenda? If you think you are taking advantage of a situation, the only person you are fooling is yourself. Think, explore, and discover where your own true talents lie. O, in the end, you only cheat thyself. Being the right partner is: “To thine own self be true,” and “Love is begun by time, and time qualifies the spark and fire of it.” ~ William Shakespeare.

What are some prerequisites one can do to ensure one has chosen the right partner for marriage and/or to get back on track with your marriage?
What are some prerequisites one can do to ensure one has chosen the right partner for marriage and/or to get back on track with your marriage? Check out the Drs. John & Julie Gottman Institute The country’s foremost relationship experts researching and developing relationship health for 40 years. They are both clinical psychologists and have been married to each other for decades. Check into one or several of their marriage events. Sign-up for any and every online course they offer. They happen to know exactly what they are talking about, down to a science.

Why is an unmarried writer penning this article?
As the CEO of luxury addiction concierge treatment for I had to do some soul searching to write this article with confidence. Realizing my experience is of the educational variety viewed from an observational lens. To date, I have as of yet to be married. However, in my business, our clinical doctors work with married couples in a plan we call: Couple Des Concierge ©. I most certainly have been asked for my hand in marriage several times. For one reason or another fate fatefully interceded via war, death, or because decades ago I had to pursue my own long-term recovery. Just for giggles and wiggles here was one unusual marriage proposal in recovery. Note, he was in another room shouting:
Him: “Let’s get married. If it doesn’t work out we will just get the big ‘D’.
Me: “What is the big ‘D’?”
Him: “Divorce”.
Mortified Me: “Why should I get married if you are already planning the divorce?”
Squawk squawk squawk said the Parrot: “Divorce, divorce, divorce!”
Suffice it to say, the parrot and I were the only ones in the room at the time, and I am the one that flew right out of there!
One day, if I am ever gifted the journey of marriage with the almost right person, I personally have, and will continue, to participate in marital health education. What more have I learned? Change begins with you and this is how you will free yourself and find your own joy in your marriage or in life, in general. If addiction is involved, active or arrested in your marriage, it will always be a party of three: Embrace it, embrace it, embrace it!