Approximately 23.5 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and/or drugs, but only 11% of those with addiction seek treatment, according to DrugFree.org. Many married couples go through “phases” or “addictions”, sometimes including smoking cigarettes, marijuana, drinking, etc. When one partner develops an addiction that the other partner doesn’t approve of, secrecy may develop and that is where trouble begins. Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst wrote on Psychology Today that many people hide secrets from their spouse because of their reluctance to hurt their partner or damage their relationship, their fear of their partner’s disapproval, and because they want to be an open and honest person.
Dr. Daniel Seidman, faculty at Columbia University Medical Center for 25 years, explained on the Huffington Post that with secret smoking, individuals may feel that they are sparing their spouse who would be upset. However, the problem with this is that with secrets come a lack of communication, and if we are generally close to our significant other, they will likely notice the difference. Thus, addiction is considered a family disease and should be an open conversation between spouses. Most significant others would tell their loved one to quit smoking, drinking, etc. because they truly care about their health and wellbeing. Secretly smoking or engaging in other addictive behaviors not only disregards your loved one’s concern, but also places a boundary between both of you because you weren’t open and honest to admit your problem to them.
In marriages, addiction can take years to uncover if someone is hiding it, and by the time a significant other realizes it, it may be too late to repair the marriage. Everyday Health notes that a significant other may slowly take on tasks of the other over time, such as managing finances, taking over parental responsibilities, and more. These tasks can take a toll on the marriage and dismantle it before it has a chance to repair. Admitting your problem to your loved one means that you value your relationship and will do whatever it takes to maintain your marriage, even if it means seeking treatment.
By being open with your significant other, you are preventing a potential divorce in the future. Finding out about your addiction later could cause resentment, guilt, fear, anger, distrust, and communication problems with your partner, leading to relationship strain.
If you are ready to seek treatment for your addiction, call us today at 888-743-0490. Simple Recovery is a residential drug and alcohol treatment center that is California state-licensed. We will work with you to customize a treatment plan that will best suit your needs and optimize the restoration of your mind, body, and spirit. Seeking treatment will save not only yourself but your marriage, family, and your future. Call us now for a consultation.