This is a guest blog from Author Bajeerao Patil
Many people want to be married and start families. But sadly, soon after the wedding, some marriages start falling apart. It’s not that the couples don’t want to remain married; they do. But the tragedy is that they lack insight into their own responsibilities toward maintaining their marriage. Many aren’t willing to make personal sacrifices or make any adjustment in the lifestyle that they had before they got married.
There are many things that affect marriages adversely, such as lack of crucial communication between husband and wife, lack of commitment to a long-term relationship, self-centeredness, anger problems, mental health issues, dishonesty, cheating, keeping score, and so forth. Addiction is yet another serious roadblock to a good marriage.
Of course, no marriage is devoid of issues. But addiction multiplies other existing problems. Addicted people do not have clarity of mind. Because their judgment is impaired, they can’t see the likely consequences of their behavior, making them ill-equipped to have a relationship. Instead, they focus on their own desires, not considering their partner’s feelings or needs. For example, they can be so single-minded in their need of alcohol, that drinking is the third-leading cause of death in the United States.
Jack and Julia’s story:
One time, I counseled a couple, Jack and Julia. They had been married for about fifteen years. Initially, they looked forward to each other’s company and enjoyed being married. Their friends envied the marriage because it was seemingly ideal.
The marriage had changed Jack drastically. Before marriage he drank alcohol and smoked marijuana occasionally. But after marriage, he did not smoke marijuana or drink alcohol. He didn’t feel the need to use drugs or alcohol, because he was happy. Jack had a good job and took care of his family of five. In turn, he received considerable respect from Julia.
But later, Jack began to hang out at bars a couple of times a week with his old friends from high school. When Julia asked that he stop doing this, he told her that she was trying to control him. She was shocked.
Jack began to drink more frequently, finally losing his job. Julia, a full-time mom, had to tap into their savings for them to survive.
All his relationships were strained. Even friends began to avoid them. Julia asked his parents to intervene. They forced him to seek professional help. Hesitantly, he entered treatment. Eventually he admitted that he was an alcoholic and needed help. He said that he had turned into a selfish person and wasn’t thinking about his family or the consequences of his actions. Finally he told his wife that he was sorry for causing her anxiety and heartache. He promised that he’d be committed to his recovery and wouldn’t drink again.
During his drinking, Julia had grown untrusting of Jack, and at some point realized that he was cheating, which he then admitted. He did promise not to do this again. Anguished, she let the past go and moved on.
As a counselor, I hear similar stories every day. The foundation of marriage is based on trust and commitment to maintaining a long-term relationship. Couples must have the willingness to support each other in bad and good times, no matter what. However, if you are addicted to mood-altering chemicals, how would you fulfill your marital obligations and responsibilities toward maintaining happy married life? I recommend my book, Lifelong Sobriety, because it helps addicts take care of their emotional health. The book has real-life experiences of dozens of recovering people.
About Bajeerao Patil
Bajeerao Patil has been treating addictions as a drug and alcohol counselor for over twenty-five years. He has a Masters in social work and human resources. To learn more about Patil and his work, visit http://www.amazon.com/dp/0989569810 and http://www.bajeeraopatil.com/.