Divorcing an AddictYou’ve heard it before: addiction is a disease. But its effects are far-reaching—perhaps more far-reaching than any other disease. Once-happy families can erode over time, even after therapy, treatment and repeated attempts to make things work. Eventually, many people with an addicted spouse end up in a Barrie divorce lawyer’s office… but is divorce really the only option?

Dealing with an Addict

One in ten Canadians over the age of 15 exhibit symptoms of alcohol addiction or illicit drug addiction, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; that’s a relatively large segment of the population, and unfortunately, they don’t all get the treatment they need. Many don’t even realize they have a problem until it’s too late.

If you’re married to an addict, you may be used to emotional ups and downs, the promises and the broken promises. You may have even threatened to talk to a Barrie divorce lawyer in an attempt to get your spouse to change.

Remember, though: you cannot force someone to change. So are you destined for divorce?

Addiction and Divorce

The decision to divorce is entirely yours. You’ll have to ask yourself some tough questions, including:

  • Is your spouse likely to seek the help he or she needs to overcome addiction?
  • Has your life become increasingly more chaotic or unstable as a result of your spouse’s addiction?
  • Have you talked to a therapist about dealing with your addicted spouse?
  • Are you able to do a “trial” separation to get some distance from the situation?
  • Are you really willing to move on without looking back?
  • Have you been a victim of domestic violence due to your spouse’s addiction?

Domestic violence is never okay, regardless of the circumstances. If you are in an abusive relationship, you can call (866) 863-0511 (the Assaulted Women’s Helpline) or contact a Barrie divorce lawyer for help with the resources you need.

In some cases, people with addictions overcome them and go on to lead happy, productive lives. You may want to ask your spouse if he or she is willing to get help before you start talking about divorce. Most experts suggest not threatening with divorce if you don’t intend to follow through. A qualified therapist can help you work through this tough decision and come to a resolution you can live with.