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When Two Addicts Get Married . . .

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by Rainman, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    One of my cousins who is an alcohol addict married a man who also drinks like a fish. I believe they met in a bar or at some party where everyone was an guzzling as much alcohol as they could. Right now, the lady's drinking is worse and since the two have been beating each other up, I'm concerned about her.

    How can such a person be helped? Is it true that marrying or living with someone who is a drug addict makes it hard for person trying to overcome their addiction even if they try to?
  2. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    It sure can be, but it can also go the other way. I know a woman who is a recovering alcoholic and her husband is also. I believe they married shortly after both of them decided to stop drinking and they have a great relationship. Hopefully both of these people will soon see that their behavior is destructive and get into recovery. Then they can support each other in that, which can build a stronger relationship.
  3. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    Dancing Lady's story is inspiring. However, addicts like company and they feed into each other. Imagine they both get sober tomorrow and two years from now they are at a wedding and one of them decides to take a drink. "Come on, babe. One drink won't hurt. It's a party, and tomorrow we will go back to not drinking. I don't even think we ever really had a drinking problem. We were just heavy drinkers." Recovery is a daily thing and the cravings never go away. It is possible they might boost each other up and inspire the other to stay sober, but the opposite is also true.
  4. Davienna

    Davienna Community Champion

    This is a worst case scenario but nothing is impossible, it is harder but still don't give up hope. It may take something drastic for them to change, as each is unable to help the other. Surprisingly, one may change before the other and this will motivate the other to change.
  5. For what its worth, I've always found that the best way for me to stay focused on not abusing is to keep myself away from people who don't have the same goals as me.

    It's hard, because some of my closest friends are the ones that I forged while I was getting raging drunk. Sure, a lot of them, I've come to realize, weren't anything more than drinking buddies. That said, some of them I developed real bonds with. When I got to a place where I wanted to take better care of myself, it was very had to see them less. It made me sad, but the reality for me was this; if I was around these people, I would be more likely to fall back into bad patterns.

    So, all that said, I agree with LostMySis. People look for people who will support them. I know that if I were struggling and my spouse was intent on drinking, I would likely have a very hard time saying no. It's a warning sing to me.

    That said, if they're both focused, there's a potential source of strength there. I'm skeptical, but that's only based on my personal experiences.
    LostmySis likes this.
  6. cynamarie

    cynamarie Member

    My best friend is going through a similar struggle. She and her husband both drink excessively. While she can handle her alcohol, her husband cannot. I believe it's because they both drink for different reasons. She is a social drinker while he drinks to forget his demons. He was adopted as a small child and prior to his adoption, he witnessed many things that a child never should see. These traumas have stayed with him his entire life and when he drinks, they get brought back to life. He needs psychological help, not alcohol. Anyhow, over the years his drinking has become more of a problem and now his wife has given him an ultimatum that he stop drinking or she will divorce him. He has stopped drinking and now she is sneaking alcohol behind his back. She also won't let him come out to social events where people are drinking. While I do agree that he should slow down a bit, I don't agree with her methods. A. He is never going to be able to stop when she is still drinking and B. You cannot hide under a rock for the rest of your lives. There will be many times when he is put into a situation where people are drinking alcohol and rather than hide from it, he needs to learn how to face it.
  7. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    Yes, I think having someone mirror your addiction in a way that makes it look a bit more normal probably makes the delusion a bit stronger and harder to break, in my opinion, but I think there's still a chance if even just one of them wakes up. The only problem is that sometimes this is the only thing they have in common and if one sobers up then there might not be much chance for the marriage to survive, but I think it's much better than sacrificing the health.
  8. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    It is often a bad idea. It's nice to hear about DancingLady's story though. At least there's hope that for some people, being with someone who understands your struggle makes you both stronger. I guess it depends on whether they view their drinking as a problem. And whether they plan to do something about it.
  9. Allen24

    Allen24 Active Contributor

    I also think this is generally a bad idea. I think two alcoholics would just enable each other further into addiction. However, like dancinglady's story, there are always exceptions to the rule.
  10. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    It is up to her to want to help herself. If she is a recovering alcoholic and he is still doing it , this makes it extremely difficult to live sober. However it depends on her and the strength that she has to want to stay sober, she will eventually leave or she will go into a downward spiral. Maybe you should let her know that you are concerned and that it is a good idea for her to check into rehab, where she will get clarity and perhaps be convinced that this life is not good to go back to.
  11. sillylab

    sillylab Member

    Unfortunately two addicts end up enabling each other. I would recommend talking to a counselor or someone who specializes in this because this is a pretty serious issue.
  12. TXgirlNCworld

    TXgirlNCworld Member

    I think the hardest thing for those with addictions is being around another individual who has the same addiction as they do. At first, sometimes people may think getting with another person with the same issue as you can help, but in the long run, personally I think it is poisonous. It is like going out to eat with your friend who loves the Cheesecake Factory when you are trying to stay true to your diet. If you aren't around the people who want to see you change, who want to help you move forward, help you move away from the addiction, then how are you ever supposed to see what it is like to suppress the addiction. I think positive influences take you a long way when it comes to battling something that is so mentally, morally, and physically wrapped around people's DNA.
  13. Nate5

    Nate5 Active Contributor

    Wow, this is quite inspiring. I guess it all depends on the people. Sometimes it turns for the good, sometimes for the bad. I'm really glad that you've chose to share your story with us. It's a great inspiration.

    You're in a position to give advice, but you're in no position to control their lives. If they truly love each other, then what's wrong? They are adults. You can express your concerns as a friend. But as you can see from DancingLady's story, good things can happen, so don't disregard their want for marrriage just yet.
  14. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    Like some of you I believe it can work both ways. Depending on the two individuals things can work out quite well or go horribly wrong.

    If both want to be clean, I believe the chances of it becoming a reality are greater. It's when one is content to stay on their own selfish course that it becomes much more difficult.

    All I think Rainman can do is offer encouragement and try not to give up on them as people often do when two addicts are involved. I read of a couple who met in rehab and found a great life together. It's different from Rainman's case but it tells a story of hope. Perhaps we can all learn something from it.
  15. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Right that it will be really hard for them to get rid of the addiction especially that they are both addicted to it. The temptation is greater since they can both bring or buy alcohol and drink in front of each other or even drink together. But anything is possible especially if both will have the strong determination to change or to stop.
  16. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    Since it's apparent that none of them has resolved to quit drinking,I would not even for a minute support their union.In fact i would say that they are better off without each other.The best thing would be to help your cousin end this relationship for her own good and enroll her in the nearest rehab facility.
  17. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    It's too late.
    She was found dead in her home. She'd died from severe nose bleeding. Had she been sober . . .
  18. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I agree. The best way to approach this is to be as careful as possible since having both sides agreeing on one thing isn't always a good idea, especially when that something is alcohol or any other powerful and addictive substance. If there is a chance to seek professional counseling before, after, or even during all events then I think that would be best.
  19. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    It might not be the wisest choice for a addict to marry another addict, but at the same time, an addict marrying a non addict could also not be good. The Non addict might not fully understand what the addict is going through, whereas a fellow addict would. In either case, it takes a lot of compassion and understanding.
  20. vegito12

    vegito12 Community Champion

    I think it may not be good, as both will think it is normal and carry on even when married but I do know some people who did change after marriage could drink a whole box on their own which is too much to drink I reckon. I know, one person who was worse after marriage good thing he did not have kids at the time otherwise they would have not liked how he would act when drunk and passed out. I think being there for the person is all right, but being in a marriage may or may not work and may be hard to know how they will end up after being married.