Addiction is one of the issues that a couple may face. If the addict does not seek treatment, living with an addicted spouse can be so hard that many relationships have ended in separation. Substance abuse affects their loved ones just as much as addicts themselves. It is true when it comes to their significant other. Many people who are their significant others wonder how to leave an addict spouse.

How to Leave an Addict Spouse
How to Leave an Addict Spouse

Specifying Signs of Addiction in a Relationship

One of the aspects of having a loved one who uses substances is the undue burden it places on you to run the household while your partner struggles with their disease. Concerns like how to leave an addict spouse would be inevitable.

Personality type can change dramatically as a result of drugs and alcohol. They may say or do things they would not usually say or do while under the influence or experiencing cravings. Personality changes are not easy for a spouse to deal with.

 Every couple is distinct, and the signs of drug and alcohol abuse can be subtle or explicit. Look for the following signs and symptoms if you suspect your spouse has a problem:

  • Funds are suddenly and inexplicably disappearing.
  • Drugs, alcohol, and drug paraphernalia are out of sight throughout the house.
  • Extensive time spent celebrating “with pals,” particularly without you.
  • Promises are broken, such as promising not to drink at a party that turns into a binge.
  • Inability to refrain from drinking or using substances despite repeated promises not to do so.
  • Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Putting someone else lives in danger due to intoxication or incapacitated behavior.
  • Increasing the amount of time spent away from home without explanation.
  • Difficulty retaining work due to chronic tardiness or absenteeism.
  • Health problems, such as liver problems, unhealed sores, chronic coughs, or digestive problems.

Reasons to End the Relationship

Several seriously question when it is appropriate to divorce or how to leave an addict spouse. Each person in the relationship must decide for themselves what the boundaries are.

Keep in mind that marriage is a legal contract. You will be responsible for any shared debt incurred during the marriage, so if your partner maxes out credit cards to get cash advances to buy drugs, you will be responsible for repaying it. Consider this when deciding whether or not to stay. Counseling can be beneficial in these situations.

To keep yourself and your children safe, consider moving out temporarily or permanently in the following situations:

  • Violence

 Any violent or abusive behavior from your spouse is a warning sign that you should leave. Any form of physical violence is never acceptable. Get immediate help for yourself, and protect your children and pets.

  • Emotional abuse

 Children are like sponges. Everything they see is absorbed. If they witness your spouse verbally abusing you, it will leave scars just as surely as physical abuse. If your spouse becomes emotionally abusive, you may need to remove yourself and your children from home.

  • Infidelity:

Infidelity not only dissolves the marriage bond, but it can also expose you to sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS. If you suspect your partner slept with someone else while intoxicated, you should see your doctor right away and insist that your spouse as well.

  • Open drug use at home

It is never acceptable to openly use drugs in front of your children. Do not even bring your children into contact with drug use. It only makes it appear tolerable.

  • Strangers in your home

It would be terrifying to wake up and discover strangers passed out on your couch. Frightening to think that your children might be in the house with other intoxicated people. Consider moving out temporarily or permanently for your own and the welfare of your child.

  • You Enable the Addict

It is harmful to both the addict and the enabler to enable a drug addict. Enablers are people who encourage negative and self-destructive behavior in others. It is not uncommon for romantic partners to become enablers as well.

Ending a Relationship with an Addict Spouse
Ending a Relationship with an Addict Spouse

Ending a Relationship with an Addict Spouse

Ending a relationship with an addict spouse can exacerbate the situation. That is why it is critical to understand how to leave an addict spouse. The following are some key steps you can take to learn how to go through with it.

  • Identify the Need to Leave

Ask yourself the questions listed above and honestly tell yourself that it is time to leave your drug-addicted spouse. Recognizing that you need to cut ties with a drug addict is the first step in learning to abandon an addict.

  • Develop a Support System for Yourself

Before ending a relationship with a drug addict, create a support system for yourself. It includes current and former drug and alcohol addict spouses/partners. Not only are support systems essential for recovering addicts. It is also necessary for the loved ones of people in addiction treatment.

  • Take good care of yourself.

When you are the spouse or partner of someone addicted to drugs or alcohol, you must take time for yourself. It will ensure that you are in good physical, mental, and spiritual health. That way, you will not become depleted and lash out at the drug addict one day.

  • Set Boundaries

The breakup would be messy and emotionally draining. Before ending up with an addicted spouse, it is necessary to create boundaries. It is because addicts may re-invade the lives of their ex-spouses after leaving them.

  • Leave

The final step in determining how to leave a drug addict is to go out of the relationship. You may be able to rekindle your relationship after they complete rehab if you make the sacrifice of ending a relationship you still love for the sake of sobriety.

Things to Consider When Ending a Relationship With an Addict Spouse

If you are the person ending a relationship with a drug addict, keep the three C’s of addiction in mind. The three C’s of addiction is a mantra that loved ones of people who are addicted to substances repeat to themselves.

  • You Did Not Cause It

When your spouse has a drug problem, it’s easy for them to blame you. Just keep in mind that you are not to blame for their substance abuse disorder. Accepting this can help alleviate some of your guilt and, hopefully, force your spouse to take responsibility.

  • You Cannot Cure It

There is no cure for addiction, but it’s manageable. With the help of detox, therapy, and aftercare programs, your spouse can keep problem use at bay.

  • You Cannot Control It

It’s important to remember that addiction is a disease that affects everyone. You may not be the one with the substance abuse problem, but it affects you just as much as it affects the person who drove you away from you.


Do not ever be afraid to call it quits when things get out of hand. It is crucial when trying to address how to leave an addict spouse. When you decide to put everything on hold, there are a few things to think about. Once you have made a decision, stick to it. You will inevitably feel sad, frustrated, or angry after the separation, and you may even be too tempted to return to the addict. Get the therapy you need to work through your emotions and prioritize your health.

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