Addiction and alcoholism in a marriage is one of the most destructive forces a relationship can endure. This is especially true if only one partner has a problem. And while relationships based upon drug use do exist – such as those often depicted in Hollywood – they generally end badly for both parties. Addiction or alcoholism can occur before or after a marriage, but whatever the case may be the marriage is almost certainly doomed to fail unless the addicted individual gets help for their problem. Unfortunately, because it is so difficult and may require numerous attempts to achieve lasting recovery from addiction or alcoholism, many marriages simply cannot survive the stresses and fail. Understanding the dynamics of a marriage where at least one party is addicted is critical in order to salvage the relationship before it's too late.

One of the most interesting facts about addiction and marriage is that addicts and alcoholics marry at the same rate as the general American public. However, according to Divorce Law Firms.COM, people with alcohol or drug dependencies divorce at a rate that is 4 times higher than couples who do not have issues with dependency. Furthermore, the rates do not change from region to region or country to country – it seems that all over the world, marriages in developed countries where one individual has a drinking or drug problem do not survive compared to their drug dependence free peers.

While many marriages are entered into where the dependence is known, there are a number of marriages where this is not the case. In some instances addicts or alcoholics are able to disguise or hide their problems so well that even their own partner is not aware of it going into the marriage. In other cases a previous addict may relapse after committing to a marriage, while in other cases stresses and life changes may cause a person to develop a drinking or drug problem even long after the marriage has occurred. While these facts are a simple part of life, there seems to be little resolution. When a marriage is affected by dependence problems there are really only two choices: either the afflicted individual gets substance abuse treatment and cleans up, or the marriage is dissolved or ends in a divorce.

Substance abuse and alcoholism are also closely associated with aggression and domestic violence. In some cases the non-dependent spouse – usually a female – is subjected to humiliation, abuse and harassment for years before finally deciding to take action and pursue a divorce. However, this can be very hard for some women to do, as abusive and dependent relationships can be extraordinarily difficult to extricate oneself from. Additionally, many people in relationships like this became codependent on their partner and enable the user to continue with their behaviors. As a result, some divorces occur even after the addicted individual has entered recovery – new relationship dynamics develop as a person becomes clean and can irreparably change a relationship.

If your relationship is deteriorating because of drug addiction, saving it shouldn't be your primary concern. Save yourself or your partner first, and then work on the relationship.

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Author's Bio: 

Mike is a former novelist turned content producer who focuses on extremely high quality and conversion rates.