Married to an Addict: Let God Take Control of Your Marriage
When you and your spouse first became engaged, you probably imagined a life without any problems. As we soon figure out, life seldom works that way. As you have journeyed through the years together, you and your spouse have likely had to deal with various trials and rough patches. After all these years, you think you know your spouse better than anyone. Then, one day, you learn that your spouse is addicted to drugs or alcohol. You are now faced with a myriad of questions about where your life will head now. While the path isn’t going to be easy, it is possible to work through the problems with your spouse and grow stronger in your faith in God.
Let Go of Your Guilt
You and your spouse spend a lot of time together, but that doesn’t mean that you will know everything that your spouse does. You are supposed to be one with your spouse, but that doesn’t mean that you have to watch over your spouse as if he or she were a child. Since you aren’t charged with keeping track of your spouse’s every move, there isn’t any reason for you to feel guilty about not knowing what your spouse was doing when he or she was out drinking or doing drugs.
Addicts usually make a great effort to conceal their addiction. Eventually, the deeds they have done in the darkness will come to light. This is the point where you are now. Isaiah 29:15 says it best, “Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?” As an addict, your spouse likely thought that no one would know what was going on; however, God sees all and in His time, he made you aware of the addiction. Since everything happens in God’s time, there isn’t any reason to beat yourself up over not knowing sooner.
Put the Past Behind You and Head Into Your Future
Now that you are aware of your spouse’s addiction, you can help him or her to overcome it. This usually starts with a detoxification and rehabilitation program. Many of these programs are inpatient programs that fully immerse your spouse into the program to help him or her to conquer the addiction. Help your spouse to find a Christian rehab center so that the two of you can work together to build up a marriage that places God as the head and center.
Forgive Your Spouse
When your spouse is in therapy, he or she will have a lot of intense work to do. You will also have your share of work to do. One of the first things you will have to do is to forgive your spouse for the deceit and hurt that was caused by the addiction. Jesus covers the topic of forgiveness in Matthew 18:21-22 when he explains, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” That is powerful. This doesn’t mean that you only have to forgive your spouse for 77 events. It means that you must forgive him or her up to 77 times per event.
When you forgive your spouse, you are making a commitment with God to leave the past in the past. You are letting God know that you accept that He is in charge and that He is fully capable of dealing with the situation.
Pray for Your Marriage and Your Spouse
God promises that He will always be here for His children. Hebrews 4:16 imparts to us, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Mark 11:24 succinctly phrases it this way, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be.” Together these verses let you know that if you ask God to help your spouse and your marriage, God will be there to make it happen. You just have to have patience to wait on His time for your marriage to be the way God intends it to be. When the time comes, your marriage will be a true testimony to the ultimate power of God.