When a spouse is addicted, he or she is married to the drug, not the spouse – you and your family are far down the pyramid of priorities. The addicted spouse’s every energy is directed at another “fix,” not increasing marital harmony. And it’s not just alcohol or drugs; gambling, internet, pornography and eating disorders are all forms of addictions and addictive behavior – and can wreak havoc on a marriage. They are also symptomatic of deep-seated emotional trauma that needs to be addressed.
We’ve treated couples suffering alcoholism, drug addictions, gambling, bullying, abusive behavior etc. And we’ve dealt with spouses who enable such behavior or deny its existence. These spouses are also in need of counseling.
Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.), Al Anon and other support groups can help. For some addictions, detox and rehab are necessary, as well as medical intervention. As licensed Alcohol and Addiction Counselors, we encourage you to seek the professional help you need.
Worried you or your spouse has an addiction issue? Click here and you’ll find the American Psychiatric Association’s (A.P.A.) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (D.S.M) questionnaire and determinations for addictive tendencies and full blown addiction. It will help you determine how serious an addictive behavior you’re dealing with.
If you need help, seek it immediately. Owning Marriage, by necessity, limits its focus to enhancing marriage.
Storytelling has a time-honored and respected place in Jewish tradition because the story can penetrate and offer a perspective that mere words cannot. The following is true. It happened about one-hundred years ago.
A young couple came to the Chief Rabbi of D’vinsk, Rabbi Meir SimchaHaKohen.
The rabbi welcomed them and when asked how he could help them.The couple responded that they wanted him to write a ‘get’ (Jewish bill of divorce) for them. As divorce amongst religious Jews was extremely rare in those days and the couple’s openness in demanding a divorce was surprising.The rabbi spoke with them, attempted to counsel the couple and tried every possible means to encourage them to reconsider their decision.
The couple remained adamant, demanding of the rabbi to write the ‘get’” Finally, the rabbi acquiesced, telling the couple to return in three weeks and he will then write their ‘get’” The couple reiterated that they would return only for their ‘get’ and demanded that he not attempt any further counseling or efforts of reconciliation.
As the couple was leaving, Rabbi Meir Simcha lifted up his head and asked if they had children. “Yes,”they responded, “we have one five-year-old son.” “When you return, bring him along.” the rabbi said without further comment.
Three weeks passed and the couple returned, with their son in tow. The sage immediately hoped to bring peace to the hurting couple but they would have nothing to do with any talk of ‘fixing things.’
“You promised to write the ‘get’ so please write it now,” they demanded.
The elderly, white-bearded rabbi, who was now sitting in his chair, called the child over and sat him on his lap. He turned to the child, smiled and, patted his cheek gently and announced, “My dear child, in five more minutes you will become an orphan.” At that point, he burst out in tears and uncontrollable sobbing. The child soon began crying, followed by his mother and then his father.
The parents asked the great rabbi if they could have they child back… and promised to work on their marriage. They never returned.
Divorce may be ‘acceptable’ in today’s society but what is the sad reality? Divorce makes orphans out of children. And who is destroying these children? It’s their parents; two adults, who, rather than working out their issues, walk out on themselves, their spouse and their children.
If you wish your children to end up at-risk or worse, in the street or battling/succumbing to drug addiction, emotional, trust and psychological issues etc., the easiest way is to fight with your spouse. If the home is a battlefield where war is constantly waged, the children will suffer tremendously. Don’t buy the bunk of ersatz ‘experts’ claiming children of divorce or raised by single parents are as well adapted as children growing up in a warm, loving home with a mother and a father. It’s patently false and absurd. Make no mistake; divorce kills; fighting, bickering, cold and hot wars cause irreparable harm to all involved; husband, wife and especially children, who are far more fragile than many realize, along with extended family members.
So what about you? If you and your spouse are honest, willing to work and committed to making your marriage great, you’ll find all the blessings in marriage that you dreamed about when you first married. There’s almost no marriage that can’t succeed. Marriage is the only time in life you can “play God.” You’re in control; no outside force can limit the love, warmth, compassion and loving intimacy you and your spouse create and nurture. You two can make your marriage as great as you want. Every marriage demands effort. Every marriage is a journey into the unknown with that one special person who has agreed to be your soul-mate for eternity. Persevere through the challenges to touch your infinity. It’s not easy when humans are called upon to ‘play God’ but that’s the challenge of marriage. Olympic gold medals don’t come easy.
Every marriage carries with it unlimited blessings. Even yours.
Note: This above piece is not referring to cases of abuse and/or violence. Immediate remedy must be pursued. Human life is sacrosanct.
You’re great! There’s no denying it. Your worth is immense; much greater than you can imagine. If God troubled Himself to create you, then it’s not arrogance recognizing and appreciating your worth. Self-esteem and self-worth are vitally important to every person’s psychological, emotional, mental and physical well-being. Unfortunately, today’s society often beats up on people and many women harbor negative self-images.
For a woman to achieve her potential as a person, woman, wife and mother, she must exhibit healthy self-esteem and a true picture of her self-worth. She must know her inner self, actively care her for needs.
Owning MarriageSenior Director, Mrs. Sara Medwed, will help.
Because she’s seen how consequential valuing one’s self is, Sara Medwed has become a leading voice in developing and presenting programs on self-esteem and self-worth. She has profoundly affected women’s lives and heard “You have helped me find myself. Life’s great now, even with all the bumps! Thank you so much” countless times. Take the step to become your own success story.
Join Sara Medwed’s 10-part series transforming women. Every woman, from she who wants to save herself from the school of hard knocks to the most emotionally exhausted shells of woman, you will become a vibrant, energetic, happy person eagerly anticipating getting up in the morning! Here’s a sampling of the topics:
“If You Only Knew How Great You Really Are”
“You Are the First Step to a Great Marriage”
“Getting Rid of the Holes – Allowing Yourself to be Happy”
“The A,B,C’s of Control”
“Respecting Your Husband When He Does Wrong – Staying Focused In the Face of Adversity”
You’ll learn to:
Tune in to yourself by taking our Self-Identification quiz:
Sign up for Owning Marriage’s Reach Your Potential Self-Esteem/Self-Worth Series for women with Mrs. Sara Medwed.