Would You Stay With a Spouse Who Has An Addiction?

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 12/16/2013 | 03:45 PM EST

Is Khloe Kardashian right for divorcing Lamar Odom?

When Khloe Kardashian decided to divorce her husband, basketball star Lamar Odom, it was clear that at the center of their deteriorating marriage was Odom’s alleged drug addiction to crack cocaine.

If the tabloids hold any truth, Kardashian desperately tried to salvage her marriage in the midst of Odom allegedly disappearing for weeks to embark on a drug binge, obliging her to kick him out of their home and demand that he enters rehab. Though reports indicated that Odom stopped using drugs and is returning to the NBA, Kardashian’s divorce filing (and Odom’s alarming leaked video) seems to suggest that his addiction is far worse than anticipated. Whether Lamar is on the straight and narrow or not, it’s evident that the damage his addiction did on his marriage to Khloe did quite the number.

Being married to an addict is one that is unorthodox at best, but one that isn’t unrepairable. However, it requires a lot of strong will and dedication from not just the addict or recovering addict, but the person who isn’t. The more obvious step is to get the addict partner professional help. Many addicts will try to convince the partner that they have their addiction under control and that they can stop whenever they choose. Research shows that’s not necessarily true, though it’s not entirely impossible. Nonetheless, having a spouse who’s unwilling to undergo therapy is a sure signal for disaster. Chances are it’s a sign they will continue to use.

Of course, in scenarios where both partners are addicts, the marriage, no matter how disastrous and dysfunctional it may be, could last many years because both spouses become dependent on not just the drug but one another (hence, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown). But what if one partner is legitimately clean and simply wants to try to make it work for the sake of love?

Having a partner who falls prey to drug addiction can be a load that’s far too heavy to bear. But if you truly believe that love conquers all, and are willing to be patient and resilient in your fight to get your partner sober, go for it. Anything’s possible, and it’s not ludicrous to believe that your spouse can overcome addiction. Just know that beating addiction does not come easy, and even if your spouse manages to do so, the road to staying sober is one that is long, and sometimes, neverending. It’s not uncommon that one would want to divorce their spouse over drugs. Addiction can cause you to resent your partner, and can lead to other problems like infidelity and financial issues.

What would you do? Do you stick it out and fight for your marriage, or do you call it quits?

(Photo: Hall/Pena, PacificCoastNews.com)

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