No relationship can withstand the effects of long term alcohol or substance abuse in one or possibly both of it's partners. The link between domestic violence and alcohol is well documented.
Even where violence is not involved in alcohol or drug abuse there may well be other issues that play a part in the marriage breakdown. Serious addictions cost money. Sometimes lots of money. In order to fuel their habits, users of large quantities of drugs or alcohol may misappropriate funds required for food and other household necessities.
In extreme cases they will resort to theft or fraud to acquire funds. Added to this, the social embarrassment of an addict in the family will erode a family’s social life as it tries to hide what is going on from friends and relatives. Gradually, insidiously, the family becomes isolated and dysfunction becomes the norm.
For a wife or husband to see someone they care about slowly destroying themselves can be agonising. They may feel about their seeming inability to change the addict's habits and the strain of trying to keep some kind of normal life going, especially if there are children involved, can be too much to bear.
Long term addiction in whatever form it takes, in a wife or husband, inevitably places enormous strains on a marriage and no matter how loving a couple may have been, it takes an extraordinarily strong relationship to survive such abuse long term. Very many will be unable to withstand the pressure and getting divorced will be the inevitable consequence..
Addiction as a reason for marital breakdown and as one of the reasons for getting divorced
Help is available to those who genuinely want to overcome their addictive behaviour and understand what it is that drives them to excessive use of drink or drugs but, that decision can only be made by the user and, by the time they reach that point, if they ever do, it may well be too late to save their marriage.
Alcoholics Anonymous is the best known organisation dedicated to helping those with a drink problem.
Priory Healthcare is a straightforward site that offers helpful advice for anyone who thinks they may be exhibiting addictive or problematical behaviour including co-dependency in relationships and eating disorders.
Talk to Frank is a well known website for young people who may be having problems with drug abuse. There is a free twenty four hour helpline for advice and information from trained advisers.