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Gramps,

My husband and I have been married for 18 years, we were sealed 3 and 1/2 years ago. My husband has an addiction problem, it’s like he’s addicted to having an addiction. For 18 years we have barely scraped by, robbing peter to pay Paul, I have asked for help from family, a bishop, friends, and even set up our own budget, it works for a time but nothing permanent. My question is: is divorcing him the right thing, over something as petty as money? I’m so confused.

Angel

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Answer

 

Angel,

The decision whether or not to divorce is a personal one that can only be made between you and the Lord.  It’s not my place or anyone else’s to tell you what to do in this situation.  I recommend prayer, fasting, going to the temple and getting a blessing when pondering such weighty matters as this.

As general advice, I do think most marriages can be saved, but some need outside help.  I have a friend who is a Marriage and Family Therapist and she said she has seen amazing results for couples using Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT).  There are great books available to help marriages, including Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson who created EFT.  However, Dr. Johnson says her book is not for couples who are dealing with addiction (or abuse, or adultery), in these situations therapy is needed.  If you can’t afford therapy, talk to your Bishop.

Something else that stood out to me about what you wrote was that you said your husband has an addiction problem.  This is another red flag pointing out that therapy is needed.  Most addictions need help to be resolved, particularly if he, as you say, is addicted to having an addiction.  I don’t know your husband, but again speaking in general principles, when a person goes from one addiction to another, it is likely that they are doing so in order to cope with pain.  It is an unhealthy coping mechanism but understandable and all too common.  Therapy can really help here.  Therapy can help him learn healthier coping mechanisms, but also work on resolving whatever is cauing him so much pain.

I suggest therapy for you as well.  Being married to someone with an addiction is very taxing, as you well know, and therapy can help you learn to have healthy boundaries to protect you emotionally and mentally…which may include some ideas about how to deal with money issue.   Often there are subconscious reasons that people chose and marry addicts, therapy can help you work out your own issues that brought you to this situation.

Most importantly, I remind you that Christ is the Great Physician, He expects us to do our part, like going to therapy, but He will be with you every step of the way.  Comforting, guiding, directing, and yes, healing your hearts.  Whether the Spirit guides you to stay in your marriage or not, the Lord, through His Holy Spirit will be there to help you take the needed steps to bring peace and joy into your life.

Gramps

 

 

 

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