Addiction and Substance Abuse in Marriage (Marriage Unhindered)

Substance abuse and addiction can creep into a marriage and unleash hurt, anger, and shame. What can you do? 

Doug Hinderer teams up with his therapist daughter Monica Hinderer, to explore how to handle this issue with grace, empathy, and faith, aligned with Catholic teachings. 🕊️ Listen to the entire hour here! 

🌟 “Life is Messy, Marriage is Messy” 🌟

Doug kicks off by reminding you that life—and marriage—can be messy. But that’s okay! Embracing the messiness can lead to growth and deeper love. We start each episode under the protection of Our Blessed Mother, Undoer of Knots, praying for her intercession to untangle the difficulties we face. 🙏✨

Substance Abuse: A Marital Challenge

Addiction, whether to alcohol, drugs, gambling, or even shopping, can devastate a marriage. Doug reveals shocking stats that might make your jaw drop: 34.6% of divorces cite substance abuse as a key factor. Trust, communication, and finances are often the first casualties. 📉💸

The Double Whammy: Financial Strain and Broken Trust

Addictions not only drain financial resources but also erode trust. Addicts might lie or hide their behaviors, creating a web of deceit that can be hard to unravel. 💔🤥

Emotional and Physical Turmoil

Substance abuse can lead to emotional and physical abuse, with 55% of domestic violence victims reporting their abuser was intoxicated during incidents. Alcohol, in particular, can unleash the worst in people, making homes unsafe. 🥃💥

Intimacy and Family Dynamics

Addictions affect physical intimacy, a cornerstone of marital health. Without it, couples drift apart. Children of addicted parents face higher risks of addiction and marital issues themselves. 🚸

A Journey of Healing: Compassion and Patience

Monica emphasizes that addiction is a disease, not a character flaw. Supporting loved ones through relapse with empathy is crucial. 70-85% of addicts relapse in the first year, so patience and love are essential. 💖

Personal Insights: Doug and Monica Share

Doug recounts a moving story of a wife supporting her husband through a pornography addiction. Her unwavering compassion turned a crisis into an opportunity for growth and deeper connection.

Monica stresses the importance of empathy. Understanding addiction as a medical condition helps in offering support without judgment. Practical steps like encouraging exercise and seeking professional help can make a significant difference. 🏃‍♂️🧠

Rebecca’s Story: Listener Call-In

Rebecca, a listener from Denver, shares her journey with her husband’s pain medication addiction. Doug and Monica advise creating a stress-relieving environment, encouraging family exercise, and seeking therapy for underlying mental health issues.

Practical Steps for Supportive Spouses

Family Exercise: Turn fitness into a fun family activity to boost mental health.

Seek Therapy: Professional help can address underlying issues like ADHD or depression.

Empathy First: Approach relapses with compassion, not anger, to foster recovery.

Closing with Prayer

We conclude with a prayer to Our Blessed Mother, Undoer of Knots, asking her to help untangle the complexities in our marriages and renew our sacramental bonds.

“Blessed Mother, take into your hands the knots that affect married couples, and with your long fingers of love and grace, undo these knots for the glory of God.” 🙏



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Jake Moore serves as a Digital Audio Content Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is passionate about classic movies, Christian music, young adult ministry, and leading this generation to Christ through compelling media. You can listen to more of his podcasts at and on the Relevant Radio® app.