There are many married people who express that they were unaware of their spouse’s addiction before they married them, either because their partner hid the signs of their addiction or because they simply did not know what signs to look for. The ability to identifying addiction in people you have relationships with is a very important quality to possess. For someone you are considering marrying, it is even more important. We do not always think to watch for signs of addiction in a romantic partner when we are first getting to know them, but by the time we are considering marrying them, we should certainly be savvy on whether or not they show signs of addiction.
Depending on the type of addiction, signs and symptoms can vary, but here are some universal things to look for in order to deduce if your partner displays addictive behavior:
- Secretive behavior or requiring a lot of alone time. Addicts typically do not like to make their addiction known, so they will try to indulge in private, and they will want time to indulge in excess.
- Excessive time, money and energy spent on one thing. If an addict is not being secretive about their addiction, the amount of time, money and energy they spend on it will become obvious to the people around them.
- Money missing without an explanation. Addictions are almost always a financial commitment, but the addict will not want to discuss the expenditures with anyone.
- A decline in work, school or hobby performance, and in personal relationships. Things and people that used to be important to the addict will now be devalued as they are replaced by devotion to the addiction.
- Inappropriate emotional reactions. When an addict is called out on their addiction and told they are exerting too much effort toward it, they will usually react angrily or emotionally.
- Decline in health. An addict’s health will begin to deteriorate, particularly if they are addicted to a substance. Even in the case of an internet, sex or gambling addiction, the individual will probably lose sleep and physical exercise to the addiction.
- Dishonesty discovered. An addict will frequently lie about their addiction, and will eventually be caught in a lie.