Two people discussing the link between addiction and infidelity

What Is the Link Between Addiction and Infidelity?

Infidelity is the act of cheating on a spouse or romantic partner, but this isn’t necessarily limited to sexual activity. Some couples will choose to include emotional cheating as infidelity, but one thing isn’t open to debate: Addiction and infidelity make frequent bedfellows. Reach out to The Right Step Houston online today or call 1.844.768.0169 to learn how our substance abuse treatment programs can help you regain control over your life.

What Is Infidelity?

Everyone is allowed to have their definition of what constitutes cheating. As long as each partner understands the boundaries, your interpretation of infidelity may differ from your friends and family. That said, infidelity is typically considered to be:

  • Having sex with someone other than your spouse or partner
  • Creating and maintaining a meaningful emotional connection with someone other than your spouse or partner
  • Spending an excessive amount of time with or money on another person
  • Hiding or lying about another person to your partner
  • Looking to find fulfillment from someone other than your spouse or partner

Sexual and emotional Infidelity is the ultimate form of betrayal. It can cause severe emotional damage and lead to trust issues. The reasons for infidelity can be complicated, but addiction and infidelity are intrinsically linked. 

The Relationship Between Addiction and Infidelity

The link between addiction and infidelity is real and familiar. People who abuse drugs and alcohol have a more challenging time remaining faithful to their significant other. When it comes to cheating, whether it is physical or emotional infidelity, it often leads to misusing drugs or alcohol, which can be a one-way street to addiction. People who cheat may struggle with both addiction and infidelity as a way of coping with their actions. Additionally, drugs and alcohol cause people to relax more than usual and decrease their inhibitions. When addiction and infidelity come together, they can destroy relationships. 

Furthermore, when struggling with addiction, you may be tempted to blame your poor choices and cheating on the substance. If you find these situations familiar, you may need substance abuse treatment to recover and learn how to rebuild trust in your relationship.  

Does Infidelity Lead to Addiction?

Whether you are the cheater or the one who has discovered that you are being cheated on, a myriad of emotions comes with infidelity. You may feel shame or anger and feel unworthy of love. Unfortunately, many victims of infidelity will begin to struggle with anxiety and depression. To cope with the surge of emotions brought on by infidelity, it is not uncommon for people to turn to drugs or alcohol. Although these substances may bring happiness and calm in the short term, they are a temporary distraction. Substances cannot help you outrun the hurt. Instead, drugs and alcohol use will only serve to start a vicious cycle that leads to tolerance, dependence, and addiction.

What Are the Signs of Addiction and Infidelity?

Addiction and infidelity are so closely linked that the signs of each are very similar. Knowing the symptoms is important because the earlier you notice the signs of addiction, the quicker you can seek caring help from a substance abuse treatment program. No one wants to see evidence of addiction and infidelity in the person they love the most, but some of the signs include the following:

  • Mood swings and violent outbursts
  • Dramatic and sudden change in appearance
  • Neglecting responsibilities at home and work
  • Changes in sleep patterns and appetite
  • Unusual smells—perfume, cologne, or alcohol
  • Coming home late more often than usual
  • Unexplained purchases
  • Paying less attention to partner/spouse and other family members

It is not uncommon for a partner or spouse to blame themselves and internalize these signs of addiction and infidelity, but admitting that there is a problem is the first step to getting the help you and your partner deserve. 

Learn More About Addiction and Infidelity in Florida with The Right Step Houston

Being cheated on and having a spouse battling addiction is a heavy, emotional journey, but there is help available for both of you. Contact The Right Step Houston today at 1.844.768.0169 to learn how our caring and compassionate staff can help you heal and recover from addiction and infidelity.

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