khloe-kardashian-and-lamar-odom“In sickness and in health” is one element of the traditional vows couples exchange when pledging to stand by one another for the rest of their lives on their wedding day. Typically, we think of sickness as getting a disease through no (completely direct) fault of one’s own — cancer, heart disease, a car accident, etc. — and most of us could never think of leaving our significant other or spouse if they found themselves physically ill as a result of those circumstances. But when it comes to addiction, a compulsive dependence on certain substances that often has far-ranging effects on the loved ones of said addict, the weight of those wedding day vows often falls by the wayside.

While, by all accounts, Khloe Kardashian dropped everything to be by her estranged husband, Lamar Odom’s, side when news broke that he was found unconscious in a brothel, it didn’t take long before people started accusing her of abandoning her husband when he needed her most — and breaking their marriage vows.

It wasn’t until Khloe parted ways with Lamar that the world heard of the NBA player’s reported drug problem. And while the Kardashians certainly didn’t do their in-law any favors when it came to addressing those rumors, the criticism of abandonment likely has more to do with an opportunity to take a jab at the reality family — because who doesn’t love those — rather than an expectation that a wife must stand by her husband’s side as he abuses drugs.

Addiction is certainly a sickness, and while it’s not entirely fair to say chemical dependence is a choice, the success of treatment most definitely falls more in the hands of the addict than it does with with other illnesses in which a surgical procedure or a medication may provide the cure. It’s for that reason that shows like Intervention exist to push addicts to realize they need help and facilitate that treatment, but on this show you often see parents, friends, siblings, and spouses warn their loved one that this is their last chance and they won’t aid them in killing themselves any longer. Sometimes that means no longer giving them money, kicking them out, or even divorce.

The thing is an addict is not only dangerous to himself but those around him, and in the same way no one would expect a wife to tolerate physical or mental abuse from a partner, it’s not fair to expect someone to accept indirect abuse from an addict either — vows or not. The thing is, in leaving, what you can’t do is play the victim if you were complicit in the addiction all along.

Clutchettes, do you think it’s wrong to leave a partner who has an addiction?

Tags: , , ,
Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • BillipPhailey

    The one who chooses the substance has broken the vow.

  • Mico

    I really do feel for both addicts and their families. Even as a little girl, I could see the effects of drugs and addiction. I have always been scared of them and even just thinking about people trying out party or recreational drugs let alone how people can get addicted when trying to manage pain. I don’t even like taking strong prescriptions and wean myself off of them asap. I feel for this brother and I hope that he recovers from the hospital bed as well as from addiction and hope that his children and other family have the support they need as well. I also agree with most of the posts here. People do at times get married too fast or with the wrong intentions, but when it gets to the point where even in sickness your partner is abusing (mentally physically emotionally) you, then you have to get out. At that point that person is too deep into their sickness to receive any of the love or care that you have and it is only until they are in a state of recovery or treatment that they you will be able to reach them. As we learn more and more about addictions and mental illness, I wish there was more treatment options for those that are suffering.

  • Pema

    Yes you are breaking your vows but leaving is probably the smart thing to do for your own safety and mental health (especially if the addict refuses to get help).