In a relationship where both people suffer from substance use disorder (SUD), there is a real danger that one partner might facilitate the substance use of the other. One may even try to dissuade the other from recovery. However, the process of recovery is still possible whether you go it at it alone or with your partner.
Qualified treatment centers can help you and your partner begin the recovery process. They can provide you with tools to get sober and stay sober. In addition, the right centers offer the opportunity for couples and families to rebuild their relationships.
How Does Addiction Affect Relationships?
Substance use or alcohol consumption strains a relationship or family dynamic. Individuals with substance use disorder often fall into patterns of making poor decisions, saying hurtful comments, or acting inconsiderate of others. These traits prove quite damaging to any relationship, especially the family system. Some of the following signs and symptoms of substance use disorders (SUDs) have the potential to harm the family and relationship dynamics:
- Two addicts in a relationship are more likely to engage in unhealthy coping habits.
- These relationships are breeding grounds for physical and emotional abuse.
- One or both partners may experience the destruction of their self-esteem.
- They may develop dysfunctional behaviors and mental health issues like depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc., because of the relationship.
The Codependent Relationship
This type of relationship runs on codependency. In a codependent relationship, one or both partners tolerate and enable destructive behavior like substance use. They will do whatever it takes to maintain the relationship, including :
Manipulation or even emotional blackmail.
Rescuing each other from the consequences of substance use.
Covering the overlooked financial responsibilities of the other.
Rationalizing each other’s poor behavior despite witnessing the effects of their substance use.
Codependency strengthens the urge for substance use as each relies on each to enable the substance use. Codependent couples must work on their relationship to become healthier and stronger. Otherwise, they will look for a way out of the pain they’re living through—and more often than not, they’ll find it in using substances.
What if One Person Wants to Recover?
Unfortunately, sometimes the recovery process doesn’t go as smoothly as hoped. These issues include misunderstandings, problems, or difficulties that pop up between you and your loved one.
When dealing with substance use disorder, it’s important to remember that recovery isn’t always easy. But there are certain things you can do to make sure your recovery is successful. With substance use disorders (SUDs), there is a real danger that one partner will facilitate the substance use of the other. One may even try to dissuade the other from recovery. This is a dangerous situation and one that can affect your relationship. If you’re looking to get sober, consider:
- Go to a health provider like your doctor or therapist for guidance.
- Contact a treatment center for professional help. Good recovery centers offer intensive therapy, medical detoxes, relapse prevention program, and more.
- Build a network of people in recovery for support. You can turn to them for help, especially if your partner is not sober.
- Build a new routine focused on your recovery and away from reminders of your former substance use.
- Establish boundaries with your partner regarding your recovery. Family therapy can help you discuss this with your partner.
- Discuss the consequences of them breaking those boundaries.
- Adopt a self-care practice so to improve your well-being. The early stages of recovery can often be stressful.
Can a Couple Get Sober Together?
A couple can work towards sobriety together. The key lies in both seeking treatment. If possible, we recommend they seek treatment at the same time. Treatment can help a couple resume a healthy relationship. And, by reconnecting with your partner, you may discover how much stronger you are together than apart. In treatment, participants usually undergo intensive counseling and progressive relapse prevention. After the program, couples eventually return to their everyday lives. The following suggestions can help you, as a couple, maintain sober living:
- You and your partner discuss the current state of the relationship.
- Recognize the impact of substance use and mental health problems on the relationship.
- After gaining a sense of the problem, discuss boundaries with your partner. These boundaries serve as consequences and safety measures for both you and any children.
- During the recovery process, offer each other support and affirmation.
- Build a new routine as a couple that excludes people, places, or things that correspond with your former substance use.
- Learn to communicate and resolve differences with a sensitive, compassionate approach. Apply the “I” statements to express your feelings or concerns.
- Work together to practice self-care routines. Offer each other the time and space to do so for the sake of stress reduction.
- Continue to offer each other an empathetic ear. This is not a simple time, but showing up to each other will help so much.
The facts are simple. Addiction harms relationships, undermines the family unit, and impacts children even from a very early age. Improving yourself through recovery is vital. Finding the strength to enter treatment will give you another chance to have fulfilling relationships with your loved ones. Regardless of your partner being ready, you can still decide to enter treatment independently. Take action, ask your healthcare providers for help, build a network of recovered peers, and set your boundaries. After years of struggling with SUD, do you want to decide to change? Come to the Restoration Recovery Center. Our program will get you on track for long-term sobriety. We’ll help you find the right treatment for you and your partner and offer support along the way. We provide a supportive, nonjudgmental environment. Our team of qualified clinicians will customize therapeutic treatment plans for you. Contact us today at (888) 290-0925 to learn more about our program.