How Couples Affected by Addiction Can Heal and Move Forward

Recovering from addiction is a challenging process. If your partner has a substance abuse problem, there are ways to help them get treatment for their addiction, and the two of you can work toward establishing a renewed, healthy relationship through hard work and unwavering love. With proper treatment, planning, and care, your loved one can get on the road to recovery, and your relationship can survive.

Getting Treatment

Treating drug addiction and alcoholism effectively is possible, but it’s not a simple process. Addiction is a chronic disease, so many people relapse and need rehab more than once. The battle to stay clean is a lifelong effort and will require time and patience. However, an addict can’t simply stop using drugs or alcohol for a few days and be cured. Different treatment centers offer a variety of programs, but in general, a range of care options are combined and tailored to the individual. Proper treatment should include both medical and mental health services.

Addiction treatment helps the individual stop using drugs or drinking alcohol, learn ways to stay clean after rehab, and learn how to be productive at work, at home, and in society. This is accomplished through several steps. Detoxification, behavioral counseling, and/or medications can help people overcome their addiction. They may also need treatment for co-occurring mental health issues and long-term follow up. Typically, follow-up care involves community or family-based recovery support systems, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

Healing as a Couple

Being the partner of an addict is not easy, as addicts typically damage many of their closest relationships because they prioritize their addiction. They also engage in harmful activities, such as lying, infidelity, stealing, abuse, and more.

After rehab, the recovering addict and partner must work to heal their relationship. The partner should express how they were hurt and how they felt as they witnessed the downward spiral of addiction. Sometimes it’s best to have these conversations with a mental health professional, such as a counselor from Couple Connection San Diego who specializes in couples therapy.

Find new ways to live healthy together. For example, you could start a fitness routine or take up a hobby together. You can also reduce stress at home by opening the curtains, decluttering, and adding some relaxing decor.

Is Separating the Best Option?

Sometimes moving forward means moving on. If the addiction has left the spouse too damaged to trust the addict again due to infidelity, abuse, or lies, separation may be the best option. Although the couple may attempt counseling, it’s not always successful. Sometimes a spouse grows weary after many failed rehab attempts. For other spouses, having a relationship with an addict starts to damage other relationships, so they make a decision to cut ties with the addict to salvage other relationships.

When deciding to separate from your spouse, it’s important that you take steps that will help you through the process. Start by attending meetings for families of addicts. Also, ensure you have a solid support system before you dive into the divorce process. Reach out to your friends, family, and a mental health professional.. Being in a relationship with an addict isn’t easy. It’s natural to want to help your partner. Encouraging them to seek treatment and working on healing your relationship after treatment are important and commendable steps.

Guest post written by Cheryl Conklin

Photo Credit: Takmeomeo,Pixabay


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