Addiction can be very difficult on a relationship. When your partner becomes addicted to substances it puts immense pressure and stress on the relationship. In addition to the common issues we all experience in relationships, trust and intimacy are especially affected as a result of the addiction.
Many treatments for individuals who have problems with substance abuse include their partner in some way. Research has shown that involving partners in the treatment process can be important in helping the treatment succeed.
There are key ways you can support your partner through their recovery process.
1- Acknowledging that your partner has a problem:It’s important to be honest with yourself and your partner about his/her addiction and how it is impacting you.
2- Admit to your enabling behaviors:Addiction is often a relationship problem as you may be enabling the problem. Enabling behaviors, such as covering up, lending money and taking care of your partner’s poor irresponsible behaviors contributes to the unhealthy dynamic in your relationship.
3- Go to Al-Anon Meetings. Support groups can be helpful. There are Al-anon meetings where you can receive support and and get help to stop the ways you may have been enabling your partner suffering from addiction.
4- Set Strong Limits: Let your partner know the consequence of their behaviors and what you will no longer tolerate. Identify potential triggers that could tempt your partner and set strong limits. There are also certain family members or friends who may have encouraged their addiction and could make him/her vulnerable to relapse. Work with your partner to remove those triggers from their lives.
5- Take care of yourself: The idea of taking care of yourself may seem unfamiliar at first but it can actually benefit your relationship. Make sure you are taking care of yourself and engage in physical and emotional self -care to help reduce stress and deal with your own issues. Meet with a therapist to process feelings and learn new ways of coping. Seek out support from friends and family.
The road to recovery can be a very long and arduous process. You want to approach it one step at a time and be aware that addiction recovery is a lifestyle. With patience and perseverance, it is possible to work through and support your partner through their addiction recovery.
To learn more about our services click here: Couples Counseling for Substance Abuse
If you are interested in counseling, we see clients in our Chelsea office.