This post was originally published on August 12, 2023
The latest update to this post was made 5 days ago.
Dealing with addiction in a relationship can be a real struggle. If you or a loved one is battling substance abuse, it’s important to know how to address this as a couple. If your relationship has been affected by addiction, we suggest the following important steps to get help and move on.
Identifying Signs of Addiction
You may notice the signs of addiction before your partner does. If you suspect your partner or you may have some issues, it’s important to know how to recognize an addiction problem. If there’s a family history of addiction or if the person has had problems with substance abuse in the past, they may be more at risk for addiction. When they begin to use drugs or alcohol on a daily basis, begin to withdraw from activities, and/or become more secretive, it’s time to recognize that there likely is a problem.
Opioid addiction is an increasing problem, so know those warning signs. Physical signs include nausea, drowsiness, and constricted pupils. You may also start to notice sudden unexplained financial issues, extra pill bottles in the garbage, or drug seeking behavior. Be aware of warning signs and know when it’s time to seek effective treatment.
Finding the Right Treatment Options
Finding the right substance abuse treatment center can be a daunting task, but it’s crucial for those struggling with addiction to receive the proper care. It’s important to do your research and find a center that offers personalized treatment plans, a supportive staff, and evidence-based therapies. Options for treatment can vary, including inpatient or outpatient programs, therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and holistic approaches.
Also consider factors such as location, cost, and insurance coverage when making your decision. Early intervention and seeking professional help can greatly improve the chances of successful recovery.
Seeking Professional Counseling
Counseling is another crucial to overcoming addiction, so don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help. Addiction often leaves couples with a host of issues to work through. From financial stress to building trust, committing to couples counseling can provide the neutral support you both need to get through problems constructively.
While therapy sessions together are important, you may also want to seek individual sessions to help you both deal with your emotional trauma. Addiction can stem from untreated mental illness, so one-on-one counseling should be an essential part of any addiction recovery plan. Find a professional counselor you can both trust, and be open during sessions to get the most out of your treatment.
Getting Through Treatment
Admitting there is a problem is a first step for people looking to overcome an addiction. Getting a loved one into treatment is another step in recovery. As their partner, you should be prepared to make some changes to your lifestyle to help them succeed in treatment. Staying healthy is crucial to recovery, so develop a fitness and recovery-boosting nutrition plan that you can stick to together. Go for walks, prep meals, and hit some yoga classes as a couple.
At home, take steps to remove triggers for relapse or cravings. Simple switches like changing the scent of your laundry detergent or cleaning up clutter can help reduce stress and take triggers out of your living environment. Even with these steps, know that relapse is common, so be prepared to work through it as a couple.
Learn About Enabling and Boundaries
Of course everyone wants to be helpful to their partner, but sometimes what seems like help might actually be behavior that enables the addiction. Talk with your counselor about this and about both of you establishing and maintaining health boundaries. Neither of you is responsible for the choices the other makes.
How to Know When to Move On
With work, couples may be able to get past addiction and live a happy life together. But in some cases, it may be best to end the relationship. Counseling can help you get to your true feelings regarding your union and help you decide whether staying together makes sense. Taking some time apart can help as well. Sometimes you need the separation to see what will truly make you happy and keep you healthy.
If you’re having problems working through trust issues, if your partner continues to be dishonest, or to use drugs and alcohol, it may be best to move on from this relationship. When emotional or physical abuse is a part of your relationship, getting out and moving on could save your life.
Make the Right Choice for Yourself
Despite what you see in movies and television, relationships take work. Working through serious issues like addiction can make couples stronger and create a solid foundation for the future. But it’s important to know when to move on as well. However you deal with addiction, make sure you both put your health and happiness first.
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