Alcohol or drug addiction can encroach onto a relationship and leave the intimacy, comfort, and trust that held partners together shattered. When one person in a relationship has an addiction, their spouse can feel angry, saddened, or frustrated about it.
Unfortunately, what starts as an occasional event or one-time experiment can eventually become a spiraling abuse cycle. In some cases, individuals don’t know that their partners are already addicts.
The condition is more difficult when both partners in a relationship have an addiction. In such a relationship, getting help might not be easy. That’s because the partners in a relationship have to decide to act as a united body to recover from addiction.
If one partner enters rehab and the other continues to abuse the addictive substance, chances of relapsing after the treatment will be very high. However, failing to get help puts the couple at many risks. These include financial loss, relationship challenges as well as negative effect on mental and physical health for the partners.
But, when both partners decide to seek help with addiction together they can learn and proceed towards recovery. Drug rehab for couples (more information here) provides the tools required to manage addictions. It enables a couple to understand the cravings and triggers of each other.
What’s more, the couple learns how to avoid relapsing after the treatment. Undergoing treatment for addiction together can also improve a relationship and manage issues like co-dependence. It can also create a new dynamic in a relationship that provides support to each partner individually while enabling both partners to maintain recovery.
Signs That a Couple Needs Treatment for Addiction
It’s not uncommon to have a relationship where both partners abuse alcohol or drugs. Unfortunately, substance abuse can damage a relationship even when partners are determined to make it work. But, how do you know that you and your partner need help with addiction?
Basically, you know that you need to attend a rehab as a couple if:
- You enjoy drinking or using the addictive drug together.
- Substance abuse causes domestic violence on both or one partner.
- Both of you or one partner needs to be high or drunk to show affection or discuss relationship matters.
- Alcoholism or addiction has made you neglect responsibilities like childcare or housework.
When you notice these signs, don’t blame yourself, your spouse, or somebody else for the problem. Attributing the addiction problem to someone else will shift responsibility while weighing off addiction from your shoulder. This won’t solve the problem. The best way to approach it is to act as a united body and seek help with addiction at a reputable drug rehab for couples.
Why Recovering Together Is Beneficial for Both Partners
There are addiction treatment facilities that allow partners to recover together. These are ideal for partners in a strong relationship and are committed to recover from addiction. Motivation is very important when it comes to ensuring that couples get treatment together.
Attending rehab together shifts couple’s attention from the idea of recovering as an individual to recovering as partners in a relationship. The desire to improve the relationship acts as the motivation that enables the couple to complete treatment.
Additionally, recovering together can enhance a romantic relationship. That’s because it enables a couple to work together towards getting and staying clean in order to enjoy better intimacy. How a couple participates in addiction treatment varies depending on the individuals’ needs and couple’s dynamics.
Nevertheless, recovering together provides the dedication and focus required to achieve and maintain recovery. The motivation to recover can be reinforced via continued reaffirmation of the commitment to recover to one another.
When It’s Not Possible to Recover Together
Circumstances can make recovering together difficult for a couple. For instance, a partner can have issues that have to be addressed separately. An issue might not be easy to address if a couple undergoes treatment for addiction at the same rehab.
Such a situation may require the partners in a relationship to recover separately. In most cases, couples rehab centers are faced with such a situation when addiction has caused a violent behavior, psychological or medical issue that warrants intense care.
But, if a couple is determined to make the relationship work, therapy and communication with both partners can help. Thus, though partners may undergo treatment for addiction separately, they can have therapy sessions that bring them together on weekly basis. As such, partners may be in the same facility and program but in separate locations and meeting for therapy sessions only.
The Emotional Side of This Treatment
The decision to join a recovery program or enter rehab separately can be overwhelming and scary. Undergoing treatment for addiction together provides the comfort that partners in a relationship need to complete treatment.
When a partner finds the idea of undergoing treatment away from their significant other or spouse difficult, a rehab center for couple provides the extra nudge required to undergo treatment.
Research indicates that addiction causes marital problems that cause a destructive cycle that each partner induces in the other. Recovering together restructures the dysfunctional interactions of a couple while supporting sobriety.
What’s more, recovering together enables a couple to learn the best ways to spend quality time together without drinking or abusing drugs. It enables a couple to learn how to plan leisure and recreational activities that may have been abandoned due to embarrassing moments or a strained relationship caused by substance abuse and addiction.
Couples rehab involves joint and individual counseling. Joint counseling may include recovery contracts. These are basically the promises that partners make to each other not to abuse drug or drink alcohol.
They may also include promises to support the sobriety of one another. All these are important aspects of the emotional side of recovering from addiction together.
The Bottom Line
Couples-based therapy yields greater abstinence, fewer separations and happier relationships than individual therapy for partners in a relationship. When partners in a relationship recover from addiction together, they also support each other in overcoming future challenges.
Working as a united body is particularly beneficial when it comes to drug rehab for married couples because it helps in preventing relapse after treatment.
About the Author
Thanush Poulsen is a concerned health blogger based in Copenhagen. Traveling all over the world, Thanush learns different practices of addiction treatment trying to improve the traditional addiction programs as well as design new approaches for recovery.