Dealing with addiction in a relationship can be tough. The feelings of betrayal and the ups and downs of substance abuse can take a toll on both partners. If you are in a relationship and your partner is struggling with addiction to alcohol or drugs, here’s how to deal with thoughts that may be running through your head.
Encouraging Your Loved One to Enter Recovery
If you want to preserve your relationship, it’s important to find a way to help your partner begin real recovery. Have an honest conversation with your loved one, while they are sober and calm, and let them know how important their recovery and happiness is to you. Sometimes it may be helpful to involve friends or family in the dialogue, by planning an intervention. Encourage people to be honest but constructive with their concerns. Have information on accredited recovery programs available. If in-patient treatment seems to be the best option, and it often is, help your significant other figure out how to flex their life, including work and family, around their treatment.
Getting Through Treatment-Together
Addiction can be at the root of so many issues in a relationship, as well as inside an individual. Healing from the trauma will take time but many couples come out stronger at the end. Know that you will both need to make sacrifices during treatment and issues will not be resolved overnight. Your loved one may relapse, causing feelings of betrayal and disappointment for you both. Try to stay strong through the process and get as involved in the treatment as you can. Most addiction recovery counselors will recommend couples therapy as part of a broader plan, so be prepared to be open and honest about your problems and feelings. Gaining trust after dealing with addiction is difficult but it can be done.Managing Messy FinancesSubstance abuse can have more than just health costs. Often substance abusers have prioritized their need for a fix over bills and responsibilities. You can get back on track as a couple, but it will take some work, and a commitment from the both of you. Sit down together and create a solid, achievable financial plan to get out of debt. The most common fights in relationships are about money, so it’s important that you both have this talk when you are calm, collected and most importantly, sober. Since financial strain causes the most issues in a relationship, tackling your budget woes together can help take away a lot of stress from you both.Taking Time for Self-CareRecovery is tiring for the substance abuser but it’s just as exhausting for loved ones. Getting help for your partner, facing the breach of trust, and dredging up past issues can really take a toll on your emotional, mental and even your physical health. As your partner works through treatment, you’ll want to be there for them but you cannot forget to take care of yourself. Make time to get out and go for walks, meet up with your friends or read a comforting book. Vent to friends you can trust or consider seeking out a therapist of your own. Practicing self-care will help you stay strong for whatever lies ahead on this difficult road.
Facing Hard Truths
Working through addiction recovery takes some major truth-telling and the truth can really hurt. Though it’s challenging, you need to know when it’s best to end a relationship. If being together causes far more pain than happiness; if your loved one refuses to seek treatment and you don’t see them ever changing your mind; and most importantly, if domestic violence or abuse becomes a part of the relationship, it may be time for things to end. You should never have to put your health or happiness at risk to remain in a relationship.
Sometimes, love and compassion aren’t enough to overcome addiction. Dealing with the addiction of a loved one can be brutal, so if you are up for the challenge, here’s to hoping this advice will help you out, or at least help you come to the best decision for you and your partner’s well-being
PLANNING AN INTERVENTION