What to Do When Both You and Your Spouse Struggle With Addiction

What to Do When Both You and Your Spouse Struggle With Addiction

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    It can be challenging if you have an addiction, but it can become even more complicated if you have it. This article discusses how to grow on your own during treatment, create a sobriety plan, and decide if your relationship is healthy.

    Drugs Destroy Relationships

    It isn’t uncommon for couples to drink or use drugs together. Substance use is a social activity, and it makes sense for people with the same interests to be in the same social group. Sometimes two people try drugs or drink together. It’s often one partner introducing the other to substance use.

    Substance use can ruin relationships. People often call addiction a family disease because of its impact on the whole family unit. Unfortunately, things can quickly become toxic and even dangerous. 

    Substance use in families can lead to lying, manipulation, resentment, and domestic violence. Getting help is crucial as soon as you realize a problem before it becomes more prominent and destructive.

    Making a Choice to Both Get Sober

    If you and your spouse both struggle with addiction, you must be on the same page about what needs to happen. You want to avoid one person being all in while the other has barely dipped their feet in the water. For treatment and recovery to be successful, you must be dedicated to improving. Otherwise, what can happen is an endless cycle of attempted sobriety, dependency, and relapse.

    Embarking on Individual Journeys

    Addiction may have affected your relationship severely, but you need to take care of your substance use individually before you can address any of that. Addiction is often never just about the addiction itself. There are usually deeper issues underneath the surface that need to be addressed before either of you can get better. 

    While in treatment, you’ll both need to face your struggles and challenges. One of you might use substances as a form of escapism. The other might use it as a way to self-medicate or relieve boredom. Each person will need to go on their treatment journey.

    Couples can enter treatment together if they work through their addiction individually. If a team enters a rehab facility, they shouldn’t choose the same plan but one that fits them separately. What works for one spouse might not work for the other. It is ideal for individuals taking unique aspects of a treatment program—like yoga or equine therapy.

    Evaluating Your Relationship

    After treatment, you must address issues in your relationship if you plan to stay together. This is best accomplished when you’re both in a place of stability and recovery. Dealing with marriage problems can become a massive trigger for substance use, primarily if drugs or alcohol are used as a form of escape or as a way to deal with stress.

    During this time, you’ll need to have difficult conversations and look honestly at your relationship. You’ll want to look at what parts are toxic, unhealthy, and dangerous and how your relationship contributes to substance use. There might be a chance that the best solution is to take a break while you both work on yourselves.

    The Choice of Sticking Together or Breaking Apart

    Taking an honest hard look at your relationship involves accepting the state of your relationship as is. Sobriety puts you in a clearer headspace. During treatment, or even after, you might conclude that your relationship can’t stand on its own without substance use. 

    You might have come together because of substances or fallen in love with who your spouse was when they were intoxicated. You might need to face whether or not the relationship is worth saving or if you’re both healthier apart. If you find your relationship empty without substance use, ending it might be the best for both of you.

    Creating a Long-Term Sobriety Plan

    After completing treatment, you’ll need to think about what your sober lives will look like together. While it takes an enormous commitment to stay sober as a couple, your bond could be an asset to sharing support and holding each other up. 

    In early recovery, you will want to make goals with sobriety as the focus. What do you both want to accomplish together in this new life? What steps do you need to take to achieve fulfillment?

    It’s already challenging when one family member has an addiction, but it’s even more complicated when two people have one. Getting better takes an enormous level of commitment. It is by no means easy. 

    The important thing is to make decisions that are right for you and your situation. If you feel your relationship with your spouse is strong enough to keep moving forward, you must be on the same page about what is expected during treatment and recovery. During this experience, you’ll both need to grow and evolve to get better. 

    On the other hand, if you aren’t sure if the relationship is strong enough or healthy enough to save, you might need to make some difficult decisions. If you’d like to learn more about what you can do, call Villa Oasis San Diego at (323) 739-8673.

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