by Restorations Therapy Center on Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
Addiction is known as a family disease because it not only affects the person going through it, but also those around them. Loved ones feel the effects of the addiction firsthand because they are actively involved in the addict’s life. This is especially true for spouses and romantic partners, because they the person they once fell in love with fall down into the dark and endless hole of addiction. Partners of addicts have to cope firsthand with ongoing stress, abuse, chaos, and fights as their partner continues using drugs or alcohol. While it is important for the person going through substance abuse to go through treatment and recovery, their partner also needs time to heal from the ordeal. Addiction leaves deep wounds on the partners of addicts and it can be difficult to heal, but with the proper treatment, recovery is possible.
Substance abuse leads to numerous problems within relationships and households. Common issues that arise are verbal and physical conflicts; verbal, sexual, or physical abuse; financial problems; and legal conflicts. Partners find themselves feeling betrayed as they uncover lies, and loss of trust with the person they are in a relationship with.
Different situations can be traumatic for partners in relationships with addicts, and can cause a rollercoaster of emotions. They often experience grief, anger, sadness, and more intense emotions. The situation can be draining as they look after their sick loved one, and it is not uncommon for partners of addicts to neglect their own mental health. This is why many treatment centers offer recovery programs for family members of addicts, including romantic partners.
When your romantic partner is going through addiction, it is only natural for you to want to focus all of your energy on helping them recover and get sober. This is a common occurrence, but it will often result in you feeling exhausted, mentally drained, and perhaps even depressed.
One of the most important things romantic partners of addicts can do while someone they care about is struggling with addiction is to seek professional help for themselves. The experience of having someone you love slowly deteriorate in front of you from a treatable disease can be heart wrenching and traumatic. Individual therapy and other forms of treatment can help a partner talk about their emotions and problems they are having with their loved one. Therapy can also help romantic partners recognize ways they may be neglecting their own mental health, and learn how to take a step back and practice more self-care.
Another way that individual therapy helps the partners of addicts is by educating them on substance abuse and addiction. Learning the ins and outs of the disease can help them gain a better understanding of what their partner is going through and how to properly help them. The therapist will also be able to help the individual recognize their own role in the relationship patterns and struggles.
The important thing to remember is that you cannot pour from an empty cup. Taking care of yourself is a priority if you want to help others. You cannot neglect your own needs at the expense of helping others. Through therapy, it is possible to heal from negative experiences and work on your relationship as you help your partner.
While therapy and addiction treatment can help an addict and their partner heal and reclaim their life together in sobriety, sometimes the best option for the partner of an addict is to leave the relationship altogether. During therapy, a person may realize that they may be better off on their own, away from the addiction. They may also realize that they are causing more harm than good to their addicted partner. There are ways to safely leave a relationship that is shrouded in addiction, such as:
Even after leaving and being out of the relationship for a while, going to therapy to talk about what happened is still recommended. The effects of addiction are intense, not only for the addict but for their loved ones too. Loving an addict can drain you and leave you feeling angry, tired, and helpless. Take care of your own mental health to heal from your partner’s addiction.
At Restorations Therapy, we understand the effect that addiction has on the loved ones of addicts, especially their partners. This is why we offer a program for the partners of addicts to help with healing and support. Our programs help partners of addicts understand that they did not cause their partner’s addiction and that recovery is possible. Through counseling, we believe that the trauma caused by addiction can be healed and trust can be gained between partners again over time. If your partner is struggling with addiction and you need help, reach out to us at (720) 446-6585. We want to help you and your partner get your lives back.