Restorations Therapy Blog

The Effects of Substance Use Disorders on Romantic Relationships

by on Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

         Successful relationships occur due to equality in partnership. Romantic relationships already carry complexity and difficulty, especially as time goes on, and new issues arise.

When a substance use disorder (SUD) emerges as an issue in a relationship, it may be challenging to maintain a stable relationship full of the elements that create successful relationships.

The Foundation of Successful Relationships

         As mentioned, even successful relationships take work to maintain. The foundation of a thriving and positive relationship includes:

  • The use, by both parties, of honest and direct communication
  • Respect
  • Rewarding and fun interactions
  • Compromise, or coming to mutual agreements
  • Trust in each other
  • Understanding the other’s emotions and opinions
  • The absence of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse
  • The lack of violence or aggression
  • An ability for both parties to flourish while alone and while together
  • Both parties’ feeling competent and confident with themselves

The Cost of SUDs to Relationships

         When one of the partners in the relationship develops a SUD to drugs or alcohol, many of the elements that create a healthy relationship become challenging to preserve. The problem is that the SUD causes the individual to only focus on getting the substance and using the substance.

Therefore, the partner struggling with the SUD typically begins putting in less time and effort into maintaining the relationship, which causes the foundation of the relationship to crumble.

         Many elements begin to permeate the once healthy relationship, such as secrecy, in which the partner with a SUD may not be honest about their drug or alcohol use due to feelings of judgment, guilt, or shame. Furthermore, this may lead them to lie about who they are with, where they are, and what they do.

Trust issues develop due to the behaviors of the partner with the SUD, leading to declines in respect, loyalty, and honesty within the relationship. Furthermore, anger and abuse may increase as the healthy relationship deteriorates, mainly when dealing with drugs that increase anger and irritability such as:  

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamines
  • Steroids
  • Alcohol

Is your Relationship Struggling Due to SUD?        

If you or your partner struggles with a SUD to drugs or alcohol, it is imperative to find help to navigate the difficulties associated with the recovery and developing healthy coping skills. Even the partner without a SUD requires therapy to examine how their relationship with their partner’s addiction impacts them.

Living in a long-term unhealthy relationship or marriage fosters anger and pain, which are complicated feelings to reconcile. Furthermore, everyone needs a support system and to feel empathy from others related to their situation.

You are not alone, and there is hope for a healthy and positive future. If you are seeking help, call us today at (720)-446-6585.

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