Can An Addicted Couple Get Sober And Stay Together?
On its own, addiction is a nasty beast to fight. There are numerous factors that can affect the process, and sometimes, things in the person’s life are deeply affected by the addiction. When it is a couple that is addicted, whether it is to the same substance or different ones, the process becomes all the more difficult.
Understanding what can affect the relationship during the recovery process will help with understanding if it is possible for the relationship to survive.
Codependency & Enabling
It is a common in relationships where addiction occurs for there to be a sense of codependency. This means that there is one person involved who aids the addiction, often believing that they are helping the person. In cases where a couple both have an addiction, they may function as codependents for each other.
It might not even be a choice, as addiction often causes a person to not be in control of their thoughts and actions. One might enable the other, encouraging the addiction and helping it grow. Cases like that can impede any chances of recovery, as one might resist and try to dissuade their partner from seeking help.
Many treatment plans usually involve not just the addict themselves, but their entire family. According to the NIDA, the process is highly adaptable, and can be modified to fit the needs of the person seeking treatment. With couples who are both seeking treatment, the process can be designed to treat them both individually and together.
Therapy is often included in addiction treatment to address and deal with the specific causes of the person’s addiction. It is also used to help them deal with the stress of the addiction and the recovery process, as well as help them communicate with loved ones.
For couples, it can be a way for them to address what drove each of them into their own addictions, what they did or didn’t do to help, and how they can further support each other in recovery.
Treatment for addiction can take much more time than it took for the addiction to originally develop. The DEA stresses that each person responds to drugs and other addictive substances differently. It is possible for one half of the relationship could get better faster than the other.
There is the possibility that one could relapse and while the other stays sober, affecting the recovery process for both. Getting sober isn’t going to be instantaneous and you shouldn’t expect it to be. Addiction and its effects are unpredictable and being patient for yourself and your partner can be the best thing for your relationship.
Worst Case Scenario?
When both parties in a relationship have an addiction, the worst case scenario that can happen for the relationship is that it doesn’t survive. It may not be the ideal goal, but being aware that it is a possibility is really the best way to approach the situation.
Having realistic expectations for the situation, for yourself, and for each other can be quite healthy. If the relationship makes it through addiction and is still going strong in recovery, then congratulations. It’s okay if it that doesn’t happen though, and no one is to blame in that situation.