Getting sober can be a challenge for anyone, but for couples struggling with addiction, the challenges are twofold. The cycle of drug and alcohol abuse can be difficult to disrupt and escape when a partner is also actively abusing substances. Choosing to seek treatment together can offer additional support throughout the recovery process — but only if both parties are equally committed to recovery.
Couples addiction recovery at Discovery Point Retreat offers support and guidance for each person as an individual, as well as couples support resources.
Relationships are typically built on shared traits and interests. Partners who bond over a shared love of music or outdoor activities are more likely to enjoy a longer union than those who have no common interests. For couples in active addiction, this mutual struggle can be both detrimental and enabling.
Mutual addiction and shared trauma can keep you locked in a toxic cycle of substance abuse and other self-destructive habits. Codependency in addiction is common, as the disorder feeds itself by convincing you both that life beyond substance use is unbearable. Relationships built around the shared experience of addiction may have been originally founded in love and mutual understanding, but leave partners struggling with boundaries, communication and trust that can negatively impact:
Couples therapy is also a good idea for situations in which only one party is experiencing drug addiction. This can help the partner understand the triggers and the underlying causes of substance abuse and addiction. Increased understanding and empathy can help strengthen the bond and enforce a positive role as a key member of one’s support network.
Whether one enters treatment alone or with a partner, it is important to maintain sobriety as a priority. Recovery is a personal journey of self-discovery and growth. Though couples drug rehab provides the opportunity to travel the path of recovery together, the commitment to sobriety must still come from within.
While entering treatment as a couple can make the process feel less intimidating, it’s vital to maintain a focus on individual care for lasting success. Tying one’s sobriety too closely to another person may have the adverse effect of triggering relapse — especially if one person stumbles or the relationship ends. Instead, couples seeking addiction treatment together should act as support for each other while maintaining a focus on their individual recovery.
Rehab for couples has the same essential components as individual addiction treatment with supplemental couples’ counseling and resources. Each individual receives a personalized care regimen suited to their needs. This ensures both partners are able to address the deeper rooted causes of their addiction and work toward their own recovery goals. By taking the time to focus inward on self-awareness and improvement, couples are then able to work together toward being better for each other as well.
Couples alcohol and drug rehab is about learning to work as a team to address life’s challenges, approaching each problem directly rather than shifting blame or ignoring the issue. With a primary focus on empowerment and communication, couples counseling can greatly improve the quality of your relationship, both during the recovery process and beyond.
Some things that might be discussed in couples counseling in terms of addiction and recovery include:
As with other forms of behavioral therapy, behavioral couples therapy focuses on identifying and addressing the roots of harmful behaviors. For couples, behavioral therapy may include implementing a “recovery contract.” The goal is to make both parties accountable to one another and promote mutual support.
Counselors can offer guidance in setting healthy goals and learning the skills and tools necessary for achieving them. As a form of behavioral therapy, this includes identifying the correlation between negative thoughts and emotions and behaviors. Together, a couple is able to help each other remain accountable by spotting early signs of relapse.
For those struggling with both drug and alcohol abuse disorders, an integrated approach to couples therapy may be necessary. Since alcohol abuse may present different challenges in recovery, couples behavioral therapy for alcohol focuses on:
Because of the social acceptance and easy availability of alcohol, recovery can be challenging. For couples in which only one person struggles with addiction, presenting a united front is important. Limiting access to alcohol, triggering environments, and other things that may put one’s recovery in jeopardy is vital, especially in early recovery.
The decision to seek addiction treatment as a couple should be an open and honest discussion between both parties. Having individual motivations for recovery and a commitment to mutual support can make the recovery path a bit easier to navigate. Discovery Point Retreat offers a full continuum of care for all clients, including couples. Our team is here to help you and your partner strive toward a better, brighter future.