It can be difficult enough facing an addiction as an individual. However, what about if both you and your partner are struggling with addiction at the same time?
In some ways, this compounds on top of a situation that is fraught with emotional baggage, complex personal histories, and also relationship dynamics.
But it’s not all doom and gloom! Partners can also be supportive of one another and be sources of emotional and spiritual strength. If you and your partner are struggling with addiction, here are three ways to address the problem together and to promote healing.
1. Admit That Both of You Have an Addiction
As with so many cases, one of the first steps towards healing from an addiction is acknowledging that there is a problem. This means being willing as a couple to sit down, look at each other truthfully, and say that there is a problem. And that you both need help!
It’s the only way that you will heal together as a couple. You can’t have one person saying they have an addiction, and the other partner denying it. Or worse, they blame all the problems in the relationship on the other partner! That doesn’t help at all.
2. Be Willing to Support One Another
Second, if you and your partner are facing an addiction together, then you both need to support one another. This support can occur in several ways:
- Agreeing to not have substance in your home.
- Attending meetings, support groups, and similar events together
- Making new choices together that support a healthier lifestyle, such as diet and exercise.
Additionally, partners can hold each other accountable with one another’s choices. For instance, by signing up for a fitness class together you are both holding each other accountable that you will both attend the class.
3. Improving Communication Skills When Facing Addiction
If you both struggle with addiction, then most likely there have been times when your communication has not been the best. Perhaps each of you said things to each other that you regret, and, and, and that damaged the relationship. That’s why improving your communication skills is so critical when in recovery together. For instance:
- Problem-solving daily issues together.How each of you copes with stress.
- Expressing your feelings to one another in an appropriate way.
- Communicating what you are experiencing when in crisis so that you can get the help you need.
Communication skills also includes learning how to be more attentive to your partner to meet their needs. When you show your attentiveness to each other, you promote understanding and a stronger sense of connection.
Counseling and Addiction as a Couple
Certainly, counseling will be an important component of your recovery plan together. In counseling, you will both learn new communication skills and have the opportunity to practice with each other in a supportive setting. But there is so much more that you will benefit! For instance:
- Couples counseling to learn how to communicate, and examine how substance use has influenced your relationship. In what ways is your relationship healthy, and in which ways it is not? What could be done to improve the health of your relationship?
- Individual counseling to focus on issues that are affecting just you. For instance, resolving traumatic experiences that could be influencing your addiction.
- Substance abuse counseling to better examine and understand your relationship to substances and why you have become addicted.
Recovering from addiction is never an easy path to follow. And certainly facing addiction as a couple makes things more complicated. Yet, you each can also be supportive of one another, provide love and affection, and hold one another accountable in your recovery journey. Therapy will be an important factor in your recovery as a couple. Find out today how we can help with couples counseling and addiction counseling, 256-686-9195.