Addiction is a “family disease,” and if you are suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it can adversely affect family and those closest to you. The disease of addiction is not limited to single relationships or familial dynamics; couples may be suffering from the disease together in a very literal way. This can create an incredibly delicate scenario where it is difficult to focus on your sobriety if your partner has not made the same choice to remain sober.
While there are risks involved with couples’ recovery programs, there are also several unique benefits. Understanding the purpose behind these programs can help you and your partner decide the right recovery route for you.
Couples Suffering From Addiction
Addiction is the product of a myriad of factors, including genetics, environment, and outside stressors. Suffering from addiction can also expose others to the unhealthy byproducts of addictive substances as you attempt to normalize their use. These notions can imbed themselves in others if your use is not monitored.
If multiple people within a family or household suffer from addiction, it becomes imperative that all members decide to pursue recovery to create the best possibility for sustained success. For some, this can mean that each individual will begin a separate recovery program that focuses internally, while others may want to pursue this sober challenge as a couple.
The Benefits of Couples’ Recovery Programs
Couples’ programs offer a unique approach to recovery. Many recovery programs structure around ideas of accountability and responsibility while incorporating other grounding strategies, recovery techniques, and processes. Couples can also utilize their partner in their recovery as an additional resource. Having a caring loved one alongside you throughout the process can eliminate many stresses that come with the recovery process.
As couples learn about the disease together and how it has affected their lives, couples can better understand each other, clearing any misconceptions or assumptions in communication while helping to create an air of understanding as both people navigate their complex physical and emotional changes.
Likewise, having your partner navigate the recovery process by your side can be a phenomenal resource for accountability. Not only are couples more likely to push each other to maintain each others’ sobriety, but this context and camaraderie can also keep each person responsible for their actions and decisions, promoting honesty and clarifying consequences.
Having your partner just as intimately invested in your sobriety can also contextualize the importance of each sober milestone. Reaching your first entire week sober is a significant accomplishment, and it can be challenging to understand precisely how impossible such a goal may seem at first for those who have not lived through the trials of the disease themselves. This genuine understanding of your accomplishments can empower each individual to celebrate their hard-earned successes and revel in progress made.
Your partner can also learn to celebrate in sober-appropriate ways, understanding the dangers and benefits of sober celebrations throughout the ongoing process. Seeing success in your partner can also be an additional ember of motivation to ensure that both people continue to put their best foot forward. This can also challenge one another to maintain this newfound sober lifestyle for their benefit, as well as the benefit of the relationship.
The Risks of Couples’ Recovery
Pursuing recovery in tandem intimately connects you and your partner. There can be benefits to this, but it also comes with a degree of risk. Because your recovery and sobriety are tied to someone else, it can create a precarious situation if that other individual begins to falter in their own sober goals or focus.
Having your partner slip or relapse can reintroduce addictive substances into your own home, along with all of the temptations, stresses, and risks therein. It can be a slippery slope as not only are your successes celebrated by your significant other, but you also inherit the chances of faltering in recovery. In these circumstances, the home can become compromised, creating an unsafe atmosphere and greatly straining the relationship.
These risks can be further compounded if couples realize that they are not a good fit for each other during the recovery process. Break-ups are incredibly stressful without introducing the complex world of recovery. The additional stress of managing this aspect of one’s romantic life can be an overwhelming stressor, continuing to impact the propensity for slips or relapse.
While there can be a tremendous amount of support and guidance for couples pursuing their sobriety together, it also comes with a degree of risk. Whether an individual is looking to begin a recovery program on their own to explore their relationship with drugs or alcohol or is wanting to start their journey alongside a loved one is dependent on each individual.
Couples navigating the recovery process together can be difficult, but we at Avalon Malibu understand the unique potential benefits of tackling the recovery process as a unified front. Our couples program is designed to help you and your partner not only navigate the difficulties of addiction recovery but also understand the complex relationship dynamic at play to help you better utilize each other as a tentpole in each others’ recovery. Whether you are just looking to begin your recovery journey with detox or are looking to find your best practices through residential treatment, partial hospitalization, or intensive outpatient therapy, we are prepared to help you and your partner navigate the nuance of couples’ recovery to emerge as a resilient force for continued sobriety. For more information on how we can help you, or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique situation, call us today at (844) 857-5992.