One of the many factors that influence addiction and recovery is whether you have a partner who also struggles with substance use. Having a partner with a substance use issue is a common reason many people, especially women, develop addictions in the first place. When two people with substance use disorders live together, the behavior of each influences the other. One may decide she needs to drink less but then her partner goes on a bender so she abandons her plans to cut back. Substance use can also contribute to a cycle of conflict and using drugs or alcohol to cope. In short, it’s common for two people with substance use disorders to keep pulling each other down.
For anyone in this situation, it’s absolutely a good idea for both partners to get help. If both want to get sober and are willing to put in the work, they can support each other in recovery, or at least not drag each other down. People are generally far more successful in recovery if their partners are supportive and willing to quit using drugs and alcohol.
Some people find the idea of entering treatment far less scary if their partner can go too. You don’t have to go off to a strange place where you don’t know anyone and be away from your partner for months. Aside from the moral support aspect making it easier to actually enter treatment, attending treatment together may be a good idea for some couples. Both can get similar treatment at the same time, so they have a similar understanding of the process. They can work together in therapy to resolve long standing conflicts and dysfunctional relationship patterns. This can both help them stay sober and enjoy a better relationship.
However, attending treatment together isn’t a good idea for every couple. If one partner is violent or abusive, it’s better if he or she gets help for that separately. Having someone who is prone to anger or aggression present might sabotage the treatment process, so it’s usually better to address the anger first, or possibly as part of a separate program. It may also be a bad idea for codependent couples to attend treatment together, as one may be too eager to please the other or take care of the other at her own expense. Codependency should be addressed as part of a comprehensive treatment program, but not necessarily with both partners in treatment together.
In addition to therapeutic issues, there may be practical issues as well. For example, it may not be feasible for both partners to enter treatment simultaneously if someone has to watch the kids or pay the bills. However, both partners should recognize that the relationship can either be a huge asset or a huge liability in recovery and the best way to support your partner is to take recovery seriously yourself.
Out of our beautiful custom home in Holladay, Utah, Pinnacle Recovery offers a premiere, customized clinical continuum of care for addiction, alcoholism, and co-occurring disorders. With the healing and inspiring scenery of the breathtaking Utah mountains all around you, you’ll be motivated to work toward deep, lasting change and recovery. Call us today for information on our programs: 866-301-0573