The Gottman Institute is a good resource for couples dealing with addiction in their relationships. They aim to “reach out to families in order to help create and maintain greater love and health in relationships.” Loving someone with an addiction can be a difficult thing. Or, maybe you’re the one with an addiction and you are having trouble feeling like you deserve the love of your partner. Whatever the situation, there are things that you can do in order to love and be loved. 

One thing that people with addictions struggle with is handling their triggers. Something a partner does may trigger you to want to use the substance you have been trying so hard to avoid. Understanding your triggers is an important step to pushing through them. Triggers can be a reminder of past trauma. It can throw you back to a situation in which you were used, abused, sad, or scared. There are many things that are traumatic. The important thing to remember is this: Trauma is relative. What was painful for one person may not be painful for another person. No one wants to win at a game of “Most Traumatized.” You just want to be able to handle your traumas in a healthy way and move past them effectively. Knowing what triggered you and why is a good first step. Here are some things from The Gottman Institute to think about when you are feeling triggered:

  • I felt excluded.
  • I felt powerless.
  • I felt unheard.
  • I felt scolded.
  • I felt judged.
  • I felt blamed.
  • I felt disrespected.
  • I felt a lack of affection.
  • I felt I couldn’t speak up.
  • I felt lonely.
  • I felt ignored.
  • I felt I couldn’t be honest.
  • I felt like the bad guy.
  • I felt forgotten.
  • I felt unsafe.
  • I felt unloved.
  • I felt like it was unfair.
  • I felt frustrated.
  • I felt disconnected.
  • I felt trapped.
  • I felt a lack of passion.
  • I felt uncared for.
  • I felt manipulated.
  • I felt controlled.

All of these are things you should consider when you feel triggered. If you are able to recognize some of your feelings, the next step is to try to communicate your feelings to your partner. You cannot expect your partner to be a mind reader. Effectively communicating your feelings is a necessary part of any relationship. Do your best to try to explain why you feel triggered so that your partner can try and avoid doing the same thing in the future.

Pinnacle Recovery wants to help you and your family through your mental health recovery. Speak to our trained and experienced staff today to find out more about the programs we offer. Call now at 1-866-301-0573. We can’t wait to hear from you!