Is Substance Abuse Affecting Your Relationship?

photo by CC user emagineart on Flickr

There’s no secret that long term relationships and substance abuse don’t mix well. When you have a loved one who drinks or uses drugs excessively it can begin to have a rippled effect on your relationship. The problem might start off unnoticeable but in time it begins to wreak havoc on everything you hold near and dear. Though addiction is considered a family disease, it seems that the one often affected the most is the partner of the abuser.

What Addiction Could be Costing You

Believe it or not, couples who have typical relationship issues and seek help for them are much happier than couples who are dealing with addiction. As the drinking or use of drugs becomes worse, it begins to take away from the significance of the relationship. The negative actions can begin to drive an emotional wedge between the abuser and their partner making it more difficult to navigate through daily life.

As you two grow further and further apart, it brings about heated arguments and emotions that in turn cause the abuser to use more drugs or alcohol to deal with the overwhelming feelings of stress, depression, or anger. Essentially, this leads to a vicious cycle in which the relationship becomes one of the biggest triggers for the abuser.

This is why the moment you recognize that there are issues with drugs or alcohol, you need to get your partner help through a residential drug abuse program for your loved one.

Signs Addiction is Damaging Your Relationship

It can be difficult to admit that the person you love and care for has an issue with drugs or alcohol. However, paying attention to the signs is imperative to the integrity of your relationship as well as the overall health and well-being of your loved one. There are plenty of signs you might look out for, below are just a few of them:

  • Increased arguments about the use of drugs or alcohol
  • The need to cover for your loved one for their actions
  • Your partner pointing out that they need to drink or use drugs to deal with everyday stresses
  • Your partner (or your entire household) starts to be less social. This is a form of isolation to prevent others from knowing about the drug or alcohol problem.

While you may not see all of these signs in your relationship if you’ve noticed even one or two of these it may be worth looking into more. This indicates at the very least that there are serious underlying issues in the relationship that need to be sorted out before the bad habit of using a particular substance becomes a full blown addiction.

Convincing Your Loved One to Get Help

Once you start to notice the signs of addiction in your partner and how it’s affecting your relationship it will be important for you to get them help. Help however will only work if your loved one is willingly ready to receive help from you. You will need to bring up your feelings to your significant other with the understanding that they may not be ready to listen to what you’re saying. Some suggestions on how to effectively communicate with your partner about their drug or alcohol problem include:

  • Come from a place of love and not judgment
  • Talk at a time where there are no distractions
  • Listen to their side of the story
  • Voice your concerns without getting overly emotional
  • Allow time for the conversation to process

Searching Options for Help

Hopefully your partner will recognize the behavior patterns you’ve pointed out to them and they’ll be willing to get the help they need to get their life back on track. When the time is right, sit down together to go over the various options for treatment are. When looking to choose the right option you want to make sure that it works well for your significant other and also encompasses elements that will also help to improve your relationship such as family counseling.

Finding out that someone you love is suffering from addiction is certainly a large pill to swallow. Denial and neglect however are not the best methods for resolving the matter as addiction is something that won’t go away with time. If you recognize the signs in your relationships and believe that the addiction is tearing things apart it is important to speak on it. While your loved one may feel offended at first, in time they’ll come to realize the damage their addiction is causing and work diligently to rectify the matter and rebuild your relationship.