Independent Guide to Care in North Wales

Living With A Partner Struggling With Addiction

The people we love are the most important people to us. They are people we want to share moments with, support and receive support from. Being in a relationship with someone experiencing an addiction to alcohol or drugs can be very emotional, negative, and confusing. It may be advisable to suggest rehab for your loved one. 

How does substance abuse affect relationships?

Relationships that involve alcoholism or other addictions can spiral into a cycle where one complains about how the other acts. This can often lead to conflict, and then the alcoholic/addict will possibly drink more/use more. The cycle then repeats itself. 

Substance and alcohol abuse can affect more than just personal health, it can affect multiple aspects of life including:

  • Creating financial difficulties. 

  • Legal conflicts for things such as drink driving. 

  • Abuse in various ways like emotional, physical, verbal and possibly sexual. 

  • Impaired judgement, leading to anger and resentment and creating conflict. 

Any abuse of signs of abuse, even when the person doing it is under the influence should be taken very seriously. People who have been abusive may require specialist therapy during recovery, and could even face legal consequences. 

Anyone who feels like they are in danger due to an abusive partner linked to drinking should find help as soon as possible. Domestic abuse helplines or the legal authorities can suggest the best steps for you to take.

How can I help my loved one recover from addiction?

The first step you will need from your loved one is them being able to admit that they have a problem. After recognising the problem, they will also need to want to recover. If they don’t want to, then the chances of them getting off the substance are very small. 

You could then suggest that they attend rehab treatment. During the start of this, they will focus on themselves, but you could also ask about couples therapy if you need help with the relationship following this. 

During couples therapy at a rehab clinic, you might look at the following things:

  • Improving your problem solving

  • Boosting your communication with one another

  • Learning to listen

  • Developing your care skills

  • Creating a contract for recovery between yourselves

  • Self-help options

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