Long-term relationships or marriages mean committing yourself to not only acting in ways that promote self-happiness but a joint happiness for both you and your partner. Therefore, it is easy to see that substance abuse and committed relationships do not make the best combination. In the midst of things, it’s difficult for those with an addiction to see that they are hurting not only themselves but also their partner. Fortunately, if substance abuse affecting your relationship is something you have to deal with, treatment and counseling can help.

Many times, couples in which one partner is abusing drugs or alcohol tend to experience more arguments than couples who seek help for their marital problems. Once the addiction gets worse and the frequency in which he or she uses increases, the distance between partners will become evident. Imagine the person you once felt the closest to becoming a person you barley know anymore. Drug and substance abuse can change a person from being loving and compassionate to distant and moody. This transformation can lead to many more fights, which can become physical, or drive the abuser to use more to forget about the emotional pain, causing a vicious cycle.

There are several ways to identify if substance abuse is harming a relationship. Check out the following indicators and see if you recognize any of these points:

  1. The couple is arguing about everyday household responsibilities, staying out too late at night, or money problems relating to the use of alcohol or drugs.
  2. One partner always making excuses for the other partner’s absences at work, family gatherings, or social situations due to their substance abuse.
  3. A partner that says he or she uses drugs or alcohol to reduce the stress of argument that was caused by the use of a substance.
  4. The couple needs to use drugs or alcohol to communicate with one another. The only thing they have in common are the substances that are used.
  5. The couple or family isolates themselves from other people in order to hide the substance abuse.

If the substance abuse affecting your relationship includes these points, it may be time to consider seeking help to save your relationship or marriage. Many times, these habits will not get better alone and the couple will need help to overcome the issue at hand. A substance abuse problem can take a toll on everyone in the family, not just the user. When seeking treatment, it’s important to remember that including your partner in the process is crucial in order to reshape the relationship. If marital problems are not solved alongside the substance abuse problems, arguments could still occur even if the other partner stays clean. Overall, once the substance abuse problems are resolved, what is needed the most is a stable, caring relationship to keep the progress moving forward.

Is Substance Abuse Affecting Your Relationship?

There are many different treatment options that can be explored to find the right one for your situation. These range from individual treatment, couples counseling, or group meetings and can include some combination of all three. It’s important to always remember that giving up is not the answer; making an effort to get the help you need is what matters and what will ultimately help you to live the life you want to achieve. If you or your loved one is suffering from an addiction, it’s time to call the Discovery Institute at (800) 714-2175 to start turning your life around.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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