As much as our society likes to pretend that addiction is a personal problem that the individual needs to overcome, that often is not the case. While there are certainly people who have overcome a substance abuse problem largely on their own, most people will need the support of their loved ones if they are to recover and reclaim their lives. This is especially true of couples. There is no doubt that addiction can tear apart a marriage or a long-term relationship, but undergoing couples therapy can be just as beneficial as individual addiction treatment, if not more so. Here are just a few reasons why.
You Will Keep Each Other Engaged Throughout the Treatment Process
Addiction treatment can be difficult for anybody, and there are very few people who can handle it without some support. Not only is the actual withdrawal and detox process incredibly painful and harrowing, but it’s hard for a lot of people to stay focused during the cognitive therapy that comes later. It’s one reason why so many people relapse and start using again after they’ve completed treatment. If you have a partner with you to attend therapy sessions with you and keep you accountable, you will find that the entire process is much easier and much more likely to stick.
You Might Address the Issues that Led You to Use Drugs and Alcohol
It’s been said that addiction is a family disease. Not only does it affect one’s entire family, but sometimes there is something in a family dynamic that drives someone to abuse drugs and alcohol. This can happen in an unhealthy marriage or domestic partnership as well. While you cannot and should not blame your addiction on your partner, the dynamic between the two of you may have had something to do with it, whether the two of you are aware of it or not. Couples therapy will help you confront those issues, which will help you recover.
It Might Strengthen Your Relationship
It’s easy to think that if the dynamics in your relationship contributed to your addiction, then undergoing treatment could destroy your relationship. This might be the case if you are in a particularly toxic situation, but in most cases couples treatment will actually strengthen a relationship. Not only will you receive the support that you will need to overcome your addiction, but you will be able to support your spouse. As hard as overcoming an addiction may be for you, it’s important to remember that it’s also going to be hard on your partner. It may not be as hard on them as it will be on you, but they will need the same kind of validation that they are providing to you.
It Will Ease Feelings of Fear and Anger
A lot of people are afraid of undergoing family or couples therapy because they don’t know what they will find out about themselves or their loved ones. A patient undergoing treatment might be afraid of finding out that their partner resents them, and the partner might be afraid of finding out that they were somehow the cause of their addiction. These fears can tear a couple apart, even when they turn out to be unfounded. Undergoing couples treatment will allow both of you to address these fears and put them to rest. The fear may be there up until your first therapy session, but confronting it will be an important step in your recovery process.
When Your Partner Doesn’t Want to Participate in Therapy
Even though there are some very clear benefits to undergoing couples treatment, there will always be people who don’t want to undergo any therapy with their partners. If this is the case for you, you will need to keep in mind that you cannot make anybody do something that they don’t want to do. On the other hand, it’s important that you encourage them to participate. You can have them meet with your therapist alone to address their fears and skepticism, or you can have them sit in on a group therapy session to see what it is like. Chances are that they will be willing to work with you once they see that there is nothing to fear.
If you or your partner has been struggling with addiction, always remember that there is help available to both of you. Contact our treatment center today at 772-934-6580 to find out what treatment options are available to you. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions that you might have.