Addictions and Marriage Counselling

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It’s well known that the influence of addiction is not limited to the afflicted because it also affects
the spouse or partner, children, close friends, family, and co-workers. Fortunately, marriage
counselling can help one or both partners escape the vicious cycle of substance addiction.

Understand that Addiction is Not About You

It’s easy for a partner to view addiction as a rejection or a sign that their partner does not love
them. It’s a frustrating condition because the non-addicted partner sees the damage it does and
struggles to understand why the addicted would want to continue with their substance abuse.

Some partners may even go so far as to blame themselves for their partner’s addiction. Maybe
they did something wrong, or they don't measure up. However, addiction is not caused by any
of these things. It's a mental health issue with roots in psychological and behavioral
dysfunction. Treatment is the only way to recover from addiction.

Dealing with a Partner Who Has an Addiction

Loving partners can find it challenging to find the line between being supportive and enabling
the addiction. Their first instinct is to protect their partner from the consequences of their
actions. As a result, they find themselves cleaning up their messes, saving them from legal
trouble, and making excuses for them.

Making the consequences of the substance abuse easier to cope with will only prolong the
trouble, so the non-addicted partner must seek out the support they need and get suggestions
from people who have gone through this challenge. Unfortunately, sometimes the best and
safest course of action for a partner living with a substance abuser who refuses to get help is to
leave, especially when children are involved. Hopefully, this will be enough of a wake-up call for
them to take action.

How Couples Therapy can Help with Addiction

Couples need to address addictions and relationship problems during counselling, as dealing
with other issues in the relationship can make the road to recovery a lot smoother. Addiction is
often the reason for many other problems in a marriage, including stress, erosion of trust,
communication, and intimacy.

Marriage counselling can strengthen the relationship and reduce friction and trauma that could
put addicted partners at risk of a relapse. When the relationship is on an even keel, addicted
partners find it easier to maintain sobriety.

Why is Marriage Counselling Important for Recovering Substance Abusers?

Even when one or both partners have recovered or are recovering from substance abuse, the
past pains brought on by the addiction can often linger on and continue to cause strain in the
relationship.

Both partners need to recognize that these challenges exist and will have to work their way
through them. The strain of recovery can make healing the relationship more challenging than it
might be for other couples without the additional burden of addiction.

Professional guidance via addiction counselling can help. Couples will benefit from a safe place
to get their feelings out and talk about their experience. Should the room become emotionally
charged, a marriage counsellor has the training and tools to calm the storm and keep the
session civil.

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