Rehab for Couples: Is it really possible for the relationship to succeed after couples rehab?
We’ve had addicted couples ask, “Can our relationship survive rehab and recovery?” We quickly counter with something else to consider: how can your relationship survive without it?
Rehab for Couples - Let’s look at what research has taught us:
- Statistically, marriages in which one or both partners abuse alcohol or drugs, are 4 – 7 times more likely to fail. And even if the addicted couple remains together, the substance abuse only serves to enhance the dysfunctional relationship and increase the devastating toll on the lives of everyone in the family unit.
- According to Emily Tucker, an expert in couples/family therapy and mental health, “the individual struggling with addiction experiences daily challenges such as intense anxiety, fear, denial, withdrawal symptoms, impaired judgement and obsessive thoughts about their drug of choice.” Now consider the damaging impact when both partners are going through the same thing.
- Conflict within the relationship is more prevalent for addicted partners. When tension rises, people who use have the tendency to escape through alcohol or drugs. Once under the influence, judgement is impaired, arguments ensue, problematic situations intensify, and verbal abuse or violence can result. The American Association for Marriage and Family states: “Substance use causes conflict, the conflict leads to more substance use as a way of reducing tension, conflict about the substance use escalates, more drinking or drug use occurs, and so on.” The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that “61% of all domestic violence is connected with substance abuse”.
What if I recognize the problem and want to get help, but my spouse/partner doesn’t?
If you acknowledge that you suffer from alcohol or drug abuse, as does your partner, you have already taken the first step toward recovery from addiction. However, you may encounter that your partner has not yet arrived at the same conclusion. In fact, your loved one may be completely reluctant or still in denial that the two of you need treatment. If this describes your situation, you may seek advice from various treatment centers, or through organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. They can offer you ideas and information on how to motivate your partner to consider treatment. It also may help to appeal to your partner to consider how dealing with your addictions will benefit not only each of you individually, and your health, but also each other, your children, friends, and others close to you.
Give your partner the questions below (used in assessments to determine dependence upon drugs or alcohol) to think over:
- Do we often fail to take care of responsibilities because of time spent using drugs or alcohol?
- Do we often argue when either of us are under the influence of a controlled substance and has it led to violent behavior?
- Are we putting our drug or alcohol use before our children?
- Do we need to use in order to initiate intimacy?
- Do the activities we enjoy together as a couple usually involve the use of drugs or alcohol?
Explain that you each influence the other. Your partner may try to blame you or excuse himself/herself by stating that you are the one with the bigger problem. However, if one person in a partnership gets clean, and the other doesn’t, chances are that the relationship will fail, or that the one who sought treatment will relapse. Getting both of you to enter a couples rehab program and seek counseling is the best thing you can do for your relationship and your family, especially if you also have children.
Finding a couples rehab facility
Traditionally, treatment centers focus on treating individuals and couples were not allowed to enroll in a program together. This meant seeking two separate facilities and coming together again after they each completed the program. However, there are now centers that accept couples, and while they do still focus on the individual first, they also incorporate counseling with the partners. Moffitt Wellness Retreat is one such place. We want to help each person in the relationship and increase the chances of sobriety for both people, as well as the success in staying together through recovery.
After treatment, what is needed to stay sober together?
Couples and addiction counseling is key to repairing a relationship that was plagued by addiction. Couples therapy will identify life-skills you need to practice in order to successfully quit drugs and stay together. A few of these crucial life skills are: effective communication, conflict resolution, and stress management.
- Effective communication: Therapists will guide the couple to work on talking to each other without anger or resentment.
- Conflict resolution: Couples learn to stay calm and resolve potential problems before they become too big to handle. In particular, they learn to prevent an escalation and de-escalate a situation before it gets out of hand.
- Manage Stress: Stress can weaken an addict’s resolve or trigger relapse. The couple will work on minimizing negative stress and being able to stay calm in difficult situations.
Research has proven that the success of your treatment is greatly impacted by your partner and his or her progress. In order to have lasting recovery and a lasting relationship, it is important that the problems in the union be addressed. It’s an unfortunate fact that the problems do not simply go away because alcohol or drug abuse has stopped. Sobriety and recovery is in an ongoing process and a supportive, loving relationship can be a strong factor in helping your sobriety last.
The transition into recovery has proven to be difficult for many couples, but the good news is it is normal. Dr. Robert Navarra, a Master Certified Gottman Therapist who has worked in addiction recovery for over 25 years says, “It is new, unknown, and so much is going on, that even though things are better in many ways since recovery, not everything seems better or easier.” This is shocking to some, since the tendency is to believe that eliminating the drugs or alcohol will eliminate any and all strife. But by receiving your own therapy, and attending counseling for couples, you can build a support network for each other, and one day at a time, you can grow stronger side by side.
Rehab for Couples - Complimentary consultation
If you and your loved one are searching for freedom from addiction or simply need guidance in discovering the benefits and importance of healthy living, now is the time to start your path towards healing at Moffitt Wellness Retreat. Our luxury rehabs are focused on personalized, confidential and private treatment programs to ensure your long-term success.