Addiction is a disease that affects the brain’s structure and functions. This is why it’s so hard for addicts to stop consuming despite the negative consequences they face. Drug addiction tends to go hand in hand with dishonesty, lying and scheming to cover up the problem. This can make it hard to recognize the signs that a partner might have a drug problem. If you think this is the case with your partner, it is important to get professional help soon.
Addiction and a loving relationship are not a good combination. Drug addiction doesn’t only affect the person who’s consuming the drugs, but everyone who surrounds them. And partners are usually the ones who suffer the most. A partner’s drug and alcohol use can cause severe problems in the relationship, even lead to a break-up. Addiction often becomes the most important thing in the affected person’s life and, when this happens, there is not much room for anyone or anything else. Here are 4 ways that addiction can affect your relationship.
As your partner becomes more dependent on the substance, they also become more dependent on you. Given that his or her main concern is satisfying their addiction, they will stop worrying about even the most basic things such as paying the bills, cleaning the house, eating right, etc. And you might find yourself doing these things for them and making up excuses for their behavior. This is how a codependent relationship begins: they rely on you for almost everything, and your unsatisfied emotional needs find some sort of replacement in taking care of them. Them being dependent on you can make you feel as though they need you, and this way you satisfy your needs of connection and attention.
But dependency is not love. It is a destructive situation for both of you. As long as they know they can depend on you, they won’t have a reason to quit. And, in the end, you need their addiction, because it makes them need you.
Secrecy and Lying
When a person is addicted, the most important thing in their life is drugs. And they will do anything to get them. This includes lying, stealing, and hiding. They will have no problem spending the money for rent or food on drugs or lying to you about where they are going in the middle of the night. Drugs can turn a person into someone you never thought they could be. All these lying and hiding will take a toll on your emotional well-being. Trust, which is one of the key elements for a relationship to work, becomes damaged. Eventually, it will cause cracks in your relationship that will become more difficult to heal as time goes by.
Being in a relationship with someone battling addiction can often feel like being on an emotional rollercoaster. Because of the way drugs disrupt the brain’s normal functions, addicts have little to none emotional stability. One moment they may seem relaxed and even happy, the next one they are lashing out over even the smallest of things. Their emotional state can be volatile that it can even lead to violence on the relationship. And, worse of all, because they are consumed by their substance of choice, they are unable to see how their behavior is affecting their loved one. This can leave you feeling underappreciated and unimportant.
Violence and Abuse
A very traumatic effect that addiction can cause is domestic violence. When a person is addicted, anger can be expressed in violence and abuse. Even the smallest arguments can quickly ignite and turn into an uncontrollable rage. As a partner, you are at severe risk for victimization, along with any other family members or children living in the home. And it doesn’t stop there: those who are victims of domestic violence are more likely to struggle with a wide range of mental health disorders. Sometimes the abuse is so traumatic that it can lead to fatal consequences.
There is Hope
However difficult the situation with your partner may be, they can get better. It’s important to recognize the signs of addiction so that you can get help as soon as possible, and prevent your relationship from being harmed in the ways we discussed above. The most important thing is to find a treatment center that meets your partner’s needs. There are several types of rehab centers that focus on different kinds of treatments. For example, this detox and rehab center in Denver treats only women, helping them recover through different types of therapy. You should do some research to find the best option for you and your partner.
Recovery will be difficult and long, and even though it takes some work, you can get through it as a couple. As a result, your relationship will probably be stronger than ever. You will grow together throughout this process and you can create new, stronger bonds.
What are other ways addiction can affect a loving relationship? If you’d like to share your story, please leave a comment below.