Addiction and Relationships: Navigating Recovery Together

Learn how to navigate the complexities of addiction recovery and relationships together. We Level Up Lawrenceville NJ helps couples on their recovery journey!


Addiction and relationships intertwine in complex ways, often presenting challenges that lead to damaged friendships and family ties. Addiction affects not just the person struggling with it, but also every part of their life – friends, family, and romantic relationships. Romantic relationships in which at least one partner struggles with addiction probably have a lot more tension than others. Substance addiction in a relationship can have negative impacts on trust, hurt feelings, and anxiety, either for one partner or for both. These problems cause happiness to progressively disappear and ultimately result in relationship failures of all kinds. We hope to give you some useful tips on how to navigate the recovery together.

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Understanding Addiction and Relationships – Typical Behavior

Addiction is a chronic illness that can have an impact on your relationships, work, physical and mental health, and many other areas of your life. It is characterized by obsessive drug seeking, and drug taking despite the risks or negative consequences. Addiction brings additional challenges to relationships that can have a significant impact on both parties. Any relationship with one of the parties struggling with addiction frequently faces difficulties such as:

  • Secrecy
  • Emotional withdrawal
  • Neglect of responsibilities
a couple fighting over Addiction and Relationships
Addiction and relationships intertwine in complex ways, often presenting challenges that lead to damaged friendships and family ties

Drug Addiction Causes Trust Loss

Typical addict behavior in relationships is to act secretively and be dishonest about drug use. They might not be completely honest regarding who they were with or what they did that day. When there is dishonesty, a growing distance between the two sides may arise. Deception of a loved one causes people to feel disrespected, hurt, and uncared for. It’s possible that close friends and family won’t realize how strong cravings might be when it comes to keeping things honest. However, a loved one will feel like they can’t rely on or become close to an addict if they can’t trust them. Angry, resentful, envious, and fearful feelings can result from a lack of trust.

Addiction to drugs is known to be a lonely experience. Addicts usually hide their issues, and the turning point for them is typically a traumatic experience that involves reaching their lowest point. It is very important to talk to someone about your addiction, especially your partner or your family and friends. In fact, doing so may save your life. The relationship’s base is further weakened by this secrecy, which creates mistrust and suspicion.

The Struggle of Emotional Withdrawal Caused by Addiction

When it comes to addiction and relationships, emotional withdrawal is a serious challenge since an addict frequently puts a particular substance or behavior ahead of their emotional bond with their loved ones. The non-addicted party may feel extremely alone as a result of this withdrawal and may long for emotional support and closeness. The addict can retreat into themselves and become emotionally distant or inaccessible as their addiction consumes them more and more. The other side may feel abandoned and resentful as a result of this withdrawal, and they may find it difficult to comprehend why their emotional needs are not being satisfied, which can cause a split in the relationship.

a desperate person leaning his head on his knees thinking about Addiction and relationships
When it comes to addiction and relationships, emotional withdrawal is a serious challenge since an addict frequently puts a particular substance or behavior ahead of their emotional bond with their loved ones

The Cost of Neglected Responsibilities in Relationships Affected by Addiction

The addicted person’s preoccupation with their addiction often leads to neglect and irresponsibility. It can involve financial responsibilities, household chores, caregiving duties, etc. Since the other party bears a disproportionate amount of the burden in managing these responsibilities, indifference to these can cause great strain in the relationship. In addition, neglecting responsibilities may result in financial instability, ruin peace in the home, and even jeopardize the well-being of everyone involved, which can intensify the conflict in the relationship.

Codependency in Drug Addiction Relationships

Codependency is an emotional and behavioral condition that makes it difficult for a person to have a happy, healthy life and to maintain fulfilling relationships with other people. These are frequently harsh, emotionally draining, and/or one-sided relationships. Sometimes, the codependent person may cover up for, justify, or even take part in their partner’s drug use, so encouraging the addicted partner’s behavior. In the meantime, in an effort to keep the relationship intact and avoid conflict, they could disregard their own needs, feelings, and limits. This results in the addicted partner growing more reliant on their codependent partner for approval, support, and even food.

s couple sitting on a stone pier on a sea shore
Sometimes, the codependent person may cover up for, justify, or even take part in their partner’s drug use, so encouraging the addicted partner’s behavior

Codependency can have a harmful impact on the addict as well as the codependent. A co-dependent relationship is harmful to everyone involved if treatment or assistance is not received. Above all, it might make it more difficult for people who are abusing substances to seek the expert assistance they need.

Violence and Abuse in Drug Addiction Relationships

There is a lot of evidence to support the link between drug abuse and violent behavior. When there is a disagreement, a person with a drug addiction may treat their loved one differently due to the psychological effects of the addiction. Cocaine and methamphetamine are two examples of drugs that can alter the brain in ways that result in mental health problems like paranoia, anxiety, and sadness. Anger, mood swings, and poor decision-making are a few indicators of opiate consumption. In comparison to the general population, drug addicts are more than twice as likely to experience mood and anxiety disorders, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

a victim of addiction and relationships
Abuse of substances may increase impulsivity, anger, and irrational behavior, which can result in incidences of abuse and domestic violence

The addict can bring about physical, mental, or psychic harm to their partner, or vice versa. Abuse of substances may increase impulsivity, anger, and irrational behavior, which can result in incidences of abuse and domestic violence. The fact that drug addiction relationships can result in violence and abuse that not only causes immediate harm but also feeds cycles of trauma and dysfunction must be acknowledged in order to emphasize the critical need for intervention. Here are some statistics on drug-related violence:

  • Roughly 90,000 people died as a result of domestic abuse worldwide in 2016.
  • Forty to sixty percent of cases of domestic abuse involve alcohol or drug usage.
  • More than half of those who mistreat their elderly parents—those who are 60 years of age or older—have a drug or alcohol addiction.
  • About 300,000 violent assault victims report to police that their attackers were drunk each year.
  • Thirty-two percent of homicides in the US include alcohol.
  • Long-term drug users are more likely to commit suicide.

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Sexuality, Intimacy, and Addiction

Intimacy and sexuality are two more addiction-related relationship issues. It may be tough to feel intimate in a relationship when one is addicted to drugs. Addiction is an isolated condition. Addicts find it difficult to maintain positive, close connections. Their main goal is to use drugs to avoid negative feelings rather than interact with loved ones. The physical effects of drugs on the body raise further questions regarding drug abuse and sexuality. For instance, it’s thought that abusing drugs affects one’s ability to perform sexually. Opioids, however, have the potential to temporarily raise sex desire and the likelihood of participating in risky sexual behavior.

a naked girl  covered with a blanket on the bed
Abusing drugs affects one’s ability to perform sexually

Furthermore, long-term use of opioids like heroin and morphine decreases the release of luteinizing hormone, which further lowers testosterone and estradiol levels. This is linked to infertility, erectile dysfunction, and decreased sexual desire. Male erectile dysfunction caused by drug use significantly lowers their quality of life. A Journal of Urology study indicates that males with erectile dysfunction experience higher levels of anxiety and depression.

Additionally, it can be risky to combine erectile dysfunction medication with other drugs. For instance, a 2011 study discovered that most people who used erectile dysfunction medication recreationally combined it with illegal narcotics.

Can a Relationship Survive Addiction?

Since addiction is an illness that cannot be healed on its own, relationships can suffer greatly from it. The spouse or partner of a person with a substance abuse problem will undoubtedly experience negative effects as well. The effects depend on the particular substance addiction type and level of severity. After all, some addictions could remain undetected for a long time, while others might surface as a relationship develops. Addiction in a relationship requires a complex approach that includes accepting and admitting one’s addiction as well as being open to receiving support and assistance from professionals. A person in a relationship who is battling a drug addiction may show the following signs:

  • Dishonesty
  • Unfaithfulness
  • Aggression
  • Empty promises
  • Domestic abuse or violence
  • Loss of interest
  • Financial struggles

One of the most commonly asked questions that concern people is – Can a relationship survive after drug addiction? Addiction can definitely affect a relationship, yet it can still be preserved and even strengthened. But in order to truly heal the addicted person, both partners need to be sincere with one another. A successful recovery from addiction requires support from the addict’s partner as well as from their friends and family. In order to fully recover from addiction, both partners must take an active role in promoting honest communication, reestablishing trust, and addressing underlying problems that contribute to the addiction.

Ryan Zofay forming a circle and hugging friends.

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Recognizing the Typical Addict Behavior in Relationships Early

Acknowledging the typical addict behavior in relationships is essential for prompt intervention and assistance. Physical manifestations including weight gain or loss, changes in look, and strange odors coming from their clothing or breath may also be physical symptoms in addition to the previously listed warning indicators. It’s significant that you pay attention to these warnings and treat them seriously. By taking swift steps, your partner can get treatment resources, consult a professional, and be provided with the support they need to beat the addiction and start over. Early intervention reduces the possible harm and damage caused by addiction to a relationship, while also increasing the possibility of a successful recovery.

a couple arguing in therapy
Early intervention reduces the possible harm and damage caused by addiction to a relationship

Steps Towards Recovery and Healing Together

Professional treatment plays a key role in providing individuals and couples with the tools and strategies needed to overcome addiction and rebuild their lives. Professional treatment offers a structured and supportive environment for people to address the underlying issues contributing to their addiction. It can be done through therapy, counseling, or rehabilitation programs. Additionally, you can learn coping mechanisms for long-term recovery. We Level Up Lawrenceville NJ is a reputable facility specializing in addiction treatment. We offer comprehensive programs tailored to the unique needs of couples and individuals facing addiction. There is a range of services available, including therapy, support groups, and educational resources, to guide couples through the recovery process.

Treatment Options and Support for Couples

For couples seeking tailored programs to address specific substances, we offer some specialized options like Heroin Detox New Jersey. Studies show that the likelihood of long-term success is increased when a thorough, customized strategy for recovery is used. This covers rigorous outpatient therapy or an inpatient residential program that lasts for at least ninety days. These programs often begin following a first round of detox under medical supervision, which aids in easing the withdrawal symptoms.

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Similarly, Adderall addiction treatment in NJ focuses on addressing the unique challenges associated with drug addiction, offering a combination of medical interventions, counseling, and behavioral therapy to help individuals and couples break free from the cycle of addiction and rebuild their lives. These specialized programs recognize the diverse needs of couples facing addiction and provide targeted support to address their unique circumstances and challenges. When it comes to other treatment options for people struggling with addiction, there are various possibilities to explore. These include:

Benzo addiction treatment typically involves a combination of therapy, medication management, and support groups to help individuals overcome dependence on benzodiazepines. Opiate detox, on the other hand, focuses on safely withdrawing individuals from opioid drugs while managing withdrawal symptoms through medication-assisted treatment and counseling. Suboxone detox offers a similar approach, utilizing medications like buprenorphine to ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings for opioids, coupled with behavioral therapy to address the psychological aspects of addiction.

a man sleeping with a bottle in his hand
Studies show that the likelihood of long-term success is increased when a thorough, customized strategy for recovery is used

The recovery is a shared journey for couples. By committing to overcoming addiction together, partners can strengthen their bond and rebuild trust through mutual support and understanding. The process of recovery involves facing challenges head-on, addressing underlying issues, and learning healthier ways of coping with stress and triggers. Couples can navigate the ups and downs of recovery as a team through open communication, empathy, and patience, celebrating victories and supporting each other through setbacks. While the road to recovery is definitely not easy, the shared commitment to healing can eventually bring couples closer together and lay the foundation for a stronger, more solid relationship.

Couples can implement various strategies aimed at nurturing their relationship, rebuilding trust and fostering a supportive environment in the aftermath of drug addiction. Transparent communication is the most important one. It allows partners to express their feelings, concerns and needs openly and honestly. Additionally, prioritizing self-care and individual growth can contribute to a healthier partnership, as each partner focuses on their own healing journey while supporting their significant other. Taking professional help, such as couples therapy or support groups, can provide valuable guidance and resources for navigating the complexities of recovery together and strengthening the bond between partners.

Maintaining Sobriety and Strengthening the Relationship Post-Treatment

Maintaining sobriety and strengthening the relationship post-treatment requires ongoing support and therapy for both partners. Individual therapy sessions provide a safe space for each partner to address personal challenges, triggers, and emotions related to addiction. Additionally, couples therapy offers a collaborative environment where partners can explore how addiction has impacted their relationship dynamics, communication patterns, and trust. Through therapy, couples can learn effective strategies for managing conflicts, rebuilding trust, and establishing intimacy. Ongoing support groups, whether specifically for addiction recovery or couples facing similar challenges, can also provide valuable encouragement, guidance, and accountability as partners navigate the journey of sobriety together.

a couple in therapy
Through therapy, couples can learn effective strategies to overcome addiction and relationships.

Couples can work together to prevent relapse and continue strengthening their relationship by prioritizing open and honest communication. Regular check-ins allow partners to discuss any concerns, triggers, or cravings that may arise, building a sense of trust and transparency. Establishing healthy boundaries and routines can also help create stability and predictability within the relationship, reducing the likelihood of relapse. Additionally, couples can engage in activities that promote mutual support and connection, such as exercising together, attending support group meetings, or participating in hobbies and interests as a team. By reinforcing positive behaviors and coping mechanisms, partners can continue to build a supportive and fulfilling relationship while maintaining sobriety post-treatment.

Love in Sobriety: Couples’ Path to Healing and Growth

Although facing the challenges of addiction and relationships is intimidating, it can lead to significant development and renewed intimacy. Couples can overcome addiction by being committed to one another, offering support, and seeking professional advice. Every step taken in the direction of recovery is evidence of the strength of the partnership and the unwavering commitment of both parties. As you go out on this road together, never forget that everything can become better and that every obstacle you overcome will make your relationship stronger.

Take the first step by contacting We Level Up Lawrenceville NJ for their range of treatment options. With their support, you can overcome addiction and emerge stronger and more connected than ever before, investing in a future filled with hope, healing, and happiness.

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Sources

https://iris.who.int/bitstream/handle/10665/274603/9789241565639-eng.pdf?ua=1

https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/SMA12-3390_508.pdf

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12394715/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2909482/

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