Couples Addiction Recovery

by | May 21, 2023

Addiction can be like an intruder that infiltrates relationships.  Is there any way to get the intruder to leave?

With Couples Addiction Recovery (CAR), there is a way to move the intruder out of your relationship.  There is little evidence that supports the idea that addiction recovery is best done alone, but there is some evidence suggesting that working on renewing and building stronger relationships increases the likelihood of maintaining sobriety.

What is Couples Addiction Recovery? 

CAR is a way of working with couples in which both the issue of addiction and relationship problems are addressed simultaneously.  Together, the therapist and couples explore the impact of addiction on the relationship.  We also look at issues in the relationship that might be separate from addiction that brings further healing and an increased motivation to achieve long-term sobriety.  We work together to create a renewed marriage in which the couple can set healthy boundaries and sustain them.

Who is Couples Addiction Recovery for? 

CAR is for couples who are struggling with the impact substance use and/or compulsive behavioral disorders has on their relationship.  It is for those who have a desire to explore and benefit from tools and strategies developed for couples on their journey to heal from the impact of addiction.  It can also be used when one or both partners are in recovery and there is a need to manage things like shared parenting or joint decision-making.

Why is this relational approach to recovery important? 

A relational approach to recovery is important because it mutually addresses the trauma and harm caused by the hidden double life caused by addiction and the resulting physical and emotional distance between partners.  There is often little fondness in these relationships due to frequent “turning away” brough on by guilt, shame, and stigma.  Sustaining the addiction and avoiding accountability often becomes the primary relationship goal; not the wellbeing of the partnership.  The relationship is characterized by unpredictability, anger, chaos, and confused boundaries.  For example, attacking or withdrawing may occur when the issue of addiction is raised.  A relational approach allows for both partners to understand these patterns of interaction and acknowledge the harm caused by addiction.  This approach focuses on reforming and rebuilding trust and other broken ties between partners to help them on their journey through the recovery process.

How is Couples Addiction Recovery different? 

Couples Addiction Recovery assists couples to improve conflict management skills, learn the difference between codependency and interdependency, learn to help their relationship recovery and support their partners recovery, heal from the aftermath of addiction, and move toward wellness.