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How couples can deal with addiction recovery process

The United States has had a long-drawn battle with substance abuse and addiction and it continues to this date. Across the country, millions of people struggle with various addictions like drug and alcohol abuse. One of the things that an addiction can majorly dent is a relationship. Addictions are extremely trying phases in a person’s life and can take a massive toll on relationships and marriages. It has been found that couples who deal with addiction have up to four times the divorce rate as compared to couples who don’t.

According to a research by Bob Navarra, a Master Certified Gottman therapist, trainer, consultant and speaker, a lot of these divorces and separations take place post a partner going into recovery for their addiction. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs states that 48.3 percent or nearly half the number of people abusing alcohol or those with a past experience tend to get divorced at some point.

It might be difficult for the other partner to cope up with his/her partner’s recovery. It takes a mental, physical and emotional toll on the partner who has suffered through the abuse. It is not easy to trust someone who has nurtured an addiction suddenly sober up.

Journey that can make all the difference

The recovery road from addiction cannot be traveled by the one suffering, alone. It’s a journey that couples need to take hand-in-hand to sort out what each has gone through and improve the times ahead.

One of the first steps is to seek the help of a counselor. It is imperative to take an expert’s advice and head in the right direction. Some of the steps that Navarra suggests in his research are:

  • Time and patience: It is important for the partner in recovery to make the other understand that they need support. The recovering patients have to be a little self-involved and this may cause the partner to feel neglected for a bit, but that is only so that the recovery can be effective. Patience is the key to maintaining calm.
  • Honesty and trust: Along with the patient, the partner’s struggles demand attention too. It is important to make sure that the patient sticks to his/her word and establishes trust with the partner. It is significant that every time a commitment is given, it is upheld. The partner, on the other hand, needs to be assured that one is working hard to save the relationship from crumbling.
  • Accountability: It is crucial that the patient owns up to his addiction and his behavior while he/she was under the influence. It does not necessarily mean that his partner has forgiven him or that he is absolved of all the wrongs done as a part of the addiction. It does, however, show a seriousness toward progression.
  • Listening skills: It is important that one learns to accept the mistakes made during the addiction, and listens if the other partner is venting or complaining. The goal should be to understand each other’s struggles a bit more without passing judgment or pointing out each other’s shortcomings.

Road to recovery

While the recovery for those battling an addiction happens in a controlled environment under the supervision of certified medical staff, a simultaneous recovery takes place within a relationship. Instead of criticizing, the focus should be more on inculcating new positive thoughts and beliefs that strengthen a relationship.

If you or your loved one is suffering from an addiction, contact the 24/7 Recovery Helpline to get information on drug addiction rehab centers available in your area. Our representatives who can be reached through our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 or online chat are well-versed with details of alcohol abuse treatment centers that provide complete care to the recovering patient and help the family cope up with the difficult times.

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