Intamacy and substance abuse in married couples
Thousands of recovering people stay clean and sober, become honest with themselves and peers, make amends, and live within religious spiritual principles. Yet many addicts are not able to have nice, satisfying, close relationships. Marriages eventually break up, families argue and split – or worse, they remain together, living in an addicted relationship without really connecting with their partner.
Recovery from addiction is a selfish program. The newly clean and sober addict is flooded with new feelings, and has a terrible time keeping every feeling from overwhelming him. Guilt and shame over her past behavior make it very hard to let anyone get emotionally too close. Even when sobriety is long term this difficulty can continue to affect all of his or her relationships.
Intimacy . . .
Intimacy between addicted couples is usually non existing Recovering partners,need to learn how to be intimate without drugs. Couples must learn new behaviors that are the opposite of their behavior while using alcohol.
Most addicts and alcoholics were busy practicing their addictions during the formative years in their lives when a mature type of closeness was supposed to be learned. In the center of addiction, heroin addicts dont seem to care about how their behavior affects partners who love and depend on them.
Once the addicted couple decides to go to drug rehab together, they are often reluctant to do anything that might change the using relationship.
The recovering couple is following an unwritten law, which tells them not to talk about anything while in addiction treatment that might be difficult or uncomfortable. Their fear keeps them from sharing feelings with each other at an accepted level.
The promiscuity involved in a couples relationship while addicted to drugs causes deep issues. These issues like prostitution need to be dealt with while in couples substance abuse treatment at the appropriate time. Trained therapists know how to counsel the couple on sexual problems.
In an addicted marriage , very little sharing or communication occurs except what is needed to run the house or deal with the kids. Many couples get involved in sexual relationships without having developed friendship and sharing first, and those dysfunctional relationships rarely last past the time when the sexual priority wears off.
The recovering couple needs to deal with resentments while in treatment. This is done in group therapy and individual counseling. Resentments will keep the couple from staying clean and they usually lead to relapse.
One of the most important functions of a 12 step support group, whether it is a therapy group in church, union hall, a hospital or clinic, is peer support and advice . allowing other addicts and couples in can be learned . The 12 step support group is a safe place in which one feels understood like noplace else, since the other couples there have had similar feelings and experiences.
The process of opening up, helps couples and discover things about themselves that they had been in denial about, When the recovery of both partners is solidly underway and cleared away some of their resentments,, self worth comes back.Couples are getting to know each other all over again. In recovery, sometimes they realize they are actually different people after the addiction.