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Addiction is a family disease, it negatively effects an addict’s loved ones just as much, if not more than the addict themselves. In a romantic relationship the last part definitely rings true, particularly if both people in the couple are battling an addiction. Behavioral couples therapy (BCT), a treatment approach for married or cohabiting drug abusers and their partners, attempts to reduce substance abuse directly and through restructuring the dysfunctional couple interactions that frequently help sustain it. In multiple studies with diverse populations, patients who engage in BCT have consistently reported greater reductions in substance use than have patients who receive only individual counseling. Couples receiving BCT also have reported higher levels of relationship satisfaction and more improvements in other areas of relationship and family functioning, including intimate partner violence and children’s psychosocial adjustment. This review describes the use of BCT in the treatment of substance abuse, discusses the intervention’s theoretical rationale, and summarizes the supporting literature.
Many times these couples are unhappy and the addiction takes away from the relationship. Addiction creates an emotional disconnect and increases the time spent arguing, which can sometimes turn violent. Increased frequency in disagreements and fights create a cyclical pattern that also increases substance abuse. Addicts will use drugs or alcohol to help cope with the stress of a conflicted relationship. It can be a challenge when trying to get sober while stuck in this downward spiral. The good news is that there are many drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers that have specific programs for couples. Entering addiction treatment is one of the best things that can be done for the couple.
There is hope for couples who struggle with addiction
Our partners offer programs that are specifically designed for couples in which both people are struggling with addiction. These programs are tailored to help each person recover as a healthy individual but also grow and heal together as a couple. It is important that both of these steps be taken during recovery and to not just work on the romantic relationship. An individual needs to be in a total healthy state; emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically, to be a member of a functional romantic relationship. Once an addict has become more balanced and functional as in individual, then it is time to work on rebuilding their romantic relationship through couple’s behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is offered as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan. This type of therapy will help to heal and grow the relationship that was once tainted with addiction.
Let the healing and repairing process begin with Couples Behavioral Therapy
It is important for both members of the romantic relationship to recover together so that they can provide support to each other and continue to grow together. During therapy couples will be able to identify other issues outside of addiction, if any, that have contributed to their relationships deterioration. Many times, once the substance abuse has stopped, other problems in the relationship that have been covered up by the addiction tend to resurface. These problems do not simply go away just because the substance abuse has stopped, and it can come as a surprise when the arguing continues even after they have become sober. Addiction often times causes quite a bit of damage to a relationship and some time in behavioral couples therapy for alcoholism and drug abuse will be needed to repair it. The good news is that once both members are sober and in therapy, their relationship can be a strong positive influence on making their new found sobriety last.
Uncovering codependency while in Couples Behavioral Therapy
The term codependency comes up a lot when dealing with recovering couples in therapy. Enabling, caretaking, and denial are frequent behaviors seen in relationships where addiction is involved. When a person is codependent, especially surrounding addiction, it can negatively affect a newly sober relationship and the individual successes of the couple. Therapy will allow the couple to recognize and correct the enabling behaviors that are present in their relationship.