Being in a relationship with someone who is using i.e. alcohol, marijuana, porn etc. at the expense of the relationship is completely frustrating.
What do you do?
One way of approaching this issue is couple therapy. However, if the user is at a significant dependence level, our time together may be more of an intervention than traditional couple therapy.
When working with couples struggling with substance use, my approach is very simple. The partner who is turning towards substances, needs instead, to turn towards you (their partner).
The partner who is using may need help turning away from substances. The pull towards use is very strong – especially in the beginning of sobriety. To help your partner turn towards you, he or she may need additional support and accountability. I suggest additional recovery support and I have links to some great groups that can be found in the Denver area.
Once the partner has some sobriety, our work is to rebuild trust as well as the relationship. I believe that a secure connection is the best relapse prevention.
“Until every addiction is relinquished, addicts or alcoholics will never be forced to develop the only source of healthy affect regulation that is available to them: healthy interpersonal attachment.” — Philip Flores, PhD.
A healthy interpersonal attachment can also be called having an internalized secure base, or “feeling felt.” In addition to a sponsor or therapist, you (as the partner) are in the best position to provide such healthy interpersonal attachment. This can only begin to occur after some sobriety time.
For more on my approach to addiction counseling click here.
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