Addiction and Relationships: The Hard Truth About the Impact of Addiction

I think you know all this; it’s why you wrote to me. Even if you were to reconcile, you’d be building something new because what existed before is broken. It had to be for your drinking and drug use to continue. The most challenging part here is letting go of what you hoped your relationship would be, rather than facing that it’s time to let go of what once was. You’ve shifted the dynamics, and your new, more lucid behavior doesn’t fit with the old dysfunctional relationship patterns you two had established. Don’t overestimate your ability to withstand the emotional stress after your partner returns home from detox treatment.

So, it’s that and one or both partners may have that behavior, their background, and I screen couples, because they need to have so that the active the addiction is not active yet. They know if they’re still in that. When some of that is some of that, like love languages, which I know is not Gottman. But you know, Is it physical touch or acts of service? Or, you know, all those things I’ve heard about?

The partner who has a substance use disorder

Codependency can continue to affect marriages even after your partner has become sober. Join Lori’s email community to receive a weekly email designed to help you live alcohol-free. You will also receive podcast episodes, and special offers for coaching. I’ve always seen myself as a giving, loving person. I never imagined that anyone would ever call me selfish. That hurt almost as much as the break-up.

We don’t talk about anything ever. So, I’m highly uncomfortable with conflict. And process when it’s really interesting to think about the family of origin stuff and their sort of hurt or sensitivity or where they come from. Because, yeah, if your family of origin is very different than theirs, you might have no concept of that. Yeah, if there’s a researcher looking at the number of repair attempts, what they’ve concluded is there’s no less number of them.


Taking care of yourself will give you a renewed sense of purpose and a direction in life. Many spouses who are married to an addict in recovery expect that once their spouse gets sober, there will be more time for their relationship. But, this isn’t always the case at the beginning of recovery.

The best thing to do is to get treatment for your loved one as soon as possible, or at least contact a recovery center to discuss how they may be able to help. Marriages—or other, long-term, committed relationships—and substance abuse don’t mix. If your partner drinks too much, the effect is felt by his or her spouse and children, friends, relatives, and coworkers. Substance abuse can create a rift between spouses, causing trust issues, communication breakdowns, and financial strain. This means that when someone enters recovery, it is not only a personal journey but also a journey that impacts their loved ones and their closest relationship. No couple is perfect, and adding addiction recovery to the mix can put your relationship under considerable strain.

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