a woman trying to find connections between her relationships and addiction

Being addicted to drugs and/or alcohol and being in a loving relationship is like putting a match to dynamite. The combination can be explosive and deadly to a relationship. The destruction doesn’t stop there either but goes on to affect children, parents, siblings and beyond. Learn more about how relationships and addiction affect everyone around the user.

When a recreational drug turns into addiction, the drug user or alcohol drinker starts to be driven by cravings to continue to use drugs or have that next drink. At its very worst, getting the drugs becomes the most compelling thing in life. This replaces the need for loving, caring relationships. As these relationships move to the back burner hurt feelings and anger rise to the surface. The blame game begins and without help and treatment, many relationships fail as a result of the addiction.

Addiction Blurs Perspective

Addictions destroy relationships as they take hold. It’s not possible for an addicted person to care for the quality of their relationships with others. In many cases, an addict will have secrets and not want to tell their partner about how they are spending their money or where they are going when they leave the house or missing appointments or dates. The lies become the reality and the home, instead of being a sanctuary becomes uncomfortable and defensive. If you question an addict, there is likely to be a verbal attack to cover their tracks and often they will criticize others in an attempt to remove attention from themselves and their drug or alcohol abuse.

Addiction is Perpetual

Drug and alcohol abuse changes brain chemistry. Emotionally, an addicted person is not the same person they were before drugs and alcohol took over their mind. The more a person uses drugs, their ability to express emotion becomes less and less. Over time, it drains the life out of a relationship. Perceptions get dull. Life revolves around the next pill or the next drink instead of building relationships and living a truly authentic life.

Some addicts become defensive and abusive. They become mean, angry drunks and lash out at those closest to them. Drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine often make users feel paranoid and agitated, which can quickly lead to anger and abuse.

How To Tell If Addiction Is Taking Over

There are many signs that can tell you if drug use or drinking by a partner is causing harm to the relationship to the point that help from an addiction counselor may be needed. Here are some common danger signals couples often see when one of the partners has a substance use problem:

  • Constant arguing about drinking or drug use. This includes things like money problems, staying out late, or shirking responsibilities in the home. These can all be triggers to keep anger and anxiety at high levels for everyone in the family.
  • Having to cover for a partner who can’t go to work or to a social or family event because they have been drinking or using drugs or having to apologize for embarrassing moments out in public.
  • A partner saying that they drink or use drugs to reduce the tension or stress related to the arguments and fighting going on in the home about alcohol or drugs.
  • Episodes of domestic violence, or pushing by either partner when a partner has been drinking or using drugs.
  • Realizing that one or both partners need to be drunk or high to show signs of affection or to talk about their relationship.
  • The relationship or family as a whole become isolated from friends and relatives to hide the drinking or drug problem.

Most couples will not show all of these danger signs, however. If even one is present in your marriage or relationship, it indicates that it may be time for you to “take stock” of the relationship and think about making it better by getting professional help.

In most cases, that is likely to mean that drinking and drug use will need to stop and the problems in the relationship will need to be identified and addressed. If you or your partner are showing signs of having a problem with drugs or alcohol and there are problems in the relationship, it is common to hope these things will take care of themselves over time. Unfortunately, that rarely happens. The better thing to do is to get treatment for addiction as soon as possible, or at least call and ask about treatments that may be available to you. If you don’t, the problems are very likely to get worse.

A Recovery Program Can Help Your Relationships and Addiction

The good news is that an effective recovery program can be successful. It can help to bring you and your family back to a place of stability and life without the added drama of addiction. If you feel like your loved one was stolen away, you can have hope that they can come back to being that person that you first fell in love with. When the effects of alcohol and drugs are eliminated from a person’s mind, they can begin to regain a bright outlook on life. When an addict regains their self-respect and integrity, they can once again take control of their life and their relationships. Drug rehabilitation programs have been the start of a whole new life for many people who thought that their relationships were over forever.

You can have that loving person back in your life again. Find the right substance abuse treatment program for you and start the healing process for someone you love – or for yourself. Learn more about relationships and addiction and if you’re ready to get help, call 318.728.2970 today.

<< back