Married and in Recovery

Romance in marriage quickly falls to smithereens when your partner finds a new addiction – drugs. When this happens, it usually is a battle to remain married. Sometimes, you’d feel angry; sometimes, you may consider divorce. Then at a point, you may start considering drug rehab for your partner, but it doesn’t end the feeling of hopelessness any time symptoms of sudden relapse begin to surface. While on this difficult road, it’s time to start reflecting on possible reasons why your partner continues to struggle with drug addiction.


Understanding The Fact About Drug Abuse

While people innocently suggest that drug addicts can choose to quit doing drugs, medical research has proven that this is not the case. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the human brain is made up of complex connections of parts working to provide different functions such as coordination, movement, and pleasure. When someone takes drugs, either directly or indirectly, it targets the part of the brain responsible for pleasure and motivation.

Ordinarily, the brain produces the chemical for pleasure – dopamine – in right amounts, but drugs will flood the pleasure circuit of the brain, causing a “high”. Soon, the brain learns to control this hyper stimulation, making the individual to take more ounces of drugs to continue to enjoy the high effect. This invariably leads to dependence on drugs.

Understanding this fact about the way drugs affect the brain is critical towards reaching decisions about your marriage while your spouse is in recovery. Looking for ways to repair your marriage is not your responsibility alone but also your partner’s. Their moment of reflection comes when they are in recovery. After they have gone through rehab, they are often registered with aftercare programs like Narcotics Anonymous. However, attending aftercare should not be for only the partner who was addicted to drugs because both of you need healing. It is often at this period that you work together, through the counsel of a professional, to develop strategies to live together again.


Strategies For Rebuilding Your Relationship

Relationship experts advise that support is important to repair marriages that have been damaged by drug addiction. While the non-addict partner shows support, it is the responsibility of the other partner to reciprocate with these strategies.


Build Trust

Allow your partner to see that you are trying to make them trust you again. This can be achieved when both of you develop a channel of communication when you will be absent from home. You should also learn to drop a call when you know you’ll be late from work.


Be Patient

There is no quick fix to a broken marriage. Learn to be patient with the progress you make and with your partner’s. It definitely will take some time before your partner confides in you again.


Develop Listening Skills

Frequent nodding may not suffice during a conversation when you are trying to rebuild your relationship. You should try to establish eye contact and ask questions when your partner has finished talking. Asking questions is a way to keep conversations going.


Keep A Journal

Write down coping strategies you have mastered as well as the challenges you still need to overcome. In your journal, write your relationship building goals for each day and evaluate the goals in the night to see if you achieved all of them. Work on the ones that you did not achieve.


Seek Education About Drug Abuse And Sobriety

Drug addict young man with syringe in action

Getting factual information about drug abuse and recovery will help you to understand the reasons why you depended on drugs rather than your partner, and to focus on being a better you.

Doing all of these come with hard work and commitment by you and your partner. In the long run you should see your marriage bouncing back on its feet.


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