With drug addiction and relationships, regardless of the specific situation, there is no priority greater for the addict than the drug or the substance they use. The destruction of addiction is far-reaching, and it impacts all of the people around the addict.
What can often begin as recreational drug use then becomes a full-blown addiction, and someone who was once loving and engaged will become distant, selfish and only concerned with getting their next fix of the drug.
While doing a drug or taking the first drink is a choice, addiction is a disease of the brain that alters the cognition and behavior of the addict in deep, profound ways. They are solely driven by not only a psychological but also a physiological need to continue using, and those drug, or alcohol-related needs are their number one priority.
As long as someone is in the midst of their addiction and not receiving help, a relationship with an addict is virtually impossible. An addict will do everything to keep using including lying, cheating, and stealing. Addicts may also engage in risky or illegal behaviors that will have an impact on their partner, and they tend to have no inhibitions when it comes to things like having relationships outside of their primary relationship.
Although not always the case, codependency is commonly a part of a relationship with an addicted person. This is because the lives of family members often revolve around the addiction. As a result, family members try to help their loved one in the wrong ways, and eventually, they gain a sense of satisfaction from being needed by the addicted person. For example, a wife might mean well by giving her husband money for drugs to prevent withdrawal symptoms, or to keep him from obtaining it illegally, but she is enabling his addiction and may be preventing him from getting help. Codependency can be damaging to both the addicted person and their loved one.
Codendepent people often engage in enabling behaviors. Enabling behavior directly or indirectly encourages, or simply makes it possible for a person to continue using drugs. Sometimes, a person does not realize they are an enabler, or they might deny they are codependent and helping a loved one maintain their addiction. Addiction is not easy for anyone to handle. However, realizing you or a loved one is codependent is the first step to getting help and repairing relationships. Examples of enabling behaviors include:
Codependency and enabling behavior can be damaging in relationships for everyone involved. If an addicted person never has to face the consequences of their addiction, they may not realize they need help. Ultimately, enabling can lead to medical, financial and relationship issues throughout the family.
Other relationship concerns involving addiction deal with sexuality and intimacy. Drug addiction can make it difficult to experience intimacy in a relationship. Addiction, in itself, is an isolating disease. People who battle addiction also struggle to enjoy healthy intimate relationships. They focus on using substances not to engage with loved ones, but to escape painful emotions.
Many times, addicted people have intimacy issues before developing an addiction. They may have experienced isolating events early in their life, such as childhood abuse, or onset of depression, which can make a person feel guilty and alone. This leads to a struggle with closeness and understanding with their partner. They may have started to self-medicate at a young age, making the problem worse.
While difficulty with physical intimacy plays a big part in romantic relationships and can create unnecessary emotional boundaries, addiction can also cause emotional and mental strain for all parties involved. Once an addiction forms, quality time together is often reduced unless it includes using the substance, and responsibilities at home may be neglected. A person addicted to drugs may alter their behavior and start spending less time at home.
The disconnect between the two parties and consistent arguing create a dangerous situation. If arguing has become common due to an addiction, domestic violence can develop in the home. Domestic violence can include physical, mental and emotional abuse. Romantic partners might be yelled at or intimidated when the topic of addiction is brought up, or they may feel fear of physical retaliation and choose not to talk about addiction altogether.
Addiction can also cause communication issues, which can then lead to frustration, resentment and abuse. A couple might fight and argue over financial problems or dishonesty relating to the addiction, which can escalate into violence.
Some couples use drugs together, and their shared addiction may seem like the only thing that makes them feel close. It can be especially challenging to recover in a relationship centered around addiction. A person may learn to associate their partner with the addiction.
If you, a loved one, or both of you struggle with addiction, there is hope. Even though addiction has devastating effects on a relationship, you can still repair the relationship, rebuild trust and heal as a couple. It takes time to repair the damage caused by lies, anger and hurt feelings. The first step is to realize there is a problem. Next, each member of the relationship must be ready to seek help and work on themselves to be healthy as an individual.
Recovery usually begins when the addicted person joins an addiction treatment program that offers counseling services. The other person in the relationship may benefit from individual counseling as well to help them heal and address codependency issues. Family therapy can help family members rebuild trust and learn healthy and effective ways to support an addicted loved one without engaging in enabling behaviors.
Once two people have committed themselves to each other and have acknowledged the challenges of dating someone with a drug addiction, it is certainly possible to sustain a healthy relationship. Every relationship is different, but here are some tips to keep in mind:
It is important to note that the impacts of marijuana addiction go beyond the psychological effects alone. This article will discuss the connection between marijuana and relationships, the risks of marijuana addiction untreated, and ways to tell if one is addicted to marijuana.
As marijuana use is growing among all adult age groups in the United States, including men and women. Researchers have managed to trace the connection between the effects of marijuana and relationships. A Rutgers research was conducted into how marijuana use can affect how couples connect, and the result was published in the journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
The study showed that marijuana users are less conscious of the problematic dynamics and conflict resolution methods used in their relationships. Researchers observed that participants who used cannabis frequently found it hard to respond to stress without issuing criticism and demands.
Meanwhile, emotional unavailability is among the effects of marijuana addiction on relationships. One study at the Center for Psychological studies found that marijuana use can distort perception and emotions and stunt emotional maturity. Marijuana use disorder may cause poor short-term memory, difficulty concentrating, and inability to connect emotionally, all of which can affect significant relationships.
Many people with marijuana addiction start to experience strong cravings after long-term use. Cravings are persistent and induce an overwhelming desire to use the drug, especially when a person intends to quit. Heavier users tend to experience stronger cravings, which may result in difficulty sleeping, low appetite, anxiety, headaches, and irritability.
Marijuana addiction can negatively impact daily routines and responsibilities. It can cause impaired executive functioning, and one of the major signs of this is a lack of motivation. When a person starts losing interest in their hobbies or goals, it could result from being addicted to marijuana. It may also cause one to ignore their responsibilities and lose focus.
Marijuana addiction can lead to unintended behavioral changes in a relationship and cause interpersonal dysfunction. It may also cause a lack of clear communication and affect emotional connection, which is unhealthy for any relationship. Some couples may also have issues relating to broken promises and low productivity where one or both partners refuse to pull their weight.
Many people struggle to accept the effects of marijuana addiction in their personal or work life. It is dangerous to enable a partner or loved one that is addicted to marijuana because they cannot help themselves. Using denial as a coping mechanism will create more division in your relationship, so taking action on time is important.
Families dealing with addiction, like individuals, often use codependency as a coping mechanism. Many times, they do not realize their behavior may be enabling their addicted partner. Although people may not recognize some of the signs listed below, they may be an indicator that they are codependent:
The first few months of recovery from addiction are some of the most difficult. Insomnia, triggers, drug cravings, and the need to deal with emotions that were previously numbed with drugs make early recovery a period of enormous adjustment.
People in recovery might choose to date a very different type of person when they first quit using as compared to when they have achieved a year of sobriety, observes Desloover. Recovering people often have learned to either shut down and hold in their emotions for fear of being hurt or to romanticize their relationships and fall in love at the first opportunity, without discriminating.
Recovery is hard work that requires a full-time commitment. Returning to daily life without the security of being able to use drugs as a coping mechanism can be terrifying, particularly when drug cravings and triggers to use set in. When people stop using and start dating right away, they run the risk of seeking comfort in relationships instead of drugs. 2b1af7f3a8