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How to Heal a Marriage After Drug Abuse

by Jaime Vargas-Benitez

Drug addiction is hard enough for one person to overcome, let alone a couple. The couple must heal many issues in the relationship. Through meetings, journal writing, counseling and patience, the couple can begin to resolve issues and rebuild the relationship. Partners need to work together as a couple, and as individuals, in order to repair issues. A relationship can certainly survive drug use if both partners are willing and able to do the necessary work.

Attend a Meeting

Recovering addicts use support group meetings throughout recovery. Meetings are also available for family and loved ones of addicts. Support group sessions are an outlet for both recovering addict and spouse to find support through this process. Most meetings are anonymous and therefore personal identity is protected. A partner can discuss how drug abuse has affected her life, such as a spouse lying, cheating or stealing to finance a habit. The recovering drug user has a support system with people who are in the same place and understand feelings of frustration or temptation associated with drug use.

Start Journal Writing

Rebuilding a marriage after drug abuse means dealing with many emotions. Journal writing is an effective method for working through personal feelings, says the Elements Behavioral Health Treatment Center article, "Healing Your Marriage After Addiction." The spouse of the drug abuser feels anger, resentment and fear. The drug abuser feels temptation, frustration and confusion. Journal writing helps both partners work through feelings without hurting the other. The spouse can be fearful of sharing feelings because it may spark a relapse for the addict. The abuser can be scared of sharing feelings for fear the partner will not understand.

Couples Counseling

Couples dealing with recovering from drug abuse deal with trust issues, resentment and even money problems. Utilizing couples counseling is an effective way for couples to resolve the issues brought about by drug abuse.The recovering spouse deals with feelings of shame and guilt, while the other partner is working on rebuilding trust and faith in the relationship. Rebuilding a relationship after drug use requires patience and understanding from both partners. A couples counselor imparts the tools on the couple to work through the issues ahead of the couple.

Work Individually and Together

It is important for couples to work through issues together after drug use and for each partner to work on individual issues, says the organization Couple Recovery in the article, "Addiction Recovery for Couples: Path for Healing or A Ticking Time Bomb?" The spouse can deal with low self-esteem or embarrassment over what others say about the couple. Perhaps the spouse feels responsibility for the drug using spouse, a co-dependent. The drug abuser is developing coping skills in order to curb the drug desire. While both partners have important issues to work out together, it is vital that each spend time working individually.

About the Author

Jaime Vargas-Benitez has been a parenting writer since 2010. She has worked in the child wellness field in various roles for over 20 years. Along with the experiences of raising her own kids, she has been privileged enough to participate in the raising of hundreds of other children as well.

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