Family and Couple Therapy is Essential for Long-term Substance Abuse Recovery


Each couple and family are made up of many parts. When one person in your marriage or your family changes, whether that change is considered positive or negative, that change impacts your partner and the rest of the family. These effects can be obvious, or they can be subtle. Recognizing that a substance abuse disorder impacts you and your loved ones is an essential part of navigating long-term recovery. Having healthy and fulfilling relationships is also crucial for you as you’re trying to change your relationship with substances.

How Your Relationships are Impacted by Substance Abuse

One of the most common challenges that individuals in recovery from substance abuse disorders face is rebuilding trust with the loved ones.  This could be a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a child, etc. Individuals who have a loved one who is actively using substances at a dangerous level describe their partner or family member as being two different people. The one person is the individual that they have grown to love, count on, trust, and enjoy spending time with. The addicted person is perhaps unpredictable, unreliable, hurtful, etc. 

How Can Therapy Help?

Participating in therapy is an opportunity to explore how addiction and substance abuse has impacted not only the person struggling with substance abuse or addiction, but it also provides an opportunity for family members and partners to express their concerns and explore how their life has been impacted by their loved one’s substance abuse. It can sometimes be difficult to understand how we have been affected by a loved one’s substance use. Even when we do realize how we have been affected, communicating the thoughts and feeling about those impacts can be challenging. Therapy can help you learn how to communicate with your loved ones more effectively and increase self-awareness.

Family and couples therapy can be an opportunity for you to see how others can support you in your recovery. It’s also a necessary part of helping your loved ones heal from the effects of your substance abuse. It can help rebuild trust, and build bonds to set you and your loved ones up for success in the future.

The Takeaway 

Couple and family therapy can help you and your loved one(s) make meaningful changes in your relationships. These changes can help you to feel happier in your relationships. Feeling happier and more fulfilled in our relationships positively impacts recovery. Recovery without joy is very difficult to maintain in the long term.


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