Every relationship goes through periods of difficulty; even the happiest of couples go through a rough patch eventually. Certain life events tend to have more of an impact on a relationship than others such as the death of one partner’s parent, the passing of the couple’s child, a job loss, or other catastrophic circumstance.
However, when one partner has a substance or behavioral addiction, it can harm an otherwise healthy relationship or exacerbate the existing hurdles they are already facing as a couple. Though only one of the partners may have an addiction, at some point it will surely affect both of them, and the relationship itself. Couples counseling is an approach that many partners use to help them get through this difficult chapter, and to move on either as a couple or else end the relationship.
As explained by an experienced therapist, like one from Lindsey Hoskins & Associates, a couples counseling team should include therapists who specialize in various areas so that no matter what challenges you’re facing, they will be able to match you with someone who can help you.
Events that Can Trigger Periods of Addiction
Even someone who has been “straight” or not indulged in their addiction for decades can fall back into old behaviors. This is especially true when an event triggers them into resuming their addiction. For their partner, who may never have been around them when they were engaging in their addictive behavior, this can come as quite a shock. What might be such a significant trigger for even someone who has been clean for a long time, or for a short period? Here are but a few examples:
- The loss of a job
- The loss of someone close to them, either through death or the end of the relationship
- Moving or a significant change in one’s daily lifestyle
- Sustaining a significant injury that causes pain or results in other triggers such as a job loss
- Becoming a parent or pregnant
- Relationship or marital issues
- A mental health issue
- A physical health issue
While one partner may be under the influence of their addiction, the other partner may feel unsupported in the relationship itself as well as with the addiction of their partner. As a result, they may feel isolated and emotionally traumatized. As each partner moves further away from the relationship, if the issues at hand are not dealt with, the relationship may reach a crossroads from which they cannot backtrack. In these hours, the need for couples counseling may never be greater.
Though couples counseling in itself may not be the ideal vehicle for focusing exclusively on the one partner’s addiction, it can help them target and focus on the problems that arise from the addiction.