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Does My Partner Have a Substance Abuse Problem?

He only calls me names when he’s drinking. He only yells at me when he’s high. She only hits me after she uses cocaine, but not after she uses ecstasy.

Navigating a relationship is difficult in itself. Add substance abuse into the mix and things can be volatile. If your relationship sounds anything like the above, your partner may have a substance abuse problem.

Yelling, hitting, name-calling, jealousy, demanding constant attention, bribery, manipulation, blaming–these things are unacceptable in a relationship, whether sober or under the influence of chemicals. Making excuses for your partner’s unacceptable behavior is easier when they’re using drugs.

“Oh, they were drunk, they didn’t really mean that.”

“That’s just how they are when they’re high.”

If you find yourself having similar thoughts regarding your partner’s drug use,, you may be enabling your partner’s addictive behaviors. Enabling does not mean your partner’s addiction is your fault. This is actually the first step in recognizing how you may be able to help them. You don’t have to tolerate bad behavior in order to love someone. Oftentimes, love is about doing what is right, not what is easy. Al-Anon meetings- meetings designed for the family and friends of addicts and alcoholics- can be a supportive resource for coping with a loved one’s substance abuse.

Here are some warning signs that substance abuse is affecting your relationship:

  • Arguments about drinking or drugs use
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Covering for your partner who has been drinking or using too much by saying they’re
    “sick”
  • Using drugs or drinking alcohol is the primary shared activity
  • Your and/or your partner can only be loving or have deep conversations when under the influence
  • Your partner says that they drink or use drugs to relax from arguing about their drug or alcohol use
  • Responsibilities are neglected due to drinking or drug use, like staying out until all hours, foregoing household responsibilities, and financial issues

While it is common to think that the problem will get better with time, inaction is not a viable solution for drug addiction. It’s important to note that problems in the relationship will not be magically resolved by your partner’s sobriety if and when they decide to get sober. However, a healthy, supportive relationship can support continued sobriety. The best thing to do is seek treatment for your partner and support for your relationship immediately.

Detox is the first step in beginning the healing journey of recovery. Call The Serenity Recovery Center today for information on our clinical detox program: 866.294.9401