Opioid Addiction and Marriage

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June 7, 2018

Ruined relationships can be a consequence of addiction, and when a person is trying to overcome an opioid addiction, rebuilding trust within a marriage often seems futile. That’s because substance abuse can create hurdles in a marriage. However, repairing a marriage from an opioid addiction is possible with patience, consideration for each other’s feelings, a willingness to break free from addiction and a plan.

How Does Opioid Addiction Affect Marriages?

Marriage is a unique bond. Throughout the years together, both partners build a life based on trust, mutual respect and deep love. Addiction to opioids puts a rift in a marriage by scarring that sacred connection and breaking trust. Often, addiction is accompanied by a number of negative consequences that only serve to push the spouses away from one another, including:

  • Codependency: Codependency occurs when one person in the relationship puts the other’s needs ahead of their own health and well-being. These individuals feel that to earn their spouse’s approval, they must turn a blind eye to the opioid addiction or even help get the drugs that feed it.
  • Communication issues: Sadly, in a relationship filtered through addiction, yelling, screaming, manipulation and other toxic communication styles replace healthier ways of relating to one another.
  • Mistrust: One of the main signs of substance abuse is the need to hide one’s addiction. When a spouse lies and covers up the truth, trust evaporates, leaving many to wonder if they can ever trust their husband or wife again.
  • Financial problems: Opioid addiction often leads to financial difficulties that can put a lot of stress and strain on a marriage, as those with addictions often miss work, misuse funds or have trouble maintaining employment.

How to Repair Relationships Broken by Opioid Addiction

It’s true that opioid addiction can have drastic effects on a marriage. Fortunately, even if you and your partner are unsure what to do, many of the negative effects of addiction within your marriage can be addressed during the recovery process. Here are a few tips to consider that may serve as a step in the right direction.

1. Recognize That Addiction Is a Disease

It’s vital to understand that addiction is a disease that requires treatment. Individuals with an opioid addiction can get help from a marriage counselor and a reputable team of substance abuse therapists. Also, letting a supportive person be a part of the recovery process is essential for receiving emotional support to get through the process. By letting a significant other be a part of the recovery process and keeping the line of communication open, trust can be rebuilt within a marriage.

2. Be Attentive

When a person is recovering from an addiction, it’s vital to be aware of the social behaviors that characterize addiction, such as lying, being sneaky or omitting important information including one’s whereabouts and doings. To do this, the recovering individual will have to be attentive and realize when he is exhibiting these behaviors. The recovering person has to stay focused, be transparent and stay committed to following through with sobriety. By taking these steps, the recovering individual can help mend the bond that was broken between him and his significant other.

3. Create a New Relationship and Work on Reconnecting

Instead of focusing on just repairing how the relationship once was, it’s a better idea for those struggling with opioid addiction to focus on building a new relationship. Building trust again also requires taking time to reconnect with one’s partner. The recovering person who is trying to regain trust will have to put in the effort to be more connected with her significant other in order to earn their trust back. Whether it’s spending time watching a TV show together or cleaning up together after dinner, the daily efforts of being kind and consistent help to build a bond that facilitates trust. Eventually, trust returns when both significant others have positive reactions to each other’s efforts.

4. Provide Reassurance

If trust is broken with a significant other, the individual who broke the trust will have to put the work in to provide reassurance that he has no intention of looking back and repeating the same mistakes. That means letting their significant other know where they are, even if that means providing a photo or video for reassurance as trust is still being rebuilt. Also, it will mean removing oneself from the stressors that can make recovery and rebuilding trust challenging, such as staying away from “friends” who enable the addictive behaviors.

5. Understand That Repair Takes Time

An opioid addiction doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s crucial for those who are trying to rebuild trust with their significant others to understand that building trust and repairing the marriage will also take time.

6. Embrace Forgiveness

Self-doubt and holding on to guilt makes it more difficult to have the confidence and perseverance that are needed to consistently rebuild trust within a marriage. It’s vital for those recovering from opioid addiction to let go of self-blame and embrace forgiveness so that they can move forward and focus on repairing trust within the marriage.

Get Answers to Your Questions at AppleGate Recovery

Rebuilding trust in a broken marriage takes hard work, especially following an opioid addiction. Yet, it’s not a solo act, either. Individuals who are struggling with opioid addiction can rebuild trust with their significant others by being proactive, including leveraging support from opiate addiction treatment centers like AppleGate Recovery. We’re here to answer your questions about opiate addiction and get you or your spouse the help you need.

We offer individualized treatment for those who want to break free from addiction, including medication-assisted treatment. Get started today to learn how to take the first steps toward recovering your life and your marriage. If you commit to taking the steps to rebuild what’s been broken, trust within your marriage can be restored post-opioid addiction.

Last Updated 4/24/2020