Sometimes life happens in ways we do not expect. This can present itself in a variety of scenarios, such as meeting someone that you decide to pursue a relationship with. This instance on its own produces many uncertainties that are related to the chemistry between the two, their life goals, what they are currently seeking out of a relationship, and so on. This sadly gets that much more complicated when the disease of addiction is brought into the picture. Banyan’s Massachusetts addiction treatment center looks at the phenomenon of two addicts in a relationship and if this dynamic has any chance of succeeding.
How Addiction in Relationships Can Affect Those Involved
Primarily, it is crucial to recognize that every partnership will have its own unique aspects, and there really is not a blanket diagnosis that can be given to solve everyone’s problems. That said, addiction can play similar damaging roles that appear in many cases. When only one partner is struggling with addiction, this can result in a dysfunctional dynamic that is wrought with codependent behaviors, relapse, and a lack of necessary boundaries.
It is common for the sober partner to adopt the role of “caretaker” in these dynamics. They love their partner and believe that devoting themselves to their apparent needs will one day make it all better. This can end up in them neglecting their own needs on a regular basis, which can lead to resentment. It also can lead them to enable their addicted partner to “keep the peace.” They would rather there be no conflict while their loved one struggles with this all-encompassing disease.
Addiction can also lead people to lie to, manipulate, and even physically attack a loved one for many reasons. Maybe they are going through withdrawals, or they are having a bad trip, but in any of these cases, it can be dangerous to leave it untreated. No matter how pure the intentions may be, having an unaddressed addiction in a partner can be damaging to all involved. This is the case even more so when you have two addicts in a relationship together.
Why Two Is Not Always Better Than One
After considering the many issues that can arise when one partner is struggling with a substance use disorder, these damaging instances can multiply when both parties are afflicted with this disease. First, constantly being under the influence will affect a person's decision-making abilities. So, although there may seem to be incredible chemistry between the two, not having a clear mind will ultimately play a part in the success of the partnership.
Second, it will mean there is likely double the codependency, damaging coping mechanisms, manipulation, and potential for violence.
Third, it can get complicated when one partner tries to achieve sobriety. A relationship where a foundation is an addiction may seem powerful over their shared experiences. The reality, however, is that the constant presence of an intoxicating substance can make it difficult to function as a couple without it. It can also have a damaging effect on the partner attempting to get clean. Many find that they cannot get sober when they are battling with the push and pull of an addictive relationship.
When one partner is enabled by another, it can heighten the risk of relapse, perpetuating the damaging cycles that the two consistently find themselves in. Therefore, addiction and relationships are not particularly the best pair.
So, Can Two Addicts Make a Relationship Work?
It is statistically unlikely that two people who consistently abuse substances together will work out long-term. This, however, does not mean that someone with an addiction is not capable or deserving of love. The importance of successful rehabilitation is a focus on oneself, and it is exceedingly difficult to do so when you are focused on a relationship with another.
Should you find yourself in need of effective addiction treatment, our drug rehab in Massachusetts is equipped with a variety of care levels that can meet you where you are in your dependency and provide you with the most effective experience possible. If you are in the middle of an active addiction, we suggest undergoing a detoxification program that can help you navigate the often difficult and dangerous withdrawal symptoms that may present themselves.