When you change your own behavior then your relationships could be substantially improved, it is all about self-help. During recovery process, an addict could improve relationships with his parents, or partner by changing his own behavior rather than improving others behavior. Some addicts thought that i am not the problem person in our relationship. For instance, 90% of addict says that primary cause of their disturbed relationship problems get start from their spouse. Human beings judge much of their life experience not on the totality, the average or a glance back at the entire experience but on the basis of the last few minutes and as same it is an addict do in his relationships.


For example, when you ask from an addict about the quality of his marriage, he rarely draw conclusions based on the overall experience. He even not remember his wife’s caring attitude when he was in trouble, and she helped him a lot in his difficult time and after that when she stops him to take drugs then he start reacting like he become angry and behaves very rudely and then relation goes worse and at the end he totally blame on his wife for disturbed relationships. So actions that occur less than 2 percent of the time affect the other 98 percent. Negative experiences paint the entire relationship.

According to Bob Navarra, a Master Certified Gottman therapist, consultant and speaker: “Addiction takes a marvelous cost on a marriage or long-term relationship and in many cases it can lead to divorce or a break-up. In fact, couples dealing with addiction have 4 times the risk of divorce than those who do not and many of these divorces take place after the addicted partner is in recovery, 48.3% of participants with a current or past case of alcohol use disorder got divorced at some point in their lives, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Well-known marriage scholar “Howard Markman” conducted studies on relationships. There are 4 highly predictive behaviors, which are criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stone-walling. Couples who routinely rely on these harmful tactics during an argument are very likely to remain happy in their relationships. Criticism, defensiveness, contempt could be forms of psychological violence and quite frankly, seem to be rather obvious predictors of dissatisfaction and stone-walling is a form of silence and could easily be seen as less important but that would be wrong. Silence is actually a powerful predictor of dissatisfaction. Only 40% of divorces are caused by frequent and ferocious fights. During recovery addict person should start searching for the crucial moments that led to the unhealthy conversations that is disturbing their entire relationship.

Patient will feel and think differently about his recovery. If patient have broken recovery promises previously, it will take time to rebuild relationship. Give you partner plenty of chances to prove that you are now trustworthy but it will take time to trust again. Behavior is hard evidence. Share your thoughts and feelings with your family or partner. Try not to get too angry if your partner has a bad day, your support can mean they stay in sound recovery. So relationships in recovery can be a double-edged sword. Of course they are necessary and they can provide us with joy and fulfillment in many different ways, but at the same time, relationships can be somewhat dangerous, especially for the newly recovering drug addict or alcoholic. Try to help your partner to understand what drove your addiction and how they can really help you stay in recovery.

Iqra Tariq, Clinical Psychologist

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