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Marriage - Couples Counseling Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centers

Andrew McKenna - Expert Content Editor

Updated: 04/30/2024

Marriage – Couples Counseling Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centers

Marriage and relationships are often the first and most painful casualties of substance use disorder. Alcohol and drug addiction can turn the person you fell in love with into someone whose behavior you don’t even recognize anymore. Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicates that over three percent of divorces are caused by substance abuse and that it is present in six percent of additional dissolved marriages.

If your addiction or substance use disorder is affecting your marriage or relationship, the first step toward repairing your union is by admitting you need help and entering treatment. The good news is that there are addiction rehab resources that offer access to couples and marriage counseling while you’re doing the important work of recovery.

Why Is Marriage or Couples Counseling Important in Rehab?

From a long-term recovery standpoint, counseling and rehab signal to your significant other that you’re willing to put in the work to save the marriage, but it also helps you cultivate the tools for long-term collective and individual growth. It can address all of the issues that have impacted your marriage that are specifically related to recovery, which often include but are not limited to:

  • Lying and Deception
  • Infidelity
  • Financial Instability
  • Alarming Behavioral Changes
  • Safety and Trust Concerns
  • Sexual Intimacy
  • Child Custody

Your therapists in rehab will help you and your significant other understand the disease of addiction and how these issues are directly impacted by substance use disorder so you can strive for long-term growth.

From an immediate and logistical standpoint, counseling is necessary to ensure a healthy and functional transition back into your home and everyday life when you complete your program. It’s common for spouses of those battling substance abuse to feel nervous or angry about letting them back into the house during the first phases of the recovery process.

At the same time, those entering recovery need a stable, safe, and supportive environment as they get back on their feet. Counseling while in rehab can help lay the groundwork for safe and successful reentry into one’s family household and family dynamic following treatment. It can help establish boundaries, define expectations, and ensure safety and respect for all involved.

What Happens in Couples Counseling in Rehab?

It’s important to realize that not all rehab centers offer couples counseling, and any facility that does offer it administers counseling in its own way. These programs may integrate family programming or marriage counseling into inpatient, outpatient, and remote treatment options. Program durations will vary, but sessions should be tailored to your specific relationship needs. Some of the therapies offered in couples counseling may include but are not limited to:

Therapy may often include at-home exercises to help reinforce the insights gained during treatment sessions.

Does Couples Counseling Work?

While there is no guarantee that couples counseling will save every marriage, it can significantly increase the chances of success in repairing your relationship and maintaining long-term recovery. Without couples counseling, it can be incredibly difficult to find a way forward in your marriage or recovery. If your marriage or relationship fails, it will likely add a new layer of mental and logistical strain when trying to rebuild your life.

In addition to the emotional toll marital dissolution can take, it will also compel you to find a new place to live and cultivate a whole new routine, which can be detrimental to your ongoing sobriety. It’s also important to realize that you and your spouse have the right to feel safe at all times, whether or not you’re in counseling.

What Should I Look for In A Marriage Counselor in Rehab?

Whether you’re seeking couples counseling as part of your rehab program or independently, it’s important to seek out a licensed and experienced counselor who is trained in substance abuse-related relationship struggles. These professionals will help you navigate your challenges and help you repair the dysfunction that substance abuse has caused in your relationship. Don’t give up. With help and hard work, you may be able to save your relationship from divorce and other addiction-related challenges.