Relationship Issues to Watch Out For in Families With Addiction

Families With Addiction | LakehouseRecoveryCenter.comSometimes, it’s easy to brush aside major events that happen in relationships. This is especially true when two people have poor communication skills, which is common in families with addiction. More frequently families with addiction have denial, avoidance, and dishonesty. Because of these family patterns when an event happens in a relationship, such as a big argument, it’s more common to ignore it and go on as though nothing happened.

Furthermore, when individuals get very busy in their lives or when finances or other life stressors take front stage, it’s easy to let the relationship concern, whatever it is, sit in the background, until later or until it’s forgotten. Sadly, when this happens, a relationship can suffer.

Some individuals simply don’t know what a healthy relationship looks like. They might be adept at a job or how to make money in life or how to succeed, but when it comes to relationships in the family, it’s different.

Part of this is that on the whole most individuals aren’t taught how to be in relationships. They are often educated on how to succeed in life, but relationship building usually isn’t one of them. And because of the typical dysfunctional patterns that commonly exist in families with addiction, relationships simply continue to be the last part of family life that members put their attention on.

Therefore, the following list is what to look for in relationships that might warrant some attention. They may point to a rupture in the relationship or even that one of the adults in a relationship has depression or anxiety. When the following is present in a relationship, it might call for the assistance of a mental health professional

Issues to Look Out For In Relationships

  • Feeling disconnected or misunderstood by your family and closest friends
  • Feeling distant from your spouse/partner
  • Feeling like you and your spouse/partner cannot agree on household tasks or like you’ve been replaced in your former roles
  • Feeling like a stranger in your own home or noticing that your kids seem disconnected from you
  • Feeling emotionally distant or numb
  • Wanting to avoid people who used to be important to you
  • Drinking alcohol more often or taking drugs
  • Being constantly on edge or jumpy
  • Feeling angry or irritable
  • Having problems eating or sleeping
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Forgetting things often
  • Losing interest or pleasure in things you normally enjoy
  • Having difficulty living your usual life or just getting through the day
  • Acting violently or being physically aggressive

Why You Should Bring Up Concerns In Relationships

It’s not easy to bring up concerns in a relationship, but it is necessary, especially if it is a danger to one or both members of the relationship. If it is too uncomfortable to bring up a relationship concern with a spouse or relative or even child, you can always call upon a professional.

Therapists and psychologists, for example, often know how to say what needs to be said in a gentle and safe way.

This is particularly true if there is an addiction in the family and it continues to be the large elephant in the room that everyone refuses to discuss. This is a very common family pattern when addiction is present. If this is the case for your family, you might consider calling upon a drug counselor, psychologist, or another type of mental health professional.

However, frequently, the member of the family who is struggling with addiction will deny that there is a problem. Or he or she will ignore any attempts to discuss the addiction or the substance use.

If that family member is creating harm and continues to be destructive to  himself or others, it might be time for an intervention. An intervention is an attempt to interrupt the substance use of a family member with an addiction and bring him or her into addiction treatment.

Certainly, addiction can create significant relationship concerns. Yet, even for families without an addiction, there might be issues, such as those listed here, that can get in the way of having healthy, loving family relationships.

If this is the case in your family, a mental health professional can provide support in restoring your family’s psychological health.



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