The link between cheating and addiction is both real and unfortunately very strong. People who abuse drugs or alcohol tend to have a hard time remaining faithful in both their social and romantic relationships. This is because their first loyalty is often to their substance of choice. As such, those who love addicts constantly feel neglected, taken advantage of, and under-valued.
When it comes to romantic or sexual infidelity, lowered inhibitions and the ability to use drugs or alcohol as a scapegoat can greatly increase the likelihood of cheating. People who have yet to receive treatment for their addictions rarely accept responsibility for their actions and commonly lack the presence of mind to fully process their impact.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, cheating can be the proverbial last straw. Infidelity can take on many different forms. It can include:
- Sexual activities or behaviors with someone other than a person’s committed partner
- Spending money on or time with another person
- Lying about or hiding inappropriate behaviors
Not only is cheating emotionally hurtful, but it also opens the door to serious health concerns. Partners who’ve been cheated on find themselves suddenly worried about the possibility of contracting sexually transmitted illnesses. For people who are married to or in relationships with intravenous drug users who cheat, the risks of getting ill can be incredibly high. Fortunately, addiction treatment can help people overcome their self-destructive behaviors by freeing them from the bonds of substance abuse. These programs are designed to provide tools that encourage accountability, increased self-awareness, thoughtful decision-making, and many other behavioral changes.
Relationships and Drug Addiction
The most important thing to know about relationships and drug or alcohol addiction is that they don’t generally work over the long-term unless addicted partners seek help. People who live with addiction regularly take excessive risks with their own health and they are far less likely to be concerned with the health of their romantic or sexual partners. Moreover, when someone uses any substance that lowers inhibitions, the move from merely considering cheating to actually doing it is often an easy one. Although it’s certainly understandable to be angry with a cheating partner, it’s also important to recognize that this person ultimately needs help.
Not only does addiction ruin relationships, but it also ruins lives. Moreover, addiction frequently leaves people struggling with substance use disorder in isolation. When cheating and addiction go hand-in-hand, demanding that a partner seek professional treatment is a perfectly valid choice. Throughout treatment, people gradually become more thoughtful of others by first learning to value themselves. It is only after people are in recovery that they can begin establishing and maintaining healthy and mutually fulfilling relationships of any type.
Partners of Substance Abusers Should Seek Treatment as Well
Living with and loving someone who struggles with addiction can be traumatic. There’s often the constant fear that an addicted person’s self-harm will have devastating repercussions. Dealing with the emotional abuse, neglect, and denial that comes with addictive behaviors can also take its toll. Seeking therapy for your own trauma while your partner undergoes addiction treatment is one of the best things that you can do for yourself and your relationship.
Not only will counseling facilitate healing, but it will also make you more aware of the intricacies of drug and alcohol addiction, and of any enabling behaviors that you’ve adopted and maintained. If you intend to continue in your relationship after your partner has completed rehab, you’ll need to understand the difference between being supportive of this person and enabling them.
Seeking Addiction Treatment Together
Many couples struggle with drug or alcohol addiction together. The best way to ensure a healthy, happy union is by making sure that both parties are treated at the same time. This sets the stage for an entirely substance-free living environment after treatment has ended, and ensures that both parties share the same goals, values, and interests. Many addiction treatment centers offer inpatient and outpatient programs for couples in which each person is able to get the needs-specific services he or she needs. It’s also important to note that having an unfaithful partner can sometimes lead to addiction as well.
People may turn to drugs or alcohol to mute the pain that cheating causes, or as the result of their dramatically lowered self-esteem. Both infidelity and substance abuse can be incredibly detrimental to people’s lives, especially when left unchecked. If you’re dealing with drug or alcohol addiction, or have an addicted partner and want to find the right recovery services and support, we can help. Call us today at 844-639-8371.