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Recovering from substance use disorder (SUD) requires people to make profound changes to their thoughts and behaviors. Often, making positive lifestyle changes involves addressing codependent, enabling, or maladaptive relationships. Studies have shown that if “substance misuse is present in a family, dysfunctional patterns and relationships often occur as the family struggles to keep their life as normal as possible.” Significant others “are usually doing their best to cope, but sometimes their ways of coping and keeping balance in the family can be unhealthy.” West Coast Recovery Centers helps clients recognize the need for setting healthy boundaries and ensure they have the skills to create healthier relationships. 

Setting Healthy Boundaries Improves the Effectiveness of Treatment

People often experience better treatment outcomes if they have healthy relationships with significant others. Life partners are frequently an essential part of a client’s support system. The care team at West Coast Recovery Centers collaborates closely with clients and their loved ones to guide them through the recovery process. Often, repairing or strengthening romantic relationships involves setting clear boundaries and improving communication skills. Clients learn social skills, including setting healthy boundaries, during treatment.

Creating boundaries impacts treatment by doing the following: 

  • Helping clients focus more fully on healing and regaining control of their lives 
  • Reducing the impact of a spouse’s unhealthy behaviors 
  • Ensuring people have a safe and nurturing home environment 

Relationships with significant others play a role in how clients react to treatment. According to Social Work in Public Health, “The family context holds information about how SUDs develop, are maintained, and what can positively or negatively influence the treatment of the disorder.” Setting healthy boundaries helps clients and their significant others heal from the effects of substance abuse. 

Healing Relationships

Family relationships are often negatively impacted by chronic substance abuse. Healing those relationships takes time, and both individuals must be willing to work at it. The first step is usually having a conversation about the effects of substance abuse and how the relationship must change to facilitate treatment. Family therapy is a common tool used to help clients navigate recovery. A therapist provides guidance, insights, and support for couples going through the recovery process. 

Healing relationships using therapy and other methods usually require clients to focus on the following: 

  • Prioritizing self-care 
  • Developing communication and social skills 
  • Identifying and addressing maladaptive or unhelpful behaviors 

Everyone has different recovery goals and personal preferences. Some individuals may want to focus on getting physically better before setting aside the time and energy to address relationship issues. Other people may need their loved one’s support to heal. Repairing or deepening the relationship provides these individuals with the best support for long-term recovery. The clinical team at West Coast Recovery Centers helps clients determine how to approach relationship growth. 

Setting Healthy Boundaries With Your Spouse

People in recovery often have difficulty identifying where to establish boundaries with loved ones. Cognitive changes caused by chronic substance abuse can interfere with a person’s decision-making and social skills. Relearning these skills takes time, and often, significant others demand to be a central part of the recovery process. West Coast Recovery Centers encourages clients to step back in their close relationships during the first week of treatment to ensure they focus entirely on their health and recovery. After the initial stage of treatment, loved ones often become an essential part of a client’s support system. Setting boundaries is crucial to creating healthy relationships. 

Some boundaries people focus on during treatment and aftercare include: 

  • Avoiding triggering situations, people, or locations 
  • Setting limits on time spent doing certain activities 
  • Being accountable for personal choices 
  • Reducing stress by avoiding specific topics or activities  
  • Communicating more effectively 

The care team helps couples recognize what areas they can improve in their relationship by setting clear boundaries and communicating honestly. 

Setting Healthy Boundaries at West Coast Recovery Centers

West Coast Recovery Centers uses family therapy and other therapeutic modalities to help clients and their significant others find healthy ways to communicate. Setting boundaries and exploring limits within the relationship is one way to build a solid foundation for a happy future. The care team offers family therapy and other support services to clients struggling with their romantic relationships. 

Some significant others may enable maladaptive behaviors and make it more difficult for clients to stay in treatment. Clinicians educate loved ones on the importance of treatment and the realities of recovering from substance abuse. Psychoeducation, family therapy, and other services help families grow closer and build healthier relationships. 

Building Healthier Relationships to Support Long-Term Recovery

Long-term sobriety requires people to develop new routines, adjust their lifestyle, and set recovery goals. The support of a partner often motivates people to continue making progress in their recovery journey. According to the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW), “A family-centered approach provides a comprehensive array of clinical treatment and related support services that meet the needs of each family member, not just the individual requesting care.” West Coast Recovery Centers uses evidence-based therapies and other treatments to address any relationship issues during early recovery.

Relationships with significant others have the potential to cause tension and conflict during recovery unless people set healthy boundaries with their partners. Personal boundaries allow clients to focus on their recovery without sacrificing or compromising their relationships with loved ones. Spouses and partners are often integral members of a person’s support system during recovery. Cultivating and nourishing the relationship is essential to maintaining positive mental health for individuals in treatment. West Coast Recovery Centers helps clients and their loved ones establish boundaries and gain insights into their experiences. The care team offers guidance and counseling to families navigating the recovery process. To learn more about our programs and services, call us today at (760) 492-6509.