Marriages require ongoing constructive input from both partners if the relationship is to remain solid. When neglect or indifference creep into a marriage, the quality of the relationship begins to decline, and the marriage may eventually fall apart. If you are suffering from addiction, your behavior may put your marriage at risk. Thankfully, addiction treatment can improve your marriage.

Your spouse may be a loving, supporting and caring individual who tries very hard to live with you and your illness. However, the longer you feel the need to use substances, the more difficult it will be for your spouse to cope.

You should understand that although your partner may give you unlimited love and support, the quality of their life is probably far from ideal. Aside from the serious mental and physical health problems that persistent substance use can cause, you also need to think about the effect on your spouse and the rest of your family. Getting addiction treatment can improve your marriage by addressing these issues.

1. Addiction Treatment Changes Your Priorities

You may not be aware of it, but your addiction will most likely be the dominant driving force in your daily life. Perhaps you spend most of your waking hours focusing only when you will use next, or maybe you spend a lot of time trying to find ways to finance your substance use. You may be under the influence of substances most of the time.

You will personally benefit from treatment, and your spouse and family will also benefit. Addiction treatment can improve your marriage because your partner will appreciate your willingness to change. The very act of beginning a treatment program will have a positive effect on your relationship, and that can rebuild hope and trust.

During therapy, you will learn to replace negative behaviors with positive ones. You will rediscover the value of living a healthy, sober life. Being drug- or alcohol-free will make you physically and mentally healthier as well as happier, and that will have an additional positive effect on your marriage.

2. Treatment Helps Restore Your Self-Esteem

There is an adage that you cannot love someone else if you do not love yourself. People who suffer from addiction very often have poor self-esteem. They may feel worthless and believe they are failures.

During treatment therapy, people who use substances inappropriately are encouraged to explore the reasons why. Understanding the nature of your illness helps you to deal with it. You will begin to realize that you can lead a productive and meaningful life free of alcohol or drugs.

You will also realize that there are many people who truly care about helping you to recover. Treatment rebuilds your self-esteem, and a healthy sense of your own self-worth will strengthen your recovery.

3. Skills Learned During Treatment Can Help in Other Areas of Your Life

Many treatment programs implement versions of the 12-step recovery program, originally created by AA. While the 12-step program is specifically geared toward helping people recover from addiction, the principles involved can also serve as a useful blueprint for building a healthier and happier life.

For example, one of the 12 steps is making restitution to people who have been hurt by your behavior. Doing so with your spouse can strengthen your marriage. Introducing other 12-step components like integrity and honesty to your relationship will also help to improve and strengthen your marriage.