Substance use disorders alter behavior, causing individuals to act in unusual and unexpected ways. Dramatic shifts in personality can strain a romantic relationship, causing partners to distance themselves from each other. With treatment, the adverse effects of long-term substance abuse can subside, and a familiar order may re-establish itself.

However, the rift caused by the SUD will remain if partners refuse to address problems and work to rebuild a healthy relationship. When redefining intimacy, both partners need to take ownership of their actions, voice their concerns, and foster an environment that facilitates free communication and emotional growth.


Only when partners are communicative can they grow from previous experiences. If you are in recovery from a substance use disorder, share your honest experience while under the influence of substances, including as much information as you feel comfortable sharing. A partner may want or expect more of your story than you are prepared to offer. In this case, inviting a therapist or mental health professional into the discussion may be the right option.

Statistics on SUD may also prove helpful to a partner who is unfamiliar with the disease’s patterns. For example, studies show that individuals suffering from SUD are prone to self-isolation. This may be useful information for your partner, especially if self-isolation is unusual behavior for you unless under the influence of a substance.

Communicate about your hopes for the future, as well. Regaining trust is critical for rehabilitating your romantic relationship. If you can share past, present, and future with your partner, you are on the right path. Sexual intimacy is the product of extreme trust. Accept that your relationship may be lacking trust, and work together to re-establish this.

Exercise Patience

A partner may be willing to spend time with you but unwilling to engage in intimate activities. You may feel that you are ready to return to the “status quo,” but you cannot force people to do something they are not prepared for. Just as your partner could not command that you seek immediate treatment, you don’t call all the shots for them, either.

Be patient and open to change. Your partner has reasons for opting out of sexual or romantic experiences, and you need to listen to their concerns. Develop solutions together. The opposite may be true, and you may feel anxiety toward intimacy even though your partner may not. Communication and patience are the most essential tools for developing a healthy relationship.

If you are ready to start your journey to recovery, call Alta Loma Transformational Services today. You know your needs better than anybody else, and our team of mental health and addiction recovery experts will work with you to develop a unique treatment plan that works for you. At Alta Loma, we want to equip you with the tools you need to enjoy a lifetime of mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. When your mind and body exist in a healthy environment, you will progress toward recovery. Your recovery is our priority. Please call us today at (866) 457-3843 for a consultation.