Couple Addiction Recovery Empowerment

Support, Education, Workshops, Online Learning

Couple Recovery

Advocacy is Key

Many couples do not get support for their relationship when it is needed the most – especially in early recovery

Couples Need a Roadmap

The Couple Recovery Development Approach, created by Dr. Robert Navarra, is based on his research on couple recovery spanning over 15 years. The Gottman research on predictors for happy and healthy relationships provides direction to establish a path to heal and strengthen relationships.

Integrating the two models provides a direction for recovering couples in establishing, or reestablishing healthy relationship behaviors that also include issues related specifically to couples impacted by problematic substance use or behavioral compulsions. These strategies help couples lean the right way in finding their recovery path.

Finding Direction

Couple recovery is an emerging concept in addiction treatment

Finding Support

Couples need support in bringing recovery into their relationship

working Together

Couples may feel confused or even overwhelmed when thinking about addressing recovery in their relationship. Sometime fears center on concerns about the ability to keep boundaries and not lose focus on individual health and recovery concerns.This is understandable, with problematic substance or behavioral use or compulsive behaviors individual needs get lost.

The key to healthy boundaries starts with understanding the difference between “codependency” and “interdependency”. While codependency patterns involve control and silenced emotions and needs, in interdependent relationships both partners are able to express thoughts, feelings, and needs.

True or False?

Partners should

avoid any couple work in early recovery


There is no research to support the idea to avoid couple work in early recovery
Find out more

True or False?


confirms that good relationships predict long-term recovery


An 8-year study showed that healthy couple and extend family relationships are one of the biggest predictors of successful long-term recovery
For more information


Is there a roadmap

to help couples put the pieces together?


There is a direction couples can take


Couple recovery refers to a focus on each partners own health and recovery, as well as relationship recovery from the impact of an addictive disorder. By focusing on what is healthy for each individual, and what is healthy for the  relationship partners learn to talk about the impact from the disorder as well as develop a path for going forward.


stating that addiction is a family disease but having treatment that compartmentalizes and excludes the couple relationship does not adequately address the complexity that addiction treatment requires

How Can I Heal From My Partner’s Addiction?

Initially there’s a collective sigh of relief when a partner or loved one gets sober. Partners feel hopeful that a sense of normality can find its way back into family life. However, relief is almost always followed by increasing levels of resentment, anxiety, fear, anger, and a host of other negative emotions. Making sense of these co-existing oppositional feelings is confusing. You’re probably thinking, “Shouldn’t I feel better now that my partner is finally sober?” But often, it’s not that simple.

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Redefining Codependency

In my article, “Trauma is Not Codependency: Learning the Difference”, I address the importance of acknowledging and understanding that active addiction creates trauma for both the person with the addictive disorder as well as for partners and family members.

It is important for couples to recognize and accept that the impact of addiction often follows couples and family well into recovery. This is normal and to be expected in most most circumstances.

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Couple Recovery: Looking Ahead

I remember as a kid we would be on vacation. At scenic observation areas on the way sometimes there were those coin-operated binoculars. I also remember being absolutely fascinated with those things thinking how cool they looked. They were all metal and indestructible. Those beauties, made by Tower Opticals, could swivel to move the viewing area vertically and horizontally. All it took was an available binocular and 25 cents. 

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