They Will Never Love You They Are In Love With Themselves And The Drugs Their Body Yearns For
The drug addict never realizes what they have and what they will lose. They are their only priority YOU will never be the priority. This took me such a long time to believe. I thought that he loved me and that everything would change. I didnt think he was as addicted as everyone saw him to be because after a while it was normal to me. After about two years of dealing with the addiction, we constantly fought and we fought to the point where the police were involved. I still remember crying in a staircase at 6:45 in the morning after he kicked me out of his house in the middle of the night while I was extremely intoxicated or the time he cheated on me with a prostitute and he filmed it. Even though all this was evolving in front of me, I still wanted to believe he was a great person. The next morning he called, told me he was sorry and that he loved me for being there. Of course, I forgave him and this happened at least thirty more times.
Love Addictions: Do You Have An Unhealthy Addiction To Love
While the term love addiction may be controversial among mental health professionals, having an overwhelming or obsessive compulsion toward love or a loved one is not uncommon. Love addictions are formed as a defense against psychological pain. Love addicts have a fantasy of being rescued by their loved one and often believe that this one person can somehow make them okay. They have too high an opinion of the object of their affection, and too low an opinion of themselves. Because of this, love addicts pour too much time and energy into their relationships, while neglecting their own well-being, family, friendships and even careers.
This article will answer the following questions:
- Is love addiction real?
- What are the characteristics of love addiction?
- Why do love addictions form?
- What types of partners do love addicts choose?
- What is the cycle of love addiction?
- How can someone recover from love addiction?
How To Help A Loved One Struggling With Addiction
The best ways to help a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol may seem counterintuitive, especially for people who struggle with codependent relationships. Some of these methods may seem harsh, but they come from a loving approach with the ultimate goal to help the person overcome their addiction and to help all parties heal. Basic steps are outlined below.
- Remember that addiction is not a choice or a moral failing it is a disease of the brain
- Addiction is ultimately a condition that the individual must learn to manage no one can take the fight on for the addict.
- Set boundaries and stand by them.
- Encourage the individual to seek help this may include finding treatment resources for them.
- Find a therapist who specializes in addiction counseling and get help. Loved ones of addicts need support too.
- Set an example for healthy living by giving up recreational drug and alcohol use.
- Be supportive, but do not cover for problems created by substance abuse. The person struggling needs to deal with the consequences of their addiction.
- Be optimistic. A person struggling with drug or alcohol abuse will likely eventually seek help due to ongoing encouragement to do so. If they relapse, it is not a sign of failure relapse is often part of the overall recovery process.
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Others May Not Want You And Your Partner Around
It wont take friends and family members long to figure out that your partner has an addiction. In fact, you might still be in denial long after theyve reached that conclusion. Once it becomes obvious, you can expect your social invitations to decline as others start to avoid both of you. Whats happening isnt your fault but youll find yourself caught in the crossfire of the relationships your loved one has damaged. Living with an addict often means feeling isolated a lot of the time.
What Happens When Youre Loving Someone With Addiction
Before thinking about how to help a loved one with drug addiction, it can be helpful to understand what its like loving an addict. Being in love with an addict, or having a parent or child who is an addict means that youre often going to feel heartbroken because of their actions.
First and foremost, when you love a drug addict, they are not going to be able to love you in return. That doesnt mean they didnt love you before their addiction, and it doesnt mean they cant return to loving you, but when youre in the midst of addiction, thats your priority. That substance is what the persons mind and body are in love with, above all else.
When youre trying to love someone with an addiction, no matter what they tell you, their addiction comes first. Its impossible for an addict to return love in the way you deserve.
Its also important to understand that when someone you love is addicted to alcohol or drugs, theyre going to do everything in their power to use you as a way to continue getting these substances. This can include regularly lying, cheating or stealing. Because of the power of addiction, when youre loving a drug addict you may find that they will manipulate you in any way possible to facilitate their addiction.
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Other Symptoms Of Addiction Include:
- Worrying about how much of the drug is left and maintaining a consistent supply
- Experiencing intense cravings when the drug is not around
- Thinking about the next dose or taking it early
- Failing to meet obligations in various areas of life
- Changes in sleeping and eating habits, along with other behaviors
- Changes in grooming habits, leading to poor hygiene
- Loss of job or financial instability
- Spending a lot of money and time getting the drug
- Stress on relationships
- Performing risky activities, which can lead to physical harm and legal problems
People who are in a relationship with someone who is struggling with addiction a friendship, a parent/child relationship, or a romantic partnership, for example will find that the relationship is strained. The person in active addiction may not pay attention to the relationship, or they may rely on that relationship to help them get money, drugs or help with going someplace to get drugs. They also may seek out assistance with covering up a hangover, drug abuse, or paraphernalia. It may seem like the person is using the relationship for their own means and that they do not love you anymore.
This is far from the truth. It is important to know that loving someone who is active addiction is challenging. Even if it seems like they dont care, your relationship is still important to them. In fact, their care for you and others may be what prompts them to seek help.
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Detachment doesn’t mean that you no longer care, but it does mean you remove yourself from engaging emotionally with destructive behavior and blindly following your addict’s negative emotional cues.
Detachment means unwrapping yourself emotionally from the damaging aspects of your involvement with your addict.
Detachment means regaining control over your emotions and taking responsibility for how you respond instead of giving that power to your addict.
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Apply A Show Don’t Tell Mentality
Once you begin to set the boundaries with an addict, they often make promises, saying they will stop using, or they will make other promises of things they will do to prove that they are sorry for what they have done. Stand firm with a “show me, don’t tell me” mentality – they need to prove the changes, not just tell you they will change. Words don’t mean much, especially when someone has a proven track record of dishonesty.
Is Your Romantic Relationship Negatively Affecting Your Children
If your spouse/partners addiction is starting to negatively affect the lives of your children, its vital that your spouse/partner achieves sobriety as soon as possible. No addiction that an adult is suffering from should ruin the lives of young children.
As adults and parents/guardians its your responsibility to create a safe environment for your children to grow and develop in. If youre not creating a safe environment for your children, then they may need to live with someone else or be taken away. If you dont want this to happen, end your romantic relationship and focus on getting your spouse/partner into rehab.
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What Does It Look Like To Try To Love A Person In Active Addiction
A survey conducted in the United Kingdom found that romantic partners happiness changed as the rate of drug abuse changed. People whose partners occasionally used drugs reported their happiness between seven and eight out of 10 on a happiness scale. However, women who were in relationships with a person who continually abused drugs reported that their happiness had fallen to three out of 10. Around 56 percent of the respondents reported that they would not stay in a relationship with someone abusing substances because of the stress.
How Can Someone Recover From Love Addition
The first step in recovering from love addiction is to recognize the problem. Like fighting any addiction, the process can be challenging. Feelings of withdrawal may arise. Recovering love addicts may have to face unresolved childhood pain. However, with help, people can break the pattern of love addiction and go on to form truly fulfilling and close intimate relationships.
Many people find help by entering a 12-step program for love addiction. Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous offers meetings worldwide.
According to Pia Mellody, there are four phases of recovery from love addiction.
- The first step is to address any other addictive processes, such as alcoholism, eating disorder, etc.
- The second step is to disengage from the addictive part of the relationship process.
- The third step is to find a therapist, if necessary, to help deal with unresolved childhood pain. Mellody explains, In my experience, most people who recover from toxic relationships as adults first need therapeutic help with their internal residue of unresolved and harmful feelings from childhood.
- The fourth step is to work on the underlying co-dependent symptoms.
If a recovering love addict is not currently in a relationship, it is very important that they pay close attention to the type of partner they may be drawn to when entering a new relationship. Otherwise, they may repeat the same destructive relationship dynamics.
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Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
Your Partner Wont Be Responsible Or Reliable
When youre living with an addicted person, you should expect to be let down over and over again. Theyll break promises, forget important dates and miss events with family and friends. No matter how many times your partner says theyre sorry, theyll continue abusing your trust. Addiction breeds irresponsible behavior. Even the best intentions wont make a difference if the addict or alcoholic continues to abuse substances.
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You’re Always Anxious Your Partner Is Going To Leave You
All love addicts fear being abandoned by their partner and left alone. Whetstone said that even when a love addict is in a relationship with the person they are obsessed with, they are never secure in their trust for the partner.
“They are going to seem very insecure and anxious and needy,” Whetstone said.
Loving An Addict Or Alcoholic: How To Help Them And Yourself
When a person struggles with drug or alcohol abuse, they are likely to struggle with mental health issues and physical problems, both short-term and chronic issues.
They are also likely to cause suffering for their loved ones, including spouses, parents, children, friends, and other family.
For those who love someone who is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, it is important to know the signs of substance abuse problems and how to best help the person in need. In addition, it is important that family members and friends take care of themselves as well.
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Why Do Love Addictions Form
The roots of love addiction extend back to early childhood. A history of abandonment, neglect, or inadequate or inconsistent nurturing can lead to love addiction. Like other addictions, love addiction is often the result of insecure attachment patterns.
Attachment patterns develop during the first 18 months of life as a result of how the primary caregiver interacts with the infant. In order for the infant to develop secure attachment, the child must feel SAFE, SEEN, and SOOTHED. The way the caregiver relates to their child at times when the child is upset or in distress is of utmost importance.
A securely attached child will consistently turn to their parent for comfort and connection when they are upset, get soothed, calm down, and then go back to whatever they were doing before. Insecure attachment develops when a parent is unable to consistently sooth their child. In this scenario, the upset child turns to their parent for comfort and connection, but they get ignored, or their parent is too anxious or distracted to properly sooth them, or they are scolded or even abused for crying and having needs. How attuned the parent is to their child at times of distress over time forms an attachment pattern that follows the child into their adult relationships. You can learn more about various attachment patterns here.
Realize That Sometimes Change Is Impossible
No matter how much you love someone, and no matter how much you may be willing to help that person, no matter how hard you try, ultimately, the decision to become clean belongs to the addict. Sometimes, no matter what, they are not willing or able to become clean. At this point you need to decide if you and your family should continue to pay the price for someone who is unwilling to change. The most important thing to remember is that, even if you must walk away from a relationship, it is never your fault that someone chose their addiction over their family and loved ones. Remember that it was their decision, and you have done all that you could to help, but for your own safety – and sanity – sometimes the only solution is to walk away, no matter how difficult that may be.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the authors knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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You Cant Make Them Change
You can offer support, advice, encouragement and unconditional love to the addict in your life. You can issue deadlines or ultimatums. Moreover, you can enlist the help of friends and family to convince them to get help for their drug or alcohol addiction. But no matter how much energy you expend, you cant do the work for them.
While recovery outcomes for people who enter treatment voluntarily tend to be better, many people in drug rehab centers are there because of external factors. These can include legal problems, work problems and ultimatums from loved ones. Sometimes people find internal motivation to get better once theyve sobered up and are immersed in recovery activities in drug rehab.
Regardless, only the person with the addiction can choose to stop alcohol or drug abuse. Until theyre ready to make that commitment, nothing you do will have the impact you hope for or expect.
There Are No Easy Answers But There Is Hope
If someone you care about is using drugs or alcohol in a way thats threatening their health, relationships, finances, career, and perhaps even their life, you no doubt feel overwhelmed and desperate to help them come to their senses.
But in order to truly help those who have lost control, its important to understand some of the realities of addiction:
1. Its not about you.
It can be tough for loved ones, especially parents and significant others, not to take addiction personally. Its not unusual to think that something you did caused them to use drugs or that you couldve spared them from harm if only you did things differently. But their addiction is not about you. Guilt isnt productive for anyones healing, but your involvement in their treatment and recovery can give them much-needed strength and support. Practice forgiveness and let go of the past so you can have that new beginning you have all worked toward.
2. Detox does not equal treatment.
3. No one expects to become addicted.
4. The fact that someone has started treatment does not mean they have decided to quit.
5. Deceit goes with the territory.
6. People relapse for a reason.
7. You cant do it for them.
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