How To Support Without Enabling
You can always let the addict know that what you have been doing is not working for them and yourself. You can concede to your mistakes and offer them professional help in exchange for your ineffective help. The addict has a right to use substances and you have the right to detach and stop enabling the behaviors and addiction. It is always helpful to set healthy boundaries and provide them with effective professional resources. Letting them know that you would be happy to discuss things with them after they are in treatment.
Please consider taking the following suggestions that can help both the family and the addict:
Enabling provided by the family that has produced entitlement for the addict does not disappear overnight. It takes work to undo years of unhealthy strategies that have compromised the familys sanity and the addicts recovery. The addict will not become well in one day and neither will the family. The process has to start somewhere if conditions are to improve. Staying where you are isnt sustainable. You either get better or you and the substance user become worse. Addiction is chronic and progressive and without professional help or some form of intervention it becomes worse and never better.
Living With An Addict: Hard Truths To Accept
If youre living with an addict, you probably have more than a few horror stories to share. Your life has undoubtedly been filled with stress and uncertainty as you watch someone you love spiral into addiction. Living with an alcoholic or drug addict can seem hopeless. Many times, people come out on the other side of addiction into a better, more fulfilling life. Until that time comes, here are some tips for living with an addict as well as some hard truths you need to face.
They Can Be Extremely Fun People To Be Around But You Have To Realize They Are Not Living In Reality
Sure going to the bar and getting completely loaded on a Monday night seems fun but its extremely unrealistic. He doesnt have to wake up for work the next morning, but guess what YOU probably doand you know if you call in sick one more time youre going to get fired. Staying up every night till 6am is also not realistic because you have to be up at 8am for work and he once again DOESNT.
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Create Boundaries And Stick To Them
While you dont have to start practicing tough love , you should create ground rules for your house. For example, you can make a rule that your loved one isnt allowed to use at your home, that they arent allowed to bring people to your home to use, and that if they do, you will hold them accountable.
You should also openly communicate how and what you are changing, and how you are setting boundaries. If your new rule is no more alcohol in my home, you should communicate this, enforce it, and be willing to follow up with repercussions.
Heartbreaking Things That Happen When You Love An Addict
I wish I could say love was the only drug in my past relationships.
Over the last six years, I have intentionally slapped myself in the face to say the least with a relationship that was doomed for failure from the very beginning. It all started when I was entering high school. I met individuals who completely changed my life for the better and individuals who completely destroyed it. One specific person put a burden on me, and to be perfectly honest I dont know how to get rid of his presence in my life. I feel nothing because of him Im so empty on the inside and I constantly crave danger or dangerous situations. To tell you all the truth, he really did ruin a good portion of my life.
I went from being a scholar student to snorting lines of cocaine off bathroom sinks in bars and then illegally driving down the 401. If I have to tell the truth it was fun for a very short amount of time. Thankfully, I do not have an addictive personality and the few times hard drugs were in my system I never craved them again. I wish I could say the same about him but everyone has their reasons as to why they do certain things. I will not sit here and say the things we did were ok but many of the things I did were because of how others treated me .
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Recognize That You Cannot Force Change
An addict is not going to give up his or her habit by being pressured by loved ones. Ultimately, addicts will get help when they are good and ready for help often, pressure from friends and family that mean well can lead to the addict isolating themselves from the very people who love them the most, simply to avoid feeling “nagged.” If they are not ready, they are not ready.
Here Are Some Signs That It May Be Time To Call Your Relationship Off:
The relationship is abusive: If the addict is physically or emotionally abusive, get out of there as soon as possible. No matter how much they threaten you or make you feel like youre hopeless without them, you need to walk away. Call a family member, a trusted friend, or even a domestic violence hotline for help.
Children are affected: If you have kids, you may have to lower your tolerance for the addicts behavior. It might be necessary to remove the children from the situation, even if the relationship isnt abusive. Addicted parents can have long-lasting effects on their childs mental health. So, its important to take your children into consideration.
They dont want to change: If the addict has no intention of changing, it might be time to leave. The problems youre currently facing will only get worse. Its possible to love an addict in recovery, but its difficult to stay with someone who doesnt want to get better. It may be tough, especially if you still love them, but do you want to take care of them forever?
Theyre holding you back: When maintaining your relationship is preventing you from living your best life, you might want to get out. It doesnt make sense to have your dreams ruined by someone elses addiction. If your self-esteem and mental health are only going to deteriorate over time, you might want to end the relationship in order to pursue a happier life.
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Stop Indulging The Addicts Behaviors And Detrimental Behaviors
Sometimes, families do what they can to hide a loved ones addiction. They might provide an alibi for why someone missed work or give money to the person who is using drugs to make sure they can afford rent or other necessities. Some families even go so far as to allow the drug dependency to dictate when they can or cannot do something. You must be firm with your loved one and refuse them the kinds of support that enable their drug use.
Surviving A Relationship With An Addict
Looking for more free resources? Follow our Colorado addiction local resources page here. Remember, if youre in a relationship with an alcoholic or drug addict, youre not alone. Data shows us that there are more than 24 million addicts and recovered addicts in America. A lot of those people are in relationships. So, there are a ton of people out there going through the same thing as you.
The most important thing is that you keep yourself safe. Do what you need to do to protect your physical and emotional well-being.
If you want to discuss rehab options and help your loved one get clean, please call anytime 24/7. Wed love to help you to figure out the best way to get them back on track.
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How To Stop Enabling Your Addict
Today, over 24.5 million Americans struggle with a substance abuse disorder. Most importantly, while the public image of If your loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it can be difficult not to fall into an enabling role. Loving someone most often means wanting to take care of them, and whether thats through monetary support, offering food and shelter, or caring for them in every way, its difficult to stop at a moment when it feels like they need that help most.
Unfortunately, doing everything in your power to keep an addict on their feet and moving forward is the worst thing you can do for them, because you are likely simply enabling them to keep using. Without your support, they would fail and would have to seek out addiction treatment, before their addiction got worse and before they caused more permanent problems for themselves.
While it can seem cruel to step away from an addict, its important that you learn how to stop enabling your addict so that they can get help.
Is Your Spouse Or Partner Willing To Change
This is an important question to ask as having a strong desire to change is key to achieving sobriety. If your spouse or partner is taking accountability for his or her actions and has a strong desire to attend rehab and change, this may be a sign that you can continue your romantic relationship with him or her.
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What Types Of Partners Do Love Addicts Choose
When it comes to love addiction, it takes two to tango. A love addict will look for a partner who avoids intimacy. Pia Mellody refers to these partners as Love Avoidants. According to Mellody, Love Avoidants consciously fear intimacy because they believe that they will be drained, engulfed, and controlled by it. Often these people were drained, engulfed or controlled by the emotions and needs of others when they were small children.
Often avoidance does not show itself in the very beginning of a relationship. The Love Avoidant might be the one who initially comes on strong and does the wooing. However, as the relationship progresses, their fear of intimacy becomes heightened and they begin to push their partner away. In her book, Facing Love Addiction, Mellody outlines three ways that Love Avoidants typically avoid intimacy:
What If Two People In A Relationship Have Addictions
Now, what happens if two people in a relationship have addictions? Can this be a healthy relationship since youre both on par with each other? While its difficult to generalize, we can say with confidence that this type of relationship probably wont be healthy.
When two addicts are in a relationship together, they are Likely to Enable One Another Without Realizing It. For instance, your partner may pressure you to drink with them or you may both live in an unrealistic world driven by negative behaviors. To help your relationship , youll likely benefit from outpatient alcohol rehab in Phoenix.
Sometimes, the only way to show love for yourself and your partner is by stepping away from the relationship. This has nothing to do with your love for the person, but sometimes, love isnt enough. And if youre using drugs and alcohol, too, you must be able to focus on your own recovery while breaking the ties of codependency and enabling.
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Do Not Allow Yourself To Get Sucked Into Volatility
Many substance abusers have a tendency to be argumentative, especially once they see that you are setting boundaries and not willing to accept their addiction. Certain substances themselves tend to make users aggravated. Realize that, if you find yourself in an argument, that you cannot win an argument, and the anger often will escalate. Take the wind out of the sails by refusing to argue. If the addict places blame on you or tries to say that you don’t care for them, sometimes it is better to just put an end to it and walk away instead of arguing and trying to prove that you do, indeed, care. Don’t allow an argument to escalate. Let it go. That is not to say that you should put up with abuse, either simply don’t allow them to bring you into their anger vortex. If you ever suspect that physical violence may occur, do not hesitate to call 911.
Types Of Love Addiction Dynamics
People facing love addiction have several ways of showing up in such unions. Susan Peabody, known for her writings on love addiction cites 4 main types of love addicts:
- Obsessed/obsessive love addicts
- Narcissistic love addicts
- Ambivalent love addicts
Obsessed love addicts struggle with detaching from partnerseven if the relationship is no longer healthy, or the partner is emotionally distant. Next, the codependent love addict uses their partner for their source of self-esteem and self-worth. They people please in relationships, hoping to get validation from their significant other. If the other partner is codependent, it may not be a problem early into the relationship, but resentment can build if the partner seeks a more emotionally independent partner.
Lastly, the ambivalent love addict avoids true intimacy. They can function as the one who holds on to past loves, engages in one-sided relationships , and can sabotage their relationships. Furthermore, they are addicted to the illusion of relationships but may run away or be inconsistent about getting close in relationships. Any of these models of love addicts can use sex to maintain unhealthy attachments, lie, manipulate, play out past relationship dynamics, or even threaten themselves or their partner if they decide to leave.
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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 Detach From An Addict With Love
With over 24.5 million people in the United States addicted to a substance, and an estimated 1 in 10 suffering from a substance use disorder at some point in their lives, one in four Americans knows an addict. While many people only suffer from addiction for brief periods, they go on to affect their friends, family, and loved ones while they are addicted. While it is natural that you want to be there for the people you love, its also important to step back and take care of yourself and your own health and mental wellbeing at the same time.
Addicts are often demanding, manipulative, and may ask more of you than you can give. Continuing to invest your time and emotional energy into them can hurt you. At the same time, you dont likely want to completely step away to leave your loved one to their own devices, especially if they are relying on you for food, shelter, or support. Providing continued support to an addict is also one of the most reliable ways to eventually move them into rehabilitation and recovery, although this process can take a long time.
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Addiction Is A Family Disease
People refer to addiction as a family disease because the turmoil, suffering, and ups and downs involve not only the addicted person but the entire family. Partners of a substance abuser are often on the frontlines, and the effects of addiction can be especially devastating to their emotional, mental, and even physical health.
If you are the partner of a substance abuser, you are likely to experience an immense amount of heartache as you watch your loved one fall deeper into the throes of addiction. You might try to help them clean up their messes, take on the stress of their addiction, or try to solve problems related to their drug use.
It is tempting to try and share or carry the burden of their addiction and protect them from future harm, but your loved one is truly the only person who has control over their drug use. Of course, you can try to encourage them to accept treatment, but ultimately, they are responsible for their own life. Do not take on the extreme weight of thinking that you are in control of their addiction or you are to blame for their drug use.
The most important thing you can do as a partner is to take care of yourself. In a study of 100 family members of addicts, researchers found that those who coped with their loved ones addiction by quietly tolerating their behavior had the lowest scores of psychological well-being.1