When You Stop Being An Enabler
Many times when an enabling system is removed, the fear will force a person with an alcohol use problem to seek help, but there are no guarantees. This can be extremely difficult to accept.
Take some time to learn more about enabling and the family disease of alcoholism, attend an Al-Anon meeting in your area. It may also be helpful to learn more about the resources and information available for families affected by alcoholism.
Attending Al-Anon in person will help you feel more empowered as you stop enabling, and less alone in the process. Unfortunately, none of us can control what another will do.
Yet we do have the power to set boundaries and respect our own lives. Consider 10 things to stop doing if you love an alcoholic that can help you take back your own life whether or not your alcoholic gives up drinking.
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
What Will Happen If You Stay Together
A clear sign that its time to end the relationship with a drug addict is if staying with the drug addict will likely lead to his or her condition getting worse. If you feel that nothing will change for the better if you stay with your addicted loved one, youll need to end your romantic relationship.
Create A Relapse Response
Although it is not quite absolute to state relapse happens, it is common enough that you can best protect yourself by being prepared for the possibility.
- Open your own banking account and put money in that you can draw upon if needed
- Have a backup plan where you can temporarily put some space between your spouse and your family, if necessary a friends house, a shelter, etc.
- Get legal help Protect yourself and your children Protective Orders, Custody Agreements, etc.
- Safeguard your joint assets be prepared to move money between accounts, if necessary
- Have a phone list ready for people that you may need to call sponsors, family members, coworkers, etc.
- Be prepared to send your spouse right back to treatment
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The Role Of Addiction And Gender In Relationship
It is easy to imagine drug addicts in relationships as the male, and these peoples female partners as helpless victims.
Women that are substances drug addicts, on the other hand, have much more tendencies than the men to link their abuse of drugs with their marriages, according to Psychology Today. A lot of women who are trying to preserve their abstinence regularly are losing their hold because of their romantic or sexual relationships. They sometimes relapse due to the fact that they desire to share one beer, one sniff of cocaine, or a hit of methamphetamine with one another. As a result of one thing leading to another, they not only relapse, these women also poison the relationship they are in.
They often relapse because their partner persuades them that their sex will be better when they are high.
Perhaps more so for females than males, the link between addiction and relationship problems in drug addicts can be traced back to childhood trauma. According to TIME magazines post, the great number of individuals who have a drug abuse issue as drug addicts have also experienced significant trauma in the past. Furthermore, according to researchers who reported their results in the famous Journal of Psychological Science, females who have endured one traumatic event at one point in their lifetime are more inclined to feel anxiety more than males, which can appear as the fears of abandonment and loneliness, which they try to self-medicate using alcohol and drugs .
Work On You And Your Own Issues
Any time spent in a relationship with an addict can be crazy-making. It is time to start working on you. Seeking your own recovery can often help you to better decide whether you should try to keep the relationship going or end it.
Start by attending an Al-Anon meeting in your area. Al-Anon can help you to better understand addictive patterns and tendencies and give you the tools and support for working with them. You will learn about yourself, and why you stay with an addict, and how to set better boundaries if you do stay in the relationship.
Co-Dependents Anonymous is another group worth seeking out. Partners of addicts commonly suffer from codependent tendencies. A group like CODA takes the focus off of healing the addict and puts it onto healing and discovering you.
Whether or not you choose to stay with the addict, and whether or not he or she will get help, you need help and support in dealing with the addiction, and eventually healing from it.
People who have been brainwashed by a relationship with an addict often repeat unhealthy relational patterns in subsequent relationships. Attending Al-Anon can help the non-addict partner learn the realities of addiction and co-dependence, and can be an eye-opening experience of personal growth and development.
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What Does God Say About Divorce
The way society views marriage is not what God had in mind for the first couple. Man is a reflection of God and the structure of the human family is a reflection of the relationship between God and His Son.
The Bible says a man should love his wife as Christ loved the church. What does that mean? It means that a man should be willing to lay down his life for his wife just as Christ did for the church. To lay down your life does not necessarily mean that you have to die a physical death. It means that you should put your wife first and foremost in your heart and mind. With this said, it is impossible to read the scriptures and not see that God, that the union between a man and his wife should last a lifetime?
The Pharisees asked Jesus, Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason? Jesus responded by telling them of how God, when He joined the first couple said to them that they should become as one for life. He further told them that Moses only permitted divorce to prevent a married couple from hardening their hearts against each other.
How To Leave A Drug Addict Boyfriend Spouse Or Child
Its a sad story that has been repeated far too many times. A young woman sits at a computer, furtively typing, how to leave a drug addict boyfriend, looking for help, and praying no one sees what shes looking for. Or a man collects his young children and leaves the house until his spouse comes down from her high, shakes her hallucinations, and stops screaming. Addiction doesnt only harm the addict all too frequently, it turns the lives of family and friends into waking nightmares. A rehabilitation facility can help lead the addict to recovery, but if they have no interest in getting well, it may be time for you to leave.
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Q: How And When Did Tom Develop An Addiction
A: Like so many others, Tom developed an addiction to prescription pain pills after they were prescribed for a legitimate injury. He actually broke his back from falling off a roof. After several surgeries, he could no longer function without a 24-hour supply of OxyContin. He was eventually referred to a pain clinic and, after missing three mandatory pill counts, he was kicked out.
Once he lost that legal monthly supply of OxyContin, he started buying them off the street. And thats when our finances went down the drain. He took every dime we had and spent it on pills. I knew it was bad, but I just didnt want to admit to myself how bad. I was in denial, you know?
After creditors began threatening to sue and wed had both our cars repossessed, I took on a second job. Tom was getting a monthly disability check. Combined, we could have probably gotten ourselves out of the financial mess we were in, but he just couldnt stop buying pills.
I finally got a separate checking account and, without access to my income, Tom could no longer afford to buy OxyContin. Thats when he switched to heroin.
Get Yourself A Support System
Support systems are not only vital for recovering addicts. Theyre also vital to the loved ones of individuals in addiction treatment. This includes current and former spouses/partners of drug and alcohol addicts. Therefore, prior to ending a relationship with a drug addict, establish a support system for yourself.
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When Someone You Love Has An Addiction
The fallout from an addiction, for addicts and the people who love them, is devastating the manipulations, the guilt, the destruction of relationships and the breakage of people. When addicts know they are loved by someone who is invested in them, they immediately have fuel for their addiction. Your love and your need to bring them safely through their addiction might see you giving money you cant afford, saying yes when that yes will destroy you, lying to protect them, and having your body turn cold with fear from the midnight ring of the phone. You dread seeing them and you need to see them, all at once.
You might stop liking them, but you dont stop loving them. If youre waiting for the addict to stop the insanity the guilt trips, the lying, the manipulation its not going to happen. If you cant say no to the manipulations of their addiction in your unaddicted state, know that they wont say no from their addicted one. Not because they wont, but because they cant.
If you love an addict, it will be a long and excruciating road before you realise that there is absolutely nothing you can do. It will come when youre exhausted, heartbroken, and when you feel the pain of their self-destruction pressing relentlessly and permanently against you. The relationships and the world around you will start to break, and youll cut yourself on the jagged pieces. Thats when youll know, from the deepest and purest part of you, that you just cant live like this any more.
Addiction In The Family
The pain of addiction is something that everyone within a family is familiar with. Quite often, people only think about how the addict is impacted. The truth is, the family suffers as well. There are all types of addictions, and each one stands to tear families apart. The cost of addiction has the power to ruin an otherwise beautiful home and marriage. To make matters worse, the effects of it are long lasting for everyone involved.
It is so hard to live under the same roof as someone who is abusing substances. It seems as though problems are caused left and right. The addict is torn, wanting the stable life and the family at the same time. When things go wrong, they blame others for their own actions.
There is no denying the type of pain youre in if this is the life youve been forced to lead. If you have an addicted spouse, you need answers for your dilemma. Whats more, you need real-life advice that you can put to use right now.
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Start Taking Care Of Yourself And Your Family First
While you are running around worrying about and cleaning up after your spouses addictive messes, you probably have lost focus on other areas of your life and that of your children.
When you constantly put the addicts needs first, you may think you are being a good spouse, but you are really just hurting yourself and your family and breeding resentment.
You and your children need to have lives that are as normal as possible, no matter what the addict is doing.
- Maintain normal family activities church, school plays, baseball practice, etc.
- Eat your meals together
- Get plenty of sleep and exercise
- Visit with family and friends dont isolate yourself
- Keep an eye on your health stress can damage your immune system
- Practice stress-reducing techniques yoga, meditation, etc.
Know When To Leave It To Discovery Institute
Knowing when to leave or if you should leave an addicted partner is never easy, but its not always sour, either. In the event that your ex-partner does decide to get sober, you can still show support without being in a relationship with him or her.
At Discovery Institute, we offer a wide variety of programs and services to ensure that all of our patients get the treatment they need to live a long, sober life. If you are worried about your former partner even after the breakup and would like to learn more, please contact us today.
Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD
Dr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.
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Knowing When To End A Marriage Is A Personal Choice
You’re the only one who can decide when youre ready for a divorce. If your heart is filled with love for your spouse and the decision is breaking your heart, maybe separation would be better. I am a huge advocate for separation because it protects you financially while also giving you time apart to see what happens.
Beyond that, youre also the one God will tell to stay or go. Ask God to give you guidance. He may ask you to stay with them, trust Him, or He may do what He did with me and let you choose. Search your heart in prayer and ask yourself this one question: What is YOUR ultimate, best-case scenario, winning situation?
God will be with you wherever you go.
Knowing When And How To Leave A Drug Addict
Often, addiction affects the loved ones of addicts as much as it impacts the addicts themselves. This is definitely the case when it comes to the significant other of an addict. Many people who are the significant others of individuals who suffer from addiction wonder to themselves if they should end their relationships. In many cases, the answer to this question is yes. Although, there are times when it may be appropriate to stay in the relationship. Ending a relationship with a drug addict is difficult. So, knowing how to leave a drug addict is important.
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Here Are Some Tips For Conducting A Successful Intervention:
Establish a plan: Before you hold the intervention, find a rehab center that you want the addict to attend. The more solid your plan is, the easier it will be to get the addict on board. That way, if they agree to professional treatment, they can go immediately from the meeting.
In order to get the addict into detox, there has to be something at stake. Whether that means that they have to move out of the house or that youre leaving, you should present them with options. If during the intervention they decide against rehab, its crucial that you hold them to the consequences.
Meet with the family beforehand: Once youve decided who to involve in the intervention, get together to lay the ground rules. Let everyone know that they must remain calm during the meeting. Remind them that the goal is to help the addict, not hurt their feelings. Tell them about your rehab plan so that everyone has the same goal. Some people might want to write intervention letters to help them gather their thoughts.
Hire an intervention facilitator: Many addiction therapists offer intervention services. You should consider hiring one. These therapists help to conduct the meeting and ensure that everyone stays calm. They also act as a symbolic authority, which tends to make the addict take the meeting more seriously.
Stop Enabling Their Addictive Behavior
Sometimes, the spouse of an actively-addicted person will change their behavior and even go against their own sense of right and wrong just to get along. They may tell themselves that they are helping or protecting the addict, but what they are actually doing is enabling making it easier for the addiction to continue.
Have you ever
- Bought their drugs or alcohol for them?
- Intentionally given them money for drugs or alcohol?
- Made excuses to family members or friends to save them embarrassment?
- Lied to police or probation officers to keep them out of trouble?
- Bailed them out of jail?
As long as you enable your husband/wife, they will not have any motivation to stop using and drinking. Enabling sends them the message that it is all right to keep on doing what they have been doing.
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Do You And Your Children Feel Safe
The safety of you and your children must be your primary concern. Addiction changes people, and the person you once loved seems far away. You should not tolerate violence or threats of violence to any family member. If this becomes an issue, it is time to make a sudden break.
If youre concerned about the possibility of violence, you can do some research about your options ahead of time. Many towns have local agencies that will provide temporary shelter in abusive relationships. It can also be helpful to share your struggle with a trusted friend who can help you make a faster move.