This is because relationships, especially romantic ones, require honesty, trust, communication, and responsibility from both sides to work. Addiction, while a disease, is inherently self-destructive, and it changes the way that a person’s brain chemistry works. This, in turn, often leads them to act and behave in ways that they didn’t before the addiction.
It is important to remember that addiction is a mental illness, not a choice. In addition, there may be other mental health conditions that need to be addressed as well before you or your loved one can recover fully. Remember that of course it’s possible to love someone who has a substance abuse disorder and have it be a fulfilling relationship as well.
Eventually, this secrecy will lead to a lack of trust, which leads to distance and isolation in the relationship. This then causes feelings of resentment and anger on both sides.
If left unchecked, this anger can quickly turn to physical, emotional, or mental abuse, and in some cases, it can turn a well-meaning partner or family member into an unintentional enabler of the other’s addiction. This does not happen in every instance, of course.
At this point, isolation – on both sides – begins to occur and, in some cases, the addict may escalate their arguments to domestic violence. Many people remain in these relationships because they believe that their partner can get clean on their own without intervention, or they are ashamed to go to counseling.
The main thing to avoid is helping them with their addiction. Don’t enable your partner by helping them lie about where they have been or where they’re going. You may think that you’re helping your partner, but it only hinders them in the long run.
Speak with a therapist that specializes in interventions and get their help in holding an intervention for your loved one. Interventions have a much higher chance of success when they are properly planned with the aid of a trained intervention team.4
Help them find treatment options, and help them understand what their options are such as detox, therapy, and medication. Support them in their recovery and help them find a reputable treatment center, or a support group that they can attend.
Loving an alcoholic or a person with a drug addiction is an intense and emotionally draining experience. It is important to take care of your own mental health and well-being first and foremost. It is possible to be compassionate and caring without allowing them to turn you into an enabler. Set your boundaries and stick to them.
At the end of the day, your partner needs to choose to help themselves because no one can make that decision for them. If your partner is refusing to get treatment and it has begun to negatively impact your own life, then it is time to leave the relationship and enforce your boundaries.
While many people want to do anything that they can to support a loved one struggling with drug addiction, it is not always possible to do alone. Luckily, there are many treatment options available for people who are struggling with addiction. Some of the help for substance abuse disorders that is available includes detox, talk therapy, CBT therapy, group therapy, and many more.
Communication in addiction recovery is essential, and if you and your partner are ready to begin their recovery journey, then reach out to Iris Healing® today to learn how we can help support you both.