Mental Health

Dealing with a Partner Who’s an Addict

Love. The reason that we do everything – the reason that you stretch yourself to the limit. The reason that we will do anything it takes. All we want as people is to be loved. We chase it, we covet it, we dream about it, we write about it, we sing about it – the centuries and centuries of our history you will find love everywhere you look. 

The problem is that sometimes, love just isn’t enough. When you are in the depths of a relationship with somebody who is addicted to a substance or a behavior, love cannot feel like enough. Because one-minute you are in love with somebody, exchanging vows with them and building castles in the sky with them. The next minute, you are still in love with them but they are in love with something else. 

Fortunately, there is help for you and your loved one to help you support yourself and your loved one with their addiction. For example, the FMLA (The Family and Medical Leave Act) helps the support needed to care for a family member with healthcare needs. 

The problem here is that they can’t help it. Addiction is a disease. And while there are options for substance use treatment out there, as a partner of somebody with an addiction you are going to have a long road ahead of you. Love can’t save somebody with addiction, but your support and love can help them through it. Love can’t stop them from craving this and they crave the most, but your love can help to distract them from it. It’s a slog to handle, but we’ve got some tips below to help.

  • Firstly, stop blaming yourself. The biggest mistake that a partner will often make is blaming themselves for their partner’s addiction. It can come from many things, from feeling like you’re not enough to prevent that addiction from developing, to your partner using their addictive behavior against you. Addicts can’t help it. They will tell you that it’s your fault, that you make them this way, because they will do anything possible to get the fix that they need. It’s not your fault and you are not to take that blame and you should face it with confidence.
  • Don’t try to control it. As a partner, you are not a parent. That means that no matter how your partner is dealing with their addiction, it is not up to you to fix it for them. You have to stop trying to take control of the addicted partner you have and start looking at ways you can make sure you are comfortable and safe. An addict will not get help until they are ready to do it, and there is no point in torturing yourself by leaving somebody to that help if you know they’re not going to take it.
  • Seek help. As a partner or someone with an addiction you are more than within your right to seek help, too. You can see the best therapist who specializes in addiction because you’re going to need as much support as possible. Just because you are not addicted to the substance that doesn’t mean that you aren’t handling the addiction.


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