Finding yourself in a relationship with someone who’s an addict can be exhausting and unhealthy. That’s why, in this post, we’ve compiled six important steps you should keep in mind to help both you and your partner through such a difficult time.
Addictions come in many forms, but they will almost always be incredibly damaging, not just for the addict themselves, but for their loved ones too. If you are the partner of an addict, you’ll be well aware that their addiction can get in the way of your relationship and make it incredibly difficult to look ahead to the future.
Whether it’s an alcohol addiction, a gambling addiction, or an issue related to drug precursor chemicals, ignoring the issue and failing to properly address it is only going to backfire and make the situation even more difficult to manage.
In this post, you’ll find six clear and easy to follow steps you can keep in mind if you’re in a relationship with an addict. This way, you can put the foundations down for a strong and stable future.
6 Steps to Follow If Your Partner is an Addict
1. Acknowledge the Reality of the Situation
There’s no use in denying the reality of the situation if you have reason to believe that your partner is an addict, no matter what that addiction may be. Rather than skirting around the topic or coming up with excuses on their behalf, it’s vital that you tackle the subject head on and accept that they have a problem that needs to be addressed in the right way.
Coming face-to-face with reality can be hard. It means accepting that certain elements of your life are out of control and may be as a direct result of loving someone with a dangerous addiction. However, only by recognising the reality of the situation can you begin to take action, and help turn the situation around.
2. Seek the Support and Advice of Your Loved Ones
Just because you’re on a relationship with an addict, it doesn’t mean you have to help them through their addiction alone. Your friends and family are there for a reason, so don’t hesitate to ask them for a little bit of support.
Many people fall into the trap of believing that they can find a solution to an addiction by themselves and that asking for help will only backfire. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Even if your loved ones aren’t able to directly support you or lend you advice relating to your partner’s addiction, that isn’t to say that they won’t be able to help you in other ways. They might be able to take care of your washing, give you a lift whenever you need it, or even cook you a meal. It’s amazing how quickly these simple things can be neglected when you’re tasked with supporting an addict.
3. Don’t Try to ‘Fix’ The Situation
Despite what you may have previously read or heard, there’s no ‘quick-fix’ for an addiction. If there was, then you can be sure that addictions wouldn’t have such a damaging effect on so many peoples’ lives!
Chances are, you aren’t an expert when it comes to addictions, so you shouldn’t be expected to find an immediate solution to the problem. You need to remember that the only person you have direct control over is yourself – not everything can be fixed.
Do what you can to help your partner, but there’s no use in becoming downtrodden if you can’t find a way to cure their addiction all by yourself. These things take plenty of time.
4. Think About the Actions You Can Take Rather Than Vice Versa
It’s easy to shift the blame entirely on the addict, especially if their behaviour is spiralling out of control. But, as this isn’t likely to be helpful for anybody, it’s important for you to assess your own actions to see if you’re doing anything that may be contributing to the situation.
Maybe you’re sharing money with your partner that you know they’re spending on their addiction? Or you might be giving them lifts if their addiction prevents them from being able to properly look after themselves?
Regardless of what you may or may not be doing, it’s important to be courageous so that you can look at yourself and realise what changes you need to make.
5. Understand Where You are Helping Versus Enabling
On a similar note, you should be aware of where you might be helping your partner, as opposed to enabling their addiction. Just like most people, you probably think that, if you don’t provide a certain level of support to your partner, they’ll end up in an even worse situation.
Unfortunately, many addicts may this see as a way of continuing their addiction without suffering any adverse consequences. Think about how you can change the actions that allow someone to continue their addiction into actions which allow them to make a positive step forward in their lives.
6. Know That Self-Care is Vital
Taking some time for self-care is not selfish. We all need to respect ourselves enough to take good care of our physical and mental health, regardless of whether this clashes with your partner’s addiction.
If you don’t take any opportunities to relax and ensure your emotional and physical needs are met, you’ll quickly become exhausted any won’t be in any frame of mind to be able to support your partner with their addiction.
What Else Can be Done to Support Someone with an Addiction?
In this post, we’ve run through six steps you can follow if you’re in a relationship with an addict, no matter what their addiction may be. Supporting anyone with an addiction can be incredibly difficult, especially a partner. So, it’s important to take these steps into consideration so you can make the right decisions for your short-term and long-term future.
Have you ever had to help an addict in the past? If so, are there any more tips or guidance you think would be important to share? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!
A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.