Tough Love, Boundaries, and the Challenge of Loving an Addict

Sometimes he makes me feel like if I do something that makes him upset, he will just resort to drugs. I just need some advice and an outside perspective from those that understand how it is to be with a recovering addict. My friends just tell me to leave him, but they don’t understand. He has made a lot of progress since we have been together and I am genuinely so proud of him.

Things will not get better just because you wish they would. While you can’t actually be “addicted” to love, you can certainly become emotionally dependent on romantic relationships so much that it negatively affects your well-being. Although experts agree across the board that you can’t actually become addicted to relationships, or love in general, many relationship and post-breakup patterns can certainly resemble addiction. Asking for help can be challenging, but it’s a smart move and one that helps you to break free from a dysfunctional relationship with an addict.

How Can I Find Help for Dealing with an Addict?

Get any possible help you can for him and try to persuade him to follow up with treatment as much as you can. Don’t forget, positive vibes always help sort tough situations. David Sack, M.D., is board certified in addiction psychiatry and addiction medicine and serves as CMO of Elements Behavioral Health and Promises Treatment Centers. Addiction is a treatable disease, and if your loved one commits themselves to treatment, you won’t have to completely exclude the possibility of getting back together — if that’s what you want, of course. Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss…from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

  • The rush of excitement, joy, and other positive feelings love can spark may, for some people, kindle the desire to chase after that experience again and again.
  • It can be emotionally taxing to love someone with addiction, but there are ways to care for yourself and them without enabling their behavior.
  • I was gone two weeks with his promises of making up for his mistakes while I was gone.
  • Instead, you may suggest that they seek professional help.

You might fear that their predicament could worsen if you don’t help. However, “helping” people with addiction by giving them money or letting them stay in your home can actually be a form of enabling. Once you end the enabling and learn how to say no, you can truly begin to help your loved one. When you love someone with addiction, setting and maintaining boundaries is crucial.

Don’t sponsor their drugs or alcohol

I forgave him pretty much instantly just relieved he was back. I was relieved and so when I needed to go abroad I though it would be ok. I was gone two weeks with his promises of making up for his mistakes while I was gone. I called him and his mum and eventually got a message saying he was sorry loving an addict he’d hit the pipe and he had run away too ashamed to see me. He’d changed the locks there was a card with ‘Happy Birthday I’m Sorry’. I was devestated I begged him to tell me where he was I went to the crack den I finally found him unable to walk in a shop doorway crying saying he wanted to die.

  • These support groups offer partners and loved ones of addicts a place to share their experiences.
  • It’s natural to feel conflicted, sad, or even guilty about the decision to detach from a loved one with substance use disorder.
  • A few scenarios may be involved when loving an addict or when you find yourself in a relationship with someone that has an addiction.
  • No matter what an addict says or promises, they are only driven by their desire to continue using, and there’s not much of anything you can do to change that.

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