Living with a drug addict is not an easy prospect for a partner. Your partner is consumed with the desire for the next drink or the next drink, and is not always fully emotionally available in a relationship. You may have a tendency to get caught up in the various addiction crises of your partner and ignore some of the issues that you need to deal with in your own life. When you are the partner of an addict, it is very important to take care of yourself. Here are 4 tips to help you cope with life as an addict partner:
1. Speak things out. A professional addiction counselor is a great resource. This person is familiar with common addiction problems and can offer valuable information and perspective.
2. Join a support group for people in a similar situation. Groups like Al-Anon are great for finding people to share their experiences. It is important to avoid isolation or the feeling that no one else understands your struggle. You will receive support and understanding by participating in these groups on a regular basis.
3. Stop saving and apologizing for your partner’s bad behavior. Saving your partner only reinforces a codependent dynamic that benefits neither the addict nor the partner. If you help your partner avoid the consequences, they will not be motivated to act differently. You will only cause frustration, resentment, and increased control over your partner’s behavior.
4. Begin to focus more on your life and on what you dream or aspire to. Think about your own goals and aspirations in life, rather than focus on all the destructive actions in your partner’s life. Pursuing your calling will help release the feeling of being trapped in your partner’s “rescue” and increase your personal satisfaction. In addition, as it may seem like a paradox, the detachment you show towards your addicted partner is more likely to have negative consequences for his or her use. This gives the addict an opportunity to make choices about how to deal with the consequences he or she faces as a result of the use.