How to Maintain a Relationship with an Addict?

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Maintaining a relationship for the family with an addict is not an easy task. The drinks or drugs you are hooked on becoming the center of your life, and your partner and family end up taking a back seat, along with anything other than addiction. As the addiction becomes more intense, the addict is no longer able to care for their family, provide support, listen to their problems, or attend to their needs. To manage this situation, you must talk to your family about recovery, or things will get worse over time.

If you have a relationship with an addict, you surely feel lonely, and all the family burdens now fall only on your shoulders, and it is you who must worry about everything and take care of meeting the needs of the rest of your family without the help of your partner.

If you have grown up in a normal and healthy family, you will realize what is happening, but if you have grown up with an addict, you will surely see this situation as normal and familiar. Though it is harmful, it gives you some security because it is what you have known in your childhood. You may think that it is normal that the emotional needs of others are not taken into account, that you don’t expect your partner to be there to support you when you feel bad, to think together about solving and dealing with problems that arise or to comfort you when you need it, just like people who maintain a healthy relationship do. Maybe, you feel like something is missing, but you’re not entirely clear what it is. What happens is that your partner is physically there but not emotionally there for you or your children, and that is what is missing and what has surely always been missing in your life.

As the addict becomes more and more dependent on the drink or drug, he also becomes more dependent on you. Since his main concern is to satisfy his addiction, he won’t take care of basic things like taking care of the house, buying food, eating properly, paying bills, dealing with problems of daily life, taking the car to the workshop, etc. You’ll find yourself taking care of him, taking him to bed when you find him drunk on the couch or making excuses to justify his behavior to others, and comforting him when he feels depressed.

This way, you can establish a relationship of codependency with your addicted partner because the addict depends on you to survive with his addiction, and your unmet emotional needs find a kind of substitute in your dedication to caring for that person. The dependence he feels toward you makes you feel that he needs you and that he loves you. That way, you satisfy your need for connection, intimacy, and attention. However, dependency is no love; it’s just a false substitute that is destructive for both of you because it makes the situation persist, and the addict continues to use drugs and also continues to need you.