Love knows no boundaries, but it is important to understand how to love people with special circumstances. People who are in an intimate relationship with a person suffering from substance or alcohol abuse also need a special kind of advice for them to “survive” the situation and help their significant other get through his situation harmoniously.
Fortunately, experts like Dr. Maher Soudah and his team of addiction rehabilitation specialists at the Kaiser Wellness Center, are here to help with five important tips that can make taking care of an addict easier.
Face The Truth
In any kind of situation, the first step towards healing is to accept reality and face the truth. From an outsider’s point of view, this appears to be easy. However, a person who finds himself in the actual situation would admit that it is easier said than done, especially with someone you care about. After all, the saying declares that if you love someone, you mustn’t try to change them.
After finding out that your significant other is an addict, the initial reaction is denial. However, it is important that you accept the one you love wholly, flaws and all. Even so, addiction is not something that should not be changed as overcoming it would be beneficial for both parties in the relationship so make sure your partner knows that you accept them and are ready to help them recover.
Ditch The Blame Game
Because of the changes you might witness in your relationship with an addicted person, it is hard not to initiate the “blame game.” In fact, even if you don’t start it, your partner would tend to do so without him knowing it as it is considered as one of the effects of addiction.
Those who suffer from alcohol or drug abuse tend to find someone else to blame other than themselves, and the first target would be the person closest to them. Think about this and make sure to understand that the person you love is changing because of the substance they found themselves hooked to. Believe that they had a bad thing going but they are not a bad person. This way, it would be easier to survive countless arguments and “survive” loving an addict.
Differentiate “Helping” From “Enabling”
When talking about addiction, the words “helping” and “enabling” have different meanings. Helping an addict means that you want to aid them in overcoming their situation, while enabling it would mean providing means for the person to continue doing his thing.
If the addict’s partner is unaware of this difference, they might get taken advantage of by the other person, as alcohol and drug tend to alter an individual’s way of thinking in a way that would sometimes negatively affect those around him. Make sure not to enable your loved one if you really care about them by cutting off financial support when necessary.
Co-dependency is common among those who are closest to people with substance abuse problems since they tend to want to “help” the person. It is often characterized by a feeling of responsibility for the addict’s situation, inability to set boundaries, and a tendency to put their feelings over your own.
Avoiding this situation can be difficult but it is worth as it would allow you to stay healthy amid your relationship with an addict. It would also prevent you from “enabling” your loved ones addiction.
Don’t Be Naive
A loved ones naivety is considered a problem in the rehabilitation of an addict as it tends to affect the persons recovery through an “enabling” attitude. An addict’s behavior toward other people tend to change significantly and their loved ones are no exception. Removing naivety would effectively lessen possibilities that the addict would relapse or fall deeper into his substance abuse so make sure to avoid being too trusting.