10 Tips for Loving Someone with Addiction



loving an addict

Loving someone with addiction entails a different kind of investment, of commitment, as this can be challenging. As someone who loves an addict, you may find yourself at odds with what you want for them and what you find yourself doing for them, among a plethora of other things. You may find yourself feeling all sorts of emotions ebbing and flowing through you. There’s the worry, fear, disappointment, helplessness, and despair among other things.

Loving someone can already be complicated enough. Having addiction in the mix can add a whole new level of complication. That doesn’t mean it’s hopeless, however. Loving someone with addiction and helping them steer from destructive behaviors is something that can be learned and practiced.

However, it’s important to understand that loving someone with addiction doesn’t mean enabling them. You can be loving someone with addiction and supporting them towards a life of recovery and sobriety can happen.

Read on to find out.

Loving Someone with Addiction

  1. Be realistic. Learning how to deal with a person with addiction is a crucial step. Loving someone who engages in compulsive, addictive behaviors means you have to accept the reality. However, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to do anything about it.
  2. Remember, it’s not about you. As harsh as that may seem, loving someone with addiction means you have to learn not to take things personally. It’s not that they’re out to cause you stress and pain. What you can do instead is to learn about their addiction to better understand your loved one and see what options you have. Educating yourself about addiction and ridding yourself of dangerous misconceptions about addiction will put you in the right mindset to effectively help them.
  3. Open lines of communication. As with any relationship, proper communication is important. And it’s not just about talking, but also listening. Calm, sincere communication must rule instead of blame-tossing and preachy words. Be sure to also take time to listen to them. You may also consider family or couples counseling to work through hardships with your loved one.
  4. Know how to help without enabling. Learn that even if you have the best intentions, this is not enough. If you think you’re helping them but are making it easy for them to continue using, drinking, gambling, or engaging in addictive behaviors, this is enabling.
  5. You can’t control or “fix” them. Understand that while many things can seem to spiral out of control, the only one that you can control and count on is yourself. Know the difference between what you can control and what you can accept. Instead focus on getting yourself the support and self-love that you need.
  6. Watch out for manipulation. Addicts hate one word: “No”. While your loved one may not be inherently deceitful or manipulative, they would tend to do whatever it takes to keep their addiction going.
  7. Self-care is not selfish. Respect yourself enough to take care of yourself. Make sure your own physical, mental, emotional, economic, and spiritual needs are met adequately.
  8. Know that you can rebuild. Addiction brings all forms of destruction. It destroys not only the reputation, health, finances, and hope of the addict. It also destroys the relationships and lives of those around them. Know that you can’t change their life for them. While it’s sad to see them on the path to destruction, picking up the pieces for them won’t cut it. Rebuild your own life in a way that gives you a sense of fulfillment and happiness.
  9. Don’t lose hope. Understand that addiction is a disease and as such, can be treated. There are many success stories of everyday people who have sought treatment and have come out in recovery. It can happen to them, too.
  10. Don’t wait before it’s “too late”. Those who often find themselves seeking treatment may have already hit rock bottom. It’s important to understand that not many people survive rock bottom as well. Therefore, it’s important to consider getting help before things get worse. If this situation is just beginning for your loved one, get support and help as soon as possible. The sooner you reach out for help, the better it is for everyone concerned.

Talk to us at Bridges of Hope: 09175098826.

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