When You’re Partner’s An Addict

And You’re Exhausted!

You fell in love, and it was good. It may have even been amazing.

But at some point, the decline began. You started noticing changes in your partner. Bloodshot eyes, getting home late, empty booze bottles hidden in the basement, slurred speech, etc.

The signs were there, yet you didn’t want to believe it. After all, the two of you are in love and you’ve invested all this time into this relationship. And, there’s that part of you that scared… of being abandoned or having to leave; but either way, you don’t want to be alone.

Over time, things get worse. You catch them in lies. You put up with their staying out later, acting like a jerk, and so on. You sacrifice, tolerate their behavior, enable, and maybe even make excuses for their addiction. (Challenging job, had a horrible childhood, struggle with anxiety, depression, etc.)

Until finally….

You’ve had enough. Or he leaves you in the dust, seemingly choosing his addiction over you, but either way, you’re over it.  You’re tired – no, you’re exhausted all the way down to the marrow of your bones.

And, you’re crushed. You loved him, and you know underneath that addiction they’re a good person. Yet, the lies, deception, stealing, verbal abuse, your worry and fear, etc. you just couldn’t take it anymore.

But now what?

What do you do when you’re ready to walk away or the exit has already been made?  How do you get through the next hour, day, week, month with your emotions all over the place? Your heart smashed into a hundred pieces there on the floor?

Where’s the guidebook entitled, “How Do I Get Over My Addicted Partner?”

Well, the guidebook isn’t here, {I’ll work on it}, but I do want to share some helpful tips for you if you’re in this situation.  As a forum moderator over at Recovery.org, I read many posts from loved ones of addicts who are in crisis mode and have no idea what to do anymore. They’ve endured, persisted, held space, and more, trying to “be there” for their loved one, but they’re tired and ready for real change.

Here are some tips to get you started in a good direction.

Learn about the nature of addiction

First, learn a bit about the nature of addiction.   As you do this, you will better understand why your ex struggled so much with stopping the drinking or drugging. Addicts chase after their drug of choice because they are addicted to the effect that drug gives them. That high or the feeling of numbing their pain – they love it, need it, and will oftentimes do whatever it takes to get more of it.

Addiction is a disease of the brain, according to many scientists.  The brain literally thinks it will die without more of the drug. All reason goes out the window, and the real human being (the core person you fell in love with) gets hijacked by the addictive substances. Deep down, he doesn’t want to be an addict, but there he goes reaching for it yet again. Chances are he’s tried to quit on his own to no avail. The withdrawal is horrid, and he’s not equipped to handle life (and his emotional wounds) on his own, so he succumbs to using, again.

But what about me?

Now, onto you, dear one. The one who has put up with so much in this relationship.  What about you? What are you to do with your heart shred to pieces, losing who you thought was the love of your life?

First, I want to tell you that I’m sorry for all that you have been through. It’s incredibly challenging to be with an addict, and what you’ve endured just isn’t fair.

Stop blaming

Now, the second thing I want to say is resist the temptation to point your finger and keep blaming.  Sure, initially you’ll go finger-pointing crazy. How could he do this? How could he act like this? That lousy, no-good……

But don’t stay there long. Staying there will only keep you from owning and walking in your power. Staying there will keep you a victim, and it’s time to stop being in that victim energy.

So, instead of blaming, look straight at yourself.  Sure, it’s easy to blame all of your suffering on the addict, but you were an active participant in that relationship. What part were you contributing to the toxic relationship?

Take some time to explore this honestly. Were you enabling? (Giving money, making excuses, working while he was lazy, buying food, giving rides, just putting up with it, etc.)  Enabling allows an addict to continue on in their behavior without negative consequences, and most addicts just won’t do something different unless they’re experiencing some sort of negative consequence or pain level.

Were you trying to rescue them? Fix them?

Did you look to them to be the “hole-filler”, filling that lonely hole you feel in your soul?

When you can begin to see how your behaviors or enabling contributed to the situation, you’ll be better prepared to work on these issues before getting into another relationship.

It’s time for tending to your own wounds

If you’re not sure what codependency is, take time to learn about it.  Usually on the opposite end of an addict or alcohol or narcissist is someone who has codependent characteristics.  When you can begin to work on YOU… or your own unhealthy types of relating to self and others, or perhaps your disconnection with God, that’s when you’ll really begin to see some changes in yourself.

You want an easy breezy relationship, and you deserve that.  But you’re most likely not going to experience that type of relationship when at your core, you’re struggling with things like insecurity, fear of abandonment, care-taking, lack of boundaries, depression, anxiety, victim mentality, and so on.

Old wounds that perhaps stem all the way back to childhood, if not tended to, and healed, will likely attract someone in your life that will trigger them. A lot.

Maybe someone like an addict.

Now, moving forward, it’s time for you to really work on self-care and healing any festering wounds.

I know your heart is broken. Life is not going as planned. And that sucks, for sure, but pull up some good ole courage threads that you’ve stuffed deep, and let’s get to mending that heart of yours.

I want you to think about your past relationships. Have you ever had a relationship before where you ended up with an addict/alcoholic/narcissist/emotional abuser/selfish person?

If so, recognize this is a pattern, and this pattern of attracting men that are emotionally unavailable may very well continue unless you begin doing some inner work.

What is self-care?

This time you’re in right now is probably scary and lonely. Your dreams have been crushed. The person you loved broke your heart. But, dear one, this is where the rubber meets the road for YOUR life. For your journey on this earth. This is where you have the opportunity to roll up your sleeves and get busy working on YOU.

Self-care 101

You’re worthy of a beautiful relationship, and this starts with you. It starts with you taking full responsibility for your life, and your emotions.  You’ve probably heard the saying, “Happiness comes from inside.”  That sounds great, right?  But I know we oftentimes put some amount of pressure on partners or people to “make” us happy.  To help us feel loved, special, cared for.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t look to others to love us and treat us right. We should, but only to a degree.  When we “over-depend” on others, that’s when we start getting into trouble, because the reality is that people will let us down. People won’t say or do the things we want or need all the time. They can’t.

And, it’s not their place to make us feel happy.

That’s an inside job, and it comes from us taking a journey inside to work with our core selves, and our Higher Power (which I call God)

So, now, in this time of heartbreak, where you’re swimming in grief, fear, worry, regret, sadness, it’s time to take your eyes off of your ex-partner and look within.  Look to God or that Higher Power who is the only One who can heal that heart, ease the pathological loneliness, and fill that void.

Don’t go onto thinking about that next boyfriend or project to distract you. Grieve for now, yes. Cry and nurture yourself, but don’t get stuck there.

And don’t entertain thoughts of going back into that chaotic relationship.

It’s time to learn from this, so you don’t repeat it. It’s time to begin a new journey toward your own emotional healing. Toward addressing old wounds. Toward facing things like insecurity, depression, anxiety, fear of abandonment, abuse, and so on.

Toward a sacred journey.

A sacred journey, where you will be able to heal up some festering wounds and begin to feel the peace and joy that you really long for.  A sacred journey where you’ll meet God (however you define God) in a way that will lovingly blow-your-mind. And from that God-connection, you’ll feel passion and purpose erupt within you like you never thought possible!

Sure, you desire a partner, and a loving, healthy relationship, but at your core, do you know what you crave?

Peace. And joy.

We all do.

And, it’s possible, but usually only after walking the path of your own emotional healing or recovery of your sacred self. And, sometimes you need some help in walking that path, so feel free to reach out.

There’s support groups, like Al-AnonNar-Anon, or Codependents Anonymous.

There’s counselors who are more than willing to journey you toward healing, peace, and joy.

There’s many books and videos that are helpful too. Take some time daily to renew your mind. To learn. To move forward toward personal and spiritual growth.

This is my prayer for you, dear one:

That you’ll plant your feet firmly on God’s kind of love. That you’ll reach out and experience the extravagant dimension of Christ’s love, and live full lives, full in the fullness of God, and you’ll fall in love with you at a whole new level. And, from there, you’ll attract so many good things and people into your life. Healed, whole, happy.