Often, addiction affects the loved ones of addicts as much as it impacts the addicts themselves. This is definitely the case when it comes to the significant other of an addict. Many people who are the significant others of individuals who suffer from addiction wonder to themselves if they should end their relationships. In many cases, the answer to this question is ‘yes’. Although, there are times when it may be appropriate to stay in the relationship. Ending a relationship with a drug addict is difficult. So, knowing how to leave a drug addict is important.
Why Do People Stay in a Romantic Relationship With an Addict?
There are many reasons why a person may stay in a romantic relationship with a drug addict. One reason is that the person is in love with the drug addict. Another reason why people stay in romantic relationships with drug addicts is that they’re fearful that ending a relationship with a drug addict will only cause more problems.
For example, many people fear that ending a relationship with a drug addict will cause the drug addict to burrow deeper into his or her addiction. Or worse, they fear that leaving will cause the drug addict to do something drastic, such as committing suicide.
Another reason why a person may struggle ending a relationship with a drug addict is that the person doesn’t think that anyone else will take care of the drug addict. Some people may just choose to remain in a romantic relationship with drug addicts because they fear being alone themselves. In fact, nearly all of these reasons for not ending a relationship with a drug addict are based on fear.
Reasons Why People Should Leave Relationships With Addicts
There are many more valid reasons why people should leave romantic relationships with drug addicts than not. Some of the major reasons why a person should start ending a relationship with a drug addict include:
Since chronic drug and alcohol use alters the brain in ways that often change the way a person behaves, people who are normally calm can become highly angry and irritable when using substances. As a result, people who are high on substances can even become abusive. To avoid being physically, mentally, or emotionally abused, it’s often best to end a relationship with a drug addict.
You Enable the Addict
Many people who choose to stay in a romantic relationship with a drug addict become enablers. An enabler is a person that supports negative and self-destructive behavior in another person. Often, an enabler is someone that is close to the person with the problem that he or she is enabling. So, it’s not uncommon for romantic partners of drug addicts to become enablers. Unfortunately, though, enabling a drug addict is harmful to both the drug addict and the enabler.
Individuals who suffer from addiction while also having an enabler don’t have to feel uncomfortable or face the full consequences of their actions. This is because the enabler is often taking care of the person who has an addiction. Enablers also fix any problems that the drug addict creates due to his or her addiction.
As long as an addict is able to remain comfortable in life and be taken care of, he or she will never have a desire to change and get better. Therefore, oftentimes the most loving thing that a significant other can do for his or her romantic partner who is suffering from addiction is end the relationship.
In doing this, people force their loved ones with an addiction to feel the consequences of their actions. This also holds the addicted individual accountable for those actions. This will, in turn, force the addict to get help to fix his or her own problems by attending rehab.
Things to Inquire About Prior to Ending a Relationship With a Drug Addict
While ending a relationship with a drug addict is often best, there are times when it may be best for you to remain in the relationship. To know whether or not ending a relationship with a drug addict is the right thing for you to do or not, make sure that you ask the right questions so that you get the intel that you need to make the right decision. Some things that you should inquire about prior to ending a relationship with a drug addict include:
1. Is Your Spouse or Partner Willing to Change?
This is an important question to ask as having a strong desire to change is key to achieving sobriety. If your spouse or partner is taking accountability for his or her actions and has a strong desire to attend rehab and change, this may be a sign that you can continue your romantic relationship with him or her.
2. Am I Enabling My Spouse/Partner?
Many spouses/partners end up acting as enablers for their significant others. Enablers are very harmful to addicts because they never hold addicts accountable for their actions. So, enablers make it easier for addicts to continue on in their drug use. Therefore, if you’re enabling your spouse/partner, you’ll likely need to end the romantic relationship.
3. Are You Putting In More Into the Relationship Than Your Addicted Partner?
Oftentimes, spouses/partners of drug addicts will put way more into their romantic relationships than their addicted partners. This could leave the spouses/partners of drug addicts feeling drained and underappreciated. If you feel as if your partner’s substance addiction is causing you to put in all the effort within the relationship, consider ending the relationship.
3. What Will Happen If You Stay Together?
A clear sign that it’s time to end the relationship with a drug addict is if staying with the drug addict will likely lead to his or her condition getting worse. If you feel that nothing will change for the better if you stay with your addicted loved one, you’ll need to end your romantic relationship.
4. Is Your Romantic Relationship Negatively Affecting Your Children?
If your spouse/partner’s addiction is starting to negatively affect the lives of your children, it’s vital that your spouse/partner achieves sobriety as soon as possible. No addiction that an adult is suffering from should ruin the lives of young children.
As adults and parents/guardians it’s your responsibility to create a safe environment for your children to grow and develop in. If you’re not creating a safe environment for your children, then they may need to live with someone else or be taken away. If you don’t want this to happen, end your romantic relationship and focus on getting your spouse/partner into rehab.
How to Leave a Drug Addict
Ending a relationship with a drug addict in the wrong way can make the situation worse. That’s why it’s important to know how to leave a drug addict. Below are some key steps that you can follow to learn how to do such a thing.
1. Recognize That You Need to Leave
The first step to learning how to leave a drug addict is recognizing that you need to leave. You should recognize that it’s time to leave your spouse/partner that’s a drug addict by asking yourself the questions that we mentioned above and truthfully telling yourself the answers to such questions.
For example, when asking yourself if you’re enabling your partner’s addiction, truthfully give yourself an answer. If the answer is ‘yes’, then that is one major reason why you should leave. If the answers to the majority of the questions that you ask yourself about your relationship with your spouse/partner indicate that you should leave the relationship, recognize that you should leave the relationship.
2. Get Yourself a Support System
Support systems are not only vital for recovering addicts. They’re also vital to the loved ones of individuals in addiction treatment. This includes current and former spouses/partners of drug and alcohol addicts. Therefore, prior to ending a relationship with a drug addict, establish a support system for yourself.
3. Take Care of Yourself
When you’re the spouse/partner of an individual that suffers from substance addiction, you need to take time out for yourself. Doing so will make sure that you’re physically, mentally, and spiritually alright. That way you won’t get drained and randomly lash out on the drug addict one day.
Even if you plan on leaving a relationship with a drug addict, you need to take time out for yourself to take care of yourself. This includes doing anything that you enjoy, whether that be yoga, dancing, or playing an instrument.
4. Create Boundaries
Creating boundaries between you and your spouse/partner that suffers from drug addiction is important. This is especially true if you plan on leaving that spouse/partner. When people don’t create boundaries between themselves and their spouses/partners that suffer from substance addiction prior to ending the relationship, the breakup will likely get messy. This is because people that suffer from addiction may reinvade the lives of their former spouses/partners.
One boundary that an individual that is planning on ending a relationship with a drug addict should establish is living in different locations. Individuals that plan on ending their relationships with drug addicts should also not allow their loved ones with substance addictions to visit them and their homes without prior notification or approval.
People with substance addictions shouldn’t even contact former romantic partners past a certain time for help unless it’s an emergency. Creating boundaries will make the breakup run more smoothly. Such boundaries will also make it easier for the person who’s suffering from substance addiction to take accountability for his or her actions and receive addiction treatment.
The final step in how to leave a drug addict is to actually leave. Ending a relationship with a drug addict may be painful. Still, it’s often the best thing to do for the spouse/partner who is suffering from substance addiction. Besides, if you make the sacrifice of ending a relationship with a drug addict that you’re still in love with for the sake of his or her sobriety, you may be able to get back together after he or she completes rehab and is in addiction recovery.
Things to Remember As the Person Ending a Relationship With a Drug Addict
If you’re the person ending a relationship with a drug addict, you should remember the three C’s of addiction. The three C’s of addiction is a mantra that loved ones of people that suffer from substance addiction say to themselves.
You Did Not Cause It
Spouses and romantic partners of people that suffer from alcohol or drug addiction often blame themselves for their loved ones’ conditions. This is because they are the closest person to the individuals that suffer from addiction.
To effectively end relationships with drug addicts, individuals should remember that they didn’t cause their loved ones’ addictions to occur. At the end of the day, the individuals that suffer from addiction are responsible for their own life choices.
You Cannot Cure It
Spouses and romantic partners of people that suffer from substance addiction should also remember that they cannot cure their loved ones’ addictions. Knowing this should remove some guilt and stress from the minds of the romantic partners of substance addicts. This is especially true when the romantic partners of substance addicts are ending their relationships.
You Cannot Control It
All current and former spouses/partners of individuals that suffer from addiction should also remember that they can’t control their loved ones’ addiction recovery journey. Thus, as painful as it is to do so, individuals should often leave the romantic relationships that they have with substance abusers and create boundaries when doing so.
Send Your Spouse/Partner With a Drug Addiction to Phoenix Rising Recovery to Receive Addiction Treatment
At Phoenix Rising Recovery, we understand that addiction affects more than just the individual that suffers from addiction. That’s why we offer services that help care for both the addicts and their loved ones. Here at Phoenix Rising Recovery, we also offer short-term and long-term forms of addiction treatment along with various specialized detox and addiction therapy services.
To learn more about Phoenix Rising Recovery, contact us today! We’ll gladly answer any questions that you may have.