Relationships in Recovery - Romantic Relationships

Being in Love with an Addict

The Beautiful Tragedy of Being In Love With An Addict

You see their amazing qualities. They could be such a great partner. If they didn't have this problem. But how do you handle it? Click for answers!

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Relationships in Recovery

Romantic Relationships

August 18, 2021

They lie, and they steal, and they cheat, and they pretend there isn’t a problem. They tell you that you’re overreacting. They assure you not to worry. They convince you that they’re going to do better and be better.

They stand up a few times. They fall down a thousand times more. You see the tiny flicker of light in a tunnel of darkness. They turn off that light with their bare hands.

This is what it’s like to be in love with an addict.

Being In Love With an Addict: You Feel Helpless

You see the amazing qualities they have. The potential. The humor. The intelligence. Maybe how they were before the problem. Before the ugliness.

They could be such a great partner: such a great employee, such a great friend, such a great parent, such a great relative. If only. If only they didn’t have this problem.

Oh, you want them to change. Maybe you wish for it on every birthday candle and spontaneous shooting star. You’d give a piece of your physical self for a guaranteed sliver of change. It’s heartwrenching and exhausting. You are afraid. You are so afraid.

Being In Love With an Addict: You Walk On Eggshells

They oscillate between emotions without warning. One moment, happy and serene. The next moment, they are brimming with rage. You never know what the day will bring. You can never read the emotional temperature accurately enough.

Instead, you dance and squirm around them. You do what you can to adapt, to survive, to keep the alleged peace and calm.

Maybe you blame yourself. If only you hadn’t partied with them- or given them money for drugs. If only you had kept firm enough boundaries. If only you’d been more supportive.

Maybe you don’t know what to believe, but this is what you know, and you tell yourself, I signed up for this.

Being In Love With An Addict: It Feels Like a Competition

But you’re not competing with another human being. No, you’re in competition with a substance: with a pleasure/pain paradox. You’re in this insidious race with something nonhuman that can take over your loved one’s life. Even if they hate the substance. Even if they want nothing to do with it anymore.

One of the worst parts of loving an addict is you don’t know what the future holds. Maybe you make plans, but you don’t commit to them. You don’t trust that they can or will happen. Maybe you feel stuck but guilty. Guilty for what would happen if you leave. Guilty for what would happen if you stay.

Maybe you look around- you feel that twinge of jealousy towards people who have “seemingly normal” relationships, who aren’t in love with an addict. You’ll envy that they don’t have to worry about waking up to an overdose or receiving a phone call from the county jail.

And maybe you’ll stick by your loved one. In sick times and in health. Or maybe you’ll move on because the pain becomes too unbearable. Regardless of what you choose, you’ll probably feel frozen for a while.

Know that you’ll find your peace somewhere. You’ll be hungry for peace, and you’ll look for it, and you’ll taste its sweetness once you find it. Whether it’s with your loved one. Or not.

You’ll come out of this nightmare respecting addiction for the disease it is- even if terrifies, frustrates, devastates, and infuriates you. You’ll know it intimately- almost as intimately as you know your partner.

Learning how to help someone with an addiction is never easy. It's easy to hurt yourself when you're simply trying to love a drug addict. However, there are some things you can do to protect yourself and them.

Being in Love With an Addict: How to Avoid Being Addicted

Being in love with an addict can be a difficult and emotionally draining experience. Not only do you have to face the frustration of watching your loved one struggle with their addiction, but there’s also the fear that you could become addicted too.

The best way to avoid becoming addicted is to maintain healthy boundaries. It may feel like it goes against your natural instincts, but setting firm limits while supporting an addict can help protect yourself from getting dragged down by your partner’s addiction. This means being clear about what behaviors are acceptable and unacceptable in your relationship, and not allowing yourself to be drawn into activities or conversations related to drugs or alcohol.

It’s also important to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Find healthy outlets such as exercising, talking to friends and family, or engaging in activities that bring you joy. Taking time for yourself can help create a much-needed break from the stresses of loving an addict.

Being in Love With an Addict: Avoiding Enabling Behaviors

Another way to protect yourself is to avoid becoming an enabler. Enabling behavior often comes from a place of love and support, but it can be detrimental in the long run. This means avoiding giving money for drugs or alcohol, turning a blind eye when your partner engages in inappropriate behavior, or making excuses for their addiction.

Avoiding enabling behaviors when dealing with an addict can be unbelievably hard. Here's an example: Suppose your loved one is calling you from jail asking for bail money because of another DUI. Do you bail them out? Or what happens when they steal and pawn something valuable to you in order to pay for drugs? Do you confront them or let them go?

Nobody likes to see a loved one suffer. However, if it's their own behavior that's causing both of you to suffer, enabling them by bailing them out or letting a personal loss slide is only going to make things worse in the long run. Setting firm boundaries is one of the best ways to love a drug addict.

Encouraging your loved one to seek help if they’re open to it is also essential. Offer them resources like addiction hotlines and treatment centers, and encourage them to take advantage of any available resources that could potentially help. It may be difficult to watch your partner struggle with their addiction, but ultimately you want what's best for both of you.

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

Would you like more information about being in love with an addict? Reach out today.

Being in Love With an Addict: Avoiding Codependency

What is codependency? It’s a type of relationship style where someone depends too much on their partner to the detriment of themselves. When it comes to loving an addict, codependency is often a risk. It can be difficult to create healthy boundaries and avoid enabling behaviors if you’re trying to “fix” your partner instead of focusing on yourself.

Codependency can also lead to neglecting your own needs or wants in order to take care of your loved one. This can leave you feeling exhausted, resentful, and taken for granted. If this sounds like your relationship dynamic, it may be time to reassess things and focus on what makes YOU happy as well.

Making sure that you're getting enough support and taking care of yourself is the best way to avoid becoming addicted or codependent. This could mean talking to a therapist, joining a support group, or simply having an open conversation with your partner about your concerns.

It’s important to remember that you can still love someone while setting healthy boundaries for yourself. Learning how to help an addict starts here.

Being in Love With an Addict: Can You Help Them?

When it comes to helping an addict, the best thing you can do is be there for them as a friend and support system. Offer your love and emotional support, but don’t enable their addictive behavior by giving them money or turning a blind eye when they engage in unhealthy activities.

It’s also important to remember that the decision to seek help is ultimately up to the individual. You can offer resources and assistance, but forcing someone into treatment isn’t always effective. Ultimately, it’s about respecting your partner's autonomy while still looking out for yourself and not enabling irresponsible behavior.

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

Do you have more questions about being in love with an addict? Reach out.

Being in Love With an Addict: Should I Consider an Intervention?

In some cases, an intervention may be beneficial. If your partner is open to the idea of treatment and willing to get help, talking to them about it with friends and family can be a great way to offer support.

Interventions work best when everyone involved understands the gravity of the situation and agrees on what goals you’re trying to achieve. It’s also important to remember that while interventions can be effective in some cases, they aren’t always successful.

Even if your loved one refuses help after the intervention, don’t give up hope. Keep offering support and resources whenever possible.

Being in Love With an Addict: Do They Love Me?

It can be difficult to make sense of a relationship with an addict. You may wonder if they really love you or if they’re just using you for their own selfish needs.

Ultimately, it’s impossible to know what someone is feeling deep down. What’s important is that you focus on your own feelings and take care of yourself first and foremost. Make sure that you’re getting the emotional support and understanding that you need in order to feel secure in your relationship.

Being in love with an addict can be incredibly challenging but there are ways to protect yourself while still showing compassion towards your partner. Remember to set boundaries, avoid enabling behaviors, seek out support, and don't forget about taking time for yourself. By doing all of this, you can create a safe and supportive environment for both of you to thrive

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

Do you need advice about being in love with an addict? Reach out today.

Being in Love With an Addict: Why Do They Choose Drugs Over Me?

Let's be clear: like many behaviors around addiction, this isn't your fault. Your partner's addiction isn't something you can control, and it doesn't reflect on your worth or value as a person. That said, it's normal to feel still hurt and confused when someone chooses drugs over their relationship with you.

The truth is that addiction is a powerful force in someone's life and can often take precedence over everything else. It’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean they don’t love or care about you—addiction just has the power to consume them in ways that aren't always rational or logical.

It can be daunting to try to make sense of an addict’s behavior but try not to take it too personally. Addiction is a complex issue, and it’s important to remember that your loved one is still a person who deserves compassion and understanding.

Being in love with an addict can be incredibly difficult, but it's possible to manage the situation with understanding and care. Remember to set healthy boundaries for yourself, seek out appropriate resources and support, and don't forget to take time for yourself. With patience, kindness, and understanding, you can create an environment where both of you can thrive despite the challenges of addiction.

Being in Love With an Addict: Final Thoughts

Loving an addict is no easy task, but it’s not impossible either. The key is maintaining healthy boundaries and avoiding enabling behaviors that will only make things worse in the long run. Remember that taking care of yourself should be your priority too – find outlets for self-care like exercising, talking to friends and family, or engaging in activities that bring you joy. Finally, if your loved one is open to it, help them seek out resources that could potentially help them in their journey toward recovery.

Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it. Talking to a therapist or joining support groups can provide invaluable insight into your own relationship with addiction and how to keep yourself safe.

If your partner is willing, there are also resources available to help them recover from their addictive behaviors. Remember that although this situation may seem hopeless at times, there is always hope on the horizon. With love, patience, and understanding, you can both get through this difficult journey together.

By taking these steps, you can protect yourself from addiction while still showing your partner the love and support they need.

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

Would you like more information about being in love with an addict? Reach out today.

The Edge Treatment Center Knows Addiction Is a Family Disease

Being in love with an addict is hard. Addiction is a family disease because it affects everyone around the person who's addicted.

The Edge Treatment Center puts a special focus on helping our clients repair relationships damaged by addiction. We understand that our clients aren't the only ones who need healing: their loved ones do, too. The Edge welcomes participation from friends and family as their loved one recovers with us. By working together, we'll help your loved one build a happy life for both of you free from addiction.

If you'd like to know more about our evidence-based addiction treatment programs and how we can help your loved one build a happy life without drugs or alcohol, reach out to The Edge Treatment Center today.

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.