How Addicts Typically Behave In Relationships

Published on December 17th, 2021

Updated on March 12th, 2022

How Addicts Typically Behave In Relationships

When it comes to having a relationship with an addict, there are several things of which you can be aware, to help cultivate a healthy relationship with yourself and your loved one. It will be helpful to understand the mindset of someone with an addiction and how the disease of addiction impacts all parties involved. This will also help you to determine what you’re needing for your own health and in the relationship.

One thing about addiction is that we cannot control the other person and their willingness to seek support. It is empowering to know that there are several things about ourselves in the way that we act that help us gain a footing where we need to produce healthy behaviors.

In the mind of an addict, there is a need for more. It is the need for more to fill an emptiness inside oneself. This is produced from a scarcity mindset that attempts to fill the void. It is seeking anything and everything that can keep someone from feeling will help and this includes relationship with a others. An addict thinks there is more that they need an order to maintain a certain level of happiness or euphoria, or rather to be numb to the reality of life.

Affordable Online Therapy

Get affordable online counseling. Chat with a licensed Psychiatrist.

Get Started

It can easily lead to a general disdain for what one has, and the desire for more to fulfill an emptiness. When untreated, a person with an addiction can continue the disease of the mind that feels unfulfilled and longs for more. Being sober is one component, and being in recovery is the works of changing the thoughts and regulating the emotions underlying addiction.

If an addict goes without emotional sobriety and recovery, this type of mentality can lead to the struggle and unhappy in a relationship. It can also impact the level to which they are able to connect with another on an intimate level. This can also lead to the end of relationships, because the level of satisfaction, or the lack there of, leads to the focus of the grass being greener on the other side.

Often times the grass in the wintertime, is not considered. There is also the tendency to have black and white, all or nothing thinking when it comes to relationships.

When one is able to recognize this and from that awareness, make the change to adapt to new thinking, a relationship can be successful. When an addict is in active addiction, the relationship will exhibit different behaviors and features than it will in recovery.

These behaviors can look like isolation, deceit, lying, and manipulation. An addict will protect their survival need for their drug of choice at all costs. In this case there is no way to love somebody or support somebody out of their addiction. They need to come to it the desire to change on their own. One of the most difficult parts of life is watching someone we love go through negative consequences and unending pain, while not being able to do anything about it.

Fortunately, there are several support programs, like Al-Anon that will provide support for those in partnership with an addict. These programs can help learn about ideas like: I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it and I can’t cure it, but I can contribute to it. It’ll also help with detaching with love, as stated in the 12 step program. When I desire to control the actions of someone else or take on their emotional well-being, then I am going to find myself in an unhappy state. I get to decide that I am only in control of my reactions to others and this, in turn, creates acceptance. In order to establish this, there are important aspects to develop in these relationships.

First, boundaries are a huge component to establishing your emotional and mental health. A boundary is simply a way to protect ones self from what they are not responsible for: another persons health. Boundaries will help you to decide what is and is not acceptable to you. This is to safeguard your condition and to protect that of your loved one. It teaches you how to proceed in a healthy manner in a relationship with an addict.

When your loved one is in recovery, they are encouraged to put their recovery first, because anything that they put before it they will lose. This is the boundary that your loved one will place in their lives to protect their sobriety. At times, this can feel hurtful, because while an addict was in active addiction they put the drug/alcohol use before you and now they recovery is before you.

You can reframe it to see that recovery is really in place so that they can keep what they love and cherish. You will be able to see changed ways in your loved one, by noticing their honesty, openness, and willingness to be able to work on their health and relationships.

Both parties in the relationship can work their own recovery program, and get the counseling and healing they need to build a healthy relationship. If one or neither person is willing to work on themselves, then it will be difficult to grow together. If both are desiring these changes, then it can manifest a healthy future for you and your partner.

Need to talk to someone?

Get affordable online counseling. Chat with a licensed Psychiatrist.

Get Started

Link To This Article

Leave A Reply