Whether they are a friend, a lover or a family member, being in a relationship with someone struggling with addiction is not easy. Addiction can turn your loved one into another person. He or she may be unreliable, forgetful, anxious, impulsive, inpatient or unrecognizable.
Because of this extreme behavior, many people have fears about having a friendship or romantic relationship with an addicted individual or someone in recovery. There are plenty of questions and no clear answers. Should you leave an addict? Or is that unfair? How long should you support them, and how much should you worry about your own mental health?
A relationship with someone suffering from addiction or in recovery can be both a good and bad idea. While there are different opinions surrounding the issue, only you can make the final call.
You Can Have a Relationship With an Addict
Addiction is not a choice. It is a disease that can rip apart families and wreak havoc on relationships. While there is pain and complex emotions tied to addiction, being friends with an addict — or having a romantic relationship — can sometimes be worth the pain:
- You can stand by them in their time of need
- You can show them the type of confidence they need to regain in themselves
- You can reaffirm the faith they may have lost in mankind
- You can serve as a link to the outside world during recovery
- You can strengthen your friendship or romantic bond by standing by them
- You can improve your own resolve to stay sober, especially if you have fought addiction in the past
Know When to Say No
In other cases, it is not always advisable to continue a friendship or relationship with someone struggling with addiction. It may be time to cut loose if:
- They are stealing from you
- They abuse you physically, mentally or sexually
- They resist repeated attempts at help
- They try to lure you back into addiction or alcoholism when you are sober
- They are not contributing monetarily, emotionally or spiritually to your life
Reevaluating Your Relationship
In every person’s life, there will be relationships that come and go. Once you have assessed your relationship with your loved one struggling with addiction, it will become clear whether you should help them or hit the road.
Of course, many individuals wonder about the ultimate commitment: Can you ever marry an addict? The answer is yes, but you should give them the time they need for recovery. Do not make any ultimatums and make sure your desire to get to the altar doesn’t hinder their path to recovery.
If your loved one is suffering from addiction, call Clarity Way today for help. We’ll help your loved one start on the path to life-lasting sobriety.