How to help your partner overcome an addiction

Having a partner with an addiction problem is not easy. Addiction issues are among the most serious and debilitating types of psychological problems. Addictions destroy the lives of millions of people each year.

And not only the person who develops the problem of addictive behavior suffers from it, but also the people around him.

In this article, I will give you some Basic Guidelines to Help Your Partner Overcome Addiction.

    Helping Your Partner Cope and Overcome an Addiction

    Follow these tips to make it easier to break the addiction.

    1. Empathize

    Suffering from an addiction is difficult, but living with an addict can be the same or worse. It is a situation that can cause a lot of frustration, helplessness, suffering in family, partner and friends.

    that’s why It is common for close people to end up exploding under such pressure and making the mistake of judging too much.. Yes, the person is responsible for his decisions, but we must understand that addiction is precisely that the person loses control of his consumption behavior.

    If your partner is addicted and you want to help them overcome it, the first thing you need to do is understand their problem. Family and partner are often an essential part of the addiction recovery process. Support and understanding are very important.

    I am not saying by this that one must resign oneself to “endure everything”. Later in this article, I will talk about limits.

      2. Stick to your pace

      We would all like to see a green button that, when pressed, instantly solves all of our partner’s addiction issues.. Unfortunately, it’s a complex process, and relapses are a (bitter) part of the process.

      Most people take several months (or even years) to overcome an addictive behavior problem. We need to adjust our expectations, be aware that this is a complex and long process, and that it is very possible that there will be relapses along the way.

      It is important consolidate the first advances, even if they seem modest. Small commitments and efforts, small daily changes, recovery from past activities, exercise, re-study, etc.

      If your partner relapses after trying to quit or cut down, your support will be essential. Encourage them to express their frustration and struggles, encourage them to keep telling you the truth (instead of lying and hiding their use), help them focus on their progress and learn from their setbacks (so that they can avoid them in the future).

        3. Lead by example

        Sadly, I’ve met parents who wanted their teenage children to quit smoking (despite having smoked in front of them all their lives), or people who normally drank alcohol in front of their partner who was trying to get over the alcoholism.

        This may seem obvious, but it bears repeating: the example we set is important. That’s not all, but it’s important.

        Once your partner has identified the factors and situations that promote your desire to use (or engage in any addictive behavior), you will need our support to avoid certain stimuli or even certain places.

        This, in many cases, can be social events, “party” environments, the use of other substances (almost always alcohol), etc.

        If, for example, if our partner had a habit of drinking cocaine after drinking alcohol, it would not be wise to start drinking wine during our romantic dinner (and to awaken his desire to drinking alcohol) at the start of his detoxification phase.

        The best thing you can do is encourage healthy activities that are incompatible with your addictive behaviors.

          4. Mark the boundaries

          Love cannot do everything. As much as we love a person, it will not justify certain extremes or even situations of psychological abuse.. Unfortunately, some people only change when forced to by context. For example, when they are given an ultimatum, when they see that they run a real risk of losing their partner, their children, etc.

          If living with that person hurts you a lot and has reached a point where you can’t take it anymore… you don’t have to stay with that person. You did what you could and your sanity should always come first.

          As I explained before, overcoming an addiction is not a matter of overnight, to decide it and that’s it. Don’t ask your partner to stop addictive behavior right away, because if he hasn’t done so yet, he doesn’t know how.

          Yes, you have every right to ask the world to start working on your addiction issues with a professional.. If you decide not to and you feel unhappy with them, you can leave. And you may be doing him a favor in the long run, by making him rethink his life and at some point decide to seek professional help and make lifestyle changes.

            5. You can’t replace a professional

            No matter how much you love her, you can’t be her psychologist or her psychiatrist. All of your efforts should be devoted to encouraging your partner to see an addiction professional who is trained enough to help you through such a complex issue.

            They will first assess the case, analyze the person’s drinking habits, how the addiction developed and changed over the years, their previous attempts at a solution, their history of relapse, as well as emotional issues that keep the addiction active.

            And after the assessment, they will help the person design a relapse prevention strategy and plan, as well as work on the emotional issues that are keeping the person trapped in addiction (self-esteem issues, anxiety, depression , etc.).

            The addiction psychologist will also advise relatives on how to support the person in their addiction process, how to coordinate, how to behave in the event of a relapse, etc.

            My name is Luis Miguel Real, and I have worked as an addiction psychologist for several years. I can help you and your partner banish addiction from your life. Contact me and we will start working as soon as possible.

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