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For the average person, dating can sometimes be problematic. Heartbreak, toxic relationships, and infidelity are all possible.
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The fallout from an addiction, for addicts and the people who love them, is devastating — the manipulations, the guilt, the destruction Dating someone with drug addiction relationships and the breakage of people. When addicts know they are loved by someone who is invested in them, they immediately have fuel for their addiction.
You dread seeing them and you need to see them, all at once. If you love an addict, it will be a long and excruciating road before you realise that there is absolutely nothing you can do. I have someone in my life who has been addicted to various substances. I would be lying if I said that my compassion has been undying. I feel regularly as though I have nothing left to give him. With all of our combined wisdom, strength, love and unfailing will to make things better for him, there is nothing we can do.
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He will have an army of people behind him and beside him when he makes the decision, but until then, I and others who love him are powerless. I know that. Addiction is not a disease of character, personality, spirit or circumstance. It can happen to anyone.
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Addicts can come from any life and from any family. The problem with loving an addict is that sometimes the things that will help them are the things that would seem hurtful, cold and cruel if they were done in response to non-addicts. Often, the best ways Dating someone with drug addiction respond to an addict have the breathtaking capacity to drown those who love them with guilt, grief, self-doubt and of course, resistance. Loving an addict in any capacity can be one of the loneliest places in the world. The more we can talk about openly about addiction, the more we can lift the shame, guilt, grief and unyielding self-doubt that often stands in the way of being able to respond to an addict in a way that supports their healing, rather than their addiction.
When an addiction takes hold, the person you love disappears, at least until the addiction loosens its grip. The person you remember may have been warm, funny, generous, wise, strong — so many wonderful things — but addiction changes people.
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This is what makes it so easy to fall for the manipulations, the lies and the betrayal — over and over. The person you love is in there — support that person, not the addict in front of you. It feels like survival. People will only change when what they are doing causes them enough pain, that changing is a better option than staying the same. Change happens when the force for change is greater than the force to stay the same.
Until the pain of the addiction outweighs the emotional pain that drives the addiction, there will be no change.
When you love them the way you loved them before the Dating someone with drug addiction, you can end up supporting the addiction, not the person. Strong boundaries are important for both of you. The boundaries you once had might find you innocently doing things that make it easier for the addiction to continue. If you feel as though saying no puts you in danger, the addiction has firmly embedded itself into the life of the person you love. In these circumstances, be open to the possibility that you may need professional support to help you to stay safe, perhaps by stopping contact.
Keeping a distance between you both is no reflection on how much love and commitment you feel to the person, and all about keeping you both safe. If you love an addict, your boundaries will often have to be stronger and higher than they are with other people in your life.
Set your boundaries lovingly and as often as you need to. In the end this will only hurt both of you. The addict and what they do are completely beyond your control. They always will be. An addiction is all-consuming and it distorts reality. Let go of needing to fix them or change them and release them with love, for your sake and for theirs.
When fear becomes overwhelming, denial is a really normal way to protect yourself from a painful reality. Take notice if you are being asked to provide money, emotional resources, time, babysitting — anything more than feels comfortable.
When you love an addict all sorts of boundaries and conventions get blurred. Know the difference between helping and enabling. Helping takes into the long-term effects, benefits and consequences. Enabling is about providing immediate relief, and overlooks the long-term damage that might come with that short-term relief.
Helping supports the person. Enabling supports the addiction. Be as honest as you can about the impact of your choices.
This is so difficult — I know how difficult this is, but when you change what you do, the addict will also have to change what he or she does to accommodate those changes. Let that be an anchor that keeps your boundaries strong. When you stand your ground, things might get worse before they get better.
The more you allow yourself to be manipulated, the more you will be manipulated. When you stand your ground and stop giving in to the manipulation, the maniplulation may get worse before it stops. They may withdraw, rage, become deeply sad or develop pain or illness. This is such a hard question, and will take an open, brave heart to explore it.
Addicts use addictive behaviours to stop from feeling pain. Understandably, the people who love them often use enabling behaviours to also stop from feeling pain. Loving an addict is heartbreaking.
It can also be a way to compensate for the bad feelings you might feel towards the person for the pain they cause you. Be honest, and be ready for difficult things to come up. Do it with a trusted person or a counsellor if you need the support. It Dating someone with drug addiction be one of the most important things you can do for the addict.
The easier you make it for them to maintain their addiction, the easier it is for them to maintain their addiction. Focusing on an addict is likely to mean that the focus on your own life has been turned down — a lot. Sometimes, focusing on the addict is a way to avoid the pain of dealing with other issues that have the capacity to hurt you.
When you explore this, be kind to yourself, otherwise the temptation will be to continue to blunt the reality. Be brave, and be gentle and rebuild your sense of self, your boundaries and your life.
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The addict might deserve a lot of the blame, but blame will keep you angry, hurt and powerless. Addiction is already heavily steeped in shame. Go for progress, not perfection. There will be forward steps and plenty of backward ones too. Recovery never happens in a neat forward line and backward steps are all part of the process. Loving someone with an addiction can tear at the seams of your soul. It can feel that painful. If you need to let go, know that this is okay. You can still leave the way open if you want to. This will leave the way open, but will put the responsibility for their healing in their hands, which is the only place for it to be.
The dangers of dating in early recovery & what to do instead
And finally … Let them know that you love them and have always loved them — whether they believe it or not. Saying it is as much for you as it is for them. Not really sure where to start. He was outgoing, funny, gorgeous and loved ME. He got on with my friends and family I was so happy. Some excuse that he went up north and forgot his phone. Then he introduced me to his mum qnd then not long after asked me to be his girlfriend!
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This is when I realised he had a problem. He then started persuading me to do it with him.
Things kind of got better for a few months and the relationship was good. We put everything behind us and he moved in. As soon as he moved in, was when it got worse. He stole money from me in the night and was doing coke whilst i was asleep, he would dissappear out for hours whilst i was crying and ringing him begging to come home.
I didnt know if he was dead or alive! When I went on works events he would call me up and ring me for moneythen made me feel like I made him worried and it made him do it.
Our first christmas he disappeared on christmas eve, done it and done it right through to boxing day. The first time I was due to meet his dad I was getting my nails done and when I finished he picked me up in my car and was using… at 11am?! He had lost his job and now was depending on me. Is he unhappy in our relationship? I thought of every excuse in the book and asked myself why would you CHOSE to do this to someone who loves you so much?!
Why you should avoid dating in early recovery
I would never do this to someone. I felt like maybe he was with me for somewhere to live as I soon found out from his mum that his addiction had stemmed from over 13 years ago. She infact had kicked him out which I didnt even realise… how was I so blind to not realise what was going on in front of me.
I pushed my friends away and my boyfriend kept using, I kept crying and he kept saying sorry.