Loving a person who has substance abuse issues can be a draining experience – emotionally, mentally, and physically. While there have been many relationships that have survived such problems, there are also circumstances wherein the only choice is to let go. This can be a heartbreaking choice and no advice or tips can make this experience less difficult.
If you are in the same situation, wherein you know in your heart that breaking up is the only fair solution to both you and your partner, you might be looking for ways to end the relationship without totally hurting your partner. Before you read on, you have to face the fact that this may not be a possibility because how your partner will feel or react is beyond your control. In any breakup, there will be hurt feelings and things may not go well afterwards for either of you. However, this is a reality that you have to accept right now.
Even if you still love each other, if being together is only hurting both of you, then you must start the process of detaching with love. Here are some things to keep in mind when breaking up with someone with addiction problems.
Let go of the feelings of guilt and blame
One of the primary reasons why you might be hesitant to pull the plug on the relationship is because you feel that doing so is selfish and you are only looking out for yourself. Many addicts guilt their partners into staying, even threatening them that the breakup will worsen their addiction. When this happens, it is normal for you to feel guilty and blame yourself. However, you must remember that if your partner is unable to maintain sobriety, even with many courses of rehab, this is not your fault.
While the breakup may influence your partner’s reactions afterwards, staying will not miraculously heal the addiction as well. You are not responsible for what happens after the breakup but you have a responsibility to yourself to be healthy and happy.
Stop feeling selfish and guilty. Don’t blame yourself for something that you don’t have any control over anymore. Instead, start the process of loving yourself more by prioritizing your own happiness. You cannot give love or care to anyone else if you don’t love yourself first.
While planning will not in any way lessen the hurt you or your partner will feel during the breakup, doing so could help you go through the process safely and without backing down. This is because breaking up with your partner at the spur of the moment can be messy and chaotic. It can even pose physical harm to yourself.
If there are complicated details in your relationship, planning can also help you sort out through these issues before the breakup. For example, if you are living together, will you be the one leaving your residence or are you planning to make your partner leave? Note that there are legal implications so kicking out your drug addict spouse out of the house may not be that easy. The only way to make your partner leave the house is if there is a threat of harm or through a divorce. If you have kids, make sure that they will not be in the vicinity when you are breaking up. This experience can be traumatic for children to hear.
If you are not living together, it is still important to look for a safe place to have a conversation with your partner. A private place may still be better than meeting in a public place. However, if you are concerned for your safety, ask a friend or a relative to wait for you nearby in case you will need them.
Be firm in your decision
You should already expect that there will be begging, pleading, and convincing promises that your partner will change. It is understandable for you to feel that maybe you need to give your partner another chance. Are you being too hard on your partner? Should you put off the breakup?
When thinking of breaking up with your addict partner, you should deal with these doubts beforehand. Reflect on your feelings and be clear on your reasons why you’re letting go. Anticipate questions and have ready answers from them. When you decide that you’re ready to let go, then be firm and stand by your decision. If what is needed is for you to cut all ties, then be strong not to give in “one last time” and keep enabling your partner.
Seek professional help and support
The best way for you to help your partner is not by staying in an ailing relationship. Instead, you should help your partner get better by seeking professional help by going to an addiction treatment center and meetings. It may also be useful for you to seek therapy for your struggles and attend a support group to help you cope with the breakup.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today.