Everyone says that he is the one with the problem. You are a perfect saint for putting up with him. Their only criticism of you is that you don’t take care of yourself, which is a complement to you even though that’s not how it’s meant. You wallow in your sorrow and bask in the sympathy this lifestyle offers. This story plays out in almost all relationships with an addicted person, and it doesn’t matter what they are addicted to alcohol, gambling, etc.
Although you are not the one with the addiction, you are the one that has to initiate change. That doesn’t mean that you list changes HE is going to make. You cannot change him; you do not have the right to replace him if you could; you are not in control of his decisions. The only thing you can control is YOU, so stop covering up for him. Start letting him feels the natural consequences of his actions. Stop allowing him to blame you for his behavior. He was most likely addicted long before he knew you. There is nothing that you did to cause the addiction, and there is nothing that you can do to cure it. Stop blaming him for your sorrow. He chose his addiction, but you chose him.
An addicted person is cancer in your life. Healthy people don’t just suddenly get cancer one day. Something in their body has been weak for a very long time making them susceptible to the illness. There is something in your heart, your internal voice that has been weakening your spirit for a long time before you found this person. Just like they were an addict long before they knew you, you doubted your worth long before you met him. If you are ever going to be happy, you need to strengthen those things about yourself. Otherwise, there will be no end to your problems. Even if you leave this addict, you’ll end up with another unless you change.
Start healing yourself by:
- Surrounding yourself with positive people that you can lean on
- If these people are not available to you, seek counseling (for just you)
- Take up a hobby, something that gives you a feeling of accomplishment
- Keep a positive balance between work, volunteering, rest, nutrition, and exercise
In the beginning, things are going to be uncomfortable. Your addict is used to you spending all of your energy on him. He’s not going to be happy with you taking care of your own needs. Let him be unhappy. Let that unhappiness be a little motivation for him to start making his changes. As you become more confident, your addict is also going to change.
So how do you know if your addict is making positive changes since they are talented liars? Believe behavior; addicted people are overachievers. They don’t just have one drink; they drink till they pass out. They don’t just scan xxx sites occasionally; they seek out creative ways to be alone with their computer as much as possible. If they truly decide to get better, they will do that to the extreme as well. They don’t need you to show them all of the opportunities to find healing. They’ll buy the books, see the support groups and learn how to avoid the behavior on their own. It is possible for a relationship to survive addiction, although it does take a lot more effort, patience and prayer than healthy relationships. It all starts with you. Your life is a gift, and it’s being wasted. Wake up and start living again.