50 Things You Should Try For Hotter Sex
ProConnect

Love & Addiction: Helping Your Partner Turn Toward Recovery

By

Love & Addiction: Helping Your Partner Turn Toward Recovery
You can provide support, but your partner must also have a strong desire to recover.
From educating yourself to protecting your children, addiction brings many issues.

According to a YourTango Experts study, addiction is the biggest mental health challenge couples face. Armed with this knowledge and some advice from mental health professionals, you can work toward a healthier future with your partner. We asked Psychologist Dr. Robin Goldstein how couples can become healthier and happier in the face of things like alcoholism and sex addiction.

1. Stop pretending it's not a big deal. The hallmark of addiction is denial, and this is as true of partners as it is of addicts. So the first challenge in a relationship with an addict is admitting that the problems exist. Confront your own denial. When our lives are at stake, it's easy to make excuses for the addict. "She only gets drunk a couple times a year." "He lost that sale he was counting on so much; he deserves to blow off some steam." "So he goes to strip clubs occasionally; all guys do it." "She likes to gamble: Why should I care? It's her money, like she says."

More from YourTango: Time for a Break from Internet Dating?

2. Don't get your children involved. If there are children, stop teaching them to deny their own reality by saying, "Daddy didn't mean it, he really loves you a lot" when drunkenness causes the other parent to say hurtful things. It is also inappropriate to enlist children in helping to confront the addict. That is your responsibility as the adult. An eight-year-old should not be coached to say, "Tell Mom how awful she was last night when she had too much to drink."

3. Educate yourself about addiction. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are invaluable programs for the partners of addicts. There are also support groups for those living with partners who have gambling, shopping, or sex addictions. Read all you can. Go to online message boards. When there are serious problems, many want to look the other way. The less we know, the easier it is to just wait and hope things will improve.

4. Stop thinking, "If he loved me, he wouldn't do this." Addictions are only about themselves. They destroy ambition, self-esteem, and the ability to think of others. The very nature of addiction is an out-of-control drive that surpasses everything. It may feel intensely personal, but it is not.

5. Addictions are difficult to treat, but they are not hopeless. We have treatments, but they are not 100 percent successful, just as treatments for heart disease and cancer are not 100 percent successful. In fact, the rate of recovery (about 40 percent) is equivalent to other serious chronic diseases. There are a range of treatments and one size does not fit all. That isn't an excuse not to try AA or another treatment program — it might be just the right thing for the addict in your life. There are also medicines, physicians, rehabilitation centers, as well as self-help approaches.

6. The motivation for change has to be the addict's. If you are doing all the research, reading, urging, and studying, the addict in your life is not really going to benefit. When an addict seeks treatment themselves, then the chance for progress is real.

Follow Dr. Goldstein on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrRGoldstein

More from YourTango: How do you Feel About Valentine's Day

More love advice from YourTango:

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr Robin Goldstein

Psychologist

Dr. Goldstein is a licensed psychologist with over thirty years experience helping individuals free themselves of fear and anxiety and living their best life possible.She has worked extensively with couples, helping them maximize the potential for joy in their relationships as well as working with people suffering the grief of separtion, divorce and loss from ones they love.

 

Please visit my blog at www.robingoldstein.net/blog

Follow Dr Goldstein on Twitter at www.twitter.com/drrgoldstein

Location: Boca Raton, FL
Credentials: EdD
Other Articles/News by Dr Robin Goldstein:

Do you know how to be happy?

By

When we're growing up our parents try to teach us how to be happy. "Get good grades so you can get a good job...be pleasant and friendly....make a lot of money....be beautiful so you can attract a great spouse or partner...be great at sports" are the types of messages we get.  As we mature we get other messages from advertising and society on ... Read more

They Fight For Our Country: Their Mental Health Matters!

By

The tragic shootings at Fort Hood put the media spotlight, once again, on mental health issues. The shooter may not have left sufficient clues around to his mental state, but clearly this was a very disturbed person who took the lives of three others as well as himself and injured many more. There have been other issues related to mental health that have ... Read more

Time for a Break from Internet Dating?

By

I'm a great supporter of internet dating. It is the single most effective way to find someone but are there times when it becomes too much? Absolutely! SIGNS THAT YOU NEED A BREAK FROM ONLINE DATING 1) Are you constantly checking your sites to see if you've heard from someone new and interesting? 2) Did you just go through a breakup and feel ... Read more

See More

Recent Expert Posts
Cuffs

Emotional Vampires: Skills for Dealing with the Narcissist

Expert, Margaret Jacobson shares insights gained from Albert Bernstein's, book Emotional Vampires

Smooches

One-liners Guaranteed to Turn Up the Heat

Want some off the hook sex tonight? Use words as foreplay!

Make A Move

Forgiveness : The Most Important "F-Word".

Forgive so that the past no longer holds you back. It is time to move forward.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Resources
How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no timeā€¦

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>
HOT STUFF!
FROM OUR PARTNERS