6 Tips For Understanding Your Compulsive Partner


6 Tips For Understanding Your Compulsive Partner
Read these tips on how to support a compulsive partner.

Discount demeans the other and belittles his feelings. If someone were to say, "How can you feel that way?" when you are worried and they aren't, how would you like that? Most of us would feel as if the person challenging us doesn't really understand. Rescuers and persecutors often tell themselves, "If that were me, I would never have done such a thing!"  Maybe that's true, but your addicted partner isn't you!

She does what she does because she can't control her impulses. She will not get better because you judge her and tell her to stop spending, overeating, etc. It is as if you have an itch on your back and are wriggling around trying to reach it when another person looks crossly at you and says, "Don't itch." How do you stop something that you don't feel responsible for starting? The compulsive one doesn't know how the itch started. She would like to be free of it, but telling her to stop without telling her how to stop is meaningless.

6.Take Care of Yourself: You must set limits and take care of yourself when you are in a relationship with a compulsive or addicted person.
• Don't let him abuse your generosity in service to his compulsion.
• Don't give her your credit cards.
• Don't co-sign any financial contract. 

• Don't be a "binge buddy" and go on sprees with your lover.
• Set limits and don't back down ... no matter what.

You are not responsible for how or when your compulsive loved one recovers. All you need to do is concentrate on being a true friend.

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by

Gloria Arenson

Marriage and Family Therapist

Gloria Arenson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Diplomate in Comprehensive Energy Psychology and author of 7 books. She is passionate about helping people help themselves to be free of negative emotions and compulsive behaviors. 


Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Credentials: DCEP, EFT-ADV, MFT, MS
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