If you are someone who has been in a committed relationship in which your partner is struggling with substance abuse or misuse, you will certainly relate to the words on this page. No one wants to compete for attention with a drug or behaviour, whether it be cocaine, alcohol, work, pessimism, or gambling. It is a very lonely place to find yourself.
Everyone has a different story as to why they started to take on an unhealthy habit. For some it might be trauma, others peer pressure, while for others it can be innocently beginning a to just feel what it was like, but after years of partaking realized that their own body’s physiology has changed, and the craving is now controlling them. They have normalized disconnecting from their body.
Difficult conversations need to happen between the couple. For the partner that chooses the substance over family and friendships, it is a choice of whether they are ‘interested’ in breaking the cycle of addiction, or whether they deeply want to change. I have a lot of individuals coming to me that are interested in quitting, but very few who are committed. I can reflect back to how I helped a woman break free from a relationship where her partner chose a drug over her.
I explained that she did not need to feel embarrassed, guilty, or ashamed of her decision to step away from the relationship. The solution lies in looking inside herself. What sort of person is she aligned to becoming? When asked this question, she realized that her values aligned with family life, spending time with the children, and building a future together that would support one another as they work towards a shared vision of what their life might look like once the children have left the family home, and retired from their respective careers. As clarity and light penetrated her loneliness, she didn’t approach him with blame and criticism as she once did. Instead, she used loving words to communicate that she decided to honour herself and her needs, and therefore took responsibility towards herself and left the marriage. Every woman’s decision to remain in a marriage is based on many variables and must be treated case by case. However, it all starts with self-honour and then practising this skill set daily to build a new thought pattern that reflected her values.
I hope that in the process of sharing my experiences as a coach might shed light on what your next steps may be. You are welcome to contact me if a similar transformational journey is something you crave.