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Dr Phil on drug and alcohol addiction in relationships!
November 24, 2008
9:17 am
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codep
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I was reading through a relationship book by Dr. Phil and found a piece on drug and alcohol addiction in a relationship. I wanted to share this as I know some of you have this challenge in your relationships...

QUESTION: How do I deal with drug and alcohol abuse in my relationship?

Deal breakers! Absolute, drop-dead, zero-tolerance deal breakers. Let me remind you of the obvious: drugs and alcohol are substances that, if abused, create an altered state of consciousness.
When you are dealing with a drug or alcohol-controlled partner, you are dealing with the drug or the alcohol, not with the partner. When someone succumbs to the addictive control of drugs or alcohol, he or she has given up the dignity of conscious choice and is now a passenger on a runaway train that will run right over you if you stand in its way.

People addicted to drugs or alcohol are not the people you think they are or the people you want them to be. The addiction changes them and suspends their logic, values, and integrity.

I know that I am being intolerant here- but I intend to be. I very much want to influence you to draw a line in the sand that says, "I will not live in a relationship with a partner who is addicted to drugs or alcohol" I cannot tell you how many relationships I have seen destroyed in the twenty-five years that I have worked in the field of human behavior. I cannot describe to you how many tears have been shed and years lost by partners who are deluded by the rationales and justifications of drug or alcohol-addicted partners maintaining that they can handle it or that they don't really have a problem. So many of these relationships were destroyed because the non-addicted partner did not have the courage to draw that line in the sand and say, "I will not live in this toxic hell" So often, had that partner been strong in their resolve, the addicted partner might well have been forced to deal with the self-destructive realities of his or her addiction before they destroyed themselves and their relationships.

If you sincerely believe that your partner is a substance abuser, I recommend that you get immediate professional consultation to confirm your suspicions. If in fact your fears are confirmed, I further recommend that you confront your partner in a loveing, caring, but unambiguously firm fasion in which you require him or her to get immediate and ongoing professional help. Persist until your partner goes- and if he or she resists, then that is a deal breaker. You must be prepared to leave your relationship until such a time when your partner can objectively verify to you that the problem is under control and that he or she is in a program of ongoing monitoring and treatment.
Your partner must understand with absolute clarity that you will not remain in a relationship with them as long as there is substance abuse. There are no exceptions and there is no wiggle room.
Be strong in your resolve. You may well be saving more lives than your own.

Understand that when i say there are no exceptions and there are no mitigating circumstances, I mean none. Lack of funds is no excuse. Nonprofit organizations for drug and alcohol abuse are available and have wonderful programs. State, county and federally funded programs through community mental health and state mental health outreach clinics all accept patients with fees determined by the ability to pay. All of these programs cost much less than what your addicted partner is spending on alcohol or drugs. Most employers have health insurance or employee assistance programs that will also help. The financial dodge is the most common resistance that addicts and alcoholics seek to hide behind- and it is the most absurd one.

I understand that lots of people want to be forgiving of an abuser because of the fact that drug and alcohol abuse may be genetically predisposed and is a "disease" that should be treated with care and passion. As a professional with years of experience in the field of behavioral medicine, I strongly suspect that I can make that argument as well if not better than most. It does not matter. WHY someone destroys your life doesn't change the fact that it's being destroyed. The fact that alcoholism might be a disease does not give you back one scintilla of your life. The fact that it is a disease does not lessen the need for intervention and, in fact, may call for even greater urgency. Every disease, or at least its treatment, involves an element of personal choice. By forcing treatment, you require your partner to excercise that choice and that is a gift.

Love your partner from afar, forgive your partner in your heart, attend your partner's treatment sessions- But don't live with them. You deserve better and when you demand it, you will get it and not a second before...

One final thing: If there are children involved, then underline everything I have just said. If you don't have the courage to protect them, then they are at the mercy of the drug and alcohol abuse. Don't you dare even consider giving in to your trepidation of confronting the situation because you are the only thing that stands between those children and a destroyed life.

November 24, 2008
10:29 am
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truthBtold
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codep,

Great Info!

Especially the first (and bottom) line: Deal-breakers!!!!!

Thanks for posting.

tBt

November 24, 2008
11:20 am
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atalose
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There are two sayings I have learned over the years……..

One

Alcoholics/addicts don’t have relationships, they take hostages.

Two

Heard in al-anon….there are no victim’s only volunteers.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

November 24, 2008
12:23 pm
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Fruitloop
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Codep- I would like to add the sexually addicted to this too. Any addict..their addiction of choice will ruin your life. You cant go through it with them, you can only love them from afar, and protect yourself.

I grew up with a drug addicted father, he was what you call a controlled addict. Meaning he had a continuous job and we were fed and clothed. Didnt matter, it was very damaging to us. I broke up this year with a sexually addicted man...again, a controlled addict..good job etc.. He has the same moody symptoms as my father, is incapable of love, loyalty, telling the truth about anything, suffered from major depression. He couldnt understand why certain behaviors were abnormal and damaging. I broke up with him because in my gut, I had a strong feeling that he could be a child molester. I never saw him physically do anything, but lots of weird emotions and behavior coming out of him. I could not be connected to even the possibility of something like that.

November 25, 2008
3:35 am
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CraigCo
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Enlightening information. In retrospect I should have given my ex that ultimatum of "get help or I'm gone" but, of course hindsight is 20/20 isn't it?!

November 27, 2008
9:21 pm
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_anonymous
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Great thread. Loved it.

November 27, 2008
10:34 pm
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free
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This is very uplifting to me, I needed to hear this, thank you so much.

alcohol addiction is a deal breaker.

Period.

All the manipulation tactics such as "he/she drinks too" "we promised to love each other" "he/she gives me no affection etc so I'd rather be drunk"

no.

Alcohol addiction is a deal breaker, and the choice to not actively and willingly work a program completely severs a partners obligation to the marriage.

I've come to that conclusion,mostly because I swore I'd never live that way again after my first husband. My second husband didn't have time to emotionally cripple us and leave everlasting scars.

I'm ending it.

But OMG, it feels so good to be validated.

For me, ending it with alcoholics is so difficult because they're so gosh darn pathetic and absolutely amazing at inflicting guilt.

Pulls at the heartstrings ya know?

The man i see now drinks ice cold bottled water. He just loves it.

lol

free

November 28, 2008
1:46 am
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fantas
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great info. I would like to add all other addictions as well. Thanks for sharing!

December 1, 2008
2:33 pm
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free
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I've a question.

Marriage vows are serious things.

Twice now I've left a drunk.

does that mean I should not marry again as I'm not willing to stick it out?

I struggle with this.

free

December 1, 2008
2:41 pm
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atalose
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I think it means that you need to not get yourself involved with another alcoholic again.

Understand and learn the red flags of un-healthy people so you don’t become involved in another un-healthy relationship.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

October 26, 2014
9:02 pm
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Dr. Basim Elhabashy
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Really it is a very nice post.

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