When Someone You Loved Had an Addiction, Can You Love Again?

13 May

Being in a relationship that was destroyed by an addiction can be hard. But you have loved before, and you can love, and be loved again.

relationship, addiction, recover

Recovering and moving on from any relationship that has broken down with someone you truly loved can be painful, but it can be especially painful when the other person had an addiction. The fallout from being in a relationship with an addict can be particularly devastating – the guilt, the manipulations, the lies, you may feel broken and that you are either incapable of loving anyone again, or from being loved.

I’m here today to tell you that is not true.

When addicts know they are loved by someone who is invested in them, they immediately have fuel for their addiction. You may have been, perhaps without intention, their enabler – giving money that you may not have been able to afford, lying to protect them, being alienated from their family and friends because you knew too much about what they were doing, saying yes when that yes nearly destroyed you. The anxiety and worry that came with the waiting for the call or knock on the door to let you know your loved one had been on yet another drink or drug binge, chipped away at your own self-worth and became soul destroying. You dreaded seeing them, and yet you needed to see them

Your compassion and kindness have been stripped bare, you may feel at this stage you might not have anything else to give a new relationship, and that may indicate that you are not ready, but if those feelings have now subsided then now is the time to finally put yourself first, listen again to the voice inside that helped you leave, you deserve to be happy.

Addiction can happen to anyone, it’s not a disease of character, circumstance, personality or statue. It’s a human condition, every single human has either loved an addict or knows someone who has, yet the guilt and shame you may have attached to finding yourself in this destructive relationship can be filled with overhanging frustration that they didn’t change. They may have even at times made you feel like you were to blame for their addiction, this has to be the worst aspect of being in love with an addict.

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse and is regularly used by addicts whereby your sense of reality was distorted. Despite your attempts to create boundaries and consequences, they refused to receive treatment, and continued with their addictive behaviours. Usually when this happened, they probably did everything they could for it to be your fault, which caused you constant fear and perhaps led to you feeling hopeless, confused or depressed. If it has taken you a while to move on from this and take care of yourself, you should be very proud that you have now accomplished this.

It’s time for you to change too.

Before embarking on a new relationship, it’s important to understand what you got out of this previous relationship. Addicts use addictive behaviours to stop themselves from feeling pain. This would’ve likely been heart-breaking for you both. It takes a brave and open heart to explore your reasons. It is likely that you used enabling behaviours to stop from feeling your pain too. The reality is, when you tried to help your previous partner and extend love to them, you may have also been compensating for the negative feelings that you were feeling towards this person because of the pain they were causing you. It’s important you are honest with yourself about this and prepared to now shower yourself with kindness as you move on.

Now is the time to put yourself first, be brave but be gentle, as you rebuild your sense of self, learning to draw healthy boundaries in all aspects of your new life. Do not be tempted to blunt your own reality. You’ve come this far and have now understood there was absolutely nothing more you could do.

You have loved before, and can love, and be loved again.

Our team of experts, many of whom are either psychologists or coaches are not only here to help you find new love. They can also help you on your pathway to a more positive, equal and successful long-term future with your new partner, through listening to you, supporting you and guiding you towards the relationship that you truly deserve.

If you would like to know how we can work together to find your ideal match, then please Get in touch!

by Sarah Helen King

Matchmaker & Coach

Sarah Helen graduated from the University of Derby with a First-Class Honours in Psychology, after which she attained a Master’s in Health Psychology from the University of Surrey. She has extensive experience coaching people to better understand themselves and teaching them how to own their psychological health. Using a cognitive behavioural approach she has helped guide and support our Vida clients with the psychological tools to date successfully. Based in Vida’s London office, Sarah Helen’s positive outlook, friendly approach and deep knowledge of psychology, means she is well positioned to give our clients the best possible guidance as they search for their ultimate partners.More by this author