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Why Do We Stay In An Unhealthy Relationship?
Six reasons why you might be staying in a relationship with someone suffering from addiction.
Thank you for continuing to share this newsletter. I know a lot of you are curious about the programs and podcasts. All I can say is that I am working on it. Slowly and surely, I am starting to get a better vision of what we need in the space of loving someone suffering from addiction. I don’t want to go back to the way things were (that model - behind the scenes - was confusing), and I don’t want to be a self-promotional “self-help influencer.”
I would love to offer you help in the privacy of your own home (or car, or wherever you are) through online programs with easy, simple steps and clear directions and perhaps some meet-ups online and in person.
In a world full of AI, trolls, too many podcasts, and so much social media - I want to connect and learn the old fashion way (lol): In-person, voice-to-voice, reading, writing, studying, and application.
I have some ideas - but I would love to hear yours, too, so please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments. And thank you for sharing this resource while we park here and start dreaming big.
Have you ever wondered:
Why do I stay in this unhealthy relationship?
How did I get here in the first place?
What can I do if I'm not ready to leave?
I see some hands raised and heads nodding; that's what makes this place special - we understand one another.
First, I will never tell you to stay or leave.
Many people in this community choose to stay in their relationship, which works for them. And some people leave. Both are perfectly acceptable and respectable choices.
The goal of this community is to get you healthier and happier so you can make the best decision for yourself. The choice is yours, and we will never judge you for staying or leaving. Ever.
Six reasons we decide to stay in a relationship with someone suffering from addiction:
We love them. It's that simple and that complicated. But how could we love them when they appear to love their addiction more, you might be wondering? Love is confusing. There's been dozens of poems, songs, and movies trying to explain the feelings of the heart. But the fact is: we love them. At least - for now. And we can't just turn off our emotions. We're not robots.
We see their potential. Most of the people we love are not hurtful all the time. Our partners have wonderful moments. They can be funny, charming, kind, responsible, brilliant, and thoughtful. When things are good, they are sooo good. Because the ones we love have so much potential when they are sober. So we stay - hoping they will one day consistently live out their potential.
We find self-worth in helping others. This is the trait that gets labeled as codependent: helping others. It's our greatest asset and liability.
We fear what others will think. Worried about what your family will feel when you announce your leaving? What about your neighbors or friends? Or your church? Or the kid's teachers? We can get so easily influenced by others' opinions - we forget about our own.
We are afraid of breaking up a family. Being the parent initiating a separation or divorce can be incredibly intimidating. Will the children blame us? Will our partner talk poorly about us? Even though you are the parent trying to make it work - you worry about the blame and guilt for leaving - even if it doesn't belong to you.
Leaving is not financially possible right now. Financial independence is difficult when you love someone struggling with addiction. This disease is expensive, and likes to be in control of spending the money.
There are dozens of reasons we don't leave our relationships, so instead of feeling confused or guilty or, even worse - judging ourselves for staying. Let's acknowledge the reasons we are staying for now and reserve the right to change our minds tomorrow.
What do you think about the idea of staying or leaving? Which, if any, of these reasons felt familiar?