How To Love An Addict And Not Lose Yourself

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Is your significant other in recovery? Do you know how to not lose yourself in their journey? Do you have a sense of purpose that is outside of your relationship with them?

Being in a relationship and in love with someone in recovery, when you are not in recovery, is an experience that people try to keep hush hush. There is a stigma surrounding loving an addict/alcoholic and like the stigma of addiction itself, it’s time to shed some light and get out of the dark. The journey of recovery is not done alone. No one knows this better than someone who loves an addict or alcoholic who is taking steps to work a program of recovery. The struggle is real and you are not alone.

Yesterday I had a friend ask me a question I know personally and professionally oh so well: “Sherry, I love my husband but I feel like I’m in recovery too! I feel like I need to protect him and shelter him and do everything I can to ensure he stays sober. He’s not asking me to do any of these things, how can I step out of his recovery and into my own life? I’m starting to resent him and his disease so much. How can we have a healthy relationship without the center of everything being his sobriety?”

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After supporting her courageous spirit for speaking up, I suggested that she take one important first step and ask herself “What is my purpose with intention”? I explained that if she isn’t clear on her purpose, her desires, her vision and who she is, she will inadvertently sabotage her relationship by losing herself in her husband’s recovery. A healthy relationship is the combination of two people that love, care and support each other. When one of the partners is ‘sick’, the other one may become so entwined in the struggle of the ‘sick’ partner that they lose themselves. Eventually both individuals become ‘sick’ and the relationship will wither. To avoid this outcome, being clear on one’s purpose with intention is key.

Let’s dive into what purpose with intention is and why it is so important, especially when you are in love with someone in recovery.

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Do you have a sense of purpose that is outside of your relationship? Do you know your “why”? What dreams did you have as a child? Have you dreams manifested in unexpected ways? Such as wanting to be in love and then you find yourself in love with a person in recovery? Have you become so focused on the addict, that you don’t even know what your authentic purpose is?

Discovering your purpose may be the most important breakthrough you will ever experience. This is the step where you will decide why you are here and what gives your life meaning. Your purpose will keep you on track and empower you to choose the areas of your life where you will invest your energy. You have the power to control where you invest positive and negative energy. Your purpose is not to ensure that your partner stays sober, that may be their purpose, but it is not yours. You can support your partner but when is the last time you invested energy in you? Don’t you think it’s time?


Your purpose answers the question “why”, the “how” will unfold easily and effortlessly when you follow your divine path. Intention is the passion that moves you towards action. When you profoundly desire something and make it your objective to obtain the object of your desire, you have intention. So finding your purpose with intention means figuring out what motivates you and makes living meaningful, then taking action to make that happen. Purpose with intention, without action, results in dreams that never come true. Purpose with intention towards an outcome that is fully dependent on another individual, like your partner, results in an outcome that you simply cannot control. Once you remove the obsession of saving your partner from his disease and wake up to your own divinity, your purpose will have an opportunity to reveal itself.

Some of the best suggestions I make to clients is find a respected Psychotherapist that understands that addiction is a family disease, find a 12 step program such as AlAnon, get a sponsor, read books and material related to codependency, and you might even consider hiring a life coach or take an Ecourse such as to discover what your purpose is.

10 Celebrities Who Went to Rehab

10 Celebrities Who Went to Rehab

A number of celebrities have gone through rough times and realized they needed to go to a rehab to overcome their addiction problems. Following are the details of some celebrities who went to rehab. 1. Zac Efron Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images During the shoot of “Neighbors,”  the 28-year-old actor was…

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