How to Live with an Addict Without Enabling Them

Addict enablingLiving with an addict can be a huge challenge. Not only does their addiction impact your life, but it also impacts the lives of anyone living in your household.

Even though you want them to stop using and enter an addiction treatment center, the addict that you are living with might not be ready to call it quits.

Because of this, it is crucial that you learn how to live with them in ways that prevent their addiction from growing worse through enabling.

Ways to Prevent Enabling

Just because you live with an addict doesn’t mean that you need to conform to their lifestyle, especially if their lifestyle is detrimental to both themselves and you.

Here are some ways you can prevent yourself from enabling someone who you live with:

  • Setting goals: As you engage in a living situation with an addict, it is important that you set goals for yourself in terms of your intentions with them. This means that you should determine how much you want to help them, what kinds of decisions you would need to make to do so, and what kind of support you will be able to offer.
  • Avoiding manipulation: One common trait of an addict is manipulation, as their disease is always working to encourage them to feed into their abuse. As a result, they are likely to try to manipulate you or others in your home to help them do so. This is why it is important to understand the power of the word “no.” By using this word and standing behind your convictions, you can avoid manipulation and maintain defined boundaries.
  • Surrendering control: It might be tempting to want to control the addict’s behaviors surrounding their use, but attempting to do so often leads to empty results. It is imperative that you understand that an addict is only going to get help when they are ready, and that you need to maintain control over your own life rather than attempting to control theirs.
  • Reward patience: Living with an addict is often extremely frustrating, and as you work to build your patience with them, you should reward yourself every time you build a stronger tolerance of these imminent frustrations. These rewards can include anything that makes you happy, such as enjoying a favorite snack, doing some shopping, or making a date with friends.

There is no doubt that living with someone struggling with drug or alcohol addiction is extremely difficult. Between the deceitful behavior, intoxicated episodes, and arguments, it can be easy to enable them just to avoid the drama that comes with saying “no.”

However, continuing to enable an addict will only make a living situation much worse, as it will allow them to get deeper into their abuse, causing harm to both themselves and everyone around them.

Tags: addiction, enabling, enabling behavior, relationships

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