Posted in Addiction on March 30, 2017
Last modified on May 8th, 2019

5 Hard Truths to Accept When Living with an Addict

If you’re living with a drug addict partner you probably have more than a few horror stories to share. Your life has undoubtedly been filled with stress and uncertainty, as you’ve been forced to watch someone you cherish spiral downward into the depths of oblivion.

Living with a drug addict partner is difficult, but if you can ultimately convince them to seek treatment you could have a brand new life. Until that day comes, however, there are a few hard truths you’ll have to accept if you plan to continue with the relationship.

#1 Others won’t want you and your partner around.

It won’t take friends and family members very long to figure out that your partner has a drug problem. In fact you might still be in denial long after they’ve already reached that conclusion.

Once it becomes obvious, you can expect your social invitations to decline as others start to avoid both of you. What’s happening isn’t your fault but you’ll have to suffer the consequences of it as long as you choose to remain loyal to your partner.

#2 Your partner won’t be responsible or reliable.

When you’re living with a drug addict partner you should expect to be let down, over and over again. Promises to stop using drugs will be repeatedly broken, important dates will be forgotten, events involving you or the kids will be missed, and no matter how contrite your partner appears to be, that won’t prevent them from abusing your trust time after time.

Addiction breeds irresponsible behavior and even the best intentions won’t make a difference if your partner continues to abuse drugs.

#3 Your partner will turn into a habitual liar.

Addicts deny the truth about their drug abuse to themselves and to everyone else, and that is why their word cannot be trusted.

They won’t tell you the truth about where they’ve been, what they’ve been doing or who they’ve been doing it with. They won’t be honest about where your money is going, why the car got dinged up or why they were late getting home. Most disturbing of all, they will repeatedly lie about their intentions to get clean and sober, telling you what you want to hear to get you off their back.

#4 You can’t fight their battles for them.

You can offer support, advice, encouragement and unconditional love. You can issue deadlines or ultimatums, and you can enlist the help of others to try to convince them to get help for their problem. But no matter how much effort you expend, you can’t lead the horse to water or make them drink, if they aren’t prepared for the sweet taste of sobriety.

Only addicts themselves can choose to stop using drugs and, until they’re ready to make that commitment, nothing you do will have the impact you hope for or expect.

#5 At some point you must be prepared to leave.

When you’re living with a drug addict partner, you can only hope, pray and sacrifice or put your needs aside for so long. If your partner stubbornly refuses to seek help, there will come a time when you’ll have no choice but to leave, and that is especially true if there are children involved.

Some drug addicts really do have to hit rock bottom before they’re finally ready to admit the truth, but that doesn’t mean you have to hit rock bottom with them. You deserve better and, if you decide to leave before things go that far, you’ll be entirely justified in doing so.


Partnership for Drug-free Kids: My Life with an Addict Boyfriend

Psychology Today: So You’re Married to an Addict. Is Divorce Inevitable?

Editorial Staff

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