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Tag: ending a relationship with an addict

Ending a Relationship With a Drug Addict: What are the Challenges and When is it Necessary?

Knowing when it’s time to end a relationship can be a difficult thing to manage no matter what the situation is. Over time, you have developed a physical and spiritual connection to a person. So, leaving that person can be very challenging to do. Things such as money problems, infidelity, physical abuse, or even just simply growing apart can all be valid reasons to leave someone and end a relationship. But, what about if your partner is an addict?

Ending a relationship with a drug addict can be even more difficult because, on top of everything else, you might feel guilty leaving someone when they are truly struggling in life. However, just because you might feel guilty, doesn’t mean you have to stay with that person. At the end of the day, your health, happiness, and overall well-being are most important.

If you are in a relationship with someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol and you think that it is time to end the relationship, here are some tips to best go about doing that.

Why Do People Struggle With Leaving an Addict?

Before knowing the best ways to distance yourself from a partner who is suffering from addiction, it’s first important to know why exactly people continue to stay with an addict and why leaving them can be so difficult. By far, the most common reason why someone will remain in a relationship with someone who suffers from addiction (even when they know they shouldn’t) is because of either guilt or fear. 

When someone is suffering from a substance abuse issue, they are already going through significant changes both physically and mentally. An individual might feel worried that ending a relationship with an addict will cause the addict to spiral even more out of control. They might also feel guilty leaving someone when that person is at their lowest point and not sticking around to support them.

Some of the most common rationalizations that people who are in a relationship with an addict have when it comes to convincing themselves to stay include:

  • I’m worried nobody else will take care of them
  • I will be a terrible person if I leave
  • I’m worried they will do more harm to themselves or do harm to others
  • I don’t want to abandon them in their time of need

If you are experiencing any of these feelings, it’s okay. It’s natural to think and feel this way. It’s also important to remember that, at the end of the day, your happiness and well-being are important as well.

Why Do People Leave An Addict?

There are many reasons why people choose to terminate a relationship. While dealing with a spouse who is also an addict can add an extra layer of complications when it comes to deciding if you should leave your partner or not, there are some clear-cut reasons that are applicable whether they are an addict or not.

Spousal Abuse

Spousal abuse is never ok. Unfortunately, for those who are living with a partner who is suffering from an addiction, abuse, both mentally and physically can be a common thing. Even a person who has never had any history of abuse or even getting angry can become violent and physical when under the influence of drugs and alcohol. If you are experiencing any type of spousal abuse, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional, you should leave immediately. 


Fundamentally, relationships are built on trust. If you can’t trust the person you are sharing your life with, how can you continue to be with them? Unfortunately, many people suffering from addiction will be dishonest with their partner in order to either downplay or cover up their addiction. They might lie about their whereabouts or what they are doing with their money. They might even begin having an affair as a way to continue getting the substances they need.

How Do I Know If I Should Leave My Partner?

There’s no question that leaving an addict can be difficult. It’s also not something that should be done without knowing for sure that it should be done. So, how do you know if it’s finally time to end a relationship with a drug addict? Well, there are some questions that you can ask yourself to help answer that question.

Is My Spouse or Partner Willing To Change?

This is, hands down, the most important question you can ask yourself and the one that will most likely ultimately lead to your decision. If your spouse or partner has acknowledged that he or she has a problem and is willing to address that problem and get the help that they need, then there may just be hope for you and your relationship. On the contrary, if they are in denial or have shown no indication that they want to change their ways, despite the negative impact, then it might be time to get out before it’s too late.

Am I Enabling Them?

You might think you are supporting your partner, but in reality, you might just be enabling them and their addiction without even realizing it. If you find yourself doing things such as giving them money knowing it’s going to go to their addiction, rationalizing or excusing their behavior, or even helping to cover up bad things they are doing, you are enabling them. 

Is This Negatively Affecting the Family Dynamic?

For those who find themselves in a relationship with an addict and also have kids, that can throw another curveball into the equation. Sure, in a perfect world, you want to be a happy family and not have to explain to your children why they won’t be living with mommy or daddy anymore, but it might be the only solution. If continuing to allow your children to live in the same house and constantly be around an addict is going to be detrimental to them and their well-being, then it might be time to leave.

Is the Partnership Still Equal?

The best way for any relationship to work is for the partnership to be equal. Unfortunately, when people become addicted to drugs and alcohol their priorities change, and certain aspects of their life can become neglected as they continue to search for their next fix. If you have started noticing that you are doing most of the work and getting ignored as a result of the addiction, then it might be time to get out.

Are There People Out There That Can Help Me With My Decision?

A major reason why people struggle so much with leaving an addict is that they are simply too close to that person, which is understandable. Sometimes talking to an outsider can go a long way in helping to determine if you are in a situation that you need to get out of. You could talk to a friend, a coworker, or anyone else that knows you, your partner, and your family dynamic.

Another viable option is to talk to a professional. This could be a psychologist, a psychiatrist, or even a trained addiction counselor. Many treatment facilities, such as ours here at Harmony Place, offer family therapy as a way for family members of addicts to be able to speak to a professional about what is going on in their life as a result of their spouse suffering from addiction.

Family therapists can talk you through everything you are going through, as well as help you manage your situation at home. They can help you try and repair your relationship if you are still looking to do so or they can even help you in leaving your partner and starting your new life. 

It’s important to remember that during this difficult time, there are people out there who are there for you and will support you no matter what you decide to do. It’s important to turn to those people for guidance and support in a time like this.

Is it Time to Consider Ending a Relationship With a Drug Addict?

Ending a relationship can be a difficult thing to do, no matter what the situation is. You might feel that by doing so that you have wasted months or even years of your life on someone and something that didn’t last. It’s important to remember though, that no matter how long you have been with that person if you aren’t happy or safe then that person isn’t worth being with anymore. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with a spouse who is an addict. 

At Harmony Place, it is our goal to not only help the person who is suffering from addiction, but those who are affected by their addiction as well, including family members, spouses, and children. If you or someone you know could benefit from addiction rehab, whether it be an addict or a family member of an addict, contact us today.