Loving Someone Who Chooses Their Addiction Over You

Addiction
Unsplash / Tyler Nix

You cannot wrap your mind around their self-destructive decisions. All they have to do is get help. See a therapist. Spend some time at rehab. Decide that they care about you and the rest of their loved ones more than they care about the addiction that has taken control of their world.

You hate them for what they have been putting you through, because every single time they pick up a bottle of liquor or pills, it feels like they are saying you do not matter enough for me to change. I do not love you enough to get help. I do not care about you enough to start caring about myself. 

Their addiction starts to feel like a personal attack. It feels like proof they do not love you with the same intensity you love them. After all, don’t they see everything they do for you? All of the arguments and embarrassing evenings you have endured for them?

You have suffered through so much for them — and they cannot do this one thing for you? They cannot bother to get help? They cannot even make the attempt?

When someone you love chooses their addiction over you, you are beyond hurt. But you are also confused. You don’t know what steps to take moving forward. You know you do not need their toxicity in your world but you also keep thinking about how it’s not technically their fault. They are an addict. They aren’t in complete control of themselves.

When you think about leaving, you feel guilty. And when you think about staying, it’s only because you are justifying their behavior. Because you are convincing yourself it’s okay they treat you horribly because they don’t mean it. 

Every single day, you feel powerless because you know you cannot save them. You know they have to make the decision to get better on their own. It’s frustrating because everything would be fine if they reached out for the help they needed. Everything would be okay if they worked on their problems.

But they refuse to do that, because they are stubborn or because they do not think they have a problem or because they know they have a problem but do not have any faith that they could change.

A part of you feels bad for them because you know they are going through just as much pain as you have been. But another part of you hates them. You hate them for acting so selfish. You hate them for letting their demons win. You hate them for choosing addict over boyfriend, husband, father, friend. 

When you love someone who chooses their addiction over you, you have to choose yourself over them.

You have to walk away even though you care about them, even though you know they would treat you right if they were sober, because if they are not willing to help themselves, they are never going to be the person you need them to be. They are never going to love you back the way you deserve. TC mark

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