Do’s and Don’ts When Your Partner is Struggling With Addiction

September 5, 2022

In the wake of addiction, it’s easy to become frustrated and angry with your partner. You may feel like you’re part of the problem, or you’re not doing enough for them. If they’ve alcoholism, binge drinking, and drug addiction, you might feel like you’re being used, but ‌ not everyone with addiction has an evil agenda. Some people just want to feel normal again and will do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. 

Here are some things to do and not to do as a loved one that can help both of you survive this tough time together.

Offer Love and Support

Being in a relationship with a person who’s struggling with addiction can put you in an awkward situation where you don’t know what to say or do. It’s also important not to judge them for their actions if they’re in recovery. The most important thing is that you should be supportive, patient, kind and understanding – all the things that make up a healthy relationship between two people who love each other deeply.

Educate Yourself

It’s important to educate yourself on what addiction is and how it affects people. Understanding the problem will help you better understand your partner and their situation. You may also want to learn about treatment options available through mental health professionals or other resources. The more information you have on the recovery process, the more equipped you will be when trying to support your partner through it.

Encourage Them to Seek Help

After researching your partner’s addiction, educate them on Behavioral Health Centers or any other addiction treatment program where they can talk with a professional about what’s going on in their life. Refer them to online support groups where people battling addiction share experiences.

Don’t be afraid to tell your partner how their drug use affects you – it could motivate them to help themselves for you. If they’re taking drugs, chances are they don’t realize that it’s causing problems in their life or the lives of those around them.

Get Support For Yourself

When your partner’s addiction is the top problem in your relationship, it can be easy to lose yourself while trying to help them. To prevent that from happening, do the following things:

  • Allow yourself some alone-time. Exercise regularly, read a book, take your dog for evening walks, etc. 
  • Get support from friends and family members. Your loved one may not want to open up to you about their problem, but there are ways of getting the information out of them without being pushy or judgmental. Try engaging your partner’s family, church, or friends. 
  • Join a support group for individuals going through similar experiences as yours. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help. It’s okay if someone doesn’t understand why you need such drastic measures immediately, but they should still respect your decision because these types of decisions aren’t easy ones either!

Don’t Enable Your Partner’s Addiction

What is enabling addiction?

Enabling is when you do things for your partner that make their addiction worse. Examples of this can be anything from providing them with money or drugs, to helping them hide things from authorities and family members. The key here is not allowing yourself to become an active part of their addiction. If you know that your partner has been abusing drugs or alcohol, then don’t participate in any way in strengthening their addiction; stop giving them money and entertaining people around you who are supportive of their behavior.

Don’t Assign Blame

Assigning blame is not helpful. It does not solve problems; it does not help the person struggling with addiction, and it’s a waste of time—time that could be spent on something more productive. Blame can also lead to resentment in your relationship. If you have been trying to help someone who has an addiction problem but have failed because they are unwilling or unable, then blaming them will only make things worse for everyone involved!

Don’t Force Them to Go to Rehab – They’ve to Do It Willingly

If your partner is struggling with addiction, they may not want to admit that they need help and take action on their own. That’s OK! It’s also important for you as a loved one to not pressure them into doing something because of how much you care about them and want them to recover from their addiction. Instead of forcing them into treatment against their will (which can make things worse), try using gentle persuasions like “I know you need help,” or “I’m worried about what this means for our future together.”


We all have our struggles, and your partner’s addiction is a struggle many people go through. By focusing on the positive aspects of your partner’s sobriety, you can help him or her stay strong and maintain a healthy relationship with you and themselves. And while it may be hard to see through their eyes sometimes, remember that they’re still the same person you fell in love with – only that they’re currently trying to overcome an addiction and want nothing more than to live life again as a happy, healthy individual. Try as much as you can to help them achieve sobriety. It may take longer than you expect, but your efforts won’t be in vain!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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