15 thoughts on “End That Addictive Relationship, Once and For All

  • February 15, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Thank you so much for this article. I have been labeling as an addiction for over a year now, but I still can’t make a clean break. Step three is getting me, but I won’t give up.

    • February 16, 2015 at 8:56 am

      Yes, the steps are hard (think 12 Steps), but the healthier life that awaits you is worth it. Good luck, and take good care!

  • February 18, 2015 at 11:32 am

    An addictive relationship with an intimate partner or friend is certainly part of this article, but addictive relationships can be jobs, groups, or entertainment forms. The steps here are great for navigating an exit for all situations.

    • February 18, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      Thanks for seeing the broader application!

  • February 18, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    I have trouble with admitting it to myself. I believe that I love her, but I know that I also feel sorry for her for being so dependent on me. She has all kinds of phobias, no drivers license and no way to ever make it (Glaucoma). I am not sure of my own feelings (love or feeling sorry). We are married for 43 years, have not had any sexual contact in more than 30 years (her refusal). We are both children of Holocaust survivors and understand each other’s problems, I think. My therapist believes that there is no “me” in my thinking, and my wife has no therapist.

    • February 18, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      Wow, 43 years together. I can see how two people could get enmeshed and lose their individual identities when they’ve been together so long. The lack of sexual intimacy suggests that your needs are not understood and are not met. I’m wondering about couples therapy? Sometimes people are open to that, even if they’re not open to individual therapy (though it certainly sounds like your wife would benefit from both.) You’re describing such a complicated situation that I hesitate to give any further advice, other than to hope that you’re able to find competent professionals to help. Perhaps your individual therapist could recommend a good couples counselor.

  • February 19, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Its easier said than done…the thought of being alone again is quite daunting.

    • February 19, 2015 at 8:26 am

      Yes, it’s a lot of hard work to follow these steps, and facing fears of loneliness is one of the hardest parts. But it can be done, once you feel like being alone (for a while) beats the alternative.

  • February 20, 2015 at 10:10 am

    This is a great article. I am in an addictive relationship with my entire family, particularly with my sister. I am working to free myself with the help of my therapist. She is helping me see that I have always been the garbage dump of my family, as well as the person who rushes to help the rest of them with their addictions. It began innocently, since I had a dysfunctional mother who could not ‘mother’ us normally. As the oldest child, I had to take care of the younger ones. Now I am 56 years old and still in this bizarre place.

    As the article (and my therapist) says, every day I stay in my family in this place, I am CHOOSING to stay. I am choosing to let them treat me badly and drain all my energy, as well as my self-esteem. They rush to me with all their problems and then blame me when their lives are not happy (bad marriages, alcoholism, anger issues, etc.).

    I have made the commitment to end this relationship. I no longer answer the phone when they call. I work hard to stay strong. My sister is very persistent at blaming me for her problems (as well as blaming me for my own Bipolar II, while she nags me to go off my medications for my mental health).

    I want to thank the therapist for this article and tell everyone dealing with this under-reported but destroying relationship illness that it is possible to be free but it is very, very hard. Keep working, keep trying, and remember, only YOU can save yourself.

    It is our choice.

    • February 20, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment. I think you (and your therapist) are absolutely right. When you recognize it’s a choice, you empower yourself. Good for you for all the positive choices you’re making, every day.

  • March 1, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    This article is hitting so close to home.
    I’m sure that it’s an addiction and a toxic relationship I’m in but because he lives with me in my house I can’t exactly be the one to leave. He does not meet any of my needs and is just fine with the relationship as is. I need some advise on how to get him to walk away so I can get on with my life and my happiness!

    • March 1, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      It seems like you’re giving him all the power by saying you need “to get him to walk away.” This article is about taking the power back so that you can walk away. It’s not easy to shift your thinking (a toxic relationship tends to muddle your brain), so it might be a good time to seek a therapist who can help.

  • March 5, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Denial. Its quite fascinating when you really think about it. But reading articles like this help me to remember that I am the one who ultimately is the most important person in my life, well, that and along with God first. My biggest, burning question is this: How hard is it to just be a friend? Answer: If you don’t love yourself, you cant love another. And why would I waste anymore precious time on someone who really is UNABLE to give what she doesn’t have. So, back to denial: I got tired of having my head in the sand.

  • May 19, 2015 at 10:59 am

    I am certain that fate stepped in and I was able to read this article when I did. It’s been 2 yrs since my 9 yr very addictive relationship ended but it still feels painfully fresh. Like any addiction, it gets easier the longer u remain sober but cravings kick in from time to time and my delusional thinking starts up again. “I love him.. I miss him… I can fix it.. He’s by best friend… If we love each other that’s all that matters…” Yada yada it goes on and on in my head and I start to feel like the pain without him is worse then the pain I felt when I’m with him (again very delusional thinking). All the beautiful memories flood my mind and wash away the bad ones. Some bizarre form amnesia seems to takes over and all I remember is I love him.

    So here I am, sincerely grateful for this article. It brought me back mentally and emotionally and reminded me not to react to the feelings. No matter how powerful the pull, it eventually passes. My victory… I did not send him the “hi how r u?” text that could very well have sank my ship. This is the destructive cycle of addiction. However minor it may seem I am SO GLAD I did not send the text. I am proud of this small victory 🙂 Hip hip hooray!

    I will come back to this article every time I feel weak. Here’s to everyone struggling with this kind of pain. Your not alone. It will pass. Be strong. Be strong. Be strong.

    • May 19, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      I’m glad this could help with staying strong. Denial rears its head for everyone now and again. It’s important to recognize the longing for what it is: denial, and the accompanying delusion. All the best to you!


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