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For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the helpline is a private and convenient solution. Caring advisors are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options.
Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit (IP: 2607:fb90:a486:1161:8dc4:e0b2:61d1:b39a) will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC) or a paid sponsor.
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Married to an addict? How to get unstuck

Do you love an addict and feel stuck? If you feel trapped, boxed in, vulnerable, and lost because of loving an addict you are not alone.

Read on for more ideas on getting out of an unhealthy relationship. Then, we invite your comments and experience in the section at the end. In fact, we’ll try to respond to your inquiry personally and promptly.

Am I Stuck?

Being with an addict can feel like looking through foggy lenses. You know what you are seeing but everything looks fuzzy so you cannot see exactly what is happening right in front of you. When you know that your loved one is an addict and you cannot let go, leave, or change… then you are also the one who is stuck.

You may not be able put your finger on it at first… or for even for a long time after—but you might start to see everyone around you moving forward in their lives. Further, you might end up feeling like you were left at the train station standing on the platform while everyone else boarded the train.

Can you see the natural evolution of healthier relationships around you? Friends and family are participating in life events that you either avoid or go to alone. These are painful and constant reminders of what is missing in your own family.

Facing It

If you find yourself asking over and over again how you arrived at this point it is time to face facts. You are not being an advocate for you in your own life to make a notable difference in your situation. You cannot face something you do not acknowledge. So, when you are clear that you:

………a. need your situation to change;
………b. can no longer try to save your partner from addiction;
………c. you need to be responsible for your own well-being;
………d. you are tired of being codependent or “co-addicted”;

…you are ready to get unstuck.

How to Get Yourself Unstuck

An addict constructs a world of deception, manipulation, evasiveness and anger. The life you want is the exact opposite of this. If you expect honesty, you are married to the wrong person. But just because they are incapable of telling the truth about anything does not mean that you have to live in that world.

Here are some strategies to get unstuck:

  1. Trust in yourself. You are not paranoid.
  2. Stop asking the same questions expecting different answers.
  3. Disengage from conversations that lead the addict to tell stories. If you know the addict is using, do not ask them to admit it…they won’t! You will just become frustrated.
  4. Your partner’s delusions do not have to be your own. Use your head and not your heart. Your heart is what got you stuck and it is time to start listening to that voice that tells you things are not going to change.
  5. Stop trying to search for the answers you want to hear like how you can make this work and listen to the advice of people who have been there and gotten out of the situation.
  6. Just like an addict needs help to get sober, you need support to get out. Don’t try to do this alone, open up to the people you trust. You are going to need people rallying around you who won’t let you get away with the excuses you are used to making for putting up with the addict’s behavior.

Are You Making The Same Mistakes?

Just because the addict is in the wrong, it is no excuse for you to keep making the same mistakes you are making that keep you down. Using an addict’s behavior as an excuse to behave in ways that make you question who you are is just another way to stay stuck.

If you are stuck, you cannot expect someone to just come and pull you out. You have to make an effort to free yourself or you will end up taking other people down with you.

Leave a reply

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Hi Amanda, this article tells exactly how i feel at the moment. i'm really trying hard to become 'un-stuck' from my addict. its been the hardest fight of my life. I thought i was going to be able to leave him, and kick him out so easily, because i don't agree or condone him using drugs. i have never used drugs, I have reached out to people i trust. i am ready to get off the boat! I want feel free from this misery of a life that i have allowed for 3 yrs. I am currently reading your book,' Hope Street' , it is the a book of my life. Thank you for your blog, and God bless you for helping others.
Amanda Andruzzi
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Linda, Thank you for sharing your feelings here. I know this is not easy even though to others it seems like such a simple thing to do. You want to believe a person when they tell you that they are trying but you start to realize their struggle becomes yours and it is all consuming. There comes a point when you realize there is nothing left for you to do and that is when the enabling has to end. I am glad you are there and I am honored that I can be a part of that process. Keep me posted. Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer:
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Hi. Yet another great article!!! Story of my life... it's five months and am still going strong! No Turning back to co-dependence. One of the vital elements of this article though is making sure that one's support system knows the entire truth about their situation. I had to do this two weeks into my decision to leave the relationship. This was the hardest part of the break up for me, because my family and friends have never had to worry about a decision I am making; I have always been the voice of reason. Here I was exposing myself and making myself vulnerable to people that I felt viewed me as their rock. However, when I had all the truth spilled and the invisible lines of accountability set up, I knew it was going to be hard for me to go back and forth. The dishonesty though!!!!!! Up to date, for the life of me, I can not quite figure out why someone that loves (d) me would betray my trust that way. Watching videos on the physiology of addiction has been very helpful for me to understand why this happens and I highly reccomend watching a videos on the science of addiction on YouTube. When I understood that nothing I can ever do will remotely raise dorpamine levels in the brain to the level he gets when he uses his drug of choice, I found peace in knowing that this is way beyond me, and I deserve better. Apologies for long text but this forum has been a great resource to me and would hope my experience can help someone.
Amanda Andruzzi
Saturday, December 24th, 2016

Tessa, Thank you for sharing your story. You are an inspiration and being vulnerable is the part that you have mastered by telling all and posting here. That is part of the co-addiction; being in control or the illusion of control is what made us think we could handle the addict. Keep going strong and keep me posted. Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer:
Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

I've been "stuck" for 23 years. I think I stay because we have 4 kids. A divorce is not something you want on your list of accomplishments. My husband gets angry at the drop of a hat. I haven't seen him sober in a long time. He also has crack binges where is goes through a lot of money that isn't his then has to pay people back. He blames his childhood for his addictions. I have spent 23 years chasing him around town at night looking for him to come home. Texting his dealers, texting him as if texts mean anything. I don't know why I cant get a divorce. Maybe because I hid this life from my parents and a divorce would mean everyone would know. We argue everyday. He feels like its a waste of time for him to see a councilor and that it was my idea and that's the only reason he goes. Then he says his councilor will tell him he should get the divorce and that I'm the problem. He doesn't want to be controlled and yet he has his control over his family. His increasing violent outbursts and punching holes in the walls. I cant go anywhere with or without my kids. I am accused of not spending time with him. The reality is that he spends everyday after work and weekends in our backyard drinking etc with his friends to which I will not participate but have no say in this behavior. If I voice objections he will threaten to just go out then. I have resorted to looking at his phone, text records on our cell bill to see if he's having contact with his crack dealer. When he's wasted and can hardly walk which is daily by 6pm he gets mad dinner is not ready, he says things that don't make sense but then gets mad. He says things to our kids that are hurtful. I try to avoid him. I don't want to be emotionally involved with him because he always lets me down. There is always another crack binge just around the corner. 23 years of watching waiting and hoping things change. Loving a person who doesn't want to change. He thinks AA or any other substance abuse treatment program is a time waster. He has said many times he has no intention of stopping the alcohol, but the alcohol leads his mind to the binges. My oldest daughter tells me I should get a divorce! So why cant I just do it?
Amanda Andruzzi
Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Wray, Fear is he number one reason you don't leave. You fear not having a husband and starting over, you fear he may kill himself, fear you won't be able to support your children or make enough to live without him, fear he will get better and find someone else, fear of being alone, fear of anything that can happen as a result of you moving on. When you are ready, you will understand the only fear you should have is not leaving. This is no way to live and no current situation could be any better than a situation where you move on from this. Amanda Andruzzi
Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

I’ve been married to an active alcoholic for 18 years. We have two beautiful children. Halfway through our marriage I made clear that I was at wits end living with the effects of his disease and he went underground with it. He usually doesn’t get drunk in front of me or our children. He drinks at night after we’re fast asleep. He is highly functioning, a family man and doesn’t go out partying. For the most part I detached from him many years ago, but I slide back into fix mode on occasion and I need to remind myself that this is his issue. As u can surmise, detaching from his issue has had the effect of detaching from him. I was in fix mode a few days ago which prompted me to become more self aware and I’ve realized that I really don’t want him in my life. I’ve just been living parellel to his dark life - just putting up with it just because. Knowing this, I still can’t muster the courage to ask him to leave. My goodness what is it that makes this so darn difficult?
Thursday, December 21st, 2017

I have been living with my wife’s addiction for 7 years, possibly more. We have two children under 5. When sober she is a fantastic mother and wife. She is highly successful at work, earning lots and gaining recognition for her achievements. But it all unravels at home. Usually at the weekends. Tonight I came home from work and couldn’t get into the house. My 4 yr old son managed to get on a chair to unlock the door. My wife was passed out. My two boys had clearly been un attended for sometime. I simply put her to bed, to avoid a scene. To keep it away from the boys. Tomorrow she will be full of shame and ill feel sympathetic. I will ask her to take Antabuse. She will agree, but won’t. And the cycle will start again in a few days. I feel completely stuck. The last thing I want is to separate her from her boys. Sorry. I just wanted to write this.
Amanda Andruzzi
Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

Jennifer & James, This is the most frustrating disease because we keep saying to ourselves "if this person would just stop using then we would be fine." Then things don't change and we become emotionally exhausted. It is a cycle of ups and downs and sometimes we come to the point where we have to get off the ride; and that is okay too. Your health and happiness is important too and if the person you love refuses to get help or help themselves then we have a choice too. Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer:

About Amanda Andruzzi

Amanda Andruzzi, MPH, AADP, CHES, is a Certified Health Coach, founder of Symptom-Free Wellness, and the author of Hope Street. Her first book, Hope Street memoir is an inspirational story of one woman's frightening journey of co-addiction that led her to uncover courage, unbelievable strength and overcome great adversity. She resides with her daughter, husband, and two sons in Florida.