This article was originally posted on October 2, 2013.
Is it possible to have a healthy relationship with someone who is in active addiction? What needs to happen for that to occur?
If you are in that situation, you have probably wondered about this many times.
THE QUESTION OF THE DAY
Several weeks ago I was interviewed on Talk Recovery radio, a new program on Vancouver’s Co-Op Radio station, dealing with addiction and recovery issues. I was honored to be chosen as their very first guest, and I had a great time talking with the interviewers about my book Loving an Addict, Loving Yourself: The Top 10 Survival Tips for Loving Someone with an Addiction and the work I do with the loved ones of people struggling with addictive behaviors.
The Question of the Day that was posed for the show was: Is it possible to have a healthy relationship with someone who is in active addiction? Throughout our lively discussion, we touched on many important topics—not the least of which was the importance of knowing the difference between helping and enabling. At one point, one of the interviewers, Frances, quipped, “Sometimes love looks like No,” which I thought was just brilliant—thank you, Frances, for putting it so succinctly.
It’s so true—sometimes love really does look like “no.” We know that loving parents take the time to teach their young children not to do unsafe things such as touching a hot stove or running into a busy street. Sometimes there are even consequences for behaviors such as these that put children at risk, so that they will come to understand that they can’t do whatever they like whenever they like. In this way, children can learn how to think a potential action through to its logical conclusion—a necessary skill that can enormously assist a child’s decision-making process well into adulthood. [Read more…]