Love and Addictions! Could a Person in Active Addiction Love His/Her Partner the Way They Expect and Deserved to Be Loved??

Addictions!!! Addictions everywhere, to various drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, sex, various harmful behaviors… just about anything that would product a quick HIGH to only leave the user wanting more, needing more and using/doing more! Addictions plague our lives, some in the open, some hidden under the mountains of lies and pretense.

Addictions run in my family and my husband’s, or to tell the truth, my ex-husband’s, who two years after our separation killed himself. Why? It is hard to tell, because suicide is a complex matter, and the ways depend on each person and not what those around do, or do not do. 

When I first met my husband of almost 20 years, I knew he was smoking weed, I suspected he was using other, more potent drugs, but in my innocent mind, believed I was going to CHANGE HIM!!! Stop the addictions because they were bad for him and I was so skilled in showing him the “healthy” path, he would just turn away from addictions and follow my lead to a long, happy life. To put it plainly, I thought I could control the bad… I overestimated the evil…

At the beginning, it worked. One by one, he quit all the damaging substances. Later, I realized that perhaps, at the beginning, the needed “high” was coming from the novelty of the situation, from a new sexual  relationship and a new life that came with it: a home, children the admiration of those who thought he was “hopeless…”

Temporary!!! Yes, it was all temporary!

Unless an addicted person wants himself or herself to CHANGE!!! other people’s efforts are useless!

I don’t mean to “deflate” anyone, but YOU CANNOT CHANGE ANYONE PERMANENTLY!!! A PERSON MUST WANT TO CHANGE HIMSELF OR HERSELF!!! Changing  others is not possible. We only have control over ourselves and our attitude and what we do with our lives.

So… could a person in active addiction or forced to quit LOVE YOU?

My experience? May be in the beginning, when you are the new high, the novelty. But is this love or lust? Is it deep and lasting? Is it trustworthy?

In a few years, if the person was forced to quit because of YOU, it may turn to resentment, fear and ultimately lies, when your addicted partner starts hiding from you the fact  that they went back to their first love: the bottle, weed, cocaine, gambling, sexual encounters with no strings attached…  you might not even know! I didn’t. For years I thought his sudden sweats where the result of a  mysterious health condition and our lack of money, the result of a bad economy!  Until one day, when I received a letter from the IRS and I looked through our finances to find tens of checks written to cash… $5,000 each. And that was the day when I was pushed from the top of the tower of blind trust into the dark waters of fear and mistrust! The addictions won over our lives, our children, my love and trust. I was powerless and humbled.  

Do they love YOU, the children you conceived together? The answer, as I experienced it, is, may be, but are they able to EXPRESS their love for you, their children? The love for the “addiction” comes FIRST!!!  You and your family compete with the addictions! Everything is done to cover the truth: lies, financial deceit, promises, lies again…

The only path I know of, which leads to a good like, is the person’s own will and decision to change. God gave us FREE WILL and CHOICES and CONSEQUENCES. Each person is only responsible and may only make theirs.

I humbly must admit that no one could “save” or “change” anyone else, unless they want to. A partner may support, encourage and be with someone who, on his/her own wants a change.

Control over others is a myth! Control over our own attitudes, is the truth! 

Are You Alone, or Are You Lonely, or Both?

It was a Friday evening and  I was alone. I decided this was not going to stop me from eating in my favorite Italian Restaurant.

The line was long enough that required the hostess  to hand vibrating devices to the guests, so they  would have the convenience to wonder in the Mall and when the device vibrated return to the restaurant.

Unlike most times, I was happy to wait, may I dare say, I was grateful at the opportunity to “kill time.”. There was no other place to rush, no one depending on me, no kids to drive anywhere, no hungry husband to feed or wash to do. I was just responsible for myself, a new odd feeling, as if it wasn’t right, as if to be in charge of only myself, was not enough. However, this was the reality of that particular evening: I was alone and lonely. I felt incomplete after years of pouring my love and focusing on others, now I was forced to look inside myself to determine if “the container of ME” was empty, and if so, what would it take to replenish it with love of self… 

This was happening after my divorce, and I was determined to not fall into the stereotype of “rebounding,” of diving head first, numb heart, into the arms of the first available male, so on the surface I wouldn’t be alone, yet feel lonely inside.This time, I was going to do it right: Get to know myself first,  take my time to understand what I really needed,  and more importantly, what I could  offer an eventual new life- partner. Above it all, I was determined to have the courage to be alone, in the physical world,  until I was comfortable enough and love myself enough to not feel lonely! 

Going out alone, on a Friday night, was a first small step, which felt huge at the time…

“”How big is the party you are expecting?” the hostess asked, handing me the “call back vibrating device.”

I breathed in, I breathed out, slowly…

“Table for one, please.” I asked the restaurant hostess.

She handed me the “call back” device hesitantly:

“For a party of ONE, the wait would be longer…”

I assured her time was not a problem and grabbed the call back device.

In time, it got easier and easier to be a “party of one.” Many times it was a game I played counting how many other parties of ONE were in a movie theater for instance, and if I were the only one, I’d treat myself with ice cream, after the show, to celebrate being a party of one and feeling better and better in my own company.

After a few months of being alone and getting used to myself, I had to admit that in the last years of my married life, I was not alone, but I was lonely most of the time.Whose fault was it? His? Mine? I settled for both. Relationships are two-way streets and the grey areas are predominant. There is no such thing as his or her “fault.” When a relationship starts to deteriorate, the key is unmet expectations on both sides.

The lesson I learned is to identify my own  unhealthy patterns, the “whys,” of my actions, so in the future I would be able to change repeating the same mistakes, into life lessons, from which  I learned and will never repeat.

Most importantly, I understood that the only behavior and attitude I have the right and the power to change is MINE, and before I’d say “I love you,” to somebody else, I need to look in the mirror at myself, say “I love you,” and mean it.

“Party of one, please, and I don’t care how long it takes!”

Today I am alone, but by no means lonely!