What's the best way to be supportive of a partner who struggles with addictive tendencies?

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Try to accept that healing isn’t linear and your partner may stumble while seeking sobriety.

I’m a recovering alcoholic. The best thing my husband did for me was two pronged: he was graceful with my slip-ups and initial struggles with sobriety, but he also held me accountable for keeping myself in check. He didn’t chide me when I did have a drink or two after first deciding to go down the road of sobriety but he was vocal when he felt like I was slipping too far. I first got sober in May 2017 and relapsed during the pandemic, but I now have a year and a half under my belt again. Good support makes all the difference for recoverers; be there as much as you can without sacrificing your own emotional well-being.

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Depends, has this person admitted they are powerless over alcohol/drugs/sex/food/gambling etc — that their lives had become unmanageable?

That is the key first (of 12) steps.

Have you looked into AlAnon? It’s for partners of addictees.

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My partner didn’t go to alanon (yet) but one thing that she’s done right is being supportive of my journey, while acknowledging that it’s my journey (and not her responsibility to “fix), and that she has her own journey with her own challenges.

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Addiction stems largely from pain - from trauma - so understanding more about the root causes your partner is experiencing will help (every case is unique). Another useful read from the same author is this:

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/22245552
Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs

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In my early 20s I lived with a boyfriend that was a full on coke addict. Like, wouldn’t pick me up from work because he stole my paycheck and snorted it while holed up somewhere for a full week at a time addict. He was a full blown addict that regularly stole my basic needs of food shelter safety for his addiction for years.

Flash forward 20 years im a “functional” drinker that struggles to quit completely to live my best life.

From both sides of the fence my advice is that you can’t love someone better. This is out of your control. You cannot fix this. Neither compassion nor tough love from you will fix this. They cannot fix it. Their addiction has you living in a reactive state. You may need to leave for your own safety. Do not let an addict drag you down to their bottom.

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Yes ALANON would be helpful

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AlAnon is a great suggestion. Aside front hat the only thing I would say is to understand that there is literally nothing that you can say or do to change this persons path if they are a true addict/alcoholic. Only when that person gets miserable enough will they reach out for help, and even then that help won't come from you. Many people never do get help. Be aware, and be supportive in any conversation about wanting to change, and most importantly make sure that you are whole emotionally. If you put your happiness on that persons path, you'll get hurt 100% of the time, and most likely become less available/useful to them on that path to recovery.

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Therapy or a support group.

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