This feeling, of having been pruposefully slighted by a loved one who doesn't even care enough to pick you instead of his or her drug or behavior, is common among family members of addicts. There is only one problem with this perspective: It's just not true.
While it is true that the drug or addictive behavior is, most likely the most important thing in his or her life, it is not about you. It isn't that he doesn't love his family or she doesn't care about your feelings.
It's more about her needing the drug to survive right not - or thinking she does.
Your job is not to wallow in self-pity and build up an angry case against them - that is, unless you want to contribute to the problem...
If you want to give your loved one the very best chance of possibly getting well, your job is to learn about addiction, study recovery, and begin your own family recovery journey.
"No, wait," you say. "I am not the problem. I'm home every night. Cooking the meals. Washing the clothes. Taking care of the kids. I'm not the one who disappears for hours or days at a time, goes through money faster than it comes in, or keeps on using though my spouse doesn't want me to. Why on Earth should I do any of those things?"
Well, for one thing, you have a better chance of your loved one choosing you over their drug someday once you learn how to communicate with them lovingly rather than with a chip on your shoulder. It's not that the chip wasn't justified from your old perspective, but, now that you know it won't help things, learning how to get rid of it and replace it with a loving response is just common sense, don't ya think?
Anyway, I was a newlywed when I realized my husband's use wasn't about me. At first I thought, "So big deal, it's not about me. It's still awful."
When I researched the literature on what helped and what didn't, I put it into practice and saw for myself that it was possible to be a force for good in a using loved one's life.
Over the years, I developed what I had learned into a program I call, "Be A Loving Mirror" or BALM.
This program includes
- free reports and newsletters
- blog posts
- recorded and telephone classes starting with The Daily BALM
- group family recovery coaching
- individual family recovery coaching
- advanced BALM Family Recovery Coach Training