Getting Help

We’ve been seeing what happens when addiction takes over a relationship. The people in the relationship disappear and the needs of the addiction consume everything. If you’re the person with the addiction, your job is to recover. If you’re the other person, your job is to recognize the diseased portion of the relationship, stay connectedContinue reading “Getting Help”

Calibrating your Compass

Take a perfectly functional compass and put it in a room with an electromagnet and it will forget which way is north. It’ll point to the magnet because the magnet is exerting a force that it cannot ignore, far more powerful than that exercised by the distant, measly north pole. When addiction enters a relationshipContinue reading “Calibrating your Compass”

Create Addiction Free Zones

If addiction has taken over your relationship, there’s plenty that you can do other than succumb to its evil yourself. Just because your boyfriend wants to get piss-drunk every time you go out, doesn’t mean you have to clean him up. Even if your girlfriend picks fights with everyone, doesn’t mean you have to makeContinue reading “Create Addiction Free Zones”

The Baby in the Room

You know what it’s like when there’s a baby in the room. At best, the baby is delightful and everyone is cooing and coddling the cute little tyke. At worse, the baby’s screams prevent anyone else from saying a word or even thinking a complete thought. If the baby is upset, then everything must stopContinue reading “The Baby in the Room”

Discerning the Person from the Addiction

Addiction can take over a relationship, just as if it moved into the house, kicked the couple out of their bed, ate up all the food in the refrigerator, and didn’t let them leave. It starts by taking over your partner. You think it’s your wife speaking when she says she can’t go to aContinue reading “Discerning the Person from the Addiction”

The Shrink’s Links: Terry

Bringing you the best of mental health every week. You may think you know George McGovern. Maybe not, maybe you’re too young to know the Democratic presidential nominee who challenged Nixon in 1972 and lost abysmally. Politically, he was my generation’s Bernie Sanders. Long after his presidential bid, he wrote a book, Terry: My Daughter’sContinue reading “The Shrink’s Links: Terry”

Addiction Wants it All

The trouble starts when you accommodate the wrong thing. Partners deserve accommodations. Reasonable compromise is at the heart of friendship, much less love. It’s better to give than to receive. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. There is no greater love than to lay down your life. If your girlfriend had the flu,Continue reading “Addiction Wants it All”

Are you a Partner or a Hostage?

Let’s sort this out: Partners have choices. Hostages have to do what they’re told. Partners can leave and speak. Hostages are bound and gagged. Partners share power. Hostages have no power. Partners compromise. Hostages adjust. Partners are trusted. Hostages are checked up on. Partners are loved. Hostages are blackmailed. Partners’ boundaries are observed. Hostages’ boundariesContinue reading “Are you a Partner or a Hostage?”

When Addiction Takes Over a Relationship

Even when people are firing on all cylinders, relationships can be tricky. When your partner is addicted, they can be impossible. Addiction takes a relationship into a dangerous territory where clarity turns gray and selfishness rules the day; where individuals disappear and are replaced by need; where spouses are objectified, resented, and manipulated; where weddingContinue reading “When Addiction Takes Over a Relationship”

Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse: You may not have gotten yourself into this mess, but it’s your responsibility to get yourself out

Addiction lands you right square in the middle of an ancient controversy between deterministic views of human behavior and the belief in free will. This is not just a philosophic or academic issue. What you believe about your ability to make choices will affect the choices you make. In fact, you’ll only make choices ifContinue reading “Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse: You may not have gotten yourself into this mess, but it’s your responsibility to get yourself out”