Addiction is horrible and it ruins many lives on a day-to-day basis. We all know as much. It’s always hard to be an addict, but sometimes it’s even harder to love one. If you’re in that situation, there are probably hundreds of things going through your head. Is it your fault? Will it get worse when you leave? How can you go on without blaming yourself for whatever happens to this loved one? Will positive thinking be enough to save your relationship?

Unfortunately, sometimes you need to face the harsh truth. Living in a relationship with an addict is difficult. If you can’t cope, then you need to leave, both for their well-being and for yours. Sometimes, loved ones can end up enabling an addict, which can lead to heartbreaking consequences and even more guilt (on both sides). At times, even if you don’t want to admit it, ending an unhealthy relationship brings a certain sense of relief.

At the same time, there are certain things you need to consider before breaking off a relationship with someone who has a serious addiction. Take a look at some things to look out for on your way out.

Here Are 5 Ways to End A Relationship with An Addict

1. Are they safe?

If you’re feeling angry, hurt, or distressed, the last thing that you’re thinking of might be their safety and wellbeing. However, as the hurt, anger, and distress fade away, you will definitely find yourself looking back and wondering why you didn’t do more to help this person. That’s why, when you decide it’s time to walk out the door, consider whether or not they have a support system of family or friends. Do they have relatives who can keep an eye on them when you’re not there anymore? Have they got any solid income? What will they live on?

Many addicts become increasingly dependent on their partners as their addiction worsens. For your own sake as well as theirs, try to make sure a support system is in place for them, otherwise you may end up regretting it.

2. Be firm with your decisions

It’s very hard to say that something is forever, but in this case, you can’t allow yourself to be lenient. If you do, you might see that you’re going back to the situation you were trying to avoid. Decided to cut all ties with the addict? Then cut all ties. Don’t answer their calls, their messages, don’t go back to them “just for one night.” Decided to stick around and help them instead?

You need to be just as firm in that decision as in any other. You can’t just skip back and forth between these two extreme, because it’s unfair to both of you. Once you know what you want to do, communicate it clearly and make sure that both parties know what to expect.

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3. Take your safety into consideration

When a relationship ends, the last thing that we want to think about is the practicalities. However, if you’re in a serious relationship – especially if you have children – you can’t escape without fallout. Your decision is a difficult one and it’s not something you should go through alone – whether it’s an attorney, a doctor, or your family, you deserve to have support too. Figure out how you’ll communicate the breakup to your partner and what will be easiest for both of you.

Addicts often tend to have abusive tendencies, so make sure you keep your safety – and the safety of any dependents you may have – a top priority.

4. Remind yourself that you don’t owe an explanation to anyone

Addiction is ugly business that doesn’t normally get a lot of public awareness. It’s possible that even people in your close circle of family and friends don’t know about your partner’s addiction. So, when the relationship ends, there will inevitably be questions coming from all sides. Remember that your safety and well-being always come first. It’s easy to think you owe something to someone, but it’s vital to remember that you really, really don’t. No one knows the ins and outs of your relationship as well as you do, and no one should feel entitled to that information.

5. Remember that life goes on – but be careful with your behavior

Once it’s all over, there’s no larger relief than knowing you can go on with your life. In this case, however, always carry the experience from your previous relationships. People who have dated addicts in the past are very likely to date addicts again. Why? Because you have gotten used to the dynamic of this particular type of relationship. If you find yourself chasing after someone because you think they’ll need you just as much as your ex did, it’s time to reconsider your strategy.

Additionally, think of healthy coping ways to deal with your relationship breakdown – like starting therapy. A good therapist will be able to help you with these issues and make sure they stay in the past forever.

Final thoughts

It’s always hard to recover from a relationship like that, but with the right positive mindset, nothing is impossible. The main thing is to follow your gut and know what you want to do before you do it. Because once you go down that road, there’s no way to turn back.

“My encouragement: delete the energy vampires from your life, clean out all complexity, build a team around you that frees you to fly, remove anything toxic, and cherish simplicity. Because that’s where genius lives.” – Robin S. Sharma