Mutual respect is necessary in any close relationship. Neither party should feel that they are simply being used by the other person to satisfy their needs at the expense of their own. When a partner turns to drug use, although you might have feelings of love, respect often flies out of the window. If a partner becomes addicted to drugs, you feel that they don’t respect you. Very often people lose their own self respect when trying to hold on to a relationship with an addict.
You can give an addict help, and help yourself if you mentally relax and try to look at options for change.
To help regain mutual self respect there are some positive things you can do.
Get information about how the drug works, and the effects that the drug might have upon the user. Then decide what issues the drug is causing, and what issues you want to resolve.
When you have worked out what you need from the relationship, set it down in simple form. It can help if you prioritize what is most important to you. Then find a time to sit down with the addict and say that you need to talk about the issues that you have. Start with the main issue, keep it short and to the point.
Next, stay calm and take a deep breath – and wait for the addicts answer. Addicts are very often full of anger, so be aware that an angry response is not necessarily anything to be taken personally. Given time and opportunity addicts often welcome an opportunity to speak about their problems.
Confirm to the addict that the discussion is not intended to be a criticism of them, only their choice of behavior.
Sometimes, regardless of the position that an addict takes, you will find it is time to set limits, make rules to help maintain your own self respect. If general discussion about the issues fails to bring a resolution, you might have to give an ultimatum.
If certain behavior does not stop, then there will be consequences.
Sometimes people use tactics to try and get others to comply with their wishes and do what it is that they want. When there is mutual respect for the other person and yourself, you have to be prepared for the fact that the other party might choose a different option.
Giving the other party real freedom to choose and face the consequences of his choice is about respect for the other person.
If you make an ultimatum and the addict doesn’t comply, then regardless of your feelings, you have to follow through and do what you have said you will do. If you simply leave things as they were before, it begins to look like co-dependence. Self respect and the relationship suffers if both parties take the easy way out, and fail to negotiate change.
Getting experienced addict help from a substance abuse counselor for both yourself and an addict can take the weight off your shoulders. It also provides insights and input into the relationship from a fresh and different viewpoint.
Holistic relationship counselors are trained to be non-judgmental. Holistic counseling gives both parties a real chance to speak up and be heard. Magical improvements can happen with holistic counseling – helping you to regain mutual respect and improve your relationhip with an addict.