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Addiction is not a disease of character, personality, spirit or circumstance. It’s a human condition with human consequences, and being that we’re all human, we’re all vulnerable.Addicts can come from any life and from any family.When they finally manage to get past all of the chemical baggage that they had been carrying with them for so long, what you will find in most instances is that former addicts have just as many outstanding qualities as anyone else, and this can make them a joy to be around for family and friends alike. Is it wise to form a more intimate connection with an ex-addict or alcoholic, no matter how dramatically they appear to have turned their lives around?In looking at the experiences of others, what we can say is that many who have formed romantic partnerships with former substance abusers have come to regret that decision immensely, while others have been able to establish satisfying permanent relationships with those who have successfully put their past addictions behind them.It’s easy to feel judged for withdrawing support for the addict, but eventually, this becomes the only possible response.
He will have an army of people behind him and beside him when he makes the decision, but until then, I and others who love him are powerless. Nobody intends for a behaviour to become an addiction, and if you are someone who loves an addict – whether it’s a parent, child, partner, friend, sibling – the guilt, the shame and the helplessness can be overwhelming.You might stop liking them, but you don’t stop loving them.If you’re waiting for the addict to stop the insanity – the guilt trips, the lying, the manipulation – it’s not going to happen.If you can’t say no to the manipulations of their addiction in your unaddicted state, know that they won’t say no from their addicted one. If you love an addict, it will be a long and excruciating road before you realise that there is absolutely nothing you can do.It will come when you’re exhausted, heartbroken, and when you feel the pain of their self-destruction pressing relentlessly and permanently against you.