Monday, 23 May 2011

Relationships and Addictions

My Partner Is Addicted to Drugs and Alcohol: What Can I Do?

An addictive relationship would have to be the most frustrating relationship to be involved in. Nothing breeds more contempt and frustration than a partner who has an addiction. This kind of relationship is just as painful for the person facing the addiction as it is for the people who love them. A relationship that is marred with alcohol or drug abuse is fraught with arguments, confrontations, financial hardship, emotional blackmail and possibly physical abuse. The partner without the addiction will be constantly on the receiving end of the other’s problems and they will live with the hope that one day the addict will kick the habit.

These relationships bring nothing but sadness and despair; one can only expect constant unhappiness. There is bound to be loneliness, intense anger and many confrontations about what the addict is doing. Someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol will do anything to obtain that next drink or next hit of their chosen drug, and usually at the expense of their partner. Funnily enough the confrontations will often unite the couple, rather than drive them apart. This is called co-dependency.

This happens because the addict will display total helplessness if their comfort zone within the relationship is threatened. An addict will break down at such confrontations pleading for support. They will make empty promises of moving away from the addiction, and promise never to touch drugs or alcohol again. It is this helplessness that pushes the other partner to provide the necessary emotional support. This cycle of support will get worse with every fight and confrontation.

Most of us would assume that the partner without the addiction may leave however sadly that is not the case. They are addicted to the cycle of supporting their partner in their suffering. For some walking out is not an option, they may be dependant on their partner for many reasons; financial security could well be a factor, especially if the non addict is the homemaker in the family. Fear is what holds these relationships together.

Some partners will convince themselves that their addicted partners’ will die if they leave them to their own devices. This is another form of emotional blackmail being played out. Usually the addicted partner has planted that seed. Some people will convince themselves that they alone can help the addict give up their addiction.

Whatever the reason, some partners will stay on in the relationship and believe that everything will be fine one day. The addicts make full use of this scenario by engaging in more emotional blackmail, and subtle arm-twisting.

You could be in danger of being trapped in such as relationship, should you show some of the following traits:

  • You will not leave them, even though you know that what is happening is bad for you, and will possibly ruin your career or your personal life.

  • You constantly make excuses for your partner, absolving him or her of the blame even though you realise your thinking defies logic

  • The thought of leaving causes you to panic and cling to your partner more tightly. You feel confused all the time, when its clear you may well be fighting a losing battle.

  • You suffer physical and emotional discomfort when you try to escape the relationship. It could be an evening out with a friend and you may yearn to return home to your partner.

What should you do to save the relationship?

Do nothing; unless your partner is committed to overcoming their addictions. This is such a hard relationship to be in and we all deserve happiness. Why make life harder than it has to be however, if you are choosing to stay then here are some suggestions:

You need to build your strength. Should you choose to take this on, you must not allow your partner to mess with your values and principles. You must remain true to yourself. Do not give in to your partner’s emotional blackmail, and insist that they get help or you will leave. There is a group called Al Anon, it is support group for the families of alcoholics, this will help you. Be ruthless in dealing with the addict. Treat their addiction as a disease and not something personal. Insist on them taking steps to get well and do not feed the addiction by giving into emotional blackmail. If your partner is craving a hit, or a drink, let them deal with it and if they become ill or have a seizure, call an ambulance. Do not mother them, or try to wrap them in cotton wool, all you can do is be there.

You are an equal partner in the relationship. And you should not be manipulated into believing that you are their saviour or rescuer. Your partner is not a victim, they are sick, they have a disease called addiction and there is no cure, except to give up the addiction. Do not treat yourself as a victim either, as you are not. Let the addict know that you have no desire to become a martyr for his cause. Do not accept his or her lies. Addicts will tell lie after lie to get their own way. Any psychologist will tell you that addicts are extremely good at convincing you to believe their lies and excuses. This is how they live in denial of their own addiction and they inevitably force their partners into the game.

Find a support group that understands what you are going through. This is so important, even if your partner refuses to get help, you must! You will realize that are not alone and the group will help you to get out the pattern that your partner has you trapped in. The group will also give you strategies to cope with your partner’s addiction and all the rubbish that goes with it. They will also give you the strength to move away from your partner if you wish to do this. These people have been through the same stuff you are going through.

You might like to consider seeing a therapist or counsellor. Your well-being is at stake here. This may be a shock, given that you may feel that your partner needs professional help and you may feel that you don’t. But believe me, you do. If you are considering staying with your addict partner, then you need all the help you can possibly get. Counselling can be very useful, you will learn how to tackle sticky situations with your partner and deal with the sadness and depression you are bound to feel whilst dealing with this type of relationship.

Give yourself a time limit. Know when to say enough is enough and leave. Do not suffer on indefinitely or you will just become a slave to the addict, and he or she will suck you deeper and deeper into a life of constant unhappiness.

You may get to a point in the relationship where you have decided that there is nothing more you can do for your partner. This is the time to walk out of the relationship and move on with your life. However painful this is, you must do it. Do not go down the road of guilt, or remorse because you have done your absolute best. Before you make your decision, look back on the relationship and ask yourself if you did do all you could. If yes is your answer, then it is time to walk out. Go and do not look back, it is time to rebuild your life.

Janelle Coulton (aka Jel) is a professional relationship & fiction writer. She writes essays, articles, critical prose and contributes to blogs and websites. She is passionate about writing and helping people who have troubled relationships. Her work can be provocative, controversial and funny. Most of all her writing contains passion. Jel writes for Hubpages, Bubblews. Triond and Wikinut as Janelle Coulton, she also writes under her pen name Whitney Rose at Helium, Experts Pages and Full Of Knowledge. Jel was a former writer at Suite101, you can link to her Suite profile below.

To read more of Janelle Coulton's articles, Please visit at: JanelleCoulton@Suite101 or you can read other blogs at: Janelle's Blogs

Link back to this article and many others on Bubblews: Relationships and Addictions

All photos have a Creative Commons licence and are linked to the appropriate source.

Copyright © 2012 Janelle Coulton

Information about all drugs and the
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Sunday, 22 May 2011

When The Truth is Better Left Unsaid


Many of you would have heard of Dr Laura Schlessinger, the author and radio host who has penned many books about family and children and runs a talk back radio programme giving advice to many about family, marriage, sex, relationships, children and many other social issues. Just recently one of her Blog entries caught my eye. 

Why is it that human beings are so obsessed with being honest and feel that people need to know the truth at all costs? Possibly years and years of scolding for lying. Or the endless lecture about trust and honesty. I remember how angry my Mum was if we lied about something. However years later when I was pregnant with my daughter and my dear mother was dying of cancer, I chose to keep the truth of my condition from her. Let's face it, she would have been upset, Mum knew she was almost out of time, she was upset already that her life had been cut so short and she would not see her kids get married or meet her grandchildren. So I chose to keep that information to myself and to this day I know I did the right thing. Those who knew kept my secret too, and no-one has ever criticised my decision to keep my pregnancy a secret.

Laura used the example of a father who steps into a family and takes on the duties of fatherhood even though the child is not of his sperm. The real father is long gone and unaware he has a child at all. Do we tell this child or do we keep it a secret. How likely is it that he or she will discover the truth. Not likely; unless someone tells the child. Sometimes more drama is created than is necessary and some humans buy into the rubbish that something will happen to bring the truth out into the open, just like it does on many TV soap operas. Looking at the situation from the point of the child, the child is the only one who will get hurt in this scenario and possibly for no good reason except their supposed right to honesty at all times. Is he or she going to thank you for putting their life in confusion and turmoil with this information? He or she will be extremely upset that their real Dad could not be bothered to stick around.

As for medical history, we have so much advanced technology in medicine these days that we can find out almost anything without a medical history. There really is no reason that this child cannot grow up never knowing about their sperm donor father. It's the man who stays and takes on the role of Dad who deserves the role of father, not the man who donated his sperm. Obviously there are instances where the truth must be told, and if these instances arise, the child should be told the truth.

What about a cheating spouse? Should the injured party be told? Not necessarily, especially if the person cheating is willing to fix what is wrong in the relationship and move forward. It is not necessary to hurt someone in this way, just for sake of honesty. When it comes to marriage and families, we need to be preserving the family at all costs and making decisions based on what is best for the family unit. Children do not need to be torn from their families for what might have been one mistake or error in judgement. People really do have to remember when to shut up.

Obviously if a spouse is a chronic adulterer, then it is probably best to end the marriage, however if a couple can rebuild their marriage even after adultery has occurred, then they should try and not just walk away. Again this would depend on the circumstances; for example: if the couple are contemplating marriage and there is information that one partner is cheating, then it may well be best to be honest, providing all the facts are there to back up this accusation. If it is only based on gossip and not facts, then it would be best to keep it to yourself.

It can feel impossible not to be truthful with someone about something which is going to hurt them, however sometimes there are times when the truth only serves to hurt others and is in no-ones best interests at all, except possibly to relieve someones guilt. Feeling guilty is not a good enough reason to hurt another person. The guilty party needs to feel the remorse that goes with feeling guilty and move past it. This is normal. Guilt is what some call the wasted emotion, absolutely of no benefit to anyone, except to tell us humans that we have done wrong, and once we are aware of our wrongdoing, then we need to move onwards and upwards and let go of the guilt.

Recent Articles by Janelle Coulton

Will Cristina And Owen Save Their Marriage On Grey's Anatomy?
Season 9 of Grey's Anatomy will return in the Fall. Many Cristina and Owen fans are hoping that their favourite couple can reunite despite their differences
Jun 11, 2012 - Janelle Coulton

Dr. Pete Wilder On Private Practice Will Not Return In Season 6
Actor Tim Daly who plays Pete Wilder in Grey's Anatomy spin off, Private Practice has announced his contract has not been renewed.
May 30, 2012 - Janelle Coulton

Will Grey's Anatomy's Little Grey Get A Funeral?
The character of Lexie Grey is gone and Chyler Leigh has left the show; however fans are still plenty angry.
May 29, 2012 - Janelle Coulton

Link to article on Bubblews: When The Truth Is Better Left Unsaid

To read more of Janelle Coulton's articles, Please visit at: JanelleCoulton@Suite101 or you can read other blogs at: Janelle's Blogs

Copyright © 2012 Janelle Coulton

Get this book on Amazon, I have read this
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One of the Greatest Role Models of our Time.
24 September 1941 - 17 April 1998

It is now fifteen years since Linda McCartney passed away from cancer and yet it seems like yesterday. Linda was an accomplished photographer who captured the heart of the last remaining single Beatle, Paul McCartney. In 1967, Linda was invited by Brian Epstein (the Beatle’s manager) to photograph the Beatles.  The Beatles had just released the album; “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and a photo shoot and celebration was scheduled at Brian Epstien’s house and that is where the connection between Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman was made. A marriage that would span almost thirty years soon followed; see photo below.

However, Linda was not just the wife of a Beatle or Paul McCartney’s wife. That was only one part of who she was.  Linda was a dedicated, loving, caring homemaker to McCartney and their four children, Heather (from her first marriage), Mary, Stella and James. Family and love meant everything to Linda and she was totally dedicated to loving, nurturing and caring for her family. 

Aside from her strong family values, she had a great passion for photography. Linda never saw photography as a career; nonetheless she became a success at it. Linda saw her photography as fulfilling her ultimate fantasy. When Linda took photographs of musicians in the early sixties, she had no idea she was photographing future icons, for example: The Doors, Stevie Winwood and his band Traffic, Janis Joplin and many more. Linda would go on to photograph the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin and the Beatles, which led to her meeting Paul McCartney. Linda’s love of photography was not just about photographing musicians, she would be just as excited to photograph the waitress in a cafe.  Linda saw photography as capturing the life and soul of the moment. Making the picture tell a story and to make the person stop and look and think. Amongst her photographs are many landscapes, animals, and of course her family and friends. Paul and their children feature in many of her pictures.

Linda was a vegetarian and published two best selling vegetarian cookbooks. A lover of nature and animals, Linda also became deeply involved in animal rights and the protection of cruelty to animals.  The McCartney's owned a property in Sussex, England and a farm in Scotland, they had dozens of animals, including horses which was another of Linda’s loves. Linda and Paul would ride their horses every morning, it was how they kick started each day and horse riding can be for the horse enthusiast, a very effective release and an incredible high. The film clip that was made for McCartney’s song “Maybe I’m Amazed” just says it all.  It was a love song, written for Linda and the film clip clearly portrays the love and devotion within their family. Linda and Paul out horse-riding, playing with the children, the numerous family photographs mostly taken by Linda and the whole family dancing and singing, while Paul plays guitar. This three minute film illustrates the total love and commitment within their marriage and family.

Linda had it tough in the early days. Marrying a Beatle was something you just did not do, according to legions of Beatle’s fans. Paul McCartney was the only Beatle who had not married and many say the most handsome of the fabulous four. When the Beatles split up, the finger was pointed at Linda, as well as in many other directions. Many fans maintain that Lennon and McCartney’s wives; Yoko and Linda were responsible for the split.

In reality no-one knows why the Beatles split up, that’s another story. McCartney went on the form the band “Wings” and insisted Linda be up on stage with him. That move inspired a barrage of criticism, mostly from jealous fans who wanted to be in her shoes. Critics would insist she could not sing or her musical skills were amateur. However, Linda certainly could sing and she dug in her heels and kept on performing with her husband, because she said “We like being together.”  When the McCartney’s were on tour they took the children with them, they would hire tutors so their children could keep up with their school work. The McCartney's believed in keeping their family together as much as possible. Linda never cared what the critics had to say about her, her commitment was to her family.

Wings” disbanded about ten years later and McCartney went back into the studio to record. Linda went to work on her vegetarian projects and her photography book. She also became involved in the protection of animal rights. Linda’s books were best-sellers and she found she had many admirers and of course the critics were never too far away. The people that admired Linda were probably a little envious of her life, the critics on the other hand were plain jealous. There was not a mean bone in Linda’s body; Linda had a kind and caring soul, always taking care of everyone. Linda was a wonderful role model to her family and has raised four remarkable children, whom have all have become a success in their chosen careers. Probably the most famous McCartney child would be Stella McCartney, a well-known fashion designer in Paris. Heather became an accomplished artist, Mary is a photographer and James is a musician.

Linda’s examples of a loving family built on love, trust, honesty and commitment certainly endeared her too the public and many of Linda’s critic have longs since eaten humble pie. She was one of the most remarkable women of our time.  Her basic, down to earth values of family, morality and stability are strong examples to all families. The McCartney marriage was one the strongest ever seen in the show business world. A happy marriage lasting almost thirty years in show business today is almost unheard of.

In 1995, Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer. After consultation with many specialists, they commenced chemotherapy and radiation treatment. It seemed that in 1997 that Linda had beaten the cancer.  In-fact when many saw Linda at her daughter Stella’s fashion show in early March 1998, it was assumed that she was getting better. Sadly that was not the case, the cancer had moved to Linda’s liver and Paul and Linda knew of no cure. The only thing left to do was to make Linda as happy as possible during the time she had left. Paul and Linda reportedly went to their ranch in Arizona, where the couple had a getaway house. They rode and sat in the sun, talked and laughed. They also finished Linda’s album Wide Prairie. This album proves once and for all, that Linda can indeed, sing.

Fifty-six year old Linda McCartney died in her husband Paul’s arms on the morning of 17 April 1998.  Her children were also by her side when she passed over. Her body was cremated shortly there after and the McCartney’s returned home to Sussex, England to scatter her ashes. Such a beautiful life cut so tragically short. A wonderful, loving mother and wife; taken from her family way too soon. Paul McCartney has been quoted as saying that, “Linda will be most remembered for the message of love that she instilled in everyone.”

This warm, tender and affectionate person who touched so many peoples’ hearts will live on in her families’ and our memories forever.

Endnote: This tribute has been written and re-written several times. Linda McCartney was an inspiration to many. It is important that her message of love and compassion live on and are never forgotten.

 Coming Soon: A Biography of Lady Linda McCartney, watch this space.

Photos hold a Creative Commons licence and are linked in the caption to the source.

Copyright © 2013 Janelle Coulton