Boundaries exist to help people set healthy limits on what is acceptable in relationships. Healthy boundaries with a person who struggles with addiction can be a challenge. As the addiction worsens, the ability to set healthy boundaries may fail time and again, in a gradual degradation process which can leave others feeling powerless. Codependency may develop as a result. Learn how to set healthy boundaries with a loved one who has addiction and what to do if it becomes unmanageable.
A boundary is set at one’s own limit-an invisible line which others are not allowed to cross. When crossed, action is taken to protect the boundary. For instance, an individual in a relationship may not allow others to give put downs. If a person crosses the line, the individual with the boundary will respond by letting the person know that behavior is not tolerated. It takes courage to stand by one’s own words and continue to feel respected in a relationship, particularly with a person who struggles with addiction.
Four key elements exist which can help an individual maintain healthy boundaries while in a relationship with a person who has addiction.
Learning to set, and follow, healthy boundaries can bring positive change to a marriage or partnership. Eventually the individual may see the need for treatment and seek help. Boundaries are as important in recovery as any other time before. Be prepared to do some personal work alongside the individual with addiction and find hope, and healing, in the process.
Setting healthy boundaries can pave the way to a stronger relationship down the road. If your spouse is struggling with addiction or you need support, call Hired Power. Let us help guide you on the path to recovery.
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