Talking to a Loved One About His or Her Problem
Denial, justification, and rationalization are just as prevalent in relationship addictions as in other addictions. Therefore, when approaching a friend or loved one about her problem, be prepared. Again, remember that this is not personal. It is evidence of the power and control that the addiction has over the addict.
An individual with a relationship addiction may feel intense guilt and shame over her problem. Be gentle and compassionate with this, and remind the person of her strengths. Capitalizing on her strengths is what will help the relationship addict conquer her addiction. At the same time, direct honesty and firmness will be required to break through the barriers of denial.
Support groups can be particularly effective in helping an individual with relationship addictions. If necessary, offer to go with your friend or loved one. Helping with babysitting or transportation is another means of providing support. First and foremost, the relationship addict needs a friend and/or family member who will demonstrate and share healthy personal connections.
Human beings were made to be social and sexual. Even though relationship addictions do not provide healthy or satisfactory interactions with others, a relationship addict will fear the loss of what he has. Therefore, when encouraging a relationship addict to begin recovery, reassure him that he will not be abandoned or alone in his recovery.