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When A Loved One Leaves YOU

Partner leaves woman surprised

Co-Dependency

When A Loved One Leaves YOU

When A Loved One Leaves YOU

Why do active and recovering substances users often run away from loved ones trying to “Save” them? The truth is, no one feels good when they feel bullied and managed. Caring doesn’t feel like love when it comes in the form of someone telling you what to do. When a loved one leaves you, find other solutions when what you're doing doesn't work.

Professionals Are Trained To Manage Addiction Family Members Are Not

You may be offering solutions with the best of intentions, only to have your at-risk loved one calling you a mean bully (or a lot worse) as he slams the door on his way out. It’s like being left at the altar. Except worse. The bolter feels absolutely justified in taking off. The one left behind is hurt, baffled, and frightened. That would be me in the old days.

This Is A Really Good Time To Examine What’s Really Happening

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking only of what might happen to someone you love:

  • Will he come back?
  • Is he lost to you forever?
  • Can he survive without you?
  • What if he finds what he’s looking for, and you’re not included?
  • Doesn’t he love you, doesn’t he care?

These are the questions that could consume you. But, it’s a waste of time. Frankly, right now he or she doesn’t care about you at all. He only cares about what he feels is right for him; she only cares about herself.

So What About You

Getting left by a loved one, either in recovery or still active in addiction, is the perfect time for self-examination. I’m not saying this as someone who has never been fired by a son or daughter. Let’s just say, I’ve experienced the door slammed in my face a bunch of times. I used to think I was dying every time I tried to help and was rebuffed rather graphically.  My thoughts ran along these lines:

  • Oh My God, it’s terrible.
  • It’s awful.
  • Ungrateful beasts. Now I know why animals in the wild eat their young.

That was my old reaction. The new one is:

  • Nice break from the drama.
  • Either all will be well, or not. I am not the one in charge of the outcome.

This is a more comfortable place for me to reside. I know that More Will Be Revealed. And I’m okay with that.

What Do You Want For Your Life?

So, if you have been yelled at, rebuffed, walked out on by someone who doesn't like your solutions for their life, then this is the time to relish the moment of quiet and find solutions for your own life.


Breaking up isn't easy, and counseling can help. Find therapists and counselors who understand the complicated dynamic that addiction brings to the table at Recovery Guidance.

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Leslie Glass is the founder of Reach Out Recovery and the winner of the 2016 ASAM Media Award. Leslie is also the creator of Recovery Guidance, the information website for those seeking addiction and mental healthcare for professionals nationwide. Leslie is a journalist, director/producer of award-winning documentaries, and the author of 15 bestselling novels. Leslie has served as Chairman of the Board of Plays For Living, was a member of the Board of Directors of Mystery Writers of America. She has served as a Public Member of the Middle States Commission of Higher Education, as a VP of The Asolo Theatre, and was a Trustee of the New York City Police Foundation.

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