The Worst Relationship Advice – From Good People

The Worst Relationship Advice – From Good People

I was a keynote speaker for a group of professionals who said they always encourage their clients to leave their relationship if addiction is involved. A few months later, I spoke to another group of professionals and they said they never encourage their clients to leave. Conflicting advice, right? So…should we stay or leave?

What about friends and family? Sometimes our most trusted confidants can give us the most well-meaning, bad relationship advice. This happened to me when I was married to a good man suffering from this disease.

It was Christmas time and I was desperate to save my marriage. My husband’s addiction was out of control, which was pretty typical around the holidays. I was so embarrassed with his behavior around my family.

I just had my third child and was sitting on the living room floor nursing in my pajamas. I felt totally exhausted. I asked my mom what I should do to help my marriage and she told me, “Michelle, you need to give and give until it hurts and then give some more.”

This might be great advice for a “normal” relationship without addiction. But being a “codependent people-pleaser”, had I followed her instructions for a happy marriage, I would’ve sent myself down a spiral that ended in a breakdown.

I had been trying so hard for so long. I was giving and giving and it kept hurting and hurting. Plus, it got me nowhere and had actually made things worse. The roller coaster ride of living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was taking a toll on my body and my mind.

To be fair to my mom, I hadn’t come clean about how bad things really were in my relationship due to his drinking and drugs, because I wanted to protect the man I loved. But, still…

This is why, my sister, learning to trust yourself is imperative.

Trusting that inner voice that’s guiding our decision to stay or leave in our relationship is one of the single greatest acts of love we can give ourselves.

Friends, family, and professionals mean well. They’re trying to be helpful but ultimately, if we’re only following the advice of someone else, we’re ripping ourselves off of owning our choices and standing by them regardless of what anyone else thinks about our relationship. Plus, we’ll spend a lifetime second-guessing our decisions.

It’s true, I offer a ton of action plans but always with the disclaimer: take it or leave it – ultimately, you’re the expert and you know what’s right for you.

If you’re considering leaving your relationship or you know you want to stay, our NEW program that is opening for a very limited time, will help you arrive at a place of peace no matter what your decision. And it won’t be just a bunch of advice from me, but rather a roadmap to help you think for yourself and arrive at your own decision.

Love Over Addiction: Stay or Go program includes:
>>An assessment to help determine if they really will get sober for good
>>The five things you must start doing if you’re considering a separation or divorce
>>How to stay in your relationship and still be happy (even if they don’t get sober)
>>And so much more

And you can find out more details about the program by clicking here.

And just a loving reminder: you can do the work you’re being called to do and arrive at a place of peace whether you stay or go. Does it take a time investment? Yep. Will it be effortless? Nope. But is anything that takes you from a place of anxiety, depression or anger and transforms you into a place of peace, happiness and hope, ever easy? Not that I know of. Otherwise, everyone would feel much better.

It’s only the woman who’s willing to do the work that gets the results she needs.

And the brutal truth is, we’re all working hard to save our relationships, families, and marriages (otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this or found our community). Nobody in our sisterhood is taking the easy road. Let’s be honest, the “easy road” doesn’t exist when you love someone suffering from addiction. All the roads to freedom, peace and happiness are difficult.

But here’s the good news… we were created to be strong and courageous. The path, whichever one we choose, is our work laid out before us. It will involve a lot of tears and telling the truth to people we have been hiding from. And it is facing our shame and being vulnerable.

And we’re being called to make difficult decisions. But one thing I know for sure is every time I have been called to do impossible things in my life, the deepest rewards are waiting for me once I accomplish them.

These rewards are not the monetary kind, they’re the type of rewards that last a lifetime. Courage, self-love, finding your voice and trusting yourself. These are the REAL rewards that we’re seeking. And there are no shortcuts to claim them.

Instead of judging each other for our choice to stay or leave or just as worse, judging ourselves…let’s rest in the simple fact that we’re all doing the best we can. And that’s good enough. Let’s give ourselves the permission to be open-minded to the idea that staying or leaving is an intensely personal decision that should be respected and supported by all of us.

It’s a journey (and I’m not a fan of the word “journey” since I feel like it’s overused but it’s also highly appropriate for this post so please forgive me). And you’re on the path. You’re doing it sister. And I’m crazy proud of you. You’ve got this. We’re cheering you on!

Michelle Anderson

Michelle Anderson

Michelle Anderson has over 10 years of personal experience with loving someone who suffers from addiction. She was married to a good man who suffered from addiction to alcohol, illegal drugs, and pornography. She's used her experience to create powerful resources for women in the same circumstance. Using her own personal experience, combined with years of research and studying, she presents ideas, tips, and tools on how to handle this disease, and take care of yourself, and your family.

Explore the Love Over Addiction program

Computer, phone and worksheets of Love Over Addiction program

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Explore the Love Over Addiction: Stay or Go program

Have you ever wondered? Or maybe you know… but you don’t know how. Staying or leaving your relationship is a huge decision. There are questions you need to ask yourself, and ways to prepare no matter what you decide. Find out how to make this decision, even if you’re not ready to make it today.