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Living with an Addict

How to Have a Whole New Experience with the Same Man

Living with an addict is so scary. Here you’ve tied yourself to your husband for better or worse, and he’s gotten much worse.

You question whether you should be trusting him with things that will impact your life when he’s always under the influence of his addiction.

Addicts have a terrible reputation for making bad decisions, which can make you understandably anxious and even vigilant. It’s exhausting.

What power do you even have? If he can’t stop being an addict, even though you’ve asked him to, told him to, and given him ultimatums, then what’s left?

Since this blog is for empowered wives, let’s talk about the immense power you have in your marriage, even if you’re living with an addict.

1. The Foolproof Marriage Test

Perspective in Marriage

First, I’m going to tell you a secret about how I can tell what the inside of a marriage is very quickly.

You ready? Here’s how.

It’s by the way a wife speaks about her husband.

A wife might tell me her husband is ambitious and hardworking, or she says he’s a workaholic who’s never home. She might say he’s very involved as a father or too harsh with the kids.

That tips me off as to whether she is respectful. Whether she sees the best in her husband or the worst. And from that, I know a little bit about how it’s going at their house, by the level of respect in her words.

She’s the publicist for her husband, and I’m finding out about him through her, so I hear what she’s focused on when she speaks about him.

She’s telling me the way things are through her perspectacles.

2. What You Focus on Increases

What you focus on Increases

I used to tell anyone who would listen that John was a Loser McLoosey Pants. That seemed like the truth to me, but it was actually just my focus. When I changed my focus, I had a totally different experience.

By opening my eyes a little wider and changing my mantra from “My husband is a loser” to “My husband is a great provider” and finding evidence for that instead, that’s what I experienced.

Now my husband is so successful. Now he’s Mr. Moneybags.

Did you catch what I did to become empowered?

I changed what I was focused on. That’s where my empowerment came from. I started focusing on the great qualities I saw in him when I chose him, which are still things I enjoy about him to this day. I started finding evidence for the things I wanted to experience, and that changed my reality.

3. What’s Your Story?

Write your own story

So if the headline story at your house is that you’re living with an addict, you might think that’s what you need to focus on to stay safe and protect yourself and your kids.

But there’s more to the story.

If your mantra is “I’m living with an addict,” one question I have for you is, who else are you living with?

Are you also living with a hard worker and a good provider? Are you living with a good dad? Are you living with a comedian? Are you living with your hero? Are you living with the romantic lead of your love story? Is he loyal and devoted? Sweet or successful? Would he do anything for his family?

What you focus on increases, in my experience. I’m always impressed and inspired when I hear women come to our campus and share how, when they decided to change their focus, they had a whole new experience of the man they lived with. A much more enjoyable experience.

If they can fix their marriages while living with an addict, then why not you too?

That’s what we’re all doing here: putting an end to the suffering in our marriages by changing the things we can, like what we focus on.

What focus will you choose today? I’d love to hear in the comments.

By Laura Doyle

Hi! I'm Laura.

New York Times Bestselling Author

I was the perfect wife--until I actually got married. When I tried to tell my husband how to be more romantic, more ambitious, and tidier, he avoided me. I dragged him to marriage counseling and nearly divorced him. I then started talking to women who had what I wanted in their marriages and that’s when I got my miracle. The man who wooed me returned.

I wrote a few books about what I learned and accidentally started a worldwide movement of women who practice The Six Intimacy Skills™ that lead to having amazing, vibrant relationships. The thing I’m most proud of is my playful, passionate relationship with my hilarious husband John–who has been dressing himself since before I was born.

4 replies on “Living with an Addict”

I began using some of the respectful comments and my husband instantly responded with gratefulnesses & loving responses.
Our pastor suggested [a book], of course. I like him not knowing what I’m doing. I agree talking together with our pastor not so great an idea. However, I have avoided saying anything negative but instead talk about my husband’s qualities. Also confess my part. Then my husband follows my pattern. It’s pretty magical! God is good!

Debbie, kudos to you for experimenting with these Intimacy Skills–and getting instant results! It’s amazing that you have magical powers!

Coleen, I love your question! You think like a coach. Relationship Coach Training is one sure pathway many women dealing with addiction in their relationships have taken to fix their relationships, to the point that addiction even becomes a non-issue! We’d love to hear more about your vision and look forward to exploring the breakthrough you want. If you need any support, my team can help you at

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