Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Guest Post: Addiction and Relationships

Today I have a special guest post by one of our local counselors here in Martinsburg, WV, Debbie Maiorano. For several weeks I have noticed some key words being searched on my blog relating to heroin, relationships, addiction and intimacy. I reached out to Debbie asking if she could help me as I am not a professional in that area of expertise and she agreed to a guest post.

Cindy asked if I would be interested in writing something on addictions and relationships. Well sure, I’d be honored!  
When I started to think about where to start and what to say I was overwhelmed at all the different aspects that could be addressed. But over the years of working with families and couples who suffer with addiction, there is one major theme that hurts the most and comes up each and every single time and that’s the painful hurt felt do to the lack of Trust.  
Think about it. One of the foundations for a healthy relationship is trust. You want to know that your loved one is the number one person that can be counted on when you need the truth. You want to feel safe with this person and want to know you can always count on THEM to be there for you.  You want to be able to trust them more than anyone else.  You want to look in their eyes and Know they are being truthful. After all, you are in love right?  And it doesn’t matter what type of love, whether it’s a motherly love or a romantic love…. We want to be able to trust our loved one.
Enter an addict. Once someone becomes addicted this trust is thrown out of the window. And it doesn’t even matter what type of addiction they have. Part of the disease of addiction is lies, lies, and more lies.  How can they stay in their addition without lying?

Telling the truth would be giving up the drug of choice.  People stuck in their addiction must lie, it’s a given.  The lies are not meant to hurt or betray, it’s the disease way to keep them hooked, keep them addicted.
Once a loved one discovers a lie(s) the ability to trust is broken.  In most of the relationships I have worked with the partner is willing to help their loved one on the road to recovery, if only they stop the lies. In other words, the lies are worse than the addiction itself. The betrayal, the sneaking, the hiding, the secrets, the withholding of information, and the stealing hurt! It’s painful!  
The phrase I hear the most is “I’ll stand by you just stop lying to me.”  

Only those ready for recovery will start telling the truth.  Hearing the truth may take time just as recovery takes time. There are no quick fixes for this disease. It takes time, it takes work, it takes patience.
The best way to help your addicted loved one is not to enable them, to be aware of the signs of addiction (lying is one of them), and to stand strong in the face of truth or the lies.  
And, get help for yourself! Talk with your pastor, other loved ones, a therapist, a support group, your physician, in other words, everyone! This is a family disease, everyone gets hurt and everyone can benefit from support. You need it just as much as your loved one!  This disease is crazy making.  You need others to help you stay stable.
The great news is that people do recover!

They do change.  

They do stop lying.
And, with time you can learn to trust again.  

You can salvage your relationship and you can rebuild.  It can even become a better relationship.  Those in recovery often develop a healthier relationship with themselves which leads to a healthier relationship with others.
Let me know how I can help.

Thank you Debbie for this great post and information. People do recover from addiction and most often relationships suffer. There is hope for couples struggling.

If you need to talk to someone or maybe you are seeking more information on Relationships, Addiction and Heroin please feel free to contact Debbie. She is located in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
Debbie Maiorano  (304) 533-6135    
Licensed Professional Counselor
Certified Additions Counselor
Nationally Certified Gambling Counselor
Please visit her webpage @ Debbie Maiorano Licensed Professional Counselor

pic and story © 2016 Debbie Maiorano   


  1. Beautiful, truthful and hopeful post Miss Debbie. Hope to read many more from you!

  2. Debbie knows I'm one of her biggest fans! She helped me get through some of the toughest times of my life, especially when my child was in active addiction. Unfortunately, when she moved out of the area, I needed to find another counselor, but was unable to find a good fit as quickly as I hoped. I found myself getting down again. By the grace of God, I eventually found another excellent, Christian counselor, Melissa Swartz. Today, through several years of therapy with both amazing ladies, hard work, and my faith in God, I'm healthier emotionally than ever.

    I cannot reiterate enough what Debbie advises about seeking your own support when you have a loved one suffering from addiction, even when they reach recovery. One-on-one therapy has been my largest contributor to regaining my emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical (still working on that) good health. Facilitating my Nar-Anon group has enhanced my own recovery. Joining online groups, such as this one has proven to be essential to my recovery.

    Without a doubt, our recovery(parents and family with a loved one struggling with addiction) is JUST as important as our loved one's recovery! When we focus more on their illness than our own mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical health, not only are we NOT helping them get into and remain in their own recovery, we HINDER their ability to do so and, therefore; we jeopardize their chances of reaching full recovery and well-being.

    I'm grateful to God for putting both Debbie and Melissa in my path. With His guidance and their amazing professional skills, I've regained my life back, tenfold! Please reach out to someone if you are struggling with a loved one's addiction. You will be grateful you did!