One big thing about living with an addict, whether you are married to one or there is one or more in your family, you become a forgiveness expert. Now, this isn’t automatic. It took me a while to
1. be humble enough to admit that I was not perfect (when you see someone every day in addiction(s), you tend to compare and feel pretty holy and it takes maturity of humility to admit to not being perfect and thus forgiving. (It helped me a lot with this when a pastor said “Our comparison should never be against other people who are also flawed but against Jesus who is perfect, then we see the need for His grace”) and
2. Be mature enough to know that God will forgive my sins as I forgive those who sin against me and
3. Trust God enough to have control of the situation and yield my control of it,
4. Find comfort and strength in a strong relationship with God, and lastly
5. Realize that forgiveness does not mean enabling as long as they know where we stand and we maintain healthy boundaries (forgiveness is the earthly manifestation of grace which frees rather than enables – they carry obscene amounts of guilt continually and this frees them of more).
All these things needed to be in place for forgiveness to come easy to me. When you decide to stay with the addict, you decide to purposely stay with someone who has chosen to feed their own selfishness and narcissism based on lies and escapism over any real love for you. They decide to be Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility. They do love you in their way “but not enough” because of this sin sickness, this self-inflicted denial and escapism (escaping from pain or discomfort or trauma and God). It is humbling and to survive relying on God is paramount to success.
Know that it is always God’s desire to draw everyone close to Himself and so He rewards those who stay with those running from Him and who keep showing His love. He wants them back and appreciated you standing in the gap through prayer, Bible study and loving example of grace and forgiveness.
So we have the extra blessing of opportunities to forgive. As such, we are in a very good position to be rewarded richly by God and also to be able to help other people in the same position or less experienced at it. Anyway, God bless us, everyone. Much love to you on your journey. 😄❤