Addiction and Abusive Relationships

Studies show that many abusive relationships are accompanied by addiction.

Addiction can manifest itself in many ways. Many individuals in abusive relationships who have trouble getting out of the relationship or are actively abusing their partner have addiction issues. This is not just limited to dependency on a mind-altering chemical. Love and sex addictions also can be a contributing factor in abusive relationships.

Substance abuse can lead to an individual becoming emotionally unstable. When a person is using drugs or alcohol they are not dealing with emotions and feelings in a healthy manner. This may lead to outbursts and fits of anger that are uncontrolled and expressed in unhealthy ways. The most common example of this type of behavior is an alcoholic male who is intoxicated and physically abuses his wife, but abuse can come in different ways.

Not every abusive relationship is physically abusive. Mental and emotional abuse can be equally as harmful as physical abuse. Individuals with addiction issues tend to have trust and co-dependency issues. This can manifest itself into verbally abusive and controlling behavior; addicts tend to display anger towards another stemming from their own insecurities.

Traits Common in Abusive Personalities

  • Uncontrolled anger or violent threats
  • Jealousy or low self-esteem
  • Background involving sexual, emotional or physical abuse
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Isolation
  • Recklessness
  • Inability to accept responsibility
  • Codependent personality disorder
  • Love addiction
  • Drug or alcohol dependence, self-medication
  • Bi-polar disorder

Traits Common in Partners of Abusers

  • Intense need for love and affection
  • Low self-esteem
  • Drug or alcohol dependence
  • Enforced isolation creating resentment
  • Strong need for a relationship to validate them
  • Care-taker
  • Repeated attempts to leave the relationship
  • Inability to follow through
  • Clinical depression
  • Codependency issues
  • Sex and love addiction issues

If you or a loved one is experiencing difficulty with drugs or alcohol, please get help.