When Your Partner Has an Addiction: How Compassion Can Transform Your Relationship (and Heal You Both in the Process)

Author(s): Christopher Kennedy Lawford with Beverly Engel


Your partner's addiction takes a toll on both of your lives. That doesn't mean you should turn your back on the person you love. We've been told that staying with a partner who struggles with addiction--whether it be with drugs, alcohol, or addictive behaviors--means that we're enabling their destructive behavior. That wanting to help them means we're codependent, and that the best thing for both of us is to walk away from the relationship entirely. But is that true?

When Your Partner Has an Addiction challenges the idea that the best chance for recovery--for the addict and their partner--is to walk away. Instead, it makes the revolutionary claim that you, and the love you have for your partner, can be a key part of his or her journey to recovery. Together, addiction activist and bestselling author Christopher Kennedy Lawford and psychotherapist Beverly Engel, MFT, take a fresh look at addiction and codependency--the latest research on what causes them and what the two have in common.

Rather than treat addiction or codependency as disease or weakness, When Your Partner Has an Addiction honors the trauma and shame that often lie at their source and shows you how to use your love to combat that shame, allowing you to more effectively support your partner and heal yourself. The research proves that, while you cannot "fix" your partner, you can have a positive impact on their recovery.

Whether you suffer from codependency, and whether your partner is already in recovery, When Your Partner Has an Addiction provides you with proven techniques and strategies to drastically improve your relationship and help get your partner the help he needs--without leaving and while taking care of yourself in the process.


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"This complex issue affects the lives of millions of people and their families every day. Christopher and Beverly should be applauded for approaching a delicate subject with true compassion." --Maria Shriver

"One of the best books available on codependency... Here you will learn how to return to compassion and how to back off without backing out of a relationship altogether." --Dr. Drew

"When Your Partner Has an Addiction is a godsend for the millions who feel trapped between hope and despair... Lawford writes with elegance, wisdom, and compassion in a guide that can change -- even save -- your life." --David Sheff, author of Beautiful Boy and Clean

"A terrific primer for dealing with a practicing addict that respects both partners struggle with codependency. It provides practical solutions to avoid enabling and how to be a compassionate supporter of your loved one." --Darlene Lancer, author of Codependency for Dummies and Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You

Christopher Kennedy Lawford spent 20 years in the film and television industries as an actor, lawyer, executive and producer. He is the author of two New York Times bestselling books, Symptoms of Withdrawal (2005) and Moments of Clarity (2009). In recovery for more than 25 years from drug addiction, Lawford campaigns tirelessly on behalf of the recovery community in both the public and private sectors. Lawford holds a bachelor of arts from Tufts University, a juris doctor from Boston College Law School, and a masters certification in clinical psychology from Harvard Medical School where he held an academic appointment as a lecturer in psychiatry.

Beverly Engel is an internationally recognized psychotherapist and an acclaimed advocate for victims of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. She is the author of over 21 books, including 4 best selling books on emotional abuse including The Emotionally Abusive Relationship. Engel is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and has been practicing psychotherapy for 35 years. Beverly frequently lends her expertise to national television talk shows, and has appeared on Oprah, CNN, and Starting Over, and many other TV programs. She has a blog on the Psychology Today website as well as regularly contributing to the Psychology Today magazine, and has been featured in a number of newspapers and magazines, including: Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, Marie Claire, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, and The Denver Post.

General Fields

  • : 9781941631867
  • : Benbella Books
  • : Benbella Books
  • : October 2016
  • : United States
  • : January 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback
  • : 362.291
  • : 232
  • : Christopher Kennedy Lawford with Beverly Engel