Wherever we go and whatever we do, other people are needed. Why? Because, humans are social by nature. The more connected we are the better our chances of thriving and managing our emotions. The problem, however, is that we often struggle in our relationships to the point where we get stuck in unhealthy cycles. For example, many people are stuck in patterns of arguing and fighting that lead to multiple breakups and repairing. This unending cycle of fighting and coping might require professional therapy, especially if one or both are coping with drugs or alcohol.
Also, when a loved one is sick family or romantic partners get involved to nurse them back to health (i.e., caretaking). The problem with caretaking in families with addiction or mental illness, however, is that it usually isn’t caring, but typically “rescuing”. With someone struggling with addiction or a mental health issue, rescuing (e.g., keeping people from growing by helping them avoid consequences) can worsen their problems, and create an unhealthy dynamic between people. Caretaking can even infest entire families. When dynamics like this develop it’s important to start family counseling to break this fear-driven way of being. Families must learn new boundaries for everyone to heal and grow.