Listen, Learn, and Love - 3 Keys to Harmony

Dr. Joan's Advice

Date: 03/25/2014

By: Dr. Joan

Subject: Secret Addictions Cause Confusion in Relationships

Dear One and All:

Here at Harmony Keys, we have responded to two different types of addiction issues and how they affect relationships. One problem was about how to keep your word to your partner when you promise to kick a habit. Another problem was about how to relate to an addicted family member who argues a lot.

Now I want to address the problem of secret or closet addictions in relationships.

Most of us have some type of addiction/dependency that we keep secret to ourselves. For me, I try to hide the fact that I eat sugary snacks when I know they are harmful to me. I am aware that food and drinks containing processed fructose can be debilitating to my body, but I sneak the snacks when I am alone, all the while remembering that my adult children have counseled me against such behavior. I won’t go into detail about problem sugars, but you can check out a clear resource here:

What about you? What is your hidden addiction? Is it alcohol? Do you hide your bottle in the car? OR are you caught up in prescribed painkillers which you no longer need for the original symptoms? Are you succumbing to sneaky or illegal ways to get your painkillers and trying to hide your activities? OR is your secret addiction to tobacco? Do you smoke at work and clean your breath before you go home?

Let’s stop kidding ourselves. Our secret addictions are NOT really secret at all. Most likely, our families, friends, and co-workers all know about our covert activities. When we try to hide our addictions, what we are doing is creating confusion in our relationships. We are hiding behind a foggy screen of half-truths, untruths, and downright deceit. In my case, my adult children know what I do about sugar when I’m alone, and it is clear to me they’re frustrated with my behavior. In my heart, I know their motivation is that they’re concerned about my over all wellness.

So here’s the HOT question: What action can you and I take regarding our closet addictions that will help clear the air in our relationships? I don’t know about you, but my immediate plan is to come clean and talk openly with my family, clear the air, so to speak, and seek their guidance, once again, in withdrawing from undesirable forms of sugar. And you? What is your plan? Please write to me and let me know what actions you’re taking about your closet addictions and your relationships.

Dr. Joan’s Harmony Key: Discover your own strength.

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