What is tough love?
There are so many people that still throw around this term and aren’t clear about what it really means. So, I’m going to relate appropriate, tough love to something other than addiction, with the hope that it clears up some confusion over this phrase.
Let’s say that you love ice cream, and you’re eating it like it’s going out of business. Ice cream is all that you obsess over. And we all know that if you eat too much ice cream then you’re going to blow up like a balloon and it’s going to effect you emotionally, physically, and mentally.
So, you’re feeling completely out of sorts because of ice cream and now you need to practice tough love with that ice cream. This doesn’t mean that you hate ice cream. It doesn’t mean that you’re casting ice cream out of your life forever. What it means is that you’re going to take a step back away from the ice cream so that you can get healthier mentally, physically, and emotionally. You’re going to become stronger, your thinking will clear and you will make better decisions about that ice cream. You will set boundaries with ice cream so that in time you can reintroduce yourself to that ice cream in a more healthy, effective, and enjoyable experience.
Now, take out the word ice cream from above and replace that with your addicted loved ones name. It’s important here to clarify that right now your loved one is being powered by the addiction. The addiction is what is affecting you and your family and your loved one is still in there, suffering. In order for you to be effective though, you have to set some boundaries with your loved one. Don’t fall victim to enabling the addiction that is destroying everything in its path, including your loved one. Don’t enable it one second longer.