When Your Partner Has an Addiction

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 they need—without leaving and while taking care of yourself in the process.

Recover to Live

In his new book, “RECOVER TO LIVE”: Kick Any Habit, Manage Any Addiction (Conversations with 100 of the world’s top treatment experts), Christopher Kennedy Lawford combines his personal experience in recovery from problematic to clinically severe. Central to the book is the clear message that change and recovery are attainable for everyone who chooses that path. The general audience book tackles seven problem behaviors – alcohol and drug use, eating disorders, gambling, hoarding, sex and pornography, and smoking, and combines clearly written scientific information, experts’ comments and the author’s experience to inform the reader about the causes, identification, manifestations, consequences and treatment of each of these behaviors. Importantly, the book emphasizes the frequent co-occurrence of these behaviors, calling for a holistic approach to promote behavioral change. The second half of the book provides specific, user-friendly information about seven empirically proven self-care tools to deal with unhealthy habits and dependencies: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), 12-Step fellowships and other support groups, meditation, nutrition and exercise, body Work, and journaling. These chapters are supplemented by self-assessment tools, a critical discussion about codependence, and information on the newest techniques (i.e. capitalizing on neuroplasticity to retrain the brain into healthy behaviors). Appendices provide more detailed facts about specific addictions and web-based and treatment resources.

What Addicts Know

“What Addicts Know: 10 Lessons from Recovery to Benefit Everyone” (BenBella, ISBN 978-1-939529-06-0), along with an impactful foreword by Dr. Drew Pinsky, frames a revelatory discussion fueled by those who live life on life’s terms despite having faced extraordinary challenges caused by addiction. In fact, it is the reality of these challenges that those in recovery have tackled head-on that offers those who haven’t had dependency issues the most substantial takeaways. Lawford uses the “Gift of Addiction” as the foundational theses for compelling life lessons and inspiring stories of wisdom ranging from ‘Visualizing the Life You Want’ to ‘Transforming Pain into Growth.’ These hallmark personal stories are combined with cutting-edge scientific findings to give hands-on, practical techniques for recognizing unhealthy impulses, managing them and using them to move into a better phase of one’s life.
Keeping with the Kennedy family tradition of “paying it forward” and using one’s influence to greatly contribute to the betterment of mankind, Christopher follows the example set by his beloved uncle, John F. Kennedy. In his fourth book, he continues his mission of helping the world understand the world of addiction and alcoholism and, most important, give life changing solutions in a “more is better” society where just about every human being has or currently experiences cravings and obsession in one area or another. This book shares the insightful wisdom that addicts discover once they turn their lives around. Lawford’s stunning book does for addiction what JFK did for mental illness initiatives 50 years ago.

Symptoms of Withdrawl

Born into enormous privilege as well as burdened by gut-wrenching family tragedy, Christopher Kennedy Lawford courageously and candidly shares his life story. This provides a rare glimpse into the private world of the rich and famous of both Washington politics and the Hollywood elite. A triumphantly inspiring memoir, the first from a Kennedy family member in decades, Lawford’s Symptoms of Withdrawal tells the bittersweet truth about life inside America’s greatest family legacy.

As the firstborn child of famed Rat Pack actor, Peter Lawford, and Patricia Kennedy-sister to John F. Kennedy-Christopher Kennedy Lawford grew up with presidents and movie stars as close relatives and personal friends. Lawford recalls Marilyn Monroe teaching him to dance the twist in his living room when he was still a toddler, being awakened late at night by his uncle Jack to hear him announce his candidacy for president, being perched atop a high-roller craps table in Las Vegas while Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack swapped jokes and threw dice, and other treasured memories of his youth as part of America’s royal family.

Moments of Clarity

On February 17th, 1986, after years of addiction and self-destruction, Christopher Kennedy Lawford reached a turning point in his life, one that would mark the beginning of his long road to recovery. In his New York Times bestselling memoir, “Symptoms of Withdrawal”, he chronicled his deep descent into near-fatal drug and alcohol addiction, and his subsequent hard-won journey back to sobriety, which he has maintained for the past twenty years. The book explores the before and the after. But before and after what? What happened at that point in time to trigger the understanding within himself that he had to change? What finally forces any person to choose life over death?c
The overwhelming response he received to his book impressed upon Lawford the number of people struggling to find their own way back from addiction and the need to share their stories. There was no easy way out for any of them. They all had to go through a moment of humility, vulnerability and transformation and to choose to take that first step of the journey. Each had their own, intensely personal moment that signaled their before and after. The stories gathered here are the recollections of lives snatched back from the brink of a precipice so wide and deep it threatened to engulf them and the subsequent miracle of recovery.