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Living with an addict: Should you stay or go?

Meagan Morris is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist living in New York City. In addition to SheKnows, Morris contributes to many publications including The New York Times, Yahoo! News, PopEater, NBC New York and Spinner. Follow he...

Khloé trying to get help for Lamar

Questions continue to swirl about whether or not Khloé Kardashian will stick with her husband, Lamar Odom, in light of his rumored drug use.

Khloé trying to get help for LamarWe feel for Khloé Kardashian right now. From all accounts, she's trying to get help for husband, Lamar Odom, in light of his rumored addiction to crack cocaine. Rumors are swirling that she's both kicked him out of their shared house and consulted a divorce attorney, but sources tell Us Weekly that the 28-year-old would rather "save her marriage and him" than go for a split.

The outspoken Kardashian sister has reportedly tried to get Odom into rehab, without success. It's a situation that's played itself out over and over in different corners of the world, with partners wondering whether it's right to stay in a relationship with an addict or they should leave to save themselves.

The answer isn't always so cut-and-dried, according to one expert.

"Contrary to the advice that some experts are quick to offer about when is the right time to leave, making that decision is a very individual one," Dr. Deborah Hecker, a psychotherapist and divorce expert, tells SheKnows. "Only through some honest self-confrontation can your heart determine if and when to leave your marriage."

Dr. Hecker advises asking yourself some serious questions before making the decision:

  1. How will I benefit if I leave? Will your life be better in 10 years if you leave your husband? If so, how? Will leaving help your children?
  2. Can I live with the financial fallout? Are you comfortable with being more self-reliant?
  3. What are the benefits of staying in the marriage? Will those benefits be long-term or short-term?
  4. If I stay, will I be giving up too much of myself? What would you have to let go of to live with an addict?
  5. If I stay in the marriage, will my self-esteem be negatively affected? Will my physical health and overall well-being be too compromised?

"Following your heart may not be easy or feel good. Once made, most major decisions continue to be fraught with ambivalence," Dr. Hecker adds. "However, once you make your decision to leave, you must be willing to stick to it. On the other hand, if you decide to stay, you know what that means, and you must take full responsibility for your choice."

Tell us

Did you decide to leave your addicted partner, or did you stay? Sound off on why below!

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