Addicts will do just about anything to get whatever it is they crave, and they often justify their choices. They might need money for gambling, and they could rationalise stealing from their partner that their need to gamble could land them big winnings. For those with a drug or alcohol addition, satisfying their craving could be thought of as taking medication. None of these are rational excuses to a person not addicted, and recognising the signs of a loved one trying to excuse their bad behaviour is something they may become used to over time.
Being on the outside of this type of relationship, few people understand what it takes to deal with it. The partner without an addiction must constantly be on guard for insane rationalisations, and they must be able to see the signs. The need often manifests in physical symptoms such as shakiness, lack of attention, and a bad temper can be part of it. Knowing the signs means being aware an episode is likely to take place soon.
Some addictions are mild, and a partner might be able to distract the addict. Others are much worse, and distraction can lead toward violent behaviour. Knowing when to push and when to back off is important for the person without the addiction because they could be injured when the addict gets desperate. Believing their fix might be withheld can cause them to lash out, and their partner might be the first one in line.
It can be difficult to live with someone caught in an addiction, and rehabilitation might not work. A person could go through it several times and still go back to their old behaviour. It may sound cruel, but there are times when choosing to break off the relationship could be the only sane and rational way to live a decent life.