Having a healthy relationship with your partner is significant to both parties’ growth, emotionally, spiritually, and intimately. Maintaining it helps show their devotion, compassion, loyalty, and love to their partner. Now, being in a relationship with or dating a recovering addict is no walk in the park. It may take more effort and time than any previous relationship. Still, that does not mean that the relationship is not worth fighting for.
When it comes to dating a recovering addict, there are many factors involved that play a role in maintaining a healthy relationship between the two. One is that the individual who is not a recovering addict must be willing to educate themselves on addiction and recovery. Additionally, they should understand what a recovering addict is going to go through or experience while recovering as well as after the recovery program. This way, they will have a better idea of what to expect.
An additional factor includes being comfortable with and willing to ask their significant other questions. Also, to take each other into consideration when attending social events together in order to avoid triggers and possible relapse. Refraining from trying to “fix” their spouse, and always supporting them, is important as well.
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, call 706-480-8733. Do not wait, it is never too late to reach out for a helping hand. We are here to help you or your loved one obtain a happy sober life.
It Takes More Than Love
“Chemically speaking, it’s not surprising that love alone doesn’t stand much of a chance against addiction.” –Dr. Akikur Mohammad
In relationships, love is a primary aspect that helps hold and keep the two together. As the saying goes, “love conquers all.” However, when it comes to dating a recovering addict it takes a lot more than love to keep the two lovebirds together. An important aspect of a strong relationship during recovery is being educated on the topic of addiction. In addition, having knowledge about the substance that your significant other uses is important as well.
Becoming educated or educating yourself on the topic of addiction and its effects are beneficial to the relationship. The reason it is significant is that when it comes to dating a recovering addict, starting with the basics is an ideal place to start. For instance, addiction is a chronic, complex, compulsive disease that affects the brain and many of its functions. Meaning, they have endured the behavior and the consequences of it for a long time. It takes time to recover, especially if their addiction has been with them longer then their partner has. Taking the time to understand addiction not only demonstrates your devotion to the person you are in a relationship with but also reaffirms your willingness to fight the disease by their side. Also, with the knowledge of addiction may come the surprising factor of becoming a key supportive role in the life of your significant other.
If you become knowledgeable about addiction, what the signs are, and what to expect if a relapse is triggered, then you will be able to better handle challenging situations. You will also be able to better understand how to avoid them entirely. Those who are going through recovery often have to avoid allowing themselves to be in situations that may cause a trigger. For example, triggers typically include attending social events, hanging around a crowd of people who are drinking or being at a location that brings up specific memories of substance misuse. If someone is dating a recovering addict, it is highly recommended that they ask their partner what may trigger their addiction. That way, they can help their significant other avoid and prevent triggers if they are ever in any of these situations.
Take Time to Understand
“The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction, and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.” –Russell Brand
To understand your partner, recovering addict or not, you must ask them questions. The following questions can help start a conversation that can help you learn more about their addiction.
- When did they start using?
- What were they going through at the time they first considered using?
- Did it contribute to their reasoning for trying the substance? Was it something else?
- Did any of their friends, colleagues, or family participate?
- Did it start to affect others?
- What made them decide to begin their recovery?
Of course, you should not overwhelm your partner with questions all at once. Over time, ask your partner questions to help you better understand what they have gone through. Addiction tells a different story for every recovering addict. Take the time to get to know theirs.
Another way you can show support for your significant other is to attend support meetings with them. This is beneficial and insightful for both partners, giving them a chance to get a firmer grasp on addiction as they listen to others’ recovery stories. If you need additional support while going through recovery, then reach out to us today. Our experts will be able to help you get on and stay on the path to sobriety.
Preventing Further Harm
Every relationship has its up and downs. During these moments, despite the urge to mention your partner’s addiction and throw it back in their face, you should be sure to refrain from doing so.
A partner who uses addiction against their spouse does anything but “solve the problem.” It only provides the recovering addict with negative feedback, resentment, and blame. Thus, serving as a platform for them to dive deeper and further into their addiction.
Addiction is not something to use against a partner or to be used during an argument. It is a sensitive topic, especially for the one who is in the middle of recovering from the disease of addiction.
You Cannot “Fix” Them
Aside from refraining from using your partner’s addiction against them, you should also keep in mind that you are not the rehabilitator or the one who is in charge of “fixing” your spouse. Your primary and only job is to support, love, and care for your partner whether they are someone who is recovering from addiction or not. Instead, you could approach your partner and ask them exactly how you can better help and support them throughout their recovery.
Some people who are recovering from their addiction may want or ask their significant other to play a dynamic role in their recovery. Others may not, and want to keep that part of their life more private and to themselves. Some people may share more about their past, and others may take longer to open up.
Do Not Lose Yourself
There is a mutual misunderstanding that many people come across when trying to find out what to do and what not to do when their significant other has an addiction or is recovering from one. This misunderstanding is that every action or word a person takes or says should be centered around their partner. When someone begins to perceive their significant other like a ship is taking on water, they must realize if they keep their perception focused like that, then they will go down with it. Now, this does not mean that you cannot help or support their partner. However, what it does mean is that you cannot and should not sacrifice yourself to help or support your spouse. Your needs, wants, and ultimately, what makes you who you are is very important and should not fall to the wayside.
Addiction is a devious disease, and neglecting yourself while in the course of helping your significant other will only cause both the parties to crash and sink.
Show Your Support and Love
During hard times, it is extremely important to lift each other up. Showing that you care for each other and are willing to go the extra mile for one another can make a world of difference in your relationship. As Charles Dickens once said, “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”
One of the most crucial things anyone can do when dating a recovering addict is to show their support and love for their partner while they are taking positive steps towards recovery. Also, it is important to help them see their recovery through. What many people do not understand is that it is never an easy road to recovery. There are painful moments when experiencing withdrawal. There are many physical and mental symptoms that can occur when removing a substance from their daily routine. Some of these symptoms can include, extreme mood swings, loss of appetite, insomnia, sweating, vomiting, and spontaneous surges of excessive hunger.
Again, recovering from addiction is a difficult task to achieve. No one should have to take that road alone. Having someone by your side to help carry stressful burdens helpful, especially during this trying time. A couple who is willing to walk down that road together can result in strong and beautiful love, both to experience and witness unfold. Call us today if you or someone you know are suffering from an addiction. You do not need to achieve a recovery on your own. Our trained professionals are here to help guide you.
Maintaining a healthy relationship with the one you love is never easy. Dating someone who is a recovering addict is no exception. When considering dating someone who is in the middle of recovery, people often suggest that they wait a year or two. Others suggest even waiting until after they have finished their program. It is understandable why some people would feel that way, but it does not necessarily mean that everyone should wait. Needless to say, every relationship will have its bumpy roads, curves, and potholes. That does not mean you should wait or say, “it won’t work” before even trying.
If you or someone you know is suffering addiction or looking to begin their recovery, call us at 706-480-8733. Let us be there for you and your partner. Do not lose hope! It is never too late to ask for help.
Written by: Makeila Hofer