Relationships and early recovery are complicated. Few people are lucky enough to have the unconditional and understanding support of a healthy partner. Most people are not. Marriages, partnerships, romantic relationships, and even friendships can struggle when a loved when reaches the peak of their addictions and seeks treatment. Withdrawals, struggling to cope with old feelings, and more can be significant challenges during the treatment period. Getting sober from an addiction to drugs or alcohol is about more than just stopping the use of those substances. It is about a total lifestyle change in mind, body, and spirit. Consequently, everything in their lives change– which could change the way they feel about you and your relationship with them.
Sadly, many people find themselves in unhealthy and toxic relationships when they come to treatment. Frequently, it is a break up which acts as the catalyst t someone seeking help for themselves. sometimes people abuse drugs and alcohol in order to cope with toxic or abusive relationships. Relationships can also be a coping mechanism for drug and alcohol abuse.
Unless a relationship is long standing and seriously committed, usually they are suggested against in early recovery. Especially when they happen in treatment. Emotions, hormones, and a unending desire to quench the thirst for dopamine production can cause attraction during treatment. Sadly, that attraction often becomes fatal. Vulnerable and fragile, there is little ability to handle the emotions of a relationship when one is barely able to handle their own emotions.
Setting Realistic Expectations
If you are in a relationship, you do not have to break up with your current partner because you are going to treatment. You do, however, have to have realistic expectations of what is possible. Most treatment centers allow daily visitations and even offer relationship counseling. Traveling to another state or even country is common for treatment. If your relationship is toxic and abusive, or your partner is continuing to use drugs after you leave for treatment, it might be best to end things or put them on hold. Ultimately, the status of your relationship is up to you.
You have to do what is best for yourself in order to stay sober. Recovery is a long process of learning how to do that. When it comes to relationships, there is a very simple rule of thumb: not being in one probably won’t hurt you, but being in one certainly could.
Harmony Place offers relationship counseling and intensive family programming where significant others are invited to partake in the clinical recovery of their loved one. For a private consultation and more information on our residential treatment programs, call us today at 1-855-652-9048.