Why Are Relationships in Recovery a Bad Idea?

July 28, 2022 By Dave

After a pattern where trust has been betrayed repeatedly, rebuilding it will be a lengthy process. Someone who is living with an addiction will always put feeding their disease first. To ensure that they keep a steady supply of their drug of choice, they are prepared to lie, cheat and steal if it means they can get their next fix or drink. This pattern is also used to hide the addiction (or its extent) from others to keep it going.

People in healthy relationships may experience less stress and achieve a balance of caring for themselves while also caring for others. Healthy relationships can offer us support and a sense of belonging, which are basic needs for happiness. Unhealthy relationships can begin to take a toll one’s life, whether they struggle with addiction or live a life of sobriety. If unhealthy relationships are causing you distress and to abuse harmful substances, contact a treatment provider today to discover your rehab options. Treatment providers are available to speak to you about rehab options.

Substance Abuse programs

Moreover, consider whether relationships that are not supportive of your priorities deserve your time and energy. If something doesn’t seem or feel “right,” it’s important to pay attention to that gut feeling and be able to communicate about it. Identifying and shedding unhealthy or “toxic” relationships is also part of the recovery process. If you date someone else in recovery, you also run the risk of becoming codependent. In healthy personal relationships, both people can rely on the other person for understanding, help, affection, and support.

stages of alcoholism

You might recall that you were never alone completely in drug rehab. You had close mentors, support groups, and sober peers to help you navigate the trials and errors of recovery. You always had someone to call or a shoulder to lean on for support. These were sober, healthy, positive relationships – the cornerstone of a successful recovery and life. A lot of different skills are taught during treatment, including positive communication and setting boundaries in relationships. These lessons won’t be truly understood until they are practiced in real life.

How to Maintain Healthy Relationships When Recovering from Addiction

Avoiding your former drinking buddies or drug-using friends is a key step in maintaining your recovery, but it doesn’t stop there. Developing new positive friendships with people who can support your recovery efforts can be even more important. If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health or substance abuse, we can help. Do not get romantically involved with someone in the early stages of sobriety.

A romantic partner who knows you from your drug or alcohol use period may be more accepting of how you respond to situations in unhealthy ways. They may excuse your self-destructive behaviors and write them off as “just https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/should-you-have-relationships-in-recovery/ a way to cope” with your feelings. Creating new relationships during recovery is a common experience. Many relationships with peers can enhance a person’s life in recovery and help them stay on the path to sober living.

Advice for Safe Dating During Early Recovery

If you receive an encouraging response of any kind, continue the conversation until you feel it’s right to suggest meeting up to apologize and make amends. If not, give your loved one time to process the information and wait until they’re ready to connect with you. Since everyone knows that in reality, it’s hard to fix a relationship, remember that some friends might not warm immediately to the idea of having you back in their life. They might only know the old you, the person living with addiction.

Although rare, there are some work situations in which a person’s recovery status might possibly be held against him or her. There are certain industries where business is frequently conducted around activities where alcohol is served and drinking is customary. While some relationships are based on circumstances over which you have little or no control, you do have choices in establishing relationships that provide support and nurture you. Cultivating and maintaining supportive relationships takes time and energy.

Since it is a large part of their lives, they are not able to see the potential dangers that exist. Although no one in recovery is immune to the possibility of relapse, those who are new(er) are especially vulnerable. Therefore, informing people to whom you are becoming close that you don’t drink alcohol or use other drugs—sooner rather than later—will help you avoid many risky situations. Getting involved in or maintaining a close relationship with anyone who regularly uses alcohol or other drugs, particularly in your presence, places you at considerable risk. For example, if you cook a romantic dinner, your (unaware) date may thoughtfully bring wine. Or, because marijuana is legal in so many places, they may think nothing of lighting up in front of you.

  • It’s hard to be honest when you are caught up in the grips of addiction, but there is no way to have healthy relationships in recovery unless you are honest.
  • How many times have you told them that this time things will be different?
  • “Love addiction” refers to the euphoria many people experience during the honeymoon phase of a relationship, and getting “addicted” to love during recovery can present unique challenges.
  • Knowing someone is counting on us to make the right decisions and push through the hard stuff can increase motivation and our drive to stay sober.
  • And, we have professional relationships with colleagues and co-workers.
  • They don’t need to be based around getting high and checking out.

New relationships bring with them a sense of uncertainty at the beginning that can cause stress, too. These stressors in any relationship must be managed, and a person early in recovery may not yet have the tools to manage them. These two types of unhealthy behavior, codependency, and enabling behavior, can contribute to you deciding to go back to drinking or doing drugs. It is possible that during the development of your addiction you also formed relationships with others who were codependent.

The loneliness that comes with recovery can feel extremely overwhelming on top of a lack of self-esteem and tools to cope. Having someone there to lift us up during rough days can help us push through and stay focused on our treatment goals. When a person is in recovery, it is important that they separate themselves from people in their lives who do not support their sobriety or cause them to experience negativity or stress.

How does sobriety change relationships?

Once we're sober, we're able to start thinking more clearly. We're able to more honest with ourselves. We're able to be clear and upfront with the people we're close to. These are some of the powerful ways in which our relationships are changed with sobriety.