One of the most frequent casualties of addiction is relationships, including marriage. In many instances, the non-addicted partner of an addict will find the illness too stressful to cope with. Living with an alcoholic may mean, for example, living in constant fear of conflict or abuse. Those affected by alcohol addiction can often become aggressive or violent, and domestic abuse incidents are quite common.
Others may find that the financial hardship and associated stress is just too much to bear, with many relationships breaking down as a result of this. It is often a damaged relationship that spurs an addicted individual to get help, though. Some want to get sober and find a new love interest to share the rest of their life with, or else to try to rebuild shattered relationships affected by the addiction.
Is it Wise to Look for Love in Early Recovery?
One of the things most recovering addicts look forward to is the possibility of rebuilding their lives and getting a second chance at love. A romantic relationship can bring a lot of joy and happiness, but if the relationship is not strong, it can also bring quite a lot of pain and sadness. Recovering addicts are generally advised to take things slowly during early recovery and not to jump headfirst into a new romance. It is far better to spend the early days and weeks focusing on getting sober and staying sober than directing energy to make a relationship work.
Avoiding New Relationships
If you are at the beginning of recovery from addiction, it would be a good idea to avoid starting any new relationships for a while. There is nothing wrong with starting up new friendships, but getting romantically involved with another person at this stage could be dangerous and lead to a potential relapse.
Emotions tend to be all over the place during early recovery, so it would not be a good idea to begin a new relationship that will inevitably bring a certain amount of pressure and stress to your life. Your attention at this stage should be entirely focused on getting better, so be patient – you will have plenty of time to start a new romantic relationship once you are stronger in your sobriety.
What About Existing Relationships?
If you are still in a relationship heading into rehab, you may be keen to get things back on track once you are back in the ‘real’ world. It is important to remember that your addiction is bound to have had an impact on this relationship. Most marriages and relationships take a hit when one person develops an addiction. It is incredibly frustrating and upsetting to live with an addict, watching this person change before one’s eyes and knowing there is nothing that can be done about it.
Your actions may have hurt your partner, and it will take time for things to get back to normal. Some relationships never recover from addiction. All you can do at this stage is concentrate on getting better first. This is the most important thing to do now because your partner will want you to get sober more than anything. You can work on fixing the relationship once you are in a better position with your sobriety.
Relationships with Recovering Addicts
It often happens that two people in recovery are attracted to each other and begin a romantic relationship. While this can sometimes be successful, this type of relationship can also have its fair share of problems. The biggest worry is that if one person relapses, it could be enough to send the other person over the edge as well. Nevertheless, on the flip-side, with both people in recovery, the partners can lean on each other for support and can encourage each other to stay motivated and to work hard on their sobriety.