Tip for Recovering Addicts #3- Relationships

Relationships are probably the most important thing that can either make or break recovery for addicts. Do you love someone? Do you feel loved? Do you take it for granted? Do you feel taken for granted? These are just basic get-started questions on doing an in-depth look at each aspect of relationships.  If you are in a relationship, thinking it should be a mutual, 50/50 deal, in reality you are each only giving half of yourself.

A relationship is not easily measured. There isn’t a formula for solving the equation. Each person has their own set of standards, wants, needs, expectations, etc. The other person may, or may not be able to, or willing to meet those standards. Then there is the element of time, it changes things- daily, weekly, monthly, year by year. At times, it may seem one is giving 180% and the other is only putting in 20%, then the tides change. It is kind of like a seesaw, one holds more weight briefly than the other, but then it switches, ending up in a swaying rhythm. Ultimately, if each work together, in sync, they can find balance.Keep in mind that there should be balance in: #1- physical health #2- emotional health #3- Relationships #4- Job #5- Social/Community.

Do not underestimate the importance of the priority of your relationship with God.  When life seems painful, where do you turn? Your compatibility with another person should not be in conflict with your relationship with God.  If you are questioning how meaningful your relationship is, you might want to make an honest list of your own wants, desires, needs, but be realistic and consider what you absolutely have to have, then compare it to what you can live without.  Now, do the same thing for the other person. How willing are they to respect your goals, wants, needs? Again, be realistic, keeping in mind the changes that life brings. Be forgiving, you are not perfect, so don’t put too much weight on them to be perfect. When you first meet he/she might have seemed perfect, but to think it will stay that way is nothing more than unrealistic expectations.Bottom line, if you are in recovery, but the other person isn’t, what do you think will eventually happen? If you put conditions on the other person to meet your personal expectations, and they don’t, what do you plan to do about that? (Hint, it’s a pretty sure thing that no other person will be able to meet all your expectations.)

Nobody has the answers to what’s in your heart, except you. I have been married twice, the first time, my husband became more and more involved in his addiction. I knew deep down that it would not work, but it took a lot of encouragement from family, friends and counselor to get me to finally face it and do something about it.

If you have lost relationships during your addiction, because of your addiction, but still truly love that person, great.  Just don’t put too high of expectations on it ever being the same. And never, never blame someone else for what you feel- you own those- like it or not. Repairing relationships take time.

Finally, be open and willing to talk about EVERYTHING with the other person, respect his/her own needs, wants, dreams and goals. Being supported does not mean they do for you, it means they care about what you do and who you become.

I could keep going and going on this subject, but again, every relationship is so unique, it is difficult to ‘keep it simple’. Please, do some soul-searching and put the effort in to make your relationship what it needs to be in order for each person to feel fulfilled.

There are so many types of relationships in all areas of life. Family is the most important as a support for recovery. Seek knowledge and guidance. A really good resource is books, there are so many helpful ones. An example of one for improving communication is

You can find this at Better World Books for $3.98 used and shipping is free!

2 thoughts on “Tip for Recovering Addicts #3- Relationships

  1. In regards to relationships, especially between two recovering addicts. We all grow at different rates, some do not grow at all, maybe not using a substance but tranferring their addiction to something else. (Money, sex, power…)

    For the one that is still growing and changing, it is difficult to stay focused on what one needs to do for ones self when surrounded by chaos and drama. That is the very reason a person gets clean…to be happy, joyous and free … not live surrounded with all that mess. Sometimes, you just have to move on to obtain peace no matter how much you love the person. Carry the message and not the addict.

    A quote that has always meant a lot to me is as follows. Sorry I can not remember the author.

    “We go to far greater lengths to avoid what we fear than to obtain what we deserve”. I deserve PEACE. (((HUGS)))

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