Dating someone you met in rehab
Being a loving partner to a recovering addict requires sensitivity and discretion.For example, you’ll likely need to avoid drinking or using drugs around your partner.
In working with the spouses and significant others of addicts, I’ve often heard it said, “I’d rather be an addict than love one.” While few people would ever walk eyes-wide-open into a chronic disease like addiction, the statement speaks to the confusion, loneliness and despair common not only among addicts but also the men and women who love them. In fact, addicts who are solid in their recovery can make excellent partners.You don’t want to give up on a person you love – after all, they must be in there somewhere – but if the relationship is making one or both of you sick despite your best efforts, it may be time to leave.No one can tell you when it’s time to call it quits except you.Left unaddressed, relapse can set in motion a roller coaster of chaotic break-ups and reunification that in the long run only exacerbates the problem.The threat of relapse need not deter you from dating someone firmly grounded in their recovery. By educating yourself about disease of addiction, you’ll know what to expect and when to ask for help.Since relapse is always a possibility, addicts and their partners need to stay alert to their triggers and be prepared to get help when warranted.
If you’ve struggled with addiction yourself, be extra cautious – your use can trigger their relapse, and their relapse could spell ruin for both of you.
If you go to parties or events where alcohol is being served, you may need to leave early or offer additional support.
Even if it’s inconvenient for you, you’ll need to make allowances for your partner to go to meetings or counseling sessions, particularly in stressful times, so that they can continue to prioritize their recovery.
There may come a point in the relationship when you need to ask some difficult questions: Why are you attracted to this person?
Is it because of who they are and how they treat you, or do you have a history of being attracted to people you can rescue or fix?
In any relationship, setting and enforcing personal boundaries is an essential skill.