Dating is a normal part of life and happens to every person whether they are an addict or not. Some people may be at odds whether or not you should date during recovery but that doesn’t change the fact that it could happen to you. Even if you’ve just finished treatment, been sober two years or longer the best way to keep your relationship healthy during recovery is to make sure it doesn’t develop into a co-dependent romance.
These tips can also be used for those who were in long term relationships before getting help.
What is co dependence?
This means not letting addiction get in the way of your relationship! Some addicts trap their significant other through persuasive or manipulative manners picked up from being an addict.
Here are four tips to prevent this from happening:
Talk to each other! Don’t let misunderstandings go unresolved or assume things. Explain yourselves and what you’re doing. Communication is the basic foundation of any relationship and needs to be done often. While communicating it is important that both parties remain calm and do so without accusing or pointing fingers.
After setting up an open field of communication it is also important to set healthy boundaries. These boundaries can be physical or emotional and should be communicated clearly between both parties. Make sure these boundaries are direct and assertive! This will help you both understand what to expect as well as the “roles” within the relationship.
3. Get support
Have a steady form of support outside of each other. We all know relationships have their ups and downs so make sure in the event things get hard you have other people you can both rely on. Co-dependence begins when both parties have no one else to turn to. It begins a negative cycle of dependence on each other.
4. Do not ENABLE!
As a recovering addict it is important that your significant other does not enable you. This behavior may offset your sobriety and takes you down the road to relapse. Your loved one should be well versed on your recovery and should be made aware of the behaviors you exhibited prior to using. Knowing your addiction habits will help them to distinguish whether they are enabling or actually helping you.