Romantic Relationships in Sobriety

by Balboa Horizons | April 26, 2017

Romantic Relationships in Sobriety  (Old and New) hold a certain temptation. A longing for the familiar, a desire for affection and companionship, even the effect feelings of love can have on the brain, can disrupt your new journey – and nothing is more important than your sobriety.

Most recommend a year of sobriety before embarking on a new relationship. Your number one priority should be sobriety. But long-term relationships and marriages can muddle the notion.

Here are a few tips for romantic relationships in sobriety:

Old relationships

Old relationships and new sobriety don’t always mix. The relationships formed in addiction are typically built on one shared trait: addiction. If your partner is still addicted, or you’re being enabled, this relationship can quickly turn toxic.

If your partner is sober, chances are your relationship was strained by addiction. Walk together in forgiveness, have patience, and consistently communicate through the process, seeking professional help if needed. If your sobriety is threatened by the relationship, end it.

Marriage

Returning to your marriage after rehab will have its own challenges, even if your spouse was not an addict. Resentment may have built up or finances may have been drained. It’s best to work with a professional, especially if you have kids.

Continuously practice honestly, including when you need help as well as recognizing when your partner needs support throughout this process. Act respectfully towards one another and intentionally work towards improving the relationship.

New Relationships

Forming romantic relationships in sobriety or meeting new people can be difficult when familiar haunts like bars are removed. AA is a very common place for new relationships to form (aka thirteenth-stepping) and is not recommended.

Romantic relationships in sobriety can very quickly become your new addiction. Drug and alcohol use have messed with your pleasure sensors, and new sobriety can complicate your sex life. Your sex drive can be very high, and this can cloud your judgment in assessing a new relationship.

When meeting someone new, be honest with your partner about your struggles with addiction so they can play an active role in your health. However, it’s best to stick to a year of single sobriety, and then move forward with someone who will eagerly support your sobriety.

Your new sobriety is a sign of independence and self-reliance, don’t let yourself lean on someone when you’ve worked so hard to stand on your own. Building yourself through independence can make you a better partner in the future, securing yourself the relationship and love you deserve.

IF YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONE IS CURRENTLY SUFFERING FROM ADDICTION OR MENTAL ILLNESS – BALBOA HORIZONS CAN HELP INSPIRE CHANGE AND TRANSFORM THEIR LIFE TOWARD THE PATH OF RECOVERY.