However, continue with caution—many therapists advise avoiding intimate connections during the first year of recovery. This is due to one fundamental factor: the objective of this first year is to remain clean. If you start dating again while still using alcohol or other drugs, then it would be impossible for your partner to truly help you achieve lasting recovery because recovery is not just about stopping drinking or using drugs; it is also about changing the thinking and behavior that led to misuse in the first place.
Intimate relationships are difficult when you're in early recovery because you don't want to risk relapse by being around alcohol or drugs. However, the addiction treatment community has come up with several strategies to help people in recovery build healthy relationships. In addition to addressing chemical dependency issues head-on with your therapist, these tools can also help:
Making amends - doing something to rectify a past wrong. For example, if someone you've harmed goes into therapy and learns how to cope with their loss, then you have your chance to make things right.
Recovery dates - These are sessions where friends or family members who have been affected by your drinking or drug use meet with a professional to discuss ways they can support you through your process of change.
Getting sober is frequently the only way to have a happy and healthy relationship with an alcoholic. Unfortunately, even this will not ensure that your relationship's troubles will be resolved or that it will survive, since too much harm may already have been done. However, if you want to save your relationship, getting help is essential.
Alcoholism is a disease that can be treated just like any other medical condition. Alcoholics can and do recover. They just need the right environment for them to be able to do so. If you are in a relationship with an alcoholic, then you need to understand that there is no such thing as a normal relationship. Normal relationships are what tell an alcoholic that they are loved and wanted. They are not ready to stop drinking yet. They need time to get their act together before they can be expected to change.
If you are in a relationship with an alcoholic, then you need to know that you cannot expect him or her to get better overnight. This problem has lasted for years, and it will take time to resolve it. However, if you are willing to work at it, then getting help can make all the difference between success and failure.
You should seek help before you and your partner start to suffer because of his or her habits. Do not wait until your relationship is on the brink of collapse to get help. Act now instead!
Is it OK to date a recovered alcoholic? To a large extent, yeah. What matters most is that the individual is confident in their sobriety. If you believe they are, take things slowly, retain a healthy perspective on what the relationship may involve, and avoid opening your heart too fast. Recoveries are not perfect so do keep in mind that there will be lapses during which they might want to drink again. It's best if you can accept these moments as part of their process of renewal.
Recovering alcoholics may have a hard time maintaining relationships for many reasons. They may feel like they're constantly letting people down by failing at being sober, or perhaps they just don't know how to deal with feelings of disappointment or loss. Some recoveries are successful while others aren't and even those who seem to be doing well may have secret demons they're still fighting. At its core, addiction is a disease that can never be fully healed because it involves parts of the brain that are responsible for self-control. Even if an alcoholic manages to stay sober for several years, they'll still be vulnerable to wanting another drink when they lose control over their impulses.
It's natural to want to help someone who is suffering from alcohol abuse find recovery. However, it's important to be patient and understand that recoveries are a long process that may require decades before they're able to handle their problems without drinking.