Managing Relationships in Early Recovery

Addiction recovery is a journey that tries a person to their very core. It is often the biggest battle that an individual will face in their life. One thing that can complicate this already difficult time is romantic relationships. So much of recovery is dependent on building a firm emotional foundation, and romantic feelings have a way of making those emotions less predictable. Here’s some tips on how to manage relationships in early recovery…

Focus on yourself, first

First of all, the number one thing to remember is that a recovering addict’s first priority needs to be getting themselves better. Relationships that are going to take away from this effort can be destructive to that end goal. As such, it is important for an addict to focus on themselves, first, before giving the whole of their self to another person. Once a person is able to complete recovery and establish themselves as a new, stronger person, there will be more of themselves to give, anyway.

Avoid people who engage in risky behavior

In addiction recovery centers, everyone on the staff has seen a recovering addict struggle with a relationship with an enabler. People who continually engage in risky behavior around their loved one aren’t truly invested in helping them get better.

These types of enabling relationships are highly dangerous. Understandably, an addict in recovery might think that they need to help their loved one get on the same path as them, but they can’t hope to do that until they get their own life under control. For that reason, avoiding these dangerous relationships is a crucial step.

Don’t be afraid to wait

It is highly recommended that a recovering addict waits to start new relationships until they are completely healthy and in a good place. Once they establish a life of sobriety and self-esteem for themselves, they will be in a much better place to engage with other people romantically.