If they are in recovery, how long have they stayed sober?Are they actively working a program of recovery (e.g., participating in self-help support meetings, counseling or an aftercare program)?For example, you’ll likely need to avoid drinking or using drugs around your partner.If you go to parties or events where alcohol is being served, you may need to leave early or offer additional support.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.A history of addiction doesn’t necessarily turn Mr./Mrs. They’ve waged a courageous battle, spending a great deal of time working to take care of and improve themselves.
This guideline is designed to protect the addict as well as the people they might date.
If a partner relapses, it can be difficult to know what lines to draw.
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.
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.
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.
An estimated 40 to 60 percent of addicts relapse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.