Taking your relationship to the next level with someone who has just experienced alcohol or drug rehab can feel daunting. This can be especially true if they are relatively new to sober living. Understanding yourself, knowing what you can handle, and fully comprehending the reality of the recovering addict’s situation can help you decide if this relationship is truly something that you want. Here are a few useful questions to ask both yourself and your potential partner before starting a serious relationship and also some advice to keep in mind if you do decide to move forward.
Some Questions To Ask Them First
In order to get the whole picture of the situation, you should feel comfortable asking the past addict some questions about their addiction recovery. Your decision on taking the relationship further could depend on some of the situation’s details, and it is a good idea to be fully aware of what you are getting yourself into. Neither of you will benefit from you agreeing to helping with something that you can’t handle. Here are three fundamental questions that are good to ask before progressing the romantic connection.
- How long have you been in recovery?
There can be a big difference between someone who left rehab last year and someone who has just left rehab last week. The amount of time into recovery changes the level of responsibility that you may need to take on. The likelihood of relapse also reduces over time, so the longer in recovery they are the less likely you are to help them recover over again.
- What are your triggers, and what should I look out for?
The two of you will need to be able to have open and honest discussions about addiction triggers. Otherwise, you may not be able to help your partner avoid relapse. Good communication when it comes to the nature of your significant other’s addiction is key to success in this situation. If the two of you cannot talk about this, then it is unlikely that the relationship will work out.
- What are some ways that I could help you?
It is nice to know that the other person in the relationship is looking out for you during tough times in any scenario. Asking about how you can offer your assistance will make the other feel supported. This may also make the event of a relapse less likely. Some suggestions that you could make are taking them to appointments. You could even suggest going with them if they are comfortable.
Some Questions To Ask Yourself
- Can I be strong enough to deal with this?
Starting a relationship with a recovering addict can potentially bring with it challenges, and oftentimes with these challenges comes strong emotions. It’s best for the both of you to realize whether you could handle emotionally charged situations like relapse early on. Even though those late in recovery are less likely to relapse, the situation is not unheard of. You should be able to handle the worst no matter how far into recovery your partner is
- Am I completely fine with their past?
Some past alcohol and drug abusers may have parts of their past that they are not entirely proud of. It is important that you accept their past and don’t resent them for it. If you do, this could make you judgemental, and being overly judgemental with a past addict will only drive the two of you apart.
- Am I ready to make the next step?
Although it is best to know and communicate what you want from any relationship, this is especially true if you are starting a new partnership with a recovering addict. Being unnecessarily inconsistent with someone who needs a stable support system really isn’t a fair thing to do. It is best to know exactly what you want going in and to tell the other person your intentions.
Things To Keep In Mind
Of course, the biggest problem that could happen is a relapse. If this occurs it is important to keep being encouraging and understanding. They may need extra assistance and emotional support during this time as well. Offering your help can extremely improve their physical and mental state.
- You Being Judgemental
The last thing that you want to be to a recovering addict is judgemental. Thinking about if you can handle working with someone in this type of condition and/or if you can accept their past early on should allow you to avoid this.
- Manipulative Behavior
It is not uncommon for addicts to exhibit manipulative behavior. This often presents itself in trying to convince others that their use of drugs or alcohol is not a big deal. It isn’t unheard of for addicts to drop this behavior after drug rehab, but sometimes manipulative tendencies can still be present in sober life. Protecting yourself from this situation should be most important.