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Relationship with someone in early recovery? Does it ever work out?

Old 10-20-2010, 09:06 PM
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Relationship with someone in early recovery? Does it ever work out?

I've posted here before and everyone has been so helpful, so thanks in advance...

My bf and I have not been together long. I met him when he was using and ultimately planned an intervention, developed some unhealthy codie behaviors, and put up with way too much of his crap. I knew he was a great person at heart, and ultimately he was the only one that ever really did it for me in a chemistry/love-at-first-sight sense, so I stayed around this long.

He's been clean and in sober living for 3 months now and is really working the program and excited about his sobriety. We've been taking it REALLY slow and have been brutally honest about our motivations in the relationship, and have really just been more of friends than anything else.

We had VERY limited contact in the beginning, and now we see each other more and things have been really fun and great but he's in his 1st year of recovery and he knows it! This is his time to get with himself. I told him moving in together after sober living was too soon. I guess what I'm asking is how can I make this work the right way? Is there any success rate at all for this sort of thing if you tak e thing really, really slow?
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:22 PM
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It's hard (impossible) to predict if normal relationships will last. Predicting if a relationship with one partner in early recovery is just as impossible (for me).

It appears your bf is making healthy choices in his recovery.

I have heard it said: work the kind of program you want to see your addict working.

What steps are you taking for yourself?
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:30 PM
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Sure, it can work. Nothing is guaranteed, even when addiction isn't in the picture.

Go slow, take it easy. I think you're smart to put off the living-together for right now.
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:31 PM
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I honestly don't think there is a formula for success vs. failure in any relationship. It depends upon the two people involved, their goals and dedication to one another and the relationship.

That being said, dating someone in recovery has a very unique set of challenges. Not for the faint of heart! My relationship with my RABF works only because we have a history together and I knew him well before his 'bad' days. Without that foundation, I don't know if I'd be as patient. Your situation though is you met him while he was drinking and have gone through his recovery with him. Hmmm.. they say people change a lot in recovery so I suppose the risk would be he continues to change as he gets more recovery time under his belt and wants out of the relationship OR it could make you closer.

In some ways it has been easier being with my RABF than other guys because honesty is part of recovery and not running from problems or feelings is also part of recovery. Meaning when an issue comes up, we work on it and deal with it as it comes.

It is rollercoaster ride, that is for sure. Consider the possibility that he may relapse so then what will you do? How will you deal with it?

Just be careful that you don't take on the role of his sponser or treat him like he is made of porcelain. Recovery is about handling lifes bumps and challenges without turning to the booze and so that will probably be the true test for how 'successful' the relationship will be.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:18 PM
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"Hmmm.. they say people change a lot in recovery so I suppose the risk would be he continues to change as he gets more recovery time under his belt and wants out of the relationship OR it could make you closer." - babyblue

Well, I feel like I have been stuffing my feelings and not treating him like porcelain necessarily, but holding things in for his benefit. So, today I let him have it and expressed all of my concerns and fears (the above quote being one of them). Honestly though, I'm not afraid he will outgrow me in recovery...I don't use and never did, and am educated, good-looking, and fun and have a lot to offer someone (a lot that I don't think he's ever seen being so preoccupied at first with scoring drugs, then his recovery), but it's just scary because he doesn't know who he is, and can't even say for sure he'll want when he gets through this. He doesn't know a single thing right now. He says he knows he loves me and sees a future for us together, and that he doesn't want to lose me while he goes through these changes, but I wonder if it's a security blanket for him. He's so afraid of being alone. I won't rescue him, he has to sit in his own **** solo. I am supportive from a detached standpoint, but that's it...

I have gone to a couple of alanon meetings and have met some really great people. I'm also the adult child of an alcoholic, and had a horrible childhood where I ended up bouncing from foster home to foster home, etc., so this relationship was really a gift in the sense that it brought out my need for recovery. I've been pretending to be normal all my life, but never have been. I'm just still having a hard time keeping the focus on me though and I don't know why!
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:27 PM
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You are going to be just fine!

Well, after we have spent a lifetime developing certain habits...and yours may have been necessary for your psychic survival and protection...that's how they develop..we learn what works growing up....but then as an adult, we have to re-learn alot of things...
but it's all good.

Don't pressure yourself...you have your own recovery ...and it is a very freeing and affirming path.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:38 PM
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I know, deep breaths... it will all be OK. Even when things are calm and going well, it's still crazy-making, if that makes sense.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:41 PM
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Take it one day at a time. It is difficult for anyone to predict the future in any relationship so when I hear those controlling obsessivey types of thoughts in my own head, I step back, take a deep breath and just enjoy what I have with him now. I'm such a 'doomsday' person. I imagine the worse when in fact, things could actually get better. Really all you can do is go with the flow and just stay true to yourself and never be afraid in any relationship to ask for what you want or need (in a loving way of course).

Its great that you are recognizing how your own past shapes who you are today. Frankly, being normal is overrated. I gave that up long ago and I've never been more at peace then when I stopped trying to fit every one else's definition of what it is I should be. It is about acceptance. Accepting yourself and what it is you want out of life with him in it or not. Just as they grow and change in recovery, so do we. I've learned so much about myself in this relationship. So I try to take the lessons I learn from the tough moments (his recent relapse for instance, that was a doozy of learnin material!).

As long as you are happy in the here and now, that is all that matters right? Enjoy it. And yes, even in the calm it is crazy making but this is their reality. Either we accept it because we love them for who they are or walk away. Try not to worry. As Live said, you WILL be ok.
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