Substance Use

When Only One Partner Is in Recovery

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Being on the other side of addiction and in recovery is a powerful and inspiring experience. When your eyes are truly opened to how dedication and commitment can change your life, wanting others to experience it as well is only natural. But what happens when they refuse? People are often reluctant to leave the safety of their comfort zone, even when they know logically it’s the best decision they can make. What do you do then?

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Weigh the Pros and Cons

Removing people from your life can be easier said than done, especially when you have deep personal bonds with them. Placing priority on your recovery means re-evaluating your social circle to ensure you are surrounded by supportive people who will benefit your sobriety.

Life is rarely that simple though- we can’t just file people into yes and no columns. That’s why weighing the pros and cons of  continuing your relationships is so important: recognize who will weigh you down, who will lift you up, and who has potential.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Will this person be an active source of temptation?
  • Does this person cause me stress, anxiety, or self-doubt?
  • Is this person supportive of my decision to live sober?
  • Would I be able to call this person in a time of crisis?
  • Is this person someone I can depend on to help me spot warning signs of relapse?

When it comes to romantic partners or a spouse, making a decision either way becomes more complicated. Staying in an environment with active substance abuse is a leading cause of relapse.

If your loved one is unwilling to create an environment that will promote your continued recovery, pay attention. Walking away may be the hardest thing you ever do, but it could also be the most important step you take for your future.

Becoming The Supporter

As someone in recovery, you know how important having someone in your corner is to long-term success. If someone you love needs treatment and is ready to take those steps, be an example of what that means.

You can help guide them down the right paths, but be careful not to allow their journey to negatively affect your own. Becoming too entwined in another’s recovery could be your downfall- know your boundaries and stick to them.

Above all, remember that you can’t force recovery on anyone. Success in the long run depends on a personal commitment and daily dedication to the process. Continue to make the best decisions for yourself. You are at your best and in the best position to be a supporter when you continue to take care of yourself and move forward.

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