Falling in love might seem like sunshine and roses on television and in the movies, but for those in addiction recovery, starting a new relationship can be very stressful.
At the beginning of a new relationship, you’ll find that you have to set new boundaries, learn how to communicate with your partner in a healthily, non-codependent way determining what each other’s role in the relationship is.
For some couples, this can be an extremely difficult and testing time, that’s why it’s often advisable to stay away from settling down with someone new during your first 12 months of addiction recovery.
For example, you and your partner may decide to move in together or get married. These are tasks that require lots of effort, dedication and most importantly compromise because you will now have to learn how to function as one, well-oiled team.
While this might seem exciting, it can also come with its fair share of stress. Lots of new relationships are put under strain because compromises cannot be reached or there’s a disagreement on the boundaries that have been set.
If it can be this hard for someone who isn’t in addiction recovery, imagine how difficult it will be for someone who is! The chances of suffering a relapse increase during times of distress that’s why it’s important that you think long and hard about starting a new relationship in the early stages after rehab.
If you are planning on starting a new relationship in addiction recovery, here are some helpful tips on how you can minimise stress that you might experience.
How to Minimise Relationship Stress in Addiction Recovery
- Make sure that the boundaries you set are clear and understandable for each other
- Talk about and find an agreement on what each other’s role in the relationship is
- Before an argument arises, agree to discuss things only when you and your partner have calmed down and had time to think about the issue at hand
- Always be honest and remain faithful towards one another, no matter how difficult the situation might be
- Talk to your partner about your needs and make sure that you are open to meeting theirs as well
There will be times when you will find it hard to agree with your partner or vice versa, but as long as you respect and treat each other with compassion, it’s okay to disagree with certain things.
Always remember to:
- Tell your partner that you love them each and every day
- Talk about any money problems that you may have openly so that you can work it out and find a solution as a team
- Find a support group of friends that you trust and love so that you can talk to them when things get tough
No relationship will ever be perfect, however as long as you are well prepared to deal with the times of trouble, there is no reason why it should affect your addiction recovery.