It can come as a surprise when you’re dating someone who reveals that he’s a recovering drug addict.
Unexplained absences, a failure to return phone calls, showing up late, and explanations for behavior that don’t ring true are a just a few indications that things have gone amiss – and when something is amiss with a recovering addict or alcoholic, unfortunately there is very good reason to assume the worst.
All recovering addicts have certain triggers that could lead to relapse.
Before becoming involved with them, it is important to sit down and have a good long talk about what those triggers might be, based on their past experiences and on the insights they have gained during their counseling sessions and during their time in AA or NA.
When they finally manage to get past all of the chemical baggage that they had been carrying with them for so long, what you will find in most instances is that former addicts have just as many outstanding qualities as anyone else, and this can make them a joy to be around for family and friends alike. Is it wise to form a more intimate connection with an ex-addict or alcoholic, no matter how dramatically they appear to have turned their lives around?
In looking at the experiences of others, what we can say is that many who have formed romantic partnerships with former substance abusers have come to regret that decision immensely, while others have been able to establish satisfying permanent relationships with those who have successfully put their past addictions behind them.
So there really is no hard and fast rule here – but there are some things you should think about before getting more deeply involved with someone in recovery.
And if you do decide to date someone with a history of drug or alcohol use, there are a number of signs you must watch out for in order to make sure your new partner is living up to his or her promises of sobriety.
Recovering substance abusers often possess excellent attributes that are forged by the intensity of their personal experiences.
They are often very compassionate and non-judgmental in their relations with others, will not shy away from confronting difficult problems head on, and will usually be right there to help those they love through their own darkest hours.
Successful recovering addicts and alcoholics will have learned much about the importance of honesty and open communication during their rehabilitation process, and this can carry over into their relationships with those to whom they become close.
But when addicts and alcoholics suddenly begin closing down and become reticent to share what they are thinking and feeling, or to talk about what is happening in their lives, this is most likely a sign that something is wrong.