Emotional Sobriety in Relationships- The Elephant in the Room.

Do you sometimes have trouble seeing how your behavior impacts others? Do you rage at your partner and after you calm down apologise and brush it off by saying, “That was my alcoholic/addict behaviour?” Do you have trouble communicating your fears, disappointments and desires to your partner? Do you obsess about your ex-partner’s and your partner’s behaviours? Do you act out in relationships?

Historically treatment and recovery approaches often neglect relationships, especially the couple relationship, encouraging separate individual work only. This leaves recovering couples floundering in dysfunction; sometimes for years, trying to manage their relationship without proper tools and guidance to live successfully both as a couple and separately as individuals in recovery.

I only know a handful of people who are happy in recovery and in their intimate relationships. Many break-up or divorce because they don’t see a way beyond the pain, frustration and addictive patterns. Others shy away from talking openly about their relationships and struggles out of fear of being judged. The majority of folks turn a blind eye toward relationships altogether. However, sex, love, intimacy, money, and relationships are highly emotional issues for individuals and recovering couples. It is the elephant in the living room.

After several devastating heart-breaks I became more and more frustrated with relationships in recovery because discussing and reading about “emotional sobriety” didn’t show me how to change my behaviour. My emotions were suffocating me and the only way I knew how to get some relief was to isolate myself and create walls between me and other people. The 12-steps and the amazing spiritual life I gained in recovery were masterful in helping to break the cycle of active addiction and recover the self that was lost during active addiction. But as a recovering person, I wanted to discover who I was “in-a-relationship.” In order to do that I needed a different perspective and a different way to understand relationships and committed partnership.

To continue to grow and heal as a recovering person, we are inevitably led back into relationships where we will meet the next significant challenge in recovery. It is important to cease being the object of fear to our partner. Those of us who grew up in alcoholic homes learned and practiced dysfunctional relating i.e., scaring, hurting, manipulating, physical force, silent treatment, blaming, hiding, criticising, withdrawing and raging. This does not work, and in my opinion these behaviour strategies undermine the spiritual gifts and peace of mind recovery offers.

In summary, single individuals, recovering couples and non-recovering couples who are ready to address the “elephant in the room” and learn to interact emotionally in a safe, loving way and heal their relationship. The only requirement is a readiness and willingness to embrace a new perspective on relationships and committed partnership. Relationships are inevitable in recovery.

At UK Detox we work with a wide range of rehabilitation facilities and detox centres around the country to suit your needs and circumstances and provide home detox’s. We are a premier service with an extremely high success rate, offering addicts the opportunity to get clean and sober and live a successful life. We are living proof that it is achievable and now we are here to help you on your journey into recovery. Change your story, change your life.


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