Dating a Recovering addict..Confused

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2011
Dating a Recovering addict..Confused
25
Thu, 02-17-2011 - 1:46am

Hi All_

I read several threads here and hope that i can get some insights from others who have dated a recovering drug addict.

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Community Leader
Registered: 09-14-1997
Thu, 02-17-2011 - 6:06am

I can only share my experience. I am Beth, one of the cls here. I am also a recovering alcoholic. When I first got sober I was told that it would be in my best interest- and in the best interest of my recovery- to focus on myself for a full year. I was told that I was not able to give to another person what THEY needed from a relationship until I was clean and sober. They were right. I needed to make sure that nothing came between me and my recovery.

New relationships carry their own highs- as I can tell from your post you know already! Some addicts and alcoholics switch addiction. Believe me, you don't want to become your friend's new "drug".

There is more to my story, by the way. I did meet a lot of people at meetings. Most people warned me away from 2 people. One was a student of mine, who introduced me to the other person. This man had baggage. (Don't all alcoholics). A majorly disfunctional family, a divorce, kids, debts. He rarely talked at meetings and though he seemed to enjoy being around people, he didn't join the meet and date crowd of younger people, although he was in his 20s. A group of us started going to out of town meetings- and he was one of them. He and I quietly started talking to each other. Believe me, a relationship was not in EITHER of our futures. When his roommate moved out, I moved in. (I was living in a crack house until then.) We became great friends as I got sober (he had 2 more years sober already.) We went to meetings together. He came home and talked about his dates with me. He was one of the two people I didn't fear.

Then one night he kissed my forehead. Then my lips. I was 54 weeks sober.

To make a really long story short, after some fits and starts and many talks to our sponsors, my Knight (in slightly tarnished armor) and I were married in 1992. We now have 2 wonderful girls and still go to meetings together.

The moral, as I am sure you can guess, is that he gave me time to get sober. We knew ALL of each other's baggage and learned it while we were friends and not lovers. The road has been bumpy- and if you get involved with him, do SERIOUS research into the lives of loved ones of addicts and alcoholics (NarAnon and AlAnon would be a good start.)

Keep us posted!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2011
Thu, 02-17-2011 - 1:36pm

Hi Beth,

Thank you so much for your story, and congratulations to your sobriety!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2011
Thu, 02-17-2011 - 2:03pm

The latest update...i told him that I can be a friend to him if he doesn't start to pull away.

Community Leader
Registered: 09-14-1997
Thu, 02-17-2011 - 3:27pm

Recoverying addicts can be really stable, but NEWLY recovering addicts are nuts. I can say that because I remember being nuts.

If he can't be friends, don't push the issue. He is certainly not what you need.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2011
Thu, 02-17-2011 - 4:13pm

When he called me yesterday he was on his way back from home the gym and his behavior was odd.

Community Leader
Registered: 09-14-1997
Thu, 02-17-2011 - 7:03pm

Our emotions are all over and we are unsure of what we want when we are newly sober. There is an expression about alcoholics that says the we don't have relationships, we take hostages. When we are actively into our addictions or newly sober, we can be incredibly selfish and a relationship is not (as it should be) about the other person, it is only about us. Until I was sober I was unable to have a mature relationship, since I was not emotionally mature.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2011
Thu, 02-17-2011 - 7:17pm

Hi Beth,

Thank you so much for your insights.

Community Leader
Registered: 09-14-1997
Thu, 02-17-2011 - 7:25pm

I am glad I met you too. Thanks also for the compliments, heaven knows it was hard work getting to where I am now.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Thu, 02-17-2011 - 7:38pm
Hi there. My name is Leslie and I am a recovering alcoholic. You are right to be wary about this relationship. He is most likely a wonderful person but - and it is a "big" BUT - he has got to get himself some longterm sobriety before he can truly commit to a relationship. It takes a long time for alcoholics to go through the mental, physical, and emotional changes that happen in the first year of sobriety. I have been sober almost 16 years and I still have work to do with regard to my temper and sensitive nature. No one is perfect - but he needs time being sober. I would suggest you keep this relationship platonic for a while. You might also look at attending some Al-Anon meetings - you will learn much about the disease itself as well as ways to take care of yourself!
Best wishes!
Leslie
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2011
Thu, 02-17-2011 - 7:47pm

Hi,

Thank you for the reply.

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