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What if You and Your Partner Aren’t on the Same Sobriety Page?

What if You and Your Partner Aren’t on the Same Sobriety Page?, Sobriety, Sobriety Partner

Two Great Things That Might Not Go Great Together

You have reclaimed your sobriety. You are in love.

Taken one at a time, each of those things is simply wonderful. Taken together, however, those two things can be in conflict—especially if your partner does not want to give up drugs or alcohol. Whether your partner enjoys a drink at the end of a long day or is regularly using illicit substances, the situation can be a very difficult one for you as a newly sober individual.

When only one member of a couple has given up drugs or alcohol, conflict is bound to arise. Worse, the person in recovery from a substance use disorder could be in increased danger of experiencing a relapse.

So you are sober, and you are in love with someone who isn’t fully on board. What should you do?

Let’s consider a couple of options.

Can This Relationship Be Saved?

Nobody likes to think about a breakup—especially if a romantic relationship is, by and large, good. But in the situation we are considering here, the possibility of ending a relationship needs to be on the table as you think things through.

This is especially true if your partner has developed a substance use disorder and is unwilling to get treatment in order to regain their sobriety. We would recommend drawing a firm line in the sand here. If your partner is addicted to drugs or alcohol and you are committed to ongoing sobriety, you are almost certainly best served by ending the relationship. (Note that we do not necessarily mean you must abandon the person in question—unless the relationship has turned truly toxic. You may still be able to encourage your former partner to get the help they need.)

But what if the situation is a little less cut and dried? Maybe your partner enjoys a beer or two while watching sports or at the end of a long week. Or maybe they enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. Are those sorts of things dealbreakers?

Well, it depends. Can you set—and stick to—some boundaries?

Boundaries are Essential to Your Sobriety

If you want to stay in your relationship, you are going to need to set some real, firm boundaries. You will have to determine the boundaries that you and your partner can stick to so that your sobriety is always protected. Those boundaries might include:

There may well be moments when you find yourself thinking that you do not need to be so strict regarding your boundaries. If and when you have that thought, the best thing you can do is recommit yourself to those guardrails. Keeping your sobriety intact must be your ongoing priority.

On the other hand, if your partner refuses to stick to the agreed-upon boundaries, you will—unfortunately—have to reconsider the relationship itself.

We Know This Isn’t a Romantic Advice Column

Now, you might be thinking we are out of lane here. You likely did not come to this blog looking for advice about your romantic relationship. We are happy to admit that the ins and outs of love are not our area of expertise.

Our area of expertise is substance use disorders, the treatment of those disorders, and the strategies that help individuals in recovery maintain their sobriety. From that perspective, we offer this sincere piece of advice: If your relationship is not serving your sobriety, then your relationship is not serving you.

We Are Ready to Help You Reclaim Your Sobriety

When you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, it can seem like you are trapped. You know that you are doing damage to your mental and physical health by continuing to use substances, but your desire to quit can be stymied by the severe withdrawal symptoms you experience. Either way, you lose.

But there is a way out of the trap. At Bel Aire Recovery Center—located near Wichita, Kansas—we provide medically supervised detoxification so that you can regain your sobriety in a safe environment that is free of temptations. After detox, we offer a robust rehabilitation program that includes group and individual therapy—and that also addresses any co-occurring mental health disorders that may be in play.

We also are committed to providing a continuum of care so that you can begin your recovery journey with confidence. Once you start a relationship with us, you can be sure that we will always be there for you.

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