Relationships in recovery are the hub and source of endless drama, excitement, happiness, and ominous warnings. If you are too early in recovery then you are warned against them in general. If you have some time, relationships become more acceptable. If you have too much time then certain relationships with those that have less time are frowned upon. The truth is, just like the time doesn’t make a difference in the quality of the recovery, the time doesn’t make a difference in the quality of the relationship. Relationships work when people do. Relationships work when each person works on bettering their program of recovery and their relationship with their higher power.
A relationship where both individuals have multiple years can still be sick. The relationship between two people with 30 days can be healthy. The relationship between an individual with significantly more time and someone with less time can be a perfect match. No one is in any spot to say what goes and doesn’t go when it comes to relationships, period.
All that really matters when it comes to relationships in recovery is that everyone is honest with themselves and are right with whatever higher power they have. I mean in their soul. All of us, know what is right in our hearts and souls. We know deep down inside of ourselves the truth of any and all situations. We know whether or not it is right to be dating that guy or girl with 30 days if we have multiple years. We know if it is right for us to be thinking about relationships at all based on where we are in our own recovery. We know deep down if we are using a person to fill a spiritual void, is a healthy individual for us to be with, or if it is a healthy selfless and giving based type of relationship. We all know if we are honest with ourselves deep down, and what we know in our hearts to be right and wrong. If we use this as a guideline and aren’t selfish about it usually relationships work out regardless of the time factor.
So when you read about the topics of relationships in recovery let me say this. There are only a few things you need to do and it is fairly simple in my opinion:
1. Call your sponsor
2. Talk to your higher power
3. Look deep down inside of yourself and who you want to be
Go from there. A lot of us like to complicate things. And with relationships we especially love to put labels, right or wrong, good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, good match or bad match, whatever. Listen, in recovery we aren’t here to tell you how to do anything. And most of us aren’t in any place to judge any relationship or situation. We are all only here to tell you what we did to get sober. Plain and simple.
If you want to do that, you are more than welcome to. If not, that works too. No one can tell you what to do when it comes to relationships. People can suggest things that will make your path in sobriety easier. People can also suggest other things that may be warnings of what could cause obstacles in your recovery. But when it comes down to it, at the end of the day it is between you and your higher power. It is up to you and whether or not you can lay your head on your pillow at night feeling at peace and ease. It is up to you and what kind of person you want to be. That is the defining factor in my opinion of a “good” or “healthy” relationship. And that is all. Don’t let your ego get in the way. Come from the place inside of yourself that is beneath all of the superficial, stay right with your higher power, work a recovery program, and you will be fine.
So forget the “do this” and “don’t do that” part of relationships in recovery, and get right with God and your heart. Listen and even take the suggestions of your sponsor. It really doesn’t have to be that complicated.