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Relationship With Addiction Off To A Bad Start

Relationships are tricky things.  We need them, we want them, but we often stumble around when starting them.  We also tend to start relationships for the wrong reasons and under unhealthy circumstances.  This is particularly the case for people with a drug or alcohol addiction.  An addict may have a strong need for belonging and support, but their addiction will put the whole situation in jeopardy.

Choosing An Unhealthy Relationship Partner

One of the truths about human nature is that we usually choose to be around people who are about as emotionally healthy as we are.  People who have a strong sense of self and confidence with their personal beliefs will want someone who is in a similar place in their life.  They don’t want to deal with someone who is constantly depressed, anxious and needy, or steeped in emotional drama.  They want someone who will grow and mature with them and build a good life together through ups and downs.

Likewise, a person who has some fairly unhealthy behaviors and emotional instability will gravitate towards people who also have these problems.  They won’t feel comfortable with someone who seems to be strong and stable.  There won’t be enough in common if the emotions and behaviors aren’t more extreme.

Addiction Starts Relationship On Wrong Foot

So as you could imagine, alcoholics and drug addicts already start out on the wrong foot by choosing other people who are neck-deep in emotional troubles.  They are like two people nearly drowning and trying to hang on to each other.  Neither person is giving much to the other because they just can’t.  They are most likely experiencing emptiness, low self worth, and are living in a survival mode most of the time.

A healthy relationship can really take off when both people are ready to give as much or more than they take.  They are focused on making the other person’s life a little better every day, not worrying so much about themselves.  When this can’t happen because of constant emotional distress or consistently unhealthy behaviors, a relationship may create more stress in a person’s life.  A person seeking love and belonging may find themselves feeling worse than before.

Alcohol and Drug Treatment Gets People Ready For Relationships

Alcohol and drug treatment is critical for anyone with an addiction that hopes to have long lasting relationships.  Lopsided unhealthy relationships just don’t last, or they create more drama than necessary.  Alcohol and drug rehab can help a person get sober, teach them about making healthy social choices, and support them as they reconstruct and start relationships as a sober person.  Without alcohol and drug treatment, a person with an addiction will repeat their unhealthy relationship mistakes over and over again.  With treatment, there can always be hope and a new day to start again.

Creative Commons License Photo credit: weglet

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