Many of the recovery topics I have touched on have a broad application for many readers. This one is a little more focused, but try to stick with me.

As a codependent, my addiction centered around an inability to sustain functional relationships. Most addicts in active addiction have much the same problem. When we enter into relationships that are romantic, that is, where we are looking for that one person to love, honor, cherish and so on, if we are not in recovery, the endeavor is fraught with fundamental structural issues, such as lack of trust, which is HUGE.

Why? I think most of us can attest to what happens when we entangle someone intimately with our dysfunctional life. I know I wasn’t living honestly or openly. I had all sorts of subterfuge going on, and had a ton of justification for it. I searched out relationships with people that would satisfy my dysfunctional need to control and play the martyr simultaneously. This usually attracted a certain kind of person that was looking for their perfect enabler who would play parent to their addict child. The lies flew, back and forth, in addition to the lies we told ourselves about the relationship and our participation in it.

This last time, I felt so defeated by the end of it, before we entered recovery, that I had no desire to remain in the relationship and my “desire” for emotional and physical intimacy was broken.

I spent months apart from my partner, trying to decide I wanted to re-engage in a relationship or even attempt to re-establish trust. Slowly this did occur, but I’ll tell you, we are not the majority. When we finally were able to do all the amends business and the hard work it took to move forward, we began to see the rewards of recovery between us.

One thing that did truly surprise me was the emotional and physical intimacy that developed. I can honestly say that as a result of what we’ve been through, we have deeper parts to our relationship than we ever had before. But on the flip side, it means there is an opportunity for greater hurt. I can say of great comfort, is the knowledge that my recovery tools help me navigate the relationship dynamic as well.

I know this was somewhat a deep dive into the one-on-one, but I want to encourage those struggling in relationships.  There is great opportunity for a full, rich experience. Submit to the process, to God’s power and understand that you can only change yourself. Spend time doing your program. Let the other party tend to their program, and you’ll either draw back together or apart. Ask God to work in the situation and ask your good friends in recovery to stand with you to make the best decisions you can, ones that honor God, yourself and others.

Thanks for continuing the journey with me. Much love.