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The Ultimate Guide to Romantic Relationships After Addiction

Two people following the guide to relationships after addiction

Sex, love, and dating are already complicated enough. Of course, things only get more complicated when addiction is added to the mix. If you’re recovering after completing an addiction treatment program, don’t despair. Contact Ashwood Recovery today at 888.341.3607 to learn how to date after addiction. This guide to relationships after addiction treatment can also help you take the first steps.

How Does Addiction Affect Relationships?

Over time, addiction destroys the foundation of romantic relationships: trust, stability, intimacy, and communication.

Lies and Secrecy

People struggling with addiction lie to cover up the amount of money they spend on substances, the places they spend their time, and so on. When these lies are questioned, they may become defensive and verbally attack their partners.

Anger and Abuse

Some substances cause people to act irrationally or cruelly toward those around them. In some relationships that involve addiction, these behaviors escalate to verbal or physical abuse.

Loss of Interest in the Relationship

Cravings drive the person struggling with addiction, and fulfilling them becomes the most critical part of their life. Relationships that were once so important become neglected.


Despite their best intentions, people who are in relationships with those struggling with addiction often enable them. When people struggling with addiction are overprotected by their loved ones, they can’t experience the natural consequences of their actions.

Different Types of Relationships After Addiction

Now, we’ll get into the guide to relationships after addiction. We’ll discuss tips for single people struggling with addiction and the significant others of people in recovery.

“I’m in Recovery and Want to Date Again.”

Experts say people struggling with addiction shouldn’t start a new relationship for at least a year. Waiting a full 365 days to date can be difficult, but before you make a decision, consider the following:

  • Addiction replacement – Some people turn to the high of infatuation as a replacement addiction. For some, love and sex can emerge as new addictions.
  • Distraction and relapse risk – Alcoholics Anonymous emphasizes spiritual principles and encourages recovering people to turn to a higher power. People in addiction recovery run the risk of seeing a new partner as a sort of higher power.
  • Challenging social situations – Even kissing someone with the taste of alcohol on their lips can trigger a recovering alcoholic.

Move slowly when dating after addiction. Don’t make the relationship the sole focus of your life. Continue working on your program and nurturing other friendships and relationships. Tell your new partner about your recovery. Don’t hide your relationship from your sponsor, sober friends, or therapists. If it seems like you need to choose between sobriety and a relationship for the time being, always choose your sobriety.

“I’m in a Relationship with a Recovering Addict.”

Here’s how to have a healthy relationship with someone recovering from addiction:

  • Take it slow
  • Put their recovery first
  • Learn about addiction
  • Practice self-care

Just as you wouldn’t expect your partner to take on all of your problems, you shouldn’t expect them to be the sole source of comfort during their recovery.

“I’m Married to Someone Recovering from Addiction.”

How to date after addiction treatment is much easier to learn than how to repair a marriage. Does this mean divorce is inevitable if you’re married to someone struggling with addiction? Not necessarily. There are steps you can take to help your loved one. These include:

  • Not enabling your partner
  • Setting healthy boundaries
  • Encouraging them to seek help

Look into available options for drug rehab and alcohol detox and rehabilitation. If your spouse is not ready, you may have to make the difficult decision to leave. But if both of you are willing to do the work, you can build a healthier version of your relationship. Make sure you have a support system of your own. By loving yourself first, you will find forgiving and falling back in love with your spouse easier.

Find Addiction Treatment in Idaho at Ashwood Recovery

If you’re looking for substance abuse treatment in Idaho, contact Ashwood Recovery today at 888.341.3607 to learn how we can help you begin your journey to a life of sobriety.