The core issues that contributed to our drinking and using are often relationships.
It’s common for people to have to make great changes in lifestyle and relationships in order to recover.
Core relationship evaluation provides clues to untenable situations for which using was a solution. Early familial patterns are often replayed as we choose what feels familiar as adults, even giving up ourselves in relationships, that are, at best, a parody of our childhood pathos, in attempts to “go home”.
Addicted men and women often are preyed upon in relationships due to their inability to manage their lives.
You may be in an abusive relationship if he or she:
- Is jealous or possessive toward you. Jealousy is the primary symptom of abusive relationships; it is also a core component of sexual addictions and Love Addiction.
- Tries to isolate you by demanding you cut off social contacts and friendships.
- Is violent and/or loses his or her temper quickly.
- Pressures you sexually, demands sexual activities you are not comfortable with.
- Abuses drugs or alcohol.
- Claims you are responsible for his or her emotional state. This is a core diagnostic criteria for Codependency.
- Blames you when he or she mistreats you.
- Has a history of traumatic relationships without ownership or understanding that there is a better way to live.
- Your family and friends have warned you about the person or told you that they are concerned for your safety or emotional well being.
- You frequently worry about how he or she will react to things you say or do.
- Makes “jokes” that shame, humiliate, demean or embarrass you, whether privately or around family and friends.
- Your partner grew up witnessing an abusive parental relationship, and/or was abused as a child.
- Your partner “rages” when they feel hurt, shame, fear or loss of control.
- Both parties in abusive relationships may develop or progress in drug or alcohol dependence in a (dysfunctional) attempt to cope with the pain.
- You leave and then return to your partner repeatedly, against the advice of your friends, family and loved ones.
- You have trouble ending the relationship, even though you know inside it’s the right thing to do.
If this is familiar, you may need assistance.Many don’t know what a healthy relationship looks like. Since our childhood experience, however dysfunctional, feels like “home”, we often choose to recreate it as adults to disastrous result.
The characteristicsof healthy relationships are often not what we grew up observing.
Abusive relationships will hinder your ability to succeed, recover and develop a relationship with yourself.
The first step is to break the silence. Your silence will not protect you. Communicate with your Case Manager and a trusted support person as you work through the changes required to make your life safe. Be very careful when ending an abusive relationship. 90% of all abusive domestic relationships escalate to violence with threat of breakup. Make a safety plan, tell people around you, use cameras if you live alone, and don’t be afraid to get a restraining order before leaving.
Couples acknowledging a problem have many resources available to learn a better way of loving.