Many of us struggle with what to do when a loved one is in trouble in some way. Some of us believe that we need to mind our own business: it is not my place to say anything! Others interpret detachment to be license to disregard the responsibility for loving another person. Still others rush into every problem to “fix it” regardless of whether or not they have permission.
While it is true that you cannot control the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of your mate, you share responsibility for being of service to them when you are spiritually fit. Few people will be as well equipped as you are to see the signs that your mate is struggling. The secret to successfully sharing a recovery journey with your partner is to learn the difference between being responsible to someone and being responsible for someone.
Couples who are in recovery absolutely can work recovery together as a team to build an emotional and spiritual bond that each can draw from when personal reserves are low. The reservoir that each partner will come to depend on in their romance is not intended to replace each of the partners’ individual recovery support network, it is intended rather to expand and deepen it.
Every addicted person who has completed an honest examination of the powerless and unmanageably resulting from his or her addiction has invariably come to understand that active addiction can be a very lonely place. The deeper the “bottom” that he or she has reached the greater the likelihood of achieving complete isolation and desperation prior to recovery. Recovery is not intended to occur in isolation from others.
We are taught in the fellowship rooms to understand sobriety to be a “WE” experience. The Twelve Steps address what “we” have done to establish and maintain sobriety. The literature promoted by the various 12 Step organizations supports the idea that service to others is one of the greatest insurance policies against a relapse. The first, of the …