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As we’re working to recover, there are countless choices we’re making in our everyday lives. We’re creating new lifestyles, habits and behavioral patterns, all of which require that we be conscientious about the daily choices we’re making. We make the choice to stay clean, to go to meetings, and to keep up with therapy. Sometimes we give less thought to our relationship choices, because we don’t always see our romantic lives and our addictions as being related. The truth is, everything in our lives is interrelated and affects everything else. Our relationships affect our addictions, and vice versa.

When we are actively using, we tend to attract and choose partners that are in a similar situation. We take comfort in another’s addiction. It makes us feel less alone, less invisible. We feel heard and understood by being with someone who can relate and empathize. The problem is, we’re often not supporting or caring for one another. We’re not helping each other beat our addictions, we’re usually enabling each other and perpetuating each other’s addictions. When in recovery, we want to start looking at our relationship choices more closely so that we can make healthier choices for ourselves and have happier, more successful, more supportive and nurturing relationships going forward.

Addiction recovery requires that we be honest and transparent with ourselves, and this means looking at some painful truths about the choices we’ve made in the past. Many of us have settled for far less than we’re worth, staying in relationships where we’re being used, disrespected and treated badly. We settle for unkindness and abuse, thinking we don’t deserve more. We don’t believe in our own self-worth. We don’t love ourselves, and this translates directly into the partners we choose. Our relationships mirror back to us how we feel about ourselves, so when we choose partners that don’t respect us, it is often because we don’t respect ourselves. Many of us were raised in families where abuse and neglect ran rampant. We were conditioned to equate love with violence. We confuse being used with being cared for. We crave attention and validation. We become needy and obsessive. We form unhealthy, addictive attachments rather than partnerships based on mutual trust, connection and compatibility.

Have the courage and strength to look at your relationship choices objectively. What unresolved pain has been fueling those choices? Why don’t you value yourself? Why have you settled for less than you deserve? Examining our relationship choices teaches us so much about ourselves, enabling us to go deeper into our healing so that we can form a healthier relationship with ourselves and go on to have healthier relationships with others.

At Riverside, recovery for us is personal. The majority our staff has gone through the recovery process and experienced firsthand what it feels like to have your addiction dominate your life and relationships. We’re here to help you live the life you imagine for yourself. Call (800) 871-5440 today.