Addiction, recovery & relationships. What's really going on? Questionnaire.

May 31, 2019

 

Recovery from alcoholism means a change of mindset and it is usually the case that some serious life decisions need to be made. We alcoholics are by and large overly sensitive and letting go of people, places and things in our lives is uncomfortable to say the least, but it could mean the difference between staying sober or staying drunk. If we cling on to our old habits, behavioural patterns, reactions and responses, we stand very little chance of maintaining sobriety. Our personalities, amongst other things, need to change.

 

So, how do we let go? It basically means that the thoughts in our head need to alter. During early sobriety, we are all scared, vulnerable and needy. We are entering into new territory and we do not know what’s on the other side. Often, we will cling on to toxic situations in our lives, being a case of “better the devil we know than the devil we don’t”. This is dangerous alcoholic thinking and will keep us drunk in our minds, if not in actuality. Remember, being sober is so much more than just not drinking. It is learning to ask for and listen to guidance from those who have gone through similar experiences and are there to help. We cannot recover on our own.

 

By far the most difficult thing to let go of, is a marriage or close relationship. But we MUST be realistic about this. It will do us no good to try and minimize, justify or rationalize why we should stay in this partnership if it is clearly having a negative effect on us. We need to face the facts. Is this relationship causing us confusion, stress, anxiety, worry or fear? Are we clinging on to it because, being people-pleasers, we simply don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings? Are we hanging on because we are terrified of being alone, or because we don’t want to admit that this relationship is not working for our benefit? Are we afraid of being judged by others? Are we clutching at an illusion of our own making, writing a script of a bright and beautiful future together when in fact the reality may be quite different? Becoming sober can be a selfish affair, because we absolutely have to put ourselves first.

 

Most of us alcoholics and addicts have come from a place of little or no self-esteem – and to give up on a relationship, even if it is clearly not working to our satisfaction, causing us to feel bemused, perplexed, fearful, angry or jealous, can seem like an admission of failure on our part. It is not. It is a sign that we are becoming stronger in our recovery, with no need to find our happiness in, or from, other people. We no longer need to be reliant on anyone else to make us feel good. This is the beauty of true sobriety. We learn to feel good from the inside and we can then share those feelings with others who are struggling.

 

It takes courage to let go. It is a leap of faith, but often this leap turns out to be only a small necessary step on the road to freedom. Once we have released ourselves from the burden of an unhealthy relationship, the feelings of peace and freedom are immense – and we can then move forward instead of being held back through our own neediness and of our own volition. In saying this though, some relationships can be fixed, but it takes total commitment, complete honesty and constant open communication for this to happen.

 

It is time for us to make a mature, sober decision, realistically and without reservation, as to whether or not we are comfortable with this/these relationship/s, rather than playing out some childhood fantasy in our minds that we will all live happily ever after.

 

Of course, it may be uncomfortable to face up to the truth. After all, we have spent a great deal of our time drowning out uncomfortable feelings with alcohol or other substances. One of the major causes of relapse in alcoholics occurs because we do not address and confront our relationship issues with brutal honesty. Thousands of alcoholics and addicts relapse because we cannot resolve these problems, but thousands are able to move forward, having found the strength and lucidity to be realistic about our relationship situations.

 

Are you ready and willing to be honest with yourself? It’s time to get real.

 

 

Answer YES or NO to the following statements regarding your relationship with your significant other. Write down your response for each and record the indicated numeric score.

 

 

1. We regularly make plans to be together.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 2 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 1 point)

 

2. We enjoy many of the same activities and entertainment.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 2 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 1 point)

 

 

3. We tend to agree about our finances, budget and spending decisions.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 2 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 0 points)

 

4. I am comfortable discussing my worries and thoughts with my partner.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 2 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 0 points)

 

5. I believe that my partner is comfortable sharing his or her worries and thoughts with me.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 2 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 0 points)

 

6. There are aspects of our relationship that we avoid talking about.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 0 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 2 points)

 

7. I am satisfied with the amount of affection and intimacy in our relationship.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 3 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 0 points)

 

8. I sometimes feel my partner’s behaviour is unusual.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 0 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 2 points)

 

9. Our differing needs regarding affection and intimacy causes strain on our relationship.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 0 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 3 points)

 

10. I feel that my partner is fully committed to me.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 3 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 0 points)

 

11. I am often unsure as to what my partner is thinking or feeling.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 0 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 3 points)

 

12. I sometimes feel like I am being manipulated.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 0 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 3 points)

 

13. I am sometimes confused by my partner’s intentions.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 0 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 2 points)

 

14. I sometimes feel that my partner does not express themselves honestly to me regarding their feelings.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 0 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 3 points)

 

15. We have similar values, morals and religious beliefs.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 2 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 1 point)

 

16. We have similar beliefs about how to raise children.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 3 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 1 point)

 

17. I feel that my partner is fully supportive of me.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 3 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 0 points)

 

18. We sometimes have major or minor arguments that are not resolved.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 0 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 2 points)

 

19. I feel that we are both of the same level of maturity.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 2 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 1 point)

 

20. I am, or I feel that I am being abused: a) Physically. b) Verbally. c) Emotionally.

(If answer is yes, give your relationship 0 points) (If answer is no, give your relationship 2 points)

 

 

 

RESULTS

 

Total your score.

 

42-48:

Your score suggests that you and your partner share a high level of compatibility, communication and commitment to your relationship. There is always room for improvement in all aspects of a relationship and you may need to address one or two specific things but all in all - keep on doing what you are doing.

 

36 – 41:

Your score suggests that there are some minor issues and areas of your life where you are not on the same page with your partner, although in general, your relationship is healthy. Look at the specific points where you differ and work on improving these areas of your relationship.

 

30 - 35:

Your score suggests that there are quite a few areas of conflict in your relationship. You will have to find a way to fix compatibility issues and compromise more effectively in order for the relationship to function at a better level. You will need to be willing to talk openly about your concerns.

 

22 – 29:

Your score suggests that your relationship is very troubling and insecure. Although it may possibly be salvageable, this is highly unlikely. There are many areas of ambiguity which will be tough to resolve. There is much confusion together with uncertainty and trust issues that will have to be addressed if this relationship is to be rebuilt. You will have to communicate openly and frankly as to whether or not you wish to mend this partnership or end it. 

 

Less than 22:

Your score suggests that this is a toxic relationship and you are not compatible for each other. Whilst it may have begun as something good, it has clearly evolved into an unhealthy partnership which has become very psychologically damaging, causing frustration, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anxiety and stress. There is a lack of open communication, plus serious issues relating to honesty and sincerity which will be difficult, if not impossible to fix. There are many situations which lead to annoyance, exasperation, infuriation and anger. It may well be advisable to consider whether it is worth pursuing this relationship which is undoubtedly causing problems for both of you. Letting go, however difficult it may seem, would be your best option, in order to free yourself from a partnership which is clearly detrimental to your recovery and general emotional well-being.

 

Peter Weisz (Dip. Psych. HND) ONE 2 ONE COUNSELING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PETER WEISZ

ONE 2 ONE

THERAPEUTIC SUPPORT

One 2 One Therapeutic Support is an international organization, offering help to clients worldwide through online sessions and also personally at our physical location in Cape Town, South Africa. All qualifications are under the auspices of the MHCPC (Manor House Centre for Psychotherapy and Counseling) and the BACP (British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy) in The United Kingdom and Great Britain. MHCPC UK registration no. 1131804.

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