Repairing existing relationships is another focus of healing. If you are in recovery, chances are your partner is aware of your addiction; it is probably the reason you entered treatment. He or she found receipts, e-mails, videos, or computer images, or received a call from an angry sex partner, disclosing the lurid details of your acting-out behavior.
Your partner was devastated, shocked, enraged, and desperate. There were threats of suicide or homicide, accusations, name-calling, ultimatums, disbelief, and questions - so many questions.
You were shocked by the intensity of your partner's reaction. Witnessing your partner's gut-wrenching pain and anger was like staring at the carnage of your addiction. It was a reflection of the darkest parts of your addiction and the unimaginable places you allowed it to go.
You tried to explain, manage, apologize, make promises, implement
change, or take actions to amend, but nothing seemed to help. Your
partner's reaction was continuous, emotional waves so unpredictable that
you felt like a boat being ravaged by a turbulent sea.
your wounding, the betrayal cut your partner to his or her core. The
deepest parts of his or personhood were violated, probably a reflection
of your partner's own trauma history. He or she needs to be angry to
process the betrayal, and this process must be respected.
reality is that this process is difficult, even when it is carried out
in a boundaried, healthy fashion. For a person who does not have an
understanding of the recovery process to receive such painful, intimate
information can result in an excruciating loss of control. And although
this loss of control can precipitate a crisis, there is good news: The
crisis can create such desperation that the sufferer becomes ready to
learn a new, healthier way to cope with the situation.
crisis is like that of alcoholics who get "sick and tired of being sick
and tired." They know the next drink will kill them, but they can't
live without it. They reach bottom as the crisis confronts them with all
its awful might. With great good fortune, they may finally be ready to
There is always the possibility,
although it is less likely, that your partner is unaware of your
addiction. He or she is choosing to live in denial or knows something is
"off" but is unwilling to explore the reasons. Your partner has
developed his or her own coping mechanisms that serve to distract. These
include work, over-scheduling, exercise, overeating, and overspending.