The dangers of rehab romance.

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The problems with romance in rehab.

The dangers of rehab romance

All too common, rehab romance is a serious threat to recovery; and as such most rehab and drug treatment facilities attempt to keep recovering patients out of romantic relationships, and concentrating on self reflection and healing.

Staff in rehabs do not act out of prudish feelings against romance or sex, but out of concern for patients, and out of experience that says that few things derail recovery faster than an external and romantic love interest during the intense days of recovery as in rehab.

Rehab romances are a bad idea for 3 reasons.

  1. The largest single reason why rehab romances are frowned upon (and actively broken up!) is because when involved in a new romance or infatuation, all of us turn much of our attention outwards at the object of our desires, and we are left with less time and energy for necessary personal contemplation and recovery. The intense therapeutic days of rehab are no time to be thinking about anyone but yourself!
  2. Rehab romances may also cause us to present ourselves in a favorable light. It's natural to try to present our good sides to new lovers, and although this is a normal and harmless occurrence most of the time, during initial recovery, this presents a problem. A big part of recovery is a full, honest and open participation in group sessions and therapies, and to get any benefit out of these sessions it's imperative that you be completely honest…even to the ugliest truths of your addiction.
  3. People coming out of lengthy periods of addition may also be in no physical shape to initiate a sexual relationship. A period of addiction and abuse behaviors is so often a period of risky drug administration practices and risky sexual activity, and many people in rehab have an undiagnosed STD that also needs attention. The last thing anyone already struggling through recovery and sobriety needs is the addition of another health complication and recovery obstacle.

Why are rehab romances so tempting?

There are a number of environmental and personal variables that make rehab a particularly tempting place for the development of new romance.

Firstly, coming out of addiction and feeling great with sobriety can seem like a reawakening, and since sex drives and other emotions are often subdued by drug abuse, we are all of a sudden hungry for what we have been missing.

Also, because the days of recovery are emotionally intense and draining, it is easy to make a spiritual connection with a fellow recovering addict, and to interpret that connection as love.

But whatever the reasons for these feelings, and as real as they may or may not be…relationships in rehab are never a positive thing, and can never help with recovery.

Friendships are great…romance not so much.

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Comments 31 comments

Morte Cerebrale 8 years ago

You also forgot to add that we are crazy as cut snakes when on the road to recovery.

Unstable, self absorbed (by necessity), volatile, and over-senstive guy seeks girl with similar interssests for fun, sex and romance..


anderbee 7 years ago

this is some great, honest information. nice job.


Alichia 7 years ago

gosh. after reading this i am SO afraid my boyfriend will cheat on me! We've been together for five months and was living together. He's in a 28 day treatment center.:(


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onebune 6 years ago

My boyfriend went to rehab 3 weeks ago and after being there for a week, he told me we are through. He is in a coed residential facility, and informed me that he found someone else (another patient) and is sleeping with her! I am completely devastated and confused....


James 6 years ago

This is true not to mention the fact that most addicts relapse due to failed relationships. If we as addicts don't give ourselves a chance then who will. Until we can get better with ourselves how can we attempt to be there for someone else.


caroline 6 years ago

My partner of two years has been in rehab now for 3 weeks. He told me about these rehab romances and has said it is not the thing to do as your feelings are all rushing back and you can get very loved up only down the line a nod and wink can turn this dream romance into two users again.


John44 6 years ago

Me and my wife have been married for 5 years and together for 10 years! I am in recovery myself for 14 years and went through rehab myself and how well i know about Rehab romance! I was married when i went through treatment 14 years ago and guess what through it all away for a rehab romance that lasted not even a year! But the brighter side is i found my wife now! So now my wife is in treatment in a coed treatment rehab and now i am worried this will happen there is no way to avoid the rehab romance when you are with other people with the same problems and your loved ones are not there and you are limited to very little contact by phone or letters and 2 hours on sunday so when another person misses there spouse or girlfiend or boyfriend they find the next best thing and guys are always looking for the weak females and prey on that it sucks but happens! It starts right in detox because you can have no outside contact until you are out of detox thats were i think the problem begins and the treatment centers know this and does nothing! And as far as the treatment centers breaking up the romance that is false they say the frown on it and if discovers it they do nothing its the truth! So now I am faced with this and sucks feeling alone scared and hoping for the best!


Monica 6 years ago

My husband went to rehab for 3 weeks he came home about a month and a half ago and was great for a week... was going to meetings, sounded great and really had me confident that he would be okay. About a week after he came home, and had been hanging out with his new rehab friends, he cheated on me with one of the women he met while in treatment and told me that he was in love with her and that he wanted a divorce... I moved out and with the help of his counselor he came back to his senses after about a week and we were working on our relationship I was still not living with him but everything seemed to be going great and we had made so much progress - had really opened up to one another and I felt like we were going to be okay. My husband was going to his meetings and Out patient treatment program, was telling me how much he loved me constantly and that he wanted this to work and even asked me to move back in last week. And then.. this past weekend he tells me that the weekend before he went on a date with a women he met in his outpatient program and that he wasn't in love with me anymore and wants a divorce. I am completely devastated but what has happened - here I was trying to get him help, to support him in recovery and now my marriage is over because of it. I have no words to describe my frustration and just how hurt I am - I even called his counselor to tell him what had happened and am going to therapy and both say that all of these "cheating episodes" are due to his addiction and are just filling a void - almost like replacing the drugs for him. I am so confused...I love him so much and have been there through all of this hell for him to be discarded like a piece of trash - he has thrown away our marriage (now twice in 1 1/2 months) for someone(s) he met in rehab and the best part is - I am stuck paying the bill for his treatment! What a slap in the face.


Tracy 6 years ago

I can relate to Monica's situation completely. My husband and partner of 20 years went into rehab for the second time and while he was there decided to abandon his family for a woman he met there and knew for 10 days! Things have now been turned around to portray me as the unsupportive wife and he is now the victim when I have been a loyal faithful partner to a lying (and now cheating) drug addict. The rehab are supporting this new relationship as well. There was no support whatsoever for the family in dealing with the drug addiction and the repercussions thereof. His family are treating me like I have caused this situation! Unbelievable.


Wilma 6 years ago

My boyfriend of 3 years went to rehab 40 days ago and when he came home (after 35 days) he said he had met someone and that he didn't know if he wanted to be with me anymore. He is still currently "deciding/figuring out" what he wants to do. He has only known this girl for like 15 days. I have been by his side and dealt with his problem for 3years and this is what I get in return?!? I love him dearly but if it takes being with another woman to figure out that he loves me...then why would I waste my time???


Stacy 6 years ago

My boyfriend went int rehab and was only there 20days, started cheating on my with the therapist, she got him out of the program before his time was up, picked him up at airport and moved him in with her... THE FREAKEN THERAPIST!!!! I have 2 kids with him and he told me he loves his new life with her, she makes him happy and he wasn't ever coming back home. I called in and reported it and found out that she also submitted false statements to Felony probation and atty for pending charges to buy him more time for court.


Mrs Stupid  6 years ago

I split up from my husband over 3 years ago because of his drugg addiction and what it had done to our relationship, after we split he totally hit rock bottom and was begging me constantly to give it another try, he was so genuine and hurting so bad it was like he was punshing him self for the way he had treated me and that he hated himself so so bad for how he had treated me and the kids, he was screaming out for help and it felt like total unconditional love, woops I fell for it again, spent thousands on a rehab programme gave him so much support and guess what . . . . he is now planning his future with another addict and treating me and the kids like shit again, words cant describe how hurt and stupid I feel just now ;( delete the repeat folks they never ever change x x


karen 6 years ago

Boy, The last year has also been hell for me. I was so thrilled that my boyfriend was finally entering into rehab. I picked up the bill and was very supportive. He met someone and it has been a year of hell every since he got out. They have been back and forth....creating hell for everyone and drinking. It's worse than it ever was before to find out today that he has once again gone back to her....he doesn't think I know but I have allowed him to behave in the manner. I have been so hurt and for whatever reason wanted this relationship to work out w/him. This is my first rodeo w/an addict. I pray never again. I don't think I have ever been through so much hell and hurt myself mentally as I have by loving this person. I ask myself if I can ever pull out but I have to this time. I can't keep riding this drama roller coaster.


gina 6 years ago

I really need help.my live in boyfriend of 4 years has been in + out of rehabs and in september I finally convinced him to enter an intense inpatient rehab out of state.everything was going great and I even made plans to move down there + meet him because he said he wanted US to have a fresh life together.out of no where 5 days ago he told me he doesn't want a relationship right now because he needs to focus on getting better.I feel so thrown away.I've been by his side more than his own family through everything he's gone through.I don't want to be without him.he keeps telling me that all he needs is time so he can focus on recovery and he wants me to just focus on myself.I'm hoping this isn't going to be a permanent break up,I love him so much!I feel like I'm slowing losing him,and I'm pushing him away myself by constantly calling and texting him.but I don't want him to forget about me..what do I do?! Please help..


ex addict 6 years ago

Gina: that sounds like he wants time to figure out if he wants the.chick he met in rehab or.time to be single. Only saying cause I know how an addict.thinks. I almost left my husband for someone in rehab. Thank god I didn't. Hope it works out.


rls 5 years ago

My ex got into his first rehab at age 46 after being oicked up by the feds. 3 months into a program where you get 8 hour day passes. He wanted to work it out, I said no because of the newness of recovery I wanted his to focus in on himself. That was a month ago, now he is with a women he met recovery and does not want to communitcae with me any longer... Does this sound as if he is truly putting his recovery first?


james  5 years ago

My girlfriend of 5 months just got out of rehab. She now distances herself from me. Doesn't want to be close cuddle sex. She slept in another room last night. We have lived together for 3 months before she went in. She's soooo different. I'm so confused. I don't know what to do. I want her back. The close one. We have been agrguing so much. Hurts so bad. Please email me. Anyone who may have advixe. I need the support


BrokenHearted 5 years ago

im 14 yrs old and pregnant with my 15 year old boyfriend. i knew about his drug addiction but ever said very little about it. but just this morning he told me his mom found out and she is either sending him to 90 day rehab, or jail. of course, he chose rehab. but i was scared out of my mind and destroyed with my paranoia that he will cheat on me while he is behind the walls. then he called me from the hospital (he was getting tested) and told me they weren't gonna keep him. i was so relieved and was so overjoyed, i could've swore the baby wouldn't stop swimming around because it was also happy their daddy is staying home. and then his friend called me and told me the counsil changed their minds and decided to keep him for 3 months (90 days) and i ended up breaking down into tears on the spot. now i have this horrible image of him hooking up with another girl. at this very moment i can feel myself slowly shutting down. he promised he would never do that to me before he went to get tested, but i cant get the thought out of my head for the life of me or our son/daughter. its killing me. i have no idea what to think. his best friend told me not to worry and everything will be fine, but its an instinct and habbit of mine to worry about every little thing. i love him with all my heart, soul, and mind. he does to me as well. but 3 months all alone in that hellhole, without me or anyone...the temptation will always be there. he knows very well i will leave in a heartbeat if he EVER cheats on me, no excuses. should i sincerealy worry as much as i am? i would give ANYTHING and EVERYTHING just to have him back or at the very least know he would never do that to our soon-to-be-family.

-Noemi d.

email me reassurance, please:

bloodybystander@aol.com


jamterrell profile image

jamterrell 5 years ago

Wonderful insights in this great hub!


nick 5 years ago

O.k. i agree that the majority f rehab relationships dont work ,and neither do most non rehab relationships. Because people go into relationshis for the wrong reasons sex, lonliness, codependency, lust, etc The list goes on. However my really good friend has brrn with his rehab relationship for 3 years thry are getting married and they are a very happy couple. They are not the only sucessful repationship. Im currently in the best, most honest relationship i ever been in. When you are in rehab you live with and get to know Everything about eachother esecialy the dee dark secrets you never tell anyone this creates honesty and communication. I know her better than i have known anyone. We have shared and share the same struggles. The reason i believe its sucessful is we did have sex while in the treatment center. We didnt dive into a lustful relationship. We got to know eachother and were just friends and ot continued when we got out. We fell in love and are together. Ive been in two three plus year relationships before this one. Im closer to her than i was to either of the previous ones

I love her and she loves me. We didnt get into this for the wrong reasons and neither of us were the ones there runnin around chasing guys and girls. Neitger of us had the intension of having a rehab relationship. Intrestingly 99% of the staff thought we woupd make a good couple. We were told its better to start a relationship with someome in recovery than going to a BAR to meet someone. So i think it all depends on how you do it. If its jst sexual of course its not gonna work. I love my rehab girl and i dont see that ever changing. Our families say we have never been happier. It may be different cause ive had decent amounts of clean time before i relased from pain meds from an injury. Only time will tell.


nick 5 years ago

O.k. i agree that the majority f rehab relationships don't work ,and neither do most non rehab relationships. Because people go into relationshis for the wrong reasons sex, lonliness, codependency, lust, etc The list goes on. However my really good friend has brrn with his rehab relationship for 3 years thry are getting married and they are a very happy couple. They are not the only sucessful repationship. Im currently in the best, most honest relationship i ever been in. When you are in rehab you live with and get to know Everything about eachother esecialy the dee dark secrets you never tell anyone this creates honesty and communication. I know her better than i have known anyone. We have shared and share the same struggles. The reason i believe its sucessful is we did have sex while in the treatment center. We didn't dive into a lustful relationship. We got to know eachother and were just friends and ot continued when we got out. We fell in love and are together. Ive been in two three plus year relationships before this one. Im closer to her than i was to either of the previous ones

I love her and she loves me. We didn't get into this for the wrong reasons and neither of us were the ones there runnin around chasing guys and girls. Neitger of us had the intension of having a rehab relationship. Intrestingly 99% of the staff thought we woupd make a good couple. We were told its better to start a relationship with someome in recovery than going to a BAR to meet someone. So i think it all depends on how you do it. If its jst sexual of course its not gonna work. I love my rehab girl and i don't see that ever changing. Our families say we have never been happier. It may be different cause ive had decent amounts of clean time before i relased from pain meds from an injury. Only time will tell.


Mary May 5 years ago

My husband went to rehab... after knee surger.

He has told me TWICE that two different Rehap women has touched him inappropriately.

He told them both... NOT TO TOUCH HIM.

He said they seems shocked that he told them that he did not want his leg messaged....

Apparently these people do this type of think a lot.

I have though about reporting them to the STate of Florida Board of Nursing.

He said just let it go.


Jr. 5 years ago

i am curently in rehab and i have found this girl and she is wonderfull. she is the light of my day. i am so worred about fucking up her recovery. they don't even whant us to talk. yes the sexual atraction is there but she is not a hore. i just whant what's best for her. and if that means me leaving her alone then i will. i agre that this time in recovery is for self reflection and is key to getting down to the root problem. we don't have drug problem we have life problems and the only way we know how to deal with them is by getting high. some one help me what do i do. i just whant to get to know her better and for her to recover. i think i can help, we can help each other. her husben beats her and is a controle freak. what would be in my best intrests. mostly what is her best intrests. by the way we decided not to have sex in the rehab it would be to hard, you know to controle our selves if we open that door.


Bree 4 years ago

Ok I am only 14 and I'm in a complicated realationship with this boy I'm deadly I love with he's 14 to and today he went of sent to rehab at 11 this morning ever sence then I have been crying I love him we planed on have a little family and he promised everything would be ok but knowing him he will do what ever it takes to get some sex but my friends and HIS friends tell me he feels different about me then he has about any other girl idk what to believe and idk how long he sgonna be sent there please if u have any helpful info email me at bigsiscaned@yahoo.com

Thank you


April 4 years ago

These stories could all be mine also.I have been with an addict for 5 years. I didn't know until 3 years into it that he was even an addict. By that time we had already had a beautiful baby girl. I have stood by him, supported him emotionally, financially and physically all this time. He left in the middle of the night, slept with my fathers girlfriend then same night, and took off to Vt. from NH. I didn't even know where he had gone. He came back to clean up and work it out with us, and when I found a needle in his pants pocket on the floor, just feet away from out daughter, I told him he had to go. Before he left, he managed to break into my car, and steal $1000 from my school loans that were to help support me and his daughter to get us through the winter. He has been into rehab 4 times since I met him. I picked him up from jail, brought him to rehab gave him all the things he needed.we live 3 hrs away, but went to one of the visitations also. the day he left, he never called.when he finally did, he lied about where he was for a whole week. he had met a girl there, went home with her, and she moved him in.he has told her all about our relationship.she knows more than i do about it.while he spent the wkend with her, he was calling me asking for money, i sent him some cash and paid to turn his phone on.what a dummy.it was after that he decided to tell me he hasn't loved me for years and didn't want me anymore.funny thing tho, he text me this past weekend that he loves me and wants me in his life. think he has lost it much?he is nuts to think i didn't 'FINALLY' figure it out. I'm done. I wont say it doesn't hurt.It is killing me, and I am so sad for our daughter and our family. But one who loves you, doesn't do stuff like this to you. And this is just a small section of story.


Monique 4 years ago

Russ.


Vert 4 years ago

My girlfriend went into rehab last week and we've been talking every day. Before she went to rehab she had cheated on me a few times before and I'm so worried that if she would do it while she's with me she'll definitely do it when she's by herself at a rehab. I asked her about it yesterday and she got upset and hung up on me and I haven't talk to her since there's no way to contact her I don't know what to do should I continue to try or should I just leave it at that and except the fact that she'll probably be with somebody else in rehab.


Judson 4 years ago

To all you people who worry about your loved one cheating on you in Rehab:

Do not worry over that which you cannot control. It's a disturbing thought to say the least, but do not let the quality of your security be destroyed by another person. If your lover wants to cheat on you, then that is their fault, not yours.

Also, when your loved one gets out of rehab, you will know in your heart whether or not they have truly changed. You will be able to sense it, and if not, then keep your guard up!


LT 4 years ago

I met my boyfriend in rehab and the first few months were great. I lived across the country and had to get surgery. We talked everyday while I was gone . I moved to his state not knowing anybody. Well while I was away he relapsed ans he kept it a secret until he couldn't hide it anymore. Two days ago he just got up and left and went back to treatment without even saying goodbye. I had no idea he as doing drugs. I paid for his suboxone but he sold them and stole from me. He just disappeared the other day and I found out he went back to treatment from his sister. It is a hard disease to fight and now I am all alone in a state where I have no family or friends. Please be careful about rehab romances, We are vulnerable at that time and it is a special conncetion you have but back in the real world there is temptation. I moved across the countru for him and its been almost 3 months since I moved here and I have to go back home. I was stolen from, lied to, manipulated. Early recovery is not the time or place to have a relationship. I wasn't doing drugs again but he just left without a word. I am devastated and it is not cheap to move across the country. So please be careful. I know the chemistry may be there but just because you are ok does not mean the other person is ready to let go of the olf life style. He fooled me and my life is in shambles , So please listen to the advice and wait. Thank you


christiangirl 4 years ago

well i don't know rather i feel batter r worse now.im 40 and my fiancé is 41 we have a 5 mth old and kids between us from other marriages.hes not the cheater type but hes an alcoholic...about 5 yrs ago when he was single he went to rehab and met someone.it didn't last.but he checked in last week and im going crazy wondering..its coed but they r supposed to stay seperated and if he goes anywhere,they're supposed to go in pairs of 3...there in the woods and there r different houses.3 for the men and 2 for the women.groups and all r seperated but education class is together.men on one side,women on the other..what freaks me out is at night a room leader is a supervisor.this room leader is also an addict..so wth ?my favorite part is on saturday nites,they r free between 9:30 and they get ready for lites out at 11:30,then lights out at 12...at 8:30 theres a spiritual group that is optional..what if everyone in the house chooses to go but one doest?wth is that pairing off into a group of 3?


edwin 16 months ago

Meet girl in rehab we had sex and she told me she was pregant only one problem she was pregant for 14 months it ended badly and I found out she was married didn't help.lol no joke they never work thank God I made it through clean and sober.

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