- Mental Health»
The dangers of rehab romance.
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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.